It might sound strange to say that when I was a child in Kabul, Afghanistan, I was lucky. There was a war, there were armed militias stopping families and raping women. There were rockets and blackouts. In the end, though, my family was able to get out before it was too late. We came to the U.S. and were granted asylum. We settled in California, and 10 years later my parents earned their U.S. citizenship.
Ultimately, I was lucky, and I’m grateful. But I can’t help but compare my story to the stories of thousands of refugee children on whom we have turned our back as a nation. Children are being gassed in Syria, drowning in the Mediterranean, and being pulled out of the rubble while our president is on the record demonizing them as security threats.
The United States has resettled 44 Syrian refugees since October and just 11 since the start of this calendar year. During the same 3 ½–month period in 2016, that number was 790.