Paper B& Paper C
November, 24 2015
Immigrants discuss their experience with being immigrant in America
Wayne State University
students gathered around four immigration panelists with recorders and note pads, in Alicia Nails race, gender and culture class last Tuesday night.
Filipio Mirando an immigrant from Italy, Jihad Fahs an immigrant from Lebenon, Karen Marrero a Canadian immigrant and Juan Montoya a Mexican immigrant all discussed with the class their experiences as immigrants and the processes and social issues that they had to encounter.
“ Only the brave survive,” says Mirando “ you fly a lot and arrive tired,“ the visa process is very long,” and “it took me seven or eight months to find a job.”
Mirando says it was harder for him than most immigrants who came to America at a young age.
“When you and your parents move here when you are 3 years old you don’t feel it, but when you are 31 years old you have to reinvent your self,” “ you have to start at zero.”
Fahs says he did not have to go through the samething that most immigrants had to go through, because he came to America when he was three years old, he said he had to deal with identity issues.
“My issue as an immigrant is more like with an identity issue,” says Fahs “it's probably a common thing with people immigrating at a young age.”
“Am I American, am I Arabic, what is an a Arabic especially since post 9/11and the atmosphere that was created, says Fahs “your not really comfortable in your own skin.”
“Even now, now that I have my own identity solidified it creates some conflict totally in me is probably the biggest issue I came across,” says Fahs.
Marrero talked about being a Wayne State University history professor and a Canadian immigrant and how she is not familiar with the American history because she is from Canada.
“Because I grew up in Canada and this isn’t the history that I’ve learned
I never know how much of something that I’m saying is too much of what my students have learned already,” says Marrero.
“ I’ll say hey I didn’t grow up with this narrative,” “I didn’t grow up with this story of American myth of the founding fathers.”
“So I say tell me what it is you’ve learned and tell me how I can augment that,” says Marrero.
“I find that I am speaking from a position of an outsider, but sometimes thats an ok position , I try to be honest with who I am,” says Marrero
“Its an honest position it allows the students to teach me as well.”
Montoya spoke about his experience with learning the English language.
“ The language is the first thing you have to deal with “
“when I come here I was living with my dad and I was just working so, I didn’t get a chance to go to school,” says Montoya.
“My English that I know I’ve been learning from the people that I work with or just maybe watching tv or something like that,” “that’s the only way that I know what I know right now.”