The Trump administration’s policies and restrictions toward immigrants and refugees have been widely criticized by international human rights groups and domestic political opponents alike.
According to NAE, almost 8,000 immigrant entrepreneurs in Nashville employ more than 57,000 people, and generate $472.5 million in business. The Department of Health and Human Services stated that refugees in US boost revenue by $63 billion, more than they cost the country.
This shows how much the American economy would suffer if it shuts doors for people seeking refuge in the country. These refugees deserve a fair chance to gain asylum in the US.
Zak Sayid, co-owner of The Horn Coffee in Nashville and a member of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, shared his journey with CNN Business.
Sayid, hails from Somalia, where his mother was a bank clerk and father a successful food-industry entrepreneur. But when the civil war broke out in 1991, his father crossed the border and arrived in Kenya. He spent the first 4 years in a Kenyan refugee camp before American Catholic missionaries helped the family resettle in Tennessee.
Sayid said, “When we came to America, my father worked 60-hour weeks, putting in back-to-back shifts at multiple factories to put food on the table. He worked so hard that at one point, he collapsed from exhaustion, and we had to stage a family intervention to ask him to give up at least one of his jobs.”
He said that his father motivated him a lot. Sayid and his older brother run a small cafe in Nashville, The Horn Coffee. They sell the same Somali pastries that his father used to sell to local restaurants.
He further said, “To us, the Horn is more than just a neighborhood cafe. It’s our little piece of the American dream, and a symbol of how, as a family, we’ve integrated into our community. We’re still Somali, of course, but we’re also proudly American.”
Sayid is hopeful that the Trump administration will roll back those policies, and give the vulnerable and suffering refugees in US a fair chance to win asylum care in the country.