This I Believe

Sarah - Taipei, Taiwan
Entered on February 13, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: immigrant

This I Believe

I believe in perspective. In the last year I have heard a great deal about immigration in the news and in politics. I am from Texas and proud of it; however, immigration has been a hot topic there and has caused some heated debate. I personally felt pulled between the two sides. My family is conservative republican but one of my best friends is a Mexican American. You would think that a white U.S. citizen would have nothing in common with a Hispanic immigrant but I do. I am walking in shoes many other immigrants have walked in before me. I am a graduate of the University of Texas and hold a valid Texas teacher certificate but three years out I still could not find work. I was working part time jobs to make ends meet and going further into debt. So I left the country. I live in Taipei, Taiwan. Like thousands of others I left my home for work. I had a job waiting for me here teaching English; I cannot imagine what it is like leaving your country without even that. I had $600 in my purse and was terrified. All sorts of things went through my head on that plane. What if there was no job here? What if the recruiter had tricked me? Where was I going to live? I was going somewhere where I knew no one. I speak no Chinese other than a few polite phrases. How was I going to survive? I like many others now hold a residency card for a country other than the one of my birth. I am a “green card” holder. I cannot fault anyone, illegal or legal, for going to America to find work. When I go home this experience will make me more marketable in my chosen field. This is a win win for me. I learn another culture and also become a better teacher. I never thought that I would also gain some small understanding of the Hispanic immigrant’s point of view. Understanding another is all about looking at their perspective.