When I was 10 years old, I left Vietnam with my mother and younger brother, crammed with 470 other people without life jackets onto an old fishing boat to Malaysia. It was a perilous and terrifying four-day journey—with major storms threatening to sink us, and pirates with guns and knives who robbed us and could kill us as well. We were the lucky ones who survived the 50% odds of that sea crossing. When we arrived in Malaysia, we were rejected as refugees and had to turn around and take another several days to reach Indonesia with our boat. When we reached the US as refugees, we had to start our lives over with empty hands, but it was the hope and promise of the American Dream that kept us going.
Immigrants often risk their lives for a chance at freedom and opportunity, and our country remains the world’s beacon of freedom and opportunity. Immigrants have built and contributed to America since its very beginning, and are at the center of our social fabric and economic prosperity. My heart breaks to see so many people who are in the same situation today that I was in many years ago.
Today, the Trump Administration announced it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gave children of illegal immigrants the chance to stay in the US and contribute to their communities and the economy. I was proud to sign the FWD.us letter on behalf of Uber urging President Trump to preserve the program.
Our community has always been about what brings people of every background together. We’ll continue to stand by immigrants who want nothing more than to contribute to our country and pursue the American Dream.