When the Muslim ban was implemented, I was with my family during the Lunar New Year holiday practicing ritual, honoring ancestors, and eating dozens of dumplings. I watched in confusion and horror as the news broke in my family’s living room via Chinese satellite TV, struggling to pick up what was happening.
As the hours went by and we heard of reports of people being detained at the border, my mom started railing about it with her sisters and brothers. Like many immigrant families, we still have relatives abroad and make frequent trips to see them. She felt, on a visceral level, the injustice and inhumanity of being denied entry to your home after leaving to maintain family ties. I was proud of her for setting the tone, for being loud and furious and fighting against the instinct to keep our heads down and not talk about it. But inevitably at the end of a rant she would turn the conversation to what she and the family should do to protect our money.