Nour, a Syrian asylum seeker who has lived in the U.S. for nearly two years, can’t vote—but for her, that doesn’t lessen its significance. “It’s really connected to my past and where I come from,” she says in a video from The Love Vote campaign, “since I came from a country that is basically ruled by a tyrant and I have never been able to vote before. My father has never voted before. The last person in my family to vote freely was my grandfather.”
America is supposed to be a beacon of hope for asylum seekers like Nour, but the Trump administration is decimating protections for the world’s vulnerable by taking a wrecking ball to the refugee and asylum systems. This has been the work primarily of racists like Attorney GeneralJefferson Beauregard Sessions III and Stephen Miller, who have carried out their work without any checks from the Republican-led Congress. If Congress stays in Republican control, their trail of destruction will only broaden.
So this November, Nour needs your help, and that starts by realizing your power at the ballot box. “People take their voting or their voting right for granted,” she said, warning that voter apathy can easily spread. “People think that, ‘you know what, it’s only one vote. It’s not gonna make a difference,’” but then “the person next to them or a whole family doesn’t vote because ‘it’s not gonna make a difference,’” either.
With Nour’s asylum application still pending, her future may be in limbo. She and so many others need certainty. “It’s very important for me that people go out there and vote because my fate and future and my family’s fate and future, if they’re ever gonna come visit me, really is in the hands of that next president or that next representative,” she said. “Voting really means to me that someone actually cares about my fate and actually cares about someone who is in my shoes.”