On Immigration and Voting.
It’s been 23 years since I moved to the United States. October 2, 1999. I can still remember my excitement to see my dad when I first stepped off the plane. I had gotten a haircut the night before the flight and wanted to show it off.
I cannot remember much of the plane ride, only a feeling of hesitance on a world unknown. I recall scattered memories of dozing on Amma’s shoulder as we waited for our connecting flight and looking out of the window at the passing clouds.
When we landed and got to the car, my uncle showed me he could open the trunk and car doors, without even touching the car! I didn’t see his remote-control on the keys. It was magic!
I thought America was magic! Of course…America is not magic.
Every piece of magic I experienced was the result of my immigrant parents and their efforts to provide a loving childhood for Srikar and I. My parents did their best. My childhood was not perfect. However, I am privileged to have gotten an excellent education here. To have my health protected. To know I have a safe and warm bed to go to every night. These are not privileges everyone in this country have access to. Even though they should.
America is not magic for everyone.
(originally written in October 2020)