An Immigrant Professional’s Choice

Filipino MD picks life as nurse in the U.S.

I read this and thought, “This is also what my parents chose.”  My parents both have Bachelor’s degrees from Filipino universities — my mother in Elementary Education, my father in Engineering.  But my mother in the US was qualified only for an assembly-line job, while my father in the US Navy was placed as a galley cook.  What does this mean?

1) A huge disparity between Filipino post-secondary education and American exists, to the detriment of the immigrant professional, and

2) Folks like my parents and Elmer Jacinto would rather be in a lower prestige job in the US because they can make good money, than be in a higher prestige job in their home country because they’d be dirt-poor.

This choice of the immigrant professional is not easy, as the article elaborates clearly.  But it’s their choice, based on a strong sense of personal freedom and what their country should do to secure that freedom: As Elmer Jacinto states,

“Patriotism is a two-way process. . . . It’s not only you as a citizen. It’s also about the government that should also give you work, or something for yourself, to be able to live a dignified life.”



About lizardqueen

If single-mothering were a paid job, I'd be rich. However, it doesn't, so I write (which doesn't pay the bills) and teach (which does). I'm overly-educated in the liberal arts, but that doesn't hinder my ability to be pragmatic and realistic. YAY.
This entry was posted in History & Currents Events, LQ POV. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to An Immigrant Professional’s Choice

  1. I think you message sometimes gets lost in this whole immigration debate we are having here. My step mother and brother are going through the process now. It’s not fun. It does upset me a little about the illegals though.

  2. convivialdingo says:

    Hrm – I lived in an ex-pat community. I guess at the time I was just getting any job I could – tutoring, print advertising, etc.. Not quite the same, as I didn’t have a “profession” yet.

    It has done me a lot of good – I’m not afraid to take a paying job that’s “below me” if necessary. I also learned quickly to exceed expectations if possible.

    I also learned to do more “service work” – free work that gets you networked into a community.

    But it was also an eye-opener because there were many people willing to take advantage of foreigners. I tended to quickly move on from those folks and made sure to warn others.

    Also, the police are NOT on your side – simple things like checking your change at the store become tedious because, again, people know they can rip you off.

  3. Kiki says:

    Happy New Year!

    I saw a lot of that in Miami. Doctors from Cuba who were working as cashiers at a pharmacy and that kind of thing. It is a tough choice and takes a lot of courage. It’s almost unimaginable to the average U.S. native to understand going to another country and starting from the bottom. We’ve had it good for so long here, I think most would rather sit and complain than do that if they were all of a sudden in that situation.

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