Immigrant community, we welcome you and appreciate you!
I have never seen my immigrant friends, visa and even green card holders, as defeated as they are now. They have recurring thoughts about going back to their countries, not because they have to, at least at this moment in time, but because they no longer feel welcomed. They have carried this feeling for a while and is growing stronger with the recent events.
It’s heartbreaking in all senses. When we talk about immigration some have this one conception about immigration that feeds the wrong ideas and perceptions. I notice many negative comments in social media but one popular opinion is this idea of using the crisis and the pandemic to support judgment and justify why immigrants, foreigners in general, should go back to contribute to their own countries because that will play in favor of their own economies. Is this an altruist thought?
Who are we to decide? Who are we to be making judgments for other peoples lives no matter what the situation is? Who are we to tell them how to leave or how to not come back? Who are we to bully them into feel what we want them to feel?
They worked so hard to get where they are. They are such hard workers, free spirits, a source of inspiration.They worked double to be able to make it in this country, they contribute a lot in so many areas, many times they contribute more than they receive and still, they fall in love with the country, they fall in love with its people. They want to learn from YOU, that’s why they are here. Shouldn’t you feel proud of that and support it?
I know immigrants that are doing incredible things in their companies helping them grow, immigrants that start new initiatives to evolve society, students that are brining new ideas and are mentoring others.
I know immigrants that provided jobs while many corporations sent people on furlough, and still they live in fear and silence. Since I already experienced a rocky immigration journey and recently became an american citizen, it is my responsibility to speak up for this community.
We all need to be more vocal about this because immigrants do need a voice. Think about all the green card holders paying the same taxes as everyone but without the ability to vote. Others may be scared to speak due to the political constrains, because they may be waiting for a visa approval and they are afraid it could play against them.
The main message I want to transmit and I am here to say is YOU ARE WELCOMED. If you are a foreigner, an immigrant, and you are having thoughts like my friends are know you are welcomed, many people welcome you. Just because we are flooded with negative comments and just because the top decision makers are making it extremely difficult that does not mean that the village doesn’t want you. Many people want you. We want you. We admire your bravery.
I know first hand it is a lot of anxiety to handle. The immigration community many times do not have their families close by to support them in any way. They can’t share the pain, they have to deal with everything that happen by themselves.
Please, If you know a foreign person whether a professional or a student, whether if they are struggling or not, tell them you appreciate them, tell them they are welcomed. If you see comments in social media tell them they do matter.
What would life look like without diversity? Without cultural diversity? Without diversity of thought? Have we ever thought about the consequences of becoming more territorial? The pandemic has proven to us that history can repeat itself, specially the bad history.
Do we want our next generations to grow up with people that just look like you, that think like you? Growing up knowing the exact same things? Is this how we move a society forward? Is that how creativity and ideas flourish?
What is going to happen when we only get along with people that are just like us? Do we want to be in business only with people that look like us? We are carving the tomb for much more than just the economy.
Mixing cultures opens up new perspectives, new ways, it enriches life in all senses. I can assure you, what you learn being more in a multi cultural environment is greater than what you learn in a room with people that just look like you and have similar backgrounds. Diverse teams thrive in businesses.