Do Young Immigrants still Dream?
January as a youth was a bitter sweet time for me.
The glory of Christmas with the holiday traditions, new toys, and of course the visit of my parents from the states made the season very special.
But before, long we had to make the journey to the airport to see mom or dad off.
We would go to the lookout section of the airport, watch their baggage being loaded onto the plane and then watch their march across the tarmac, their climb up the ramp and into plane.
Before long the iron bird taxied down the runway and then soared into the heavens setting off an ache in my heart, and two rivers of tears down my cheeks.
My folks were persuaded in the superiority of the Jamaican education system. So my brother and I spent six marvelous years growing up with cousins in the countryside of St. Catherine.
Life with the cousins was great, but the farming chores let us developed tricks of avoidance, and dreams of the golden streets of America as seen through our viewfinders. We eventually got our wish made it to this great land of opportunity.
We came in the golden era of immigration of the 70’s. New opportunities in higher education were opening on the wings of affirmative action, and we leveraged these to propel our careers.
Today, we are clearly in a different immigration era. The global economic meltdown, the game-changing globalization tsunami with Asia becoming the leading wealth producing engine, and immigration skirmishes and door closures are shaping the policies of the traditional Jamaican immigration destinations.
I was thus curious to get a sense of the passion that drives to young Jamaican immigrant today given the changed landscape.
It was my privilege to dialog with Marlon Evans, who has been a new immigrant minted over the past six months.
What’s your perspective on the future of immigration to the traditional destinations?
“My fellow Americans, this is an amazing moment for me. To think that a once scrawny boy from Austria could grow up to become Governor of California and stand in Madison Square Garden to speak on behalf of the President of the United States that is an immigrant’s dream. It is the American dream.”