Hello: I'm Gynnie Ann, and I've lived all my life in New York City; the last seven years I've lived in Hudson County, New Jersey. I am 50 years old. We, in Hudson County have many Hispanics, from all over Latin America and the Caribe. Many Spaniards, too.
Many of the Hispanics now arriving to the United States, through our Visa and Residency prgrams have full education credentials, but because they do not speak a word of English are unable to assimilate, and instead lower their standard of living here. This leaves me to wonder why they would leave their home lands.
Perhaps it's because of the political climate in their countries. Or perhaps, they are thinking that America is a Bi-lingual Spanish speaking country, which it is not.
Most certifications and licenses require exams to be passed, and those test are administered in English. Even of these non-English speaking people who do pass these test are not given jobs in their perspective field of work, because, they do not speak English. This happened recently with a woman from Peru, that I have been working with, in bringing her English to par. She is a Spanish teacher with a Bachelor Degree in teaching Spanish from Peru; she met all the qualifications for certification to teach Spanish in New Jersey, then after sending a resume and cover letter to over 12 school districts, and about 15 charter schools, got just one offer. The offer was from a charter school, which meant that she would have to teach Spanish to all the grades, kindergarten through 12th grades. The principal was even Spanish, of Mexican descent, who he himself had a tough time getting to where he is now at; a principal with two Master degrees. So, you would think that she got the job, right? No, she did not. The principal told her that even if he did want to give her the job, it would be a detriment to him, because as it was, many parents where reluctant to allow their children to attend his school, because he was Hispanic; the principal, and also that she would have to give instruction in English and also communicate with the parents, in English. Also, many of the older grade students would just use her inability to communicate in English as an excuse for failing. So, the woman lost a good opportunity, because she did not speak English. She has been in the United States, as a permanent resident for almost 3 years. She is unemployed. Her husband who is a licensed lawyer in Peru, works in a print shop.
My advice to anyone Hispanic that wishes,to some day, come to America, is to be sure that they are fluent in English. It cost a lot of money to attend English Classes and mainly what is taught is grammar, never extensive English conversation. What happens is that these Spanish speaking people end up living in neighborhoods, that a great portion of the population speaks Spanish, like is the case in Union City, West New York, and Weehawken, NJ, and never get to practice the little English they have learned in these English classes. Then they forget or just end up talking very very bad English.
I work with members of this group of highly educated people, providing assistance in their search for American equivalent licenses and certification, give ESL (mainly in conversation English, and also provide Specialty Vocabulary that is needed for these people to be able to function in their specialized careers. I've seen the struggle here, while they could have lived very comfortable lives in their own countries. Something that trouble me.
Here in the big cities, like those located in New York, and New Jersey, we are burdened with high rents and low paying jobs, so think twice before leaving the comforts of you home; for what?
I'm a second generation born in the United States, of Puerto Rican born parents who migrated to the United States as children, in the late 1930's, and quite frankly I would have preferred to be born in Puerto Rico, eating bananas. At least the Sun shines every day.
People are very envious of Hispanics here in the United States, especially those that come from other non-English speaking countries, that hold Permanent Legal Residency, because many government agencies provide in the United States provide bi-lingual service in Spanish, and these non-Hispanic Residents think that is not fair. But, don't count on bi-lingual service, because a lot of agencies do not provide the service.
I've seen people run around like chickens without a head (and most of us know how that looks); it's really sad. Although Puerto Ricans are always happy to help a non-English speaking person, don't expect others from Latin American countries to help, because many, once they have reach a level of good understanding, become arrogant, and instead of helping a person, leads them astray. These action actually pleases them, because they feel superior.
Sorry to break the bubble on anyone of you who thought of America in better light, I'm just telling you the reality of the matter, and because, I see too many Hispanics suffering here.