The underlying intercultural issue I found was in the Ted talk given by Timothy Graf, he discussed the strenuous roadblocks in the immigration process. It is incredibly difficult for people to immigrate out of the U.S to certain countries and almost impossible to immigrate into the U.S. Timothy Graf was born and raised in the U.S. he personally went through the process of obtaining citizenship in England. While discussing his difficulties of applying for an immigrant visa he presented photos to the audience of the prison view from his hotel window in New Jersey where he had to stay to retrieve his high school diploma from a nearby warehouse. He described the visa application process as complex and very expensive. He expressed how he felt that the whole process of obtaining an immigrant visa should be easier. He brings up a lot of points of why immigration is a good thing and that there shouldn’t be caps to visas given but minimums we should hit. I will discuss the story of how my parents immigrated to the United States. I will also discuss the points given by Graff on why immigration is so important. Lastly, I will discuss what I think should be the solution to the difficulty of immigrating.
Applying for a non-immigrant visa would be for going to a different country for a short amount of time. Reasons like business, vacation, or to study. If you’re applying for an immigrant visa, you are trying to stay in that country for a longer period. This would allow the immigrant to obtain residence and work. I am going to start by discussing the hardship my parents went through to immigrate to the United States. My mom crossed the border when she was a young girl in 1980. In 1986 there was an immigration reform and control act for people that have been here since 1982. That would allow immigrants to apply for residence status. This wasn’t for everyone, your record needed to be clean and thankfully my mother was a saint and she got her residency within a year of applying. She also needed to prove she was fluent in speaking English, had minimum knowledge of U.S history and government. Lastly you had to admit you have been in the country illegally. I imagine admitting this would be scary especially for a young girl like my mother. With the thought looming that she was being tricked to admitting she was here illegally and would be deported, upon her plea. As for my dad he had to go through something similar, he was able to apply because he worked in agriculture in the United States for a minimum of thirty days. When my mom was 21 years of age she was a student at Weber State university and had been a resident for more than five years so when she applied for citizenship it went rather smoothly. She was quickly granted her citizenship in a few months.
There you have it, my parents had to immigrate to the U.S illegally to be able to be able to obtain residency. As hard as this struggle was, these acts of immigration no longer exist. It was hard enough back then, now it is nearly impossible for someone from Mexico to immigrate to the United States, and be able to obtain a status of residency. This is also true for most of the other people around the world trying to migrate to the U.S. This is an issue because immigration brings about great advantages.
Graf discusses that when looking at the economical side of things, having restrictions on immigration and making it so difficult is ridiculous. Here in the U.S thirty percent of small businesses have a foreign-born key founder. But only thirteen percent foreign born people reside in the U.S. In the U.S we also have a growing number of foreign students. While this number is increasing the gap is also getting bigger with the number of visas that are given for work a year. The U.S is making so that only a percentage of these skilled foreigners can stay in the U.S. It’d be smart to allow the most skilled workers to stay and help our economy. Graf says there are two ways to grow the economy: first, is growth in labor, second, is growth in how productive that labor is. Another very important advantage to immigration is the social side of things. It brings about new ideas and exciting interesting new cultures into the work place.
I think the solution to making immigration easier is first accepting immigration is a good thing all around. I’m not saying allow just anyone to go anywhere, but make it easier for someone with a certain and valuable skill set to go to another country. Graf discusses what smart countries should do, like some countries have already figured out. Chile gives out visas to entrepreneurs to begin their business in Chile to better help their economy. Germany has waived all tuition to international students to make it more appealing to study there, and again to further help the economy with new ideas. Canada also offers visas, which is probably why Vancouver has one of the highest foreign born percentages.
So as you can see the immigration process is far too difficult at the moment, but I think that it all has a solution. Of course some people will suffer, but only those who are unskilled. For the overall economy it will be a good thing, and also socially it is very good to get know others from different cultures.
DARRELL M., W. (2011). The Costs and Benefits of Immigration. Political Science Quarterly,
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Graf, T. (Director). (2015, January 23). We don’t need immigration caps. We need minimums
[Video file]. Retrieved November 01, 2017, from https://www.ted.com/watch/ted-institute/ted-state-street/timothy-graf-we-don-t-need-immigration-caps-we-need-minimums
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