Another way to view immigration

There currently is so much hate in American politics about so-called illegal immigration. People are in an uproar calling their fellow human beings animals and asserting false claims that most of these immigrants crossing the border without documentation are drug dealers and criminals, and stealing jobs away from long time American citizens. I would like to offer a different view.

The United States has always been a country of immigrants. That is how we grew decade after decade. Many immigrants in the early years came from Europe, and then there were those forcibly brought from Africa against their will as enslaved people. In later years, immigrants came to California from Asia, and now more recently from Mexico and Central and South America.

Throughout our history, immigrants were people of creatively and ambition seeking a better live. It takes a lot of character and determination to leave your home and travel thousands of miles to a strange land. Throughout our history, immigrants came with a strong work effort and creativity that added to our national growth.

Now let’s think about these individuals and families trekking across thousands of dangerous miles with only the clothes on their backs to attempt to cross into the United States of America. This act itself shows determination and initiative. Lazy unambitious people would not dare attempt such an arduous trip!

Without migrant workers on our farms, I assert that much of our crops would rot in the fiends unpicked.

And now think about the jobs these new immigrants are willing to take on. Though many are well educated professionals, many also will work on our farms, in our hotels, in our restaurants, and in the building and landscaping industries. Of course, I do not want to stereotype people, but frankly if immigrants were not continuing to come into the US, crops would rot in the field, and these “immigrant haters” would complain endlessly about not getting served in the restaurants they frequent and not being able to find reliable lawn and garden service.

Yes, we seriously do need immigration reform and some reasonable way of addressing the ongoing flood of immigrants coming into our country. But demonizing fellow human beings and discussing the issue using hateful rhetoric instead of discussing facts and forming solutions in a mature way is harmful and unhelpful.

Let’s discuss, address and debate the immigration issue in a mature way seeking a solution to this issue instead of spreading vitriolic hate.

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Please do read my blog “Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People.”

My transition …. to a second retirement

Retiring will give me even more time to enjoy my love of figure skating.

Next year I turn 70! So I need to start some serious planning on my second transition from working. My first transition was 14 years ago when I retired from full time work at IBM at age 55 and started Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer, my diversity and career development consultancy.

Transition From: the first transition will be out of my consulting practice. I now have a fantastic professional who I am preparing to take over my business. Deanna Jones, in addition to training as a consultant is already a most dynamic speaker, especially when she shares her journey of gender transitioning. During this year, she will be assisting me with and attending various trainings I provide, and I hope many of you get a chance to meet her.

Transition To: so when leaving work, that door closes and provides a pathway to open many more doors. Here are a few:

More skating! Do listen to my story of how I started to pursue my dream of becoming a competitive adult figure skater at age 59. Stopping work will provide me the time to enter more figure skating competitions, attend more figure skating camps to build my skills, and more time for lessons.

I would love to travel more! Photos clockwise from top left: Peru, Zanzibar, Finland, Morocco.

More travel! International travel and experiencing the world has always been one of my passions. I have already traveled to more than 65 countries, and there are still several more on my bucket list. I have not yet been to India, South Africa, Argentina, Antarctica … and there are some places in the US I need to go to like Glacier National Park.

Joining corporate boards for pay. With my very broad business experience, I feel I can be a real asset on corporate boards. I have strong strategic and operational experience. I am registered with a leading board placement service, BoardSI, and then even commissioned this excellent executive bio “A trailblazer in diversity management and organizational effectiveness”

More nonprofit board engagement. I am currently on a few boards and committees of nonprofits doing important community work, the LGBT Center of Raleigh, North Carolina Council of Churches and “Gay Sons and Mothers.” I also am the President of Other Sheep, an ecumenical ministry working to help religious leaders in third world countries be more queer inclusive. I need more time to seriously recruit to fill our long time open position of Global Coordinator.

More just hanging out with friends. With not working, I can have the flexibility of taking a 3-hour lunch or a half day long walk with a friend at the spur the moment

And new adventures! What kind of new things may I want to try? I am thinking about trying out for community theater. I have not acted on stage since high school days when I even got one of our high school’s coveted “best acting” awards.

I am excited about transitions ahead!