As my mother and I stood there, we couldn't help but be baffled by the current administration and their policies fueled by fear and xenophobia. With Muslim bans and border walls, is this symbolic statue still a representation of America's open arms for refugees? Is she still the "mother of exiles?"
This is not the first time, however, that the US has turned away refugees or immigrants. We refused Jews entry into our country even with credible visas. We had a Japanese registry and internment camp. The following article paints a cyclical portrait of How America’s rejection of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany haunts our refugee policy today.
A few weeks back, I wrote about how I had difficulty connecting physical, emotional, and mental trauma to the beach. Being here in NYC is giving me perspective and further information on how symbols and borders can serve as sites of trauma and healing.