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Eureka: Some mistakes when dealing with legal and illegal immigrants
by Joseph Gatt
2018-05-10 07:49:06
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Here are a few mistaken popular beliefs about immigrants.

1- They steal local people's jobs.

There's some truth to it and there's a  lot of false to it. Let's say for clarity purposes that immigrants are both unskilled and have no financial funds. The truth is some companies, especially those operating under totalitarian management, do prefer to hire immigrants rather than locals because immigrants tend to be more prone to tolerate being mistreated and treated under totalitarian management. Other companies located in ghost towns also like to hire immigrants because non-immigrants would not want to work in a ghost town and would quit their job fairly quickly. But other than that most companies prefer to hire locals, be it in agriculture, factories or businesses. That is in cases where immigrants don't have access or full access to the welfare system, they will tend to accept totalitarian, dirty, difficult and dangerous jobs because they have no other choice.

immig0001_4002- They do jobs no one else wants to do.

This is true about totalitarian, difficult, dirty and dangerous jobs, but it's not always true about some of the jobs advertised as prone to being done by immigrants. Some say that immigrants are more likely to be barbers, butchers or bakers because no one else wants to do such jobs. Barbers have become hairstylists to a certain extent and require training, people buy meat at the supermarket and baking has become a gastronomic art itself. So a lot of locals do such jobs.

3- Immigrants are looking for a better life.

A lot of them are. But a lot of them are actually looking for higher status and trying to escape family obligations. They're not always looking for a better life, often they're looking for an easier life.

4- Immigrants are a bridge between their home country and the local country.

A lot of immigrants plain avoid hanging out with people from their country or having anything to do with their home country. Others have so much debt and caused so much trouble in their home country that they would never return to their home country, or have anything to do with it.

5- When immigrants are successful, they send money to their home country.

Indeed in a lot of countries people live on borrowed money and have to borrow money for food. In such cases immigrants do send remittances. They tend to send money the first few years they spend in the foreign country. Once they've adapted to the foreign country and they see how thankless sending money back home really is, they tend to send the strict minimum back home and keep the rest to themselves.

6- Immigrants tend to fail to assimilate to the local country.

They say the first thing a Muslim immgrant buys in Europe is beer, and the second thing is a ham sandwich. Of course some immigrants are set in their own cultural and religious  ways, but, if they were given the opportunity to learn about the local culture, a lot of them would gladly assimilate. The problem is a lot of assimilation programs don't take country of origin into account. The ideal way of assimilating immigrants would be to compare their home culture to the local culture. Language immersion programs also tend to be poorly designed, tend to teach the academic uses of the language when most immigrants really need conversation. 

7- There would be no immigrants if developing countries were developed.

A lot of immigrants flee debt, family obligations, gangs and unsettled accounts, not necessarily the lack of economic opportunities.

8- Immigrants choose to immigrate to a foreign country because they admire the culture.

It's not just Hollywood fans immigrating to the US or K-pop fans immigrating to Korea. A lot of immigrants don't really have a concept of foreign cultures and everything outside their village is foreign to them. They like the fact that their family will admire them for being an immigrant, not the fact that they will have the chance to study American culture and live among Americans.

9- Immigrants tend to adapt over the years. The longer they stay the more they will adapt. 

That could be true for some but not for others. Some have their own daily routine and adapt to their daily routine, others hate everything about their host country and are desparate to go back to their home country. Some celebrate their life in the host country, others barely tolerate it.

10- Immigrants immigrate so they can colonize the host country.

A lot of immigrant nations don't have organized structures or lobbies, nor is their culture unified or monocultural. Some give up their culture of origin altogether, others try to create a home away from home. All those who wear the hijab are probably Muslim, but certainly not all Muslims wear the Hijab, nor do they want to be associated with it.

11- Immigrants tend to cause the violence, gang crimes and organized crime in their host country

It's true to a certain extent that immigrants bring a culture from their home country. Some of it is new food, some of it are new types of crime that did not exist in the original country. In some cases the form of crime mutates. In the past, marijuana in France was mainly bought in tea rooms which were in hidden alleys where only pot consumers and prostitutes used to venture. This was the 60s and 70s. But then, immigrants brought a new culture of dealing marijuana in the streets in bags that they hide in their underwear, a culture they brought from their home country. In the past in Europe pick pockets used to operate in airports and train stations and were aiming for wallets full of money, but they now operate everywhere and look for petty sums, because they know a lot of people no longer carry cash and have credit cards with them. So crimes evolves as well.

12- Cultural diversity is a good thing.

Of course it's a good thing. But most people tend to think cultural diversity's a good thing for society, not for themselves. A lot of companies don't want cultural diversity, a lot of families don't want cultural diversity in the family and a lot of organizations don't want cultural diversity. Then there are some hippies like me who talk to people from all walks of life, but overall most people are most comfortable in monocultural organizations. And even when the organization hires “foreign people” for “diversity purposes” a lot of times they will hire a lot of one ethnic group, for example they will hire five Pakistanis, or 12 Indians, or 10 Cambodians and call themselves an ethnically diverse organization. A lot of people like to mix with other groups, but don't encourage those other groups to mix with other groups, that is they will hang out with a group of Indian immigrants, but won't encourage the Indians to hang out with another mixed group. The there are immigrants who hang out by neighborhood rather than by ethnicity. Then there are soccer teams of course, but while the players tend to be mutlicultural, the management tends to be very monocultural. Then you have all those fourth generation immigrants claiming they are “foreigners” just because it looks good on paper.

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