Immigrants continues to be the target of the Trump administration, and the reports you hear on immigrants may vary according to the focus of the news agency doing the reporting.
Not often reported is the fact that a large number of Caribbean immigrants coming into the United States are actually recruited by Corporate America. This process is often referred to as “brain drain.”
The reason for this recruitment? There are not enough skilled workers in the United States who are willing or qualified to fill many key positions. Some may find that hard to believe. However, the fact is there are not enough American college students who major in subjects like chemistry, biology, physics, statistics and mathematics. There are also not enough college graduates who will work in rural areas, especially in the education and health industries.
These recruits are basically young intellectuals who have attended colleges in the Caribbean (primarily the University of the West Indies) and have mastered the skills they were taught. Depending on their major, these graduates do not have job opportunities readily available in their island homes.
Other challenges that a graduate may face is the fact that Caribbean companies and agencies have established corporate cultures internally that spans many generations and therefore the leaders are not open to new ideas that these graduates may bring to the workplace. They are set in their ways and want to continue to run their companies the same way they always have. They have the mentality of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
So graduates who majored in the sciences may have to settle for a job outside of their field and outside of their country.
Another fact is that advancement in any company would be almost impossible because seasoned workers have been in their positions for decades and will be there until they retire. Also a new graduate may reside in a rural area where they do not have all the modern conveniences; therefore easy access to transportation to get to work could prove to be too expensive.
The potential for a higher standard of living in the United States, United Kingdom or Canada is definitely an immediate attraction to a young intellectual. So a lot of them tek (take) the bait!
This process is not “a piece of cake” for the Caribbean intellectual. In order to immigrate there are some mountains to climb and some red tapes to get past. For starters, the application process is a long and arduous one. This includes a series of exams that has expensive application fees.
In speaking to one such recruit who immigrated to the United Kingdom, Miska Downe, we got some insight into what can happen.
“I worked at a hospital in Jamaica for a few years after I graduated from nursing school,” Downe said. “and it was a constant challenge because my superiors did not want to listen to any of my suggestions.
“My frustrations motivated me to apply for a position in a health clinic where I worked with wound care. I loved working with the patients. However I incorporated some of the ideas I learned in college,” she said.
“Instead of the other nurses learning my technique, they increased my patient load because I worked faster. That was definitely an unintended outcome. And I was not only overworked but also frustrated and plain tired,” Downe recalled.
She further explained that she learned about the recruitment program from a friend. Downe said that the entire process took about a year. She passed all of the exams and was sent to a hospital on the outskirts of London.
“To my dismay I started out as a nurse’s assistant and I was required to sit [through] more exams in order to become a staff nurse,” she explained. “I was determined that I was going to make it.
“I studied and prayed just as hard. At times I survived on less than four hours of sleep,” Downe said.
In the end, Downe said that her hard work paid off!
“I have a job as a staff nurse. I’m far away from home but I trust in God and that’s what gets me through it,” she said with a sigh.
So when you hear the many reports of the criminal immigrants coming to this country in droves, don’t believe the hype. There is only a small percentage of immigrants who commit crimes.
What would make you leave the country where you were born. It would have to be something extreme