Anonymous student post
The attitude towards immigrants from nationals that I’ve most often seen is one of “you’re welcome.” As if the immigrant owes something to the national. The national presumably allows the immigrant to stay in their country. The immigrant is treated as a guest, and has higher standards in some regards held to him/her. An immigrant has legal barriers to overcome in almost every country. “You want to work here and help our society like a good citizen? Well we’re not going to make it easy for you, jobs are for citizens—never mind the merits of the job candidates!”
Immigrants have to be outcasts for their entire new life. Only their children, grandchildren or even beyond will get a more equal treatment in the eyes of their new society. Immigrants deal with discrimination on paper from the laws limiting immigrants rights, and tangibly in their day-to-day lives. Barnard mentions the attack on Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant, who was stabbed to death in a hate crime. Barnard mentions, “Many [immigrants] fear the police because they are in the country illegally; some give false names…”. Dealing with prejudice effects the entire immigrant family negatively. The typical immigrant has many more issues to deal with than someone who is nationalized. They need to learn a new set of laws, adapt to new culture, and possibly learn a new language.
Immigrants should be commended for their bravery in leaving their home country to find a life in a new one. They deserve at the very least to be allowed to work in the new country. Why would we disallow someone from being a service to society? The idea that jobs are “taken” by immigrants is a negative aspect of immigration is comically ludicrous. Jobs are not a finite resource, and for each job that is taken there is less work to be done. Society will always naturally find a place for improvement, and new jobs wont ever stop being created. It is harmful to society as a whole to stipulate who can get a job on a basis outside of merit.
In the studies of bilingualism, Portes shows: “…fluent bilinguals [outperform] limited bilinguals and English-only students in standardized tests and grade point averages, even after statistically controlling for parental status and other variables.” Immigrants who are fluently bilingual have cognitive advantages that could further merit their place in the workforce. According to Rumbaut, 97% of the world’s population are “stayers” only about 3% are immigrants. The immigrant minority has a clear disadvantage and we should not have them thank us and beg us to stay. Rather, the immigrants should be commended for their ambition taking heed in a new country. When immigrants come to a country, they are suffering for the benefit of society. The nationals should be thanking the immigrants.