Most of the immigrants coming to the United states in the past decade are mainly from Asia and Latin America. A recent survey puts the number of 26% and 52% respectively for the total migration to the USA.i As Most legal immigrants come to the U.S to join their close family members, other come to work in hopes of getting better wages for immigrants often envisions America as a second heaven. Through the analyse of a 7 episode documentary presented on PBS channel in 2004, we will try to see how does the story of an Indian worker (Anjan) and a Mexican family (the Flores) illustrates the disillusions and the feeling of seclusion often felt by the newcomers towards their new or temporary home ? The following essay will consist in 3 distinct paragraphs. The two first paragraphs consist in an overview of Anjan’s and the Flores’s situation upon their immigration. Finally, the third paragraph will consist of a small summary of the resemblance and powerful points about the two stories.
After two years to attempt to secure a working visa, Anjan finally gets a positive response from the government of the United-States. A H1B visa requires a bachelor degree or the equivalent in a technical fieldii. Shortly after, Anjan moves to Silicon Valley where he got a job as a software engineer. Upon his arrival, he drives to his apartment, which he shares with a few other Indian colleagues. Leaving his new wife and family for a chance to improve his worth on the Indian market, Anjan starts long hours of work after just a few days in the United-States. Anjan said while trying to get his family on the phone : “This is the difficult part about coming to the USA, leaving your near and dear ones.”iii
Despite all, Anjan’s anticipation and hopes were high. Unfortunately, he soon realised that working 12h to 14 hours a day didn’t leave much time for sightseeing : “But most of the time i’ve been spending at the office. So it’s not really living in the U.S ”.ivAt one point, Anjan can’t help telling us his desapoinment over the small buildings : “I was looking for tall tall buildings, this is what I see….ok ” vshowing us a street with 3 stories high buildings. Anjan had a plan for his stay in the land of dreams; his 100 weeks plan. He came to the United-States with only two intentions, to learn, make money and go back to India : “They think I’m going to become an American but I’m not going to become one ” vi he said laughingly. In reality, 2WIRE, the company who hired Anjan subcontrated his services at 100$ an hour. However, Anjan signed a contrat making 30$ an hour. A Program manager in the company stated clearly that “we are not focused on where people come from but how are they gonna help us get rich ”vii. This is one of the reason why the H1B visa is one of the most popular and easily obtainable for a professional. It attracks cheaper labor for the hightech company which subcontracts their services at a higher price. Futhermore, money does not put anjan at rest as his work needs to be in constent progress: “ If I don’t learn as much, my value is decreasing in this market.”viii Moreover, Anjan’s wife just arrived from India to stay with him for the remaining time of his visa, but the H1B visa that permits Anjan to be employed strictly prohibits her from doing work of any kind. Even though she speaks english, she has no friends, no car and nowhere to go. She sits at home all day, waiting for Anjan to come back from work : “I cried a lot initially. I wanted to go back to India. I feel really lonely sometimes”ix. Futhermore, Anjan anxiously said: “ I feel the pressure that I have to get her lots of things. And because I have to get her lots of things, I have to earn more. And because I have to earn more, I have to sacrifice more my family life. I don‘t know…vicious circle, vicious circle.”x Therefore, the harder Anjan works, the more his wife feels lonely, and the more she feels secluded the more he feels