Congressman Johnson celebrates Immigrant Heritage Month
This is the fourth annual Immigrant Heritage Month. Each year, we take time in June to share and honor the inspirational, heart felt stories of our nation’s immigrants.
I am proud to work with the immigrant communities in the Fourth Congressional District. One in particular is the Clarkston community. Clarkston has served as a safe haven for thousands of refugee families over the years and is home to a range of successful immigrant-owned businesses. The City of Clarkston is often referred to as “the most diverse square mile in America.”
I have stood with and for the immigrant community through several events this year. In January, I teamed up with Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry for a “Day of Resistance.” Joined by several of Georgia’s elected officials and other leaders in the community, we rallied constituents to join us in standing up against the GOP budget, healthcare and immigration ideology. In February I hosted a refugee and immigrant listening session to hear the concerns of the immigrant community and connect them with stakeholders and other pro-immigrant organizations. Just last month I hosted a town hall with representatives from ICE and immigrant communities in the district that have been impacted by ICE procedures.
I want to share with you Mr. Najib Zahedi’s story. Najib Zahedi is a recipient of a SIV (Special Immigration Visa). Najib and his family came to our country after helping the U.S military in Afghanistan, an act which placed their lives in great danger. Because he served alongside our military, he was looked at by supporters of the Taliban as an "infidel." Eventually, the Taliban found out about Najib’s work with our soldiers and attacked his father with a knife, nearly killing him.
It is stories like Najib that further support the fact that immigrants have made a remarkably positive and long-lasting impact on the places where they have settled, and that there is no basis for an immigration travel ban. Najib is a man who works hard and wants nothing more than to successfully contribute to our society. He is a very talented carpenter and even owned his own business in Afghanistan prior to serving in the military. Now on the path to entrepreneurship, Najib hopes to send his children to college and continue to work hard and contribute to our country.
During this month and throughout the year, I am committed to standing up for immigrant communities and keeping their concerns in mind when any legislation comes across my desk.