Tag Archive - Immigration

Blind Visa

Now is the time for those who want to gamble. Not for money though, but for changing the course of their life by changing where they live. For two months, you can test your luck. In this one, the great saying, “The harder I work, the luckier I get” cannot apply. It’s now time for… The Green Card Lottery, which is given the more sophisticated name of “Diversity Visa“.

But it’s no more than a lottery. The United States give out 50,000 Green Cards every year in a lottery. All anyone needs to apply is to be from one of the countries accepted, and to have a high school diploma, or a two-year work experience. No minimum of English knowledge is required. No particular skills or education are given priority. Now let me use my frank words: this practice is a shame. I can even say more, or worse.

Reports say that there is between 10 and 20 million illegal immigrants in the US today. Many of them don’t speak English, and yet many more are unskilled workers. The country needs them, or they wouldn’t be able to live and find jobs. If all of them leave right now, hundreds of thousands of businesses will be stuck. Ok, they fill a need, and the country already has millions of them. So what does this Diversity Visa add? It brings in thousands of legal immigrants, yet many of them “don’t speak English, and many more are unskilled workers”.

As I talk about immigration, I have to mention that I am myself an immigrant. I live with immigrants and know their weaknesses and their strengths. However, immigrants vary as much as their backgrounds. For example, I know the Arab immigrants community well enough, and don’t know too much about immigrants from other backgrounds. But all immigrants, no matter where they come from, have too many things, and conditions, in common.

I have seen how many young people come here, with very good qualifications to benefit both themselves and their new country, yet they had to struggle for many years just to have a legal status. I myself have experienced this struggle first hand. I know many who started this way, then they are now successful business owners or distinguished professors. There are many others who hope for a chance to come to this country, where they think they will have more opportunities. Very bright and highly skilled young people, but they don’t have a way to do it. Wouldn’t it be better to give out those 50,000 Green Cards to some of those qualified individuals, both inside and outside the country?

I respect the Canadian immigration system. They have points, and you qualify according to how many points you score. You get points for fluency in English and French, for age (the younger the better) for education, for work experience. Once you meet these requirements, you have a chance. You don’t need a job offer from a Canadian employer, and you don’t need to marry a Canadian citizen. Why wouldn’t the US try to adopt a similar system?

As an immigrant, I have seen some of the worse days of life. Only hope and advice of friends kept me from giving up and going back home when I so much wanted to. I probably didn’t plan it right, but no good information was made available to help me plan. When you are outside the US, you are made to believe certain things about the way it works, only to find that it’s only in movies, or a good one or two decades ago. I read books back in my country, but when I came, I found that certain things changed. I wasted too much time and energy doing nothing, just suffering and trying to figure out how to just have the very basic, a legal status and a driver’s license! It felt as if I left a prison to another prison. I hated how little freedom I had in my country when it comes to politics. I couldn’t control such things as corruption, and felt unable to help save myself and my country. I thought that I can only help from a position of freedom and power, and was seeking a place where I can rely on myself and not worry about my basic rights as a human being, so I can reach up for what we humans need to focus on. The things that really matter, because we’re all responsible for all. But the more power and freedom we have, the more responsible we are for those who have not!

Winning!

If you live in the United States and watch television, then you know Donald Trump. He is a business man, yes, but he is as famous as a Hollywood star. His show “The Apprentice” must have been a big factor in his becoming a star. I believe he represents a better model of being star. The model of success through intelligence, hard (passionate) work, personal branding, knowledge (continuous learning), and common sense.

Once familiar with the show, I started to look for Donalds’ books. I do declare that I like him very much as a writer. This fact only proves my belief about success: truly successful individuals, in any field, seem to always have a solid intellectual ground. After all, every human has exactly the same form of material manifestation in the world: one anatomy, one body. What we have up there makes all the difference: vague things that reside in our chest, and in our head! When I started this blog, I posted my selected quotes of the following books by Donald Trump, check them out: How to Get Rich, and The Way to The Top. I will post my quotes of his other books soon, insha’Allah (God willing, in Arabic).

Well, I am from Egypt. Trump is not a famous name there. So I knew nothing about him in my first years in the country. Until I met “The Apprentice” on TV. I think the first time I saw the show was in its second season. I am only an occasional TV watcher, but this show captivated me, and it soon became my favorite. May be it’s my business sense. I gradually came to like business. However my interest in business didn’t start early in my life. I grew up in a business environment. My family had a ready-made clothes factory, established by my elder brother, who created this business while he was in medical school. He truly is a multi-talented entrepreneur, and I always believed that if he had come to a business-friendly country like the US early in his life, he would have been a billionaire by now. Even my mother, who has, all her live, been a housewife, never working outside her home, was very involved in the business. Growing up with business all around me, I didn’t really like it. I was more interested in intellectual pursuits. I never even liked to read about business. May be I didn’t like the fact that all my brothers went into the family business. I didn’t want to do something unless it’s genuine and of true personal meaning to me. I didn’t want to be a slave of money. I, as a human being, as a creature of the greatest Creator, am ABOVE money. I can have it as a tool, but I won’t work for it.

Then something changed. May be it was in my genes, hidden there til the time comes. My first personal, or face to face experience with business came my way when I was in my last year of college, studying French literature and translation. One of my professors approached me and asked if I a good Internet user. I wasn’t even a bad one! I had never used it at the time. My professor said that she, along with two other partners, were interested in establishing a translation company, and they wanted me aboard. I was a unique student in the institution at the time (in a good way), which is another story. That’s probably why they chose me.

