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STOP attacking immigrants!

Updated: Feb 4, 2020

I have been dying to write about this for so long. As you will read my article (and therefore my story) you will understand why.

Every time there is an election coming in any part of the world, whether it's in Africa, Europe, North America, immigrants tend to be the easy target. I am tired of this!

After High School, I moved to the US as an international student. I first did a semester of intensive English (thanks to which I got my TOEFL certificate) and then I enrolled in College with a major in Political Science with a concentration in International Politics and a minor in Spanish.

When you have the international student status, you, your family (or whoever is taking care of you), have no other choice than paying the tuition fees upfront. My semester of intensive English cost about US $7,000 (tuition fees and room and board). My Bachelor degree every year was about US $12,000 just for the tuition fees, so roughly US $48,000 for the 4 years that it lasted. If I correctly remember, my Master's degree in London (UK) was around £12,000 and my Master's in Paris between €6,000 and €6,500. And let's not forget about the living expenses; meaning rent every month, transportation, school books, health insurance, food, electricity, phone and internet bills. Plus, you guys know that the cost of those student visas is definitely not cheap right?

Some time after completing my second Master's degree, I was granted the Permanent Resident Status in Canada. I did it as a High Skilled Worker, which means that I earned that status every step of the way.

Do you guys even know what criteria are required to get the PR card? Cause it's not an easy process for sure. They look at your age, your level of education, work experience, the languages you speak. And of course you go through a deep health and background check. Added to that, you have to put in some subsequent amount of money every time you move to the next step. When you land here, you will be required to show proof of funds that you have. There is therefore no need to say that it's a long process that can last up to 2 years.

Thus, when some people feel entitled to make nasty comments about immigrants and attack us, they forget something:  We immigrants are EDUCATED, CULTIVATED, ARTICULATED (some of us speak 2 or 3 languages) and HARD WORKERS. Yes hard workers. Indeed, while waiting for the job in our field of studies, we immigrants have no problem rolling up our sleeves and getting a minimum wage job to pay the bills (whether it's in retail, the food industry or a call centre). We immigrants have no problem getting up really early in the morning and work during statutory holidays while other people don't want to. In addition, when we have to, you will see us immigrants going back to school to add another degree to maximize our chances for the future. Let me not even start on the level of discrimination and sometimes racism that we have to face when looking for a job. But that doesn't stop us from keeping on and moving forward.

Lastly, and most importantly, while there are some people who have no shame hiding their financial assets, we immigrants PAY OUR TAXES. We therefore contribute to the development and the economy of this country.

After all, the "melting pot" is a core element and a strength of North America.

Marie-Madeleine Mbong

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