Immigrants tend to think that going to another country means to be able to start over and that things will be easier if they go to this new world.
However, they have to go through the long immigration process. The foreign language in the documents that they have to fill out, the signs in the airport, and the people in that country will be difficult for them to understand.
Immigrating to another place doesn’t necessarily lead a person to a better life. When people immigrate, they have to leave many of what they had behind, even if they’re bad things.
The recent executive action by President Barack Obama reignited an already hot immigration reform debate. But so many people speaking as experts on immigration do not know the experience of an immigrant. I do.
From the moment a person immigrates, at least one thing is going to change. It’s going to be difficult to adapt to a new environment: getting a new job, finding a house to live in, and learning the rules and laws of the place.
This will take a long time to do, especially if the immigrant doesn’t have any friends or family to help.
I still remember that day when I was going to America, the "Land of Dreams" from Guangdong, China. I was four years old and it was 2003. During the 15-hour flight, I was trying to stay out of boredom. We couldn’t talk with anyone and we got lost in the airport because my family doesn’t know English. My life changed so much; everything looked and was different when I first arrived in America, and I had to learn a new language.
As we look to reforms, we need to look also at what needs fixing.
To improve the immigration process, there should be a better language translation system. If there are translators for every language (or at least the most popular languages) in airports and elsewhere, that would be very convenient. Whether the translators are computers or people, they can help the immigrants with the transition from their home country to their destination more quickly.
In addition, a jobs-finding program specifically for immigrants will enable the immigrants to take a test to pursue the best job possible. After paying so much on the trip to this country, they need to earn money to buy a house, food, and the things they need to live.
Not only will this benefit immigrants, but the country as well because the country will have a higher population of more diverse people in different occupations offering greater varieties of ideas.
There may be a translation system already and many job-finding programs, but they should be improved. Even small additional features such as temporary jobs would assist the immigrants into developing the society into a "better" place.
The conversations and debates about immigration are ongoing. Yes, millions benefit from the move to America from other countries. But to pursue the lives in America they have dreamed about, we need to offer them a smoother transition.