I meet a lot of interesting people when I travel for the day gig. Last night is a good example.
I am attending an academic conference this week/weekend and met 3 very interesting fellow attendees. At the cash bar (FEH!) a Russian man, a Chinese man and a Polish woman and I were chatting about the topic of the conference. Work stuff == boring, but after a few adult beverages, the Russian asked me what I thought about the immigration agreement in the US Congress. Having been on the road and not listening to news, I had to ask what the agreement was. He filled me in and then proceeded to rant about his understanding that people here illegally for 5 years were on a faster citizenship track then he is. Many of these 5-year criminals would be citizens before he could be in the best-case scenario. He spent a great deal of time, money and effort to get here legally, which I frankly find offensive because this guy has a PhD in Mathematics. Our Chinese colleague (with a PhD in Economics) was unaware of the situation in the Senate, but confirmed just how hard it was for him to get his status changed from “Student” to “Worker” (teaching) and was clearly annoyed that illegals were getting an easier time. The Polish woman echoed the comments. She came here a long time ago and was already a citizen, but questioned why she and her family worked so hard to get here the “right way”.
I just sat back in amazement. This was one time in a political discussion where I was speechless. I didn’t even get to say what my opinion was, other than to agree with the premise. A priceless moment for many people that I know.
Not a scientifically significant sample, but still very interesting. The most interesting thing was the shock from these people that something so unjust could happen in, of all places, The United States of America.
“Blame America” crowd please take note. New and legal immigrants still come here because they view the USA as the land of fairness and equality. Should we really dash their enthusiasm so quickly?