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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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

Five Things Never to Say to Hispanic People

Thank you to Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado, Associate Consultant, for writing this blog.  Elsa has a law degree from Mexico and a Masters Certificate in Human Resource Management in the US.

Thank you to Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado, Associate Consultant, for writing this blog. Elsa has a law degree from Mexico and a Masters Certificate in Human Resource Management in the US.

Note from Stan Kimer. With National Hispanic Heritage Month (link) being celebrated soon in the USA, September 15 – October 15, I wanted to provide some interesting resources. I thank part time consultant Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado (link to her info) from my team for writing this blog!

It is not a secret to anyone that the unknown or different causes curiosity, especially when we meet a person from a different background, culture or ethnicity. For the same reason we need to be cautious on what to ask, because our questions could seem intrusive, disrespectful or offensive. In the case of Hispanics living in the U.S., this same principle applies.

Hispanics are immersed in every single aspect of the American Society and data shows that this participation will increase in the years to come. According to the Huffington Post (link to article), 16% of the U.S. labor force is Hispanic and by 2050 the Hispanic workforce will double to 30%. This is why these “Five things that you should never say to Hispanics” are important to consider.

1. What is your Status? Not under ANY circumstance you should ask this question. If a person comes from a different country that doesn’t necessarily mean that the person crossed the border illegally. Yes, I know… you might be thinking, “Lots of Hispanics cross the border illegally”. Surprisingly, this is not the case anymore. According to the National Review (link to article), most of the illegal immigration enters to the country with some sort of VISA, and overstays the VISA. This type of immigration comes from all over the world. The stigma and the prejudice that Hispanics bear unfortunately prevails through generations. These days, many U.S. citizens with a Hispanic Heritage suffer this type of characterization. After all let’s not forget that if we go back in history, a lot of individuals didn’t cross the border, the border crossed them.

2. You speak Spanish, so you must be Mexican. This also is a big “no no.” Let’s not forget that Latin America has a lot of Spanish speaking countries. Although the Latin American Countries have a lot of things in common besides the language, each country represents a totally different culture and identity. In just a few words it would be the same principle to affirm that all the English speaking individuals come from the same country.

Hispanics themselves have very diverse appearances and backgrounds. (Photo from "Hispanics Across America)

Hispanics themselves have very diverse appearances and backgrounds. (Photo from “Hispanics Across America”)

3. Oh you are Mexican! You don’t look Mexican at all. I’ll go back to Mexico because that’s the country that historically has faced more prejudice and stereotyping in the U.S. and of course due to the fact that the Mexican nationals surpass in numbers other Hispanic groups. If we go back in history when Mexico was colonized by Spain, there were numerous native ethnic groups in the area. Now the majority of the Mexican nationals are the result of the miscegenation of Spaniards and the Native ethnic groups. Plus the miscegenation of other countries that had immigration booms to Mexican territory such as: France Germany, Lebanon, and Israel. So let’s face it, how should a Mexican or Hispanic look? Isn’t this stereotyping? Your comment could be perceived as bigoted and racist.

4. Happy Independence Day! Let’s Celebrate “Cinco de Drinko” Together! This could be really perturbing to Mexican citizens in the U.S. since Cinco de Mayo is NOT the Mexican Independence Day. The Mexican Independence Day is September 16th, which celebrates the Victory of the Mexican Army over the French Army in Puebla, Mexico. Although Cinco de Mayo is considered a Holiday in Mexico, it is not a major “Statutory Holiday.” In reality, Cinco de Mayo is more celebrated in U.S. than in Mexico, and many Mexican nationals perceive Cinco de Mayo as an excuse Americans use to have Margaritas and Mexican food, and misrepresent the “Real Mexican Culture”.

5. Ah, You speak Spanish, I’m looking for a good housekeeper or lawn maintenance person. Hmm not necessarily, there are Hispanics, within every single niche of the economy. This comment could be perceived as bigoted. The reality is that there are Hispanics in Silicon Valley, occupying seats at the Congress, Entrepreneurs, Scientists, Professors, Physicians, Lawyers etc. Yes yes…. I know what you are thinking, “there are a lot of Hispanics performing manual labor jobs.” There is no doubt about that and there is nothing wrong with it. But your comment could unintentionally typecast a lot of people in certain types of jobs or capabilities, and some may find it offensive.

Bottom line, get to know each Hispanic you meet as an individual diverse person and interact with them in a genuine and respectful manner.

Coming with the next two weeks: Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People

Read also:

Five Things to Never Say to Gay People

Five Things Never to Say to Transgender People