Italians, like my family, were caught in the middle leading up to and during WWII. We were one of the “others” that America banned from entry and were affected by changed immigration laws due to increased nationalism and fear of foreign influence. I do not forget the pain and suffering that my grandparents endured during that time. I carry their stories with me always, both a burden and a privilege. By no means do I blame our government for all of that suffering, most of that lies with the Fascists and Nazis, but I do recognize that there was no compassion in the US policy that enabled it. “America First” was a slogan then when they… we… changed the laws and denied my family their right to seek safety within US borders from fascist terror. Eventually, with difficulties, they arrived here and reunited as a whole family and we have thrived. My grandparents were proud and grateful Americans, never challenging or speaking ill of the government. There was pride, yes, but also a subtle fear that their freedom or the freedom of their children could be taken back. My entire life I thought this was a silly notion. I believed that was the past and we as American’s would not allow history to repeat. Until Friday, I didn’t understand that fear at all. I didn’t understand just how truly easy it is for someone in power to take back promises. To strip people of their freedom. To show no compassion and no remorse for suffering caused with the excuse of America First.