What Do Trump’s Actions Mean for Refugees, Immigrants and Families in Metro Detroit?

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed shares his family’s story on Detroit Today.

Laura Weber Davis/WDET

Detroit Today is launching a series of discussions with people who came to America — or whose families came here — as refugees or immigrants fleeing political turmoil.

Host Stephen Henderson leads conversations into why people were forced to leave their homes, what motivated them to come here to the U.S., what their lives look like now and their reactions to President Trump’s recent actions.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is the executive director and health officer for the City of Detroit’s Health Department. But he joins Detroit Today as a private citizen to share his personal story not a public official representing the City of Detroit.

“These are people who are choosing… to do extra work to become American,” says El-Sayed. “They are people who take their American identity super seriously.”

“These are people who commit to the fact that they want to be here to service this country in a really fundamental way,” he says. “So we really have to check the notes of racism and the notes of xenophobia that animate this idea that people from some countries are less capable of becoming American than others.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


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    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.