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About the Author

Ladislav Kudlacek
Education project manager (Czech Republic)

Political Scientist and Economist. I worked for human rights and humanitarian NGO in India and for international NGO People in Need based in the Czech Republic as a Programme Manager for Afghanistan. In present time I work as an Education Manager. I studied Economics in Tomas Bata University and Political Science in Masaryk University in the Czech Republic and in the University of Delhi in India and Humanitarian and International Law in Helsinki University in Finland.

Post

Where is immigrants’ social status?

Published 30th May 2010 - 7 comments - 5045 views -

Where is immigrants’ social status?

Immigrants to the wealthy West are looking for the new happy beginning and future for them. They paid a big amount of money to get illegally to the country where they wish to find happiness. Many times the whole family had gathered the money and hoped that their son would later support them at home. They believe in different future from what their hard working parents have. Unfortunately, the reality is very different and the social status of an illegal immigrant is not different from his status at home and many times it is even lower. Only hope could be bigger that their frustration then.

A true life story in a book

Reading the awarded book Inheritance of Loss by Kiram Desai opens many questions about our world and social conditions and status of the immigrants in the wealthy West. Especially one story of a „hot dog seller“ Biju, a son of an ordinary Indian cook in the USA, talks about the life of illegal immigrants. The son works in humiliating work conditions but his father is proud of him and his job. This kind of story is not just a story in a book. Many similar life episodes happen every day next to us and we pay no attention to them.

A railways station is one example of many typical places where the young immigrants are trying to find their livelihood. They are selling false brand copies of purse bags or watches to the passengers walking by. Meanwhile they have to watch for policemen. „I would never make money this way at home but I do not have any other chance here. As an illegal immigrant I have a problem to find a better job,“ said Krishna, a young man from India. In spite of his low social status and his continuous fear of police, he wants to stay in his new home. „I do not see a better life at home, I am poor in India as well as in Europe, but at least I can support my family from here. People at home think that I am a rich man because I work abroad. This is also about the prestige of my family,” he comments. „If I knew that my future would be like this I would stay at home with my family. I miss them so much.“ However, he is not free to go home. The society would not accept his failure abroad.

Fear and illegal migrations

Many times the economic illegal immigrants had better social status and work at home. The salary was lower but they life was normal and without real fear of policemen and other official institutions. „Many times poor people can have better work at home. If they have eduation, they can work in big cities or some of them have their own family businesses. In spite of that, they wish to have western life standards which they can see in TV,“ said Priya from Indian small NGO. On the other side, there are many cases in which the economic migration is the only chance to earn the living for the whole family. Especially the poor rural areas in Africa and Asia cannot provide good work and life opportunities. These people also have a right to find their own better life. Unfortunately, illegal migration is mostly only a good business for a few people who organise human trafficking. „Legal migration is mostly for the rich people who have access to information, poor people are mostly victims of organized criminals,“ said Priya.

The final solution is only in the economic growth in the developing countries. The campaigns and programs which give them chance to come legally to the rich world and show them the dark sides of illegal migration can also help the potential targets of human trafficking.


Category: Poverty | Tags:


Comments

  • Andrea Arzaba on 30th May 2010:

    “The final solution is only in the economic growth in the developing countries”...I 100% agree with this sentence as most of the people and governments will! The real question is how?

    Great post!


  • Aija Vanaga on 31st May 2010:

    Great post! Agree that the answer is in development. And in care, research and growth.


  • Hanna Clarys on 01st June 2010:

    “Legal migration is mostly for the rich people who have access to information, poor people are mostly victims of organized criminals“

    And those poor people will probably be send back to their country of origin. The EU should develop a migration policy that is just and legitimate, not this halfhearted attempt there is now.


  • Luan Galani on 02nd June 2010:

    Brilliant fellow. The answer lies in the developing countries for sure…

    I understand why Europe is doing that but I agree with you, Hanna. This famous defender-of -all-human-rights-Europe partly lies in the past. Europe in gradually creating a new lebensraum, clearly restricting outsiders. Right or wrong, I do not know. But that remains a fact.


  • Iwona Frydryszak on 04th June 2010:

    Well, in Poland we still have a similar situation although we do not touch illegal immigration any more.. while the UK open their labour market for new UE countries in 2004 there where thousand of Poles migrating to find a job in London ect. And they behave in front of their families that they are very successful there although they live in not very good conditions, overworked and are in the country without knowing the language…. or they don’t have a job but it’s a shame to admit it. So even in develop world we have a problem with migration.


  • Daniel Nylin Nilsson on 25th June 2010:

    This post is great - and asks a really important question. Many people come to Sweden, without any realistic idea about how to live here… and for many people it is a huge mistake I think.

    I think we in the west also lose much on making it so hard to immigrate legally for work. If it was easier to immigrate, it would also be easier to move back if the dreams are not fulfilled. At the moment we get a sub-sub-proletariat, without papers and legal rights, who undercut wages, and are easily exploited by organized crime.


  • Radka Lankašová on 26th June 2010:

    Ladislav, great post!

    “Unfortunately, the reality is very different and the social status of an illegal immigrant is not different from his status at home and many times it is even lower. Only hope could be bigger that their frustration then.”

    I like your thoughts. We experience this with “gastarbeiters” from Ukraine. These people (some of them highly educated) come to the Czech Republic purely from economic reasons and some are turned into modern slaves living and working in the worst nightmare conditions.

    You opened a big topic that is hot all around the globe.


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