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Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Day Without Immigrants" Charade

Ffs, nobody, I said NOBODY, is against immigrants coming here to US. Ok, a very few xenophobic douchebags maybe, but come on, we are all immigrants here. Except for the Native Americans, of course. If anyone have a concern it should be them. And yeah, we would be one of their concerns.

It's about illegal immigrant, people. Illegal. It's about people who come here without proper documentation. Your "Day without Immigrant" sounds fancy and shit, but does any of you really will hire someone without a background check or without a proper work permit? Oh yeah, tax day would be fun, wouldn't it?

And while we are at it, will you just open your house and invite a total stranger from the shady part of the town to come and live with you without checking who he/she is and what's his/her story? Because that's what the 'Muslim ban' is all about: trying to get a better tighter vetting system, thus the temporary ban. Yes, it was TEMPORARY. 

And it was for war-torn countries. Have you ever met anyone right from war-torn countries? You can go to any crime-ridden cities in US where shooutout is common, for a taste. These people need help. They are so fucked up that affection and love might not reach them rightaway. The order was made to protect US people, not about turning our nose snobbishly to people in dire need.

Let's just say there is no ban. What will you do with these refugees and illegal immigrants? Will you help them and embrace them in this whole new world? Will you be ready to put more of your hard-earned tax dollar towards this cause? And I mean more, like, committed more. Not just a few hundred bucks here and there on a fancy fundraising. Will you committed to hire or host a refugee or illegal immigrant to help them adjust with US culture? Because if not, then you are just sounding things. Refugees and illegal immigrants most likely come without the necessary skills needed to survive here, and their fragile situation means they need more hands on accompaniment, not just fancy pledges. How can you help them?

As a non-Spanish speaking immigrant I feel I can't find enough resources in my own language to help me get started here. Everything I know, I learn it myself. It works because: a) As an avid news reader I am already steeped deep in the culture and prety much can see how things work here, and b) my English is pretty good. The refugees and the illegal immigrants may not have this leverage. I am lucky enough to not needing government assistance. I can't imagine how hard it is having to deal with the red tapes without understanding what is needed from them. Can and will you help them with this?

In reality, helping refugees and illegal immigrants are more than just #noban or #dontdeport. In a grander, bigger picture it involves spending resources to help them start here: food, shelter, education, skills, job, cultural adaptation. And due to their severe stress, they also need time to adjust and heal. Aside from resources, we can also help by trying to get the illegal a.k.a. undocumented immigrant got documented properly. Make the process easier and safer. We smarties can do this by actively understanding the current process and see if there is anything that can be made better. This is a solid help that needs to be done.

When I first got here I have to undergo medical screening and interviews, aside from many forms we have to fill out. Even when I got my visa, it still says that the US Custom Officers have the right to reject me on the port of entry should they deemed necessary. I accept that. This is their home, I play by their rule. They are trying to protect the people inside the house. If you go to Indonesia, you play by our rule, by things we deemed necessary to protect our people. In Singapore it means leaving your gums behind. It's not discrimination of whatsoever, the vetting and screening are done to protect the people. Please please please understand this. Some rules, of course, may need to be adjusted and has already been adjusted, like ban on people with HIV to enter US. Wait, you don't know that?

Fyi,  the immigrants I know mostly support the orders. Getting a green card and/or citizenship 'the right way' is not easy. Getting a visa to US can be goddamn hard too. We're playing by every rule in the book to ensure we can legally enter and stay here. If people can be admitted that easily, why bother going through such process? But then again without the process, how can we ensure the people who enter the will not be malicious and is willing to support the country as a whole? Somebody who is willing and able to make US a good place to live instead of just taking advantage of it? And without medical screening, do we really want another Tuberculosis outbreak in the US?

Unfortunately not many people, if any, screamed outrage for Trump's new HB-1 visa requirements, where now it is at min $130k salary, doubled from the previous min $65k. This hurts deep, in my opinion. Like, if you have to hire somebody for min $130k you might as well just get someone from here in US. $65k is a different matter. It is affordable enough for companies, and seeing how awesome us Asians are (I am stereotyping for effect here), it's a pretty good deal. 

Other bonus is that the money these people earned will trickle back down to their own countries. The knowledge, way of thinking, and bright new ideas they found here will trickle down there as well. Concept of democracy, for one. Work ethics. Hopes. They are not only bettering themselves, there is a chance they are, eventually, bettering their country too. And this should be the ultimate goal where all country is well and stable enough that there is no need to go find a better, safer place to live. Why don't we talk about this?

So please, cut the crap about your 'Day without Immigrant' and actually start thinking what can you do for them, hands on. Because if you don't want to interract with refugees and illegal immigrants face to face, you're just doing this for the show. As a first generation low to middle income immigrant (pretty much) fresh off the boat let me tell you this: we don't need your show. Action please. Action.

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