Please learn English: An immigrants struggle

Immigration is a  seemingly sore topic in this country. Most people feel very strongly about it one way or another. Some may not like to hear or even agree but I support immigration in this country to some degree. The geo-political and economic reasons why it’s always better to do it legally isn’t however, what is on my mind. So many immigrants have migrated to this country over the years to make their way and to make it their own too. I never have nor will I ever have any qualms with humans of any color,religion, shape or size that do what they must to achieve freedom. However, an ongoing result of this pursuit is often seen in the sometimes stubborn behavior that some show and then teach to their children. To not acquire the ability to acclimate.  This is not to say ones culture, beliefs and language should be cast aside or left behind or even altered in any way in a new and foreign country. But refusing to be a productive part of society and or choosing total isolation within the community, I believe is detrimental to the generation of people who worked so hard to get here in the first place. This isn’t always the case of course. But if I moved to a foreign land my first priority would probably be learning the language as to be able to do whatever it was I came their to do, live.

I have recently come to the conclusion that in no way is it sensible for a person in the country of the United States of America to be able to be employed in positions that require you to speak English if you in fact do not speak English at all. Everyone deserves to be employed and have an opportunity to earn a living .  A prime example of this and what bothers me constantly is when restaurants, hotels or any other type of business within the hospitality industry, where an employee is required to communicate with an almost exclusively English-speaking patron base, then employs people who speak zero words of English. This makes no sense for so many reasons. Now, I am not in any way being discriminatory, I simply see it as inefficient, frustrating and more often than not leads to the resentment and sometimes abuse of said employees from those very patrons.

As a business owner, manager or authoritative figure in a position to hire and train, is it not then your responsibility to find capable people for the tasks you intend to pay them to perform or equip them with the tools they will need to do so? To employ, perhaps even under-pay and then neglectfully  train a subordinate (this can include anyone) is a mis-use or even an abuse of power. It’s also categorically poor business practice. If I were to check into a hotel where the majority of your patrons are English-speaking,  in a town or city where the general form of communication is also English and you then place a concierge at the front desk whose main responsibility is to see to the needs of these patrons and communicate with them regularly, how can they then do so if they do not speak English and there is a major language barrier. Isn’t this a dis-service to not only the employee, who more often than not will be treated poorly because of this discrepancy but also the people they are trying to help? I believe it is. The same idea would be applied to any job in any other industry and perhaps too  in any other country, whatever their main language may be. If there were a college hiring a professor of 15th century literature you would not then hire a person whose degree was in micro-biology to teach lectures. For they would be ill-equipped to perform the very function for which you have hired them. It is the same premise. It just wouldn’t work.

All in all I hope this does not come across as discriminatory but I think it is a problem in this country where franchises and business owners don’t care enough to nurture the future of their business and or employees by accepting what amounts to sub-par establishment standards. Either properly train your employees for all the tasks they will face within their given job position or hire people who are capable of doing so. This is not to say people who don’t speak English should not be fairly employed in any industry but it is an incredible dis-service to them to do so without the proper tools. This problem does not just lie on businesses, as a country we don’t have any kind of assistance for immigrants for assimilation. We do not even have a language proficiency program for immigrants who are going through the citizenship process. According to a Perdue University study conducted in 2013, many other countries take a much more active role to ensure immigrants learn the native language, thus they can acclimate to their new home and be active and productive within the community much better.

As of 2012 nearly 41 million immigrants lived in the United States, that’s about 13 % of our population. I just think they all deserve the same chances and treatment as us all. 

Just so you know:

“Foreign Born” and “Immigrant” are used interchangeably and refer to persons with no U.S. citizenship at birth. A  population that would include naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees and asylees, persons on certain temporary visas, and the unauthorized.

Anyways that’s just whats on my mind and it must be said I have found myself becoming frustrated and bothered in similar situations, often becoming impatient at not being able to communicate with someone whatsoever. And to be honest it is not always their fault. I have even thought before, they must surely be pretending, however it should be noted that nationally, 28 % of immigrants live in households where no one over the age of 13 speaks English ( according to the Public Policy Institute of California).


❤ Cassandra


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