A loss of dignity
Published: Monday | May 11, 2009
When one begs regularly from the same individual, he/she runs the risk of losing his/her dignity without even realising it. I noticed this process when I first emigrated from Jamaica to the United Kingdom back in the 1960s. A favourite question was: "Why don't you go back to your country if you don't like what (is happening to you)?" In the United States, the hostility to immigrants is supposedly reserved for illegals, though legals also have hurdles to climb.
In the US, the fact that an immigrant is eligible for full rights only after a minimum five years of legal stay, makes a significant number - legal and illegal - vulnerable. The immigration service, including the consulates abroad, are intent on exploiting the insatiable hunger of individuals to migrate to the US. As a result, immigration fees are increased regularly, confident that the chase is worth more than most can afford.
Until Jamaicans (and other developing nations) can construct the local infrastructure sufficiently to entice our citizens to remain in Jamaica, rather than lining up at the US and other embassies, we will always be subject to the loss of dignity that the letter writer of 'Problems with US embassy' (May 9) observes.
I am, etc.,