a day in the life of a Pinoy migrant


our brother immigrants, lost at sea.

I’m on my way to accompany Ganda to the bus stop, she’s going back to her mom’s after her weekend with us.  After that, it’s (sigh) time to get ready for twilight shift, and in between I hope to squeeze in a half-hour run around the block.  I only have a few minutes to rave and rant, so whatever appears here will have to do, advance apologies.

That executive order recently signed by Pres. Call Me Maybe Obama allowing young illegal immigrants a chance to apply for work permits (without fear of persecution) was almost certainly an election year-related stunt, but it changes the lives of 800,000 immigrants, their families, and everyone they love and work with.  Now how neat is that?   These are people who have lived in the US for quite some time, have contributed to its economy, and in some cases have even served in its armed forces.  Immigrants have been welcomed into an adopted nation’s arms for much less.  Instead of constantly worrying about being deported and sent home, spending much of their resources on the underground economy, and occasionally being forced to resort to illegal means (fraud, misrepresentation, etc) to obtain social services for their families, they can now concentrate on advancing careeers, raising families, and building wealth, which is what solid citizens are supposed to be doing right?  So kudos to Pres Obama, son of a Kenyan who was born in Hawaii, grew up partly in Indonesia and Kansas, and now calls Washington D.C. his temporary home.

On the other side of the spectrum, a resurrected NZ politician has once again targetted during his party conference/convention the migrant population of his country, singling out those he assumes as non-English speakers as undeserving of resident status in struggling New Zealand. points out that around 22,000 senior-age dependents of Chinese migrants will be drawing pensions without ever contributing to the country’s social security fund, and implied that he will be prioritizing laws that will make it harder for migrants to enter or even stay in idyllic New Zealand.

It would be credible for one to take seriously this politician’s pro-senior citizen, pro-NZ and pro-labor pronouncements, if he hadn’t been saying the same thing throughout his multiple reincarnations and to justify his Lazarus-like emergence from oblivion, that he has always been “liberal” with facts and statistics, and that to deflect attention to his anti-Asian sentiment by boasting (as if it meant anything) that he was part-Chinese himself.  How could you take him seriously after that?

Even if you tried to take him at face value, how could you account for the fact that New Zealand has suffered a net migration loss for the last two years, meaning more people are leaving the country than entering it, that the government is deriving a handsome revenue from a never-ending visa fee revenue stream (if government is serious about stemming the tide of migration, why does it not discourage applicants by refusing to accept their money, hmm?), that the former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman has himself candidly stated that “without immigrants, the (national) outlook is bleak.”  In short, words and phrases show us that this is not the best time to apply to be a migrant to New Zealand, but the body language says otherwise.

Last two things I can think of saying now, both to sum up and to crystallize what I’ve been ranting and raving at your expense, is that first, governments / administrations / parties in power behave quite oddly during election year, especially as regards what they say, what they promise to do, and the groups they address their declarations to.  I notice this applies to as many countries as there are parties in power.  Secondly, to all those who dream of a better life and a better future for their families abroad, don’t stop trying, regardless of the obstacles, stumbling blocks and challenges put in front of you.  There are many twists and turns, but eventually you will reach your destination.

Thanks for reading !

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One thought on “a day in the life of a Pinoy migrant

  1. Pingback: the five people you meet in the barangay « YLBnoel's Blog

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