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Congresswoman Grace Meng Warmly Talks to Flushing International High School Students

November 15, 2018 | ISSUE 10

By Harrison Yang

On November 1, 2018, Congresswoman Grace Meng was invited to come to Flushing International High School to share her experience of being a second generation immigrant in New York and becoming the first ever Asian American woman to represent New York in Congress.

When Grace Meng revealed the ups and downs of her childhood life, she mentioned that her parents were the first generation of new immigrants. Her parent were working diligently and conscientiously everyday, in order to improve her family’s living condition. English is also a big challenge for her parents and young Grace Meng was always being a translator for them. She revealed how even now when she meets people some are surprised by her ability to speak English proficiently, which aroused smiles from our students, as it provokes the memories of the students themselves in America.

 

One of the most important topics of the Congresswoman’s talk was about President Trump’s policy of “Family Separation” for immigrant refugees coming up from Mexico. Congresswoman Meng was critical of the policy and described her experience in the Mexican border of seeing those immigrant families, who had been forced to separate from their parents, or from their children did not dare to speak. They could only sit or lie on the ground hopelessly covered in only metal blankets. Congresswoman Meng said with sadness "These innocent children supposed to be the most energetic and full of smiles, but they are treated so inhumanly." She said that the authorities did not even allow her to talk to these children when visiting, even human rights of care were basically deprived. Congresswoman Meng condemned this policy as a very inhumane act for the family. When a mother asked, “Is it a US law to separate a family?” Mr. Meng could only answer: “No.”

 

In addition to discussing some current events, Congresswoman Grace Meng also called on high school students to enhance their political views and raise their awareness of voting. For almost all our school students, who are new immigrants, this message had a deep impression.

In the speech, Congresswoman Meng also mentioned how young people can do their best to promote social harmony and promote citizen justice. She called on young people to actively participate in the voting. For young people who are interested in correcting the social atmosphere. It is important for us all to understand the political views of the candidates. For young people who have not yet been able to vote, they can also disseminate electoral knowledge to help the society. Through their own understanding of democratic freedom and equality and the political views of candidates, they can help those citizens who do not know much about elections to make wise choices.

 

Finally, Congresswoman Meng mentioned that importance and the strength of unity and how we are much stronger together than as individuals. The speech of Congresswoman Meng in our school undoubtedly touched the hearts of the students. The importance of her message to the students of Flushing International High School has raised the level of attention of students in American social issues and how to influence the government's political trends. Bridges student Zhou Jialiang said: The experience was "Great! Her visit has given me a deeper understanding of the current immigration issues in the United States! It also shows to me what kind of contribution as a young person can make to society."