I immediately accepted. I knew nothing about the business. But I loved the people I was working with, and I was very appreciated in return. In the spirit of a team, exploring and learning about a world unfamiliar to us, everyone took charge of what they knew best. Well, what I knew best was to learn what I didn’t know! And to become an expert shortly after. I didn’t think of what I was doing as a business. I just did it, but I didn’t name it. When I look back, I see that as a revealing of the entrepreneur in me.

See where the chain of thoughts took me! I started this post with the intention of writing a “brief” post about MY WINNING. You still don’t even know what I won! I am going to tell you very, very shortly.

Back to Donald Trump. Well, I didn’t win The Apprentice, otherwise this would have been already known all over the nation! Not that I don’t qualify for it, I know I do. I even qualify for much, much higher things. But my winning is related to Trump… University. Yes, Trump University.

Shortly after I discovered Trump Blog, a contest was advertised: readers were asked to post their questions to Donald Trump, restricting their questions to “success-related topics about personal achievement, real estate investing and entrepreneurship.”

I did post one entry, with three questions. I don’t know yet which question of mine was selected by Donald Trump. I’ve been checking the blog for news about the winners. I had a feeling that I could win. I knew there were hundreds of other entries, but I thought that my questions were well to the point. However, I wasn’t sure. When I saw the post about the winners tonight, my name was eight on the list. As I was quickly getting to the end of the list, without seeing my name, I expected that it wasn’t going to be there anyway. May be after five years of struggling as an immigrant, five years of suffering from not being able to live up to my potential, I sort of got used to losing. I was used to winning back in my home country. My immigration experience taught me that I was wrong when I took it for granted. I won’t say that I wasn’t prepared for that, I did leave my comfort zone to put myself in difficult circumstances. I saw it as a means to build my character, and to teach me more about the truths of life and of living.

I won a free course offered by TU. A new and different chance of learning. The ability to learn is a blessing. I am grateful to God for giving me a mind capable of understanding, and the resources necessary to find knowledge.

See my name among the winners in Trump Blog

“O my Lord! advance me in knowledge.”
Quran: Chapter 20, Verse 114

American Mexican Border, Fence Or No Fence?

God created Adam and Eve, and from them descended billions upon billions of people. Equal in their humanity, due to their one origin, they came different in many other aspects: color, tongue, religion, and place of birth. Among those children, some were born in what is currently known as the USA, some others were born further north (Canada), yet some others found themselves in a place totally different from the rest of the continent, a poor country with the name of Mexico.

In our present time, Americans don’t have the smallest problem with their northern border; beyond it lays a brotherly country with a similar style of life and economic conditions. No Canadian enters the US illegally, because their birth given pieces of paper, called citizenship documents, allow them free movement. But more importantly, their conditions of life do not make them feel that fleeing their mother land is the only way out of inhuman conditions. And this is what makes the southern border a complete opposite. On the other side of this border, millions feel that they are deprived of their basic human rights and needs. Their human nature, shared with all other humans anywhere in the world, is to escape from danger, and to look for ways to survive. The closest solution to their dead-end conditions is a rich country whose media promises equal opportunity for everyone, a happy life and easy money. It is close, but not easily accessible. Millions with otherwise no hope are willing to risk all their money, and even their life, for a chance to find themselves in the northern side of the border. They are not sure what to expect once in America, all they think of at this time is to escape and to get there.

And here the problem starts and grows. Millions cross the southern border into the US. They enter and stay in the country undocumented, another word for “unknown of”. People are nowadays reduced to papers, if they are not on paper, they don’t exist. But they do exist, no matter what the papers say or don’t say. They work, rent apartments, pay bills and spend money every day. They will even have kids who will automatically be US citizens. But on paper, they remain in the shadow. Some look at this situation as a healthy and necessary one. Those poor, undocumented workers have to accept any job; they don’t have much of a choice. Businesses will prefer them because they work long hours without complaining, and they accept lower wages. They are good for the business, so they should stay and keep coming. On the other side of the debate (not the border!) stand those who see the danger of having millions living in the shadow. Their solution to the problem? Well, building a 700 mile long fence, high enough that Mexicans will not be able to climb it!

To say the least, the idea of building this fence reflects a great lack of creativity. It suggests a superficial solution to a complicated problem. Illegal immigration is not an illness, it’s a symptom of a complicated one, and we all know that treating the symptom is of no real help. Those who cross the border every year in terrible conditions risk their life, with the fence on their way, they will just figure out other ways to go for their quest of a new land. Let’s also not forget that they represent a multi-million dollar business for smugglers, and this kind of business will always find ways to keep going and making money. The fence would be a distraction as far as the real sources of the problem, which would let the problem grow bigger and bigger, until it eventually destroys the fence itself.

The kind of fence required to block the border is neither an easy nor an affordable project. All the money and efforts and time that will be spent to build it could be used for more realistic and fruitful action toward solving the problem. What if this kind of money is to be spent on US-Mexican partnership aiming to improve the conditions of life in Mexico, which would lessen the number of those willing to risk their life to escape from their country?

History teaches us lessons for our present and our future: Once upon a time, not too long ago, a big “fence” separated two countries, people on the eastern side wanted to flee to the western one, and they kept trying, until they no longer needed to, when the Wall of Berlin came down. I believe that the fence, if built, will not have a better luck.