How Others Use Ours.
Yesterday I had a talk with a friend of mine about immigrants and documents. I think you have an idea that a lot of young people come here to start a new life… to have an American dream such as education, well-paid job, earn money and build a house to her/his parents in their homeland. Because it is a problem for the majority of Russian or Post-Soviet Union immigrants, I would like to share some thoughts about it. After the perestroika in 1991, a lot of countries felt because they didn’t have their own economical base. I remember my time when our family had nothing to eat but rice and fried onions… in 1992 we had a coupons to have a loaf of bread (or two loafs if you have two or more children in a family)… I remember that time like it was yesterday… and I know how to live and save money or food at least at home… and now when I look in the mirror, I saw an immigrant who moved from their past to a new future. And it was a painful experience… Why I said that? When I saw a young girls or guys who came here to reach their goals or dreams, I can understand them why they are here.
Americans (I mean most of American citizens) would like to use immigrants as a cheap labor… mistresses… to increasing their status and said after that, “Do you know what… she/he was Russian.” It always destroy my thoughts about loyalty and tolerant. One of my friend worked in Bukharian Jewish office, she earned $6.5 per hour. Another guy worked in Polish construction firm for $7.00 per hour. Isn’t it fair? I understand that some of employers would like to save money and keep their businesses after the crisis in 2007, but this kind of actions make you cheaper than this pay rate. Another situation was with my another friend when she started to date with an American young man, and he used her as a girlfriend (Yes, used!!!) They started to live; she started to cook, clean, wash, take care of him, and I can tell that she was in love and planned to have a family with him. After couple of years, he claimed, “You are an immigrant. I don’t want to take care of your documents.” At this time, he graduated his medical school. He didn’t pay attention that she worked and paid half of their rent, clean, wash, cook and take care of him and his relatives when it was needed. And after these years, he said the stupidest phrase, “You are an immigrant…” I wanted to kick him on his (bad word) face because he was on the same situation a few years before he met her. It makes me sad because we run from the poverty in our post soviet union countries and here… we faced to face with another problems such as “using immigrants” as something cheap. From my own experience, three weeks ago I applied for a new job and I had a phone interview. It was a man in his 40s (i guess) and the first statement he said was “We pay $7.00 because you are an immigrant, and your English is weak.” It really made me crazy; I am a very patient person but at that time I said, “Do you know what? I don’t need your job because I can feel a discrimination on your work place. You didn’t see my resume… my experiences and I can see on the phone that you were an immigrant as well because your English is weak and you have a real European accent.” After my arguing, he was very surprised and started to talk but I was rude and hung up the phone…
I realized that if you are an immigrant, no matter how good you are, you will stay an immigrant for others. I don’t want to point out to anybody or blame some people… I don’t need it. Just next time…when you will be on the train, library, street or parks…please please please think about it before being rude with them. They are an immigrants. It is not because they want to be them… it is because life in their countries made them run away… Nobody will leave their homeland, relatives, parents if they will have a normal life with food, shelter and freedom of speech and protection. Don’t be rude with them…with us.