Imagine leaving your country for school, and the government won’t let you back in. To top it off, your wife and children are stuck in your home country, and they won’t let them out–for over three years.
Aron Hagos Okubaldet was a speaker at Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law commencement ceremony. This was his experience while a student at McKinney. Okubaldet is from Asmara, which is in central Eriteria, in the horn of Africa–just north of Ethiopia. The unrest in his home country is so great that he had to pursue his dreams with the prospect of never seeing his family again.
Thankfully, Okubaldet has been granted asylum by the U.S. government, and has a path to bring his family here. But, think of the sacrifice. Okubaldet wanted to come to America so badly that he would risk losing his family. He risked losing his citizenship. He risked everything he has worked so hard for in order to come to the United States of America, further his education, contribute to our economy, and create a better life for his family.
This is what we have to offer. A life of opportunity and the pursuit of the American dream. Let us not forget that this is what we fight for. This is what we must dig our heels in to protect–our ability to help others, to give more than we receive, and to be a steward to the world.