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I met a man who had been the principal of a school in his native country before emigrating to the US, where he was a janitor at a strip mall

because none of his qualifications were recognized in the US, so he had taken the first job he could find. He was in his late fifties when I met him, has poor health, and I don’t know how long he has been in the US at that point. His US visa was not employment based nor education based, it was family based. He was not in a position to both take the necessary courses and then get certified to the same socio-economic status he had once enjoyed. He told me that many American citizens had entered his country seeking high-end jobs and their credentials were immediately accepted, often without question or scrutiny, and that while the cost of living and salaries didn’t compare to the US, they lived at an upperclass level there.
  Do you personally know any immigrants to your country whose lives almost instantly took a drastic negative direction due to those types of circumstances?


Posted - April 26


  • 7091
    I have a friend who is Tibetan and lived in India as a child. I'm not sure what her father did for living, but she described a fairly affluent lifestyle with a big house and servants. Since coming to the US as a political refugee her father has worked in a warehouse.
      April 27, 2021 6:48 AM MDT

  • 37046
    This may or may not apply, but I'll share anyway. I was teaching at the Navy electronics school in Great Lakes when the US embassy in Iran was taken over by rebels on November 4, 1979. We had a few scores of Iranian students scattered throughout the training center. I asked one of them what will happen to them. She said they could not return home, since they were in the Shah's Navy. She said they would be taken prisoner and perhaps executed. Hence, they were stranded here. I don't know what happened to them...they just disappeared.
      April 27, 2021 8:30 AM MDT

  • 522
    I knew a man and his wife, who were professionals back in Southeast Asia (don't recall which country) They were running a Donut shop. He did the cooking all night, and she was sales all day.  She was also taking Accounting in the evenings, so she could be accredited here. Once she got an accounting job, they dumped the donut shop and he went to university to get accredited as a lawyer here.  Never saw them again;
      April 27, 2021 1:26 PM MDT

  • 14751
    A similar story.  In the first two years of marriage we lived in an apartment in an old building owned by my FIL.  We had to keep the building and yard clean and neat and hubs had to shovel coal for the heat and hot water for the building.  Anyway, a couple moved into the building from Tiawan I think it was.  They were both teachers but could not teach here.  They were learning English with plans to become credentialed and teach again.  They didn't seem really poor; he had some type of job but she stayed home.  She made the terrace out front beautiful with her flowers.  
      April 27, 2021 3:06 PM MDT