Hello and welcome to my site!
I never thought I’d start a personal blog. I was always one of those people who said, “Me? I have nothing I want to share.”
I’ve been a journalist all my life and one of the first things you learn in that profession is to keep your opinions to yourself in any kind of work setting. When I was in journalism school in New York City – at a time when a single ride on the subway used to cost just two dollars – one of our instructors always reminded us, “Your opinion and two bucks will get you on the subway.”
But if you’re a journalist or know one, you know that many of us have strong opinions. So do I, especially when it comes to immigration. And finally I feel the urge to share my opinions – along with relevant news and the things I learn, of course – in a more public way.
A word on my opinions: while I’m not an expert, I do know a thing or two. As a journalist, I’ve reported on various problems with Europe’s immigration system. And I’ve encountered many of those problems myself, as an Eastern European living and working in Western Europe.
I also have first-hand experience with the immigration system of Canada, where I now live. When I read about the country’s backlog of skilled-immigrant applications, it always hits home because I used to be one of those permanent residence applicants waiting for months and months. Finally, having lived in the United States, I’ve had to navigate that country’s cumbersome system, too.
But I don’t intend to write posts dripping anger and hatred. “President X is an ass.” “Prime minister Y has no idea what the fuck he’s doing.” This is a complete waste of time and internet space. And it’s just so cheap.
I don’t mean to portray myself as a victim of immigration rules either. While “visa” is truly a four-letter word for me, I know I’m very lucky. Many migrants never experience the great opportunities away from home that I’ve enjoyed because they end up detained upon entering a foreign country (for example, in federal prison, as is the case in Canada) – or because they die on their way to that country.
Stories like that make me sad. And the more I learn about immigration, the more convinced I feel that it needs to be overhauled on an international level – especially because economies across the globe are increasingly dependent on imported labor. And also because we’re expected to see more migration as the planet’s population increases and the world becomes even smaller.
Today’s immigration rules, certainly in Western countries, tend to be restrictive, focusing primarily on keeping people out. Time and again it amazes me how divorced from reality many of these policies are.
For example, generally, to secure a work visa, you need to find a job first – before entering the country of destination. Well, anybody who has ever looked for a job knows how difficult this is. Usually, resumes with a non-local address end up in the reject pile.
This is just one example. I could go on and on – just ask my friends! Or my partner, who kept encouraging me to start this blog no doubt because I talk his ear off.
So for now I will leave it here. I’m excited to start sharing immigration-related news and my thoughts on them. Thank you for visiting and I hope you find this site useful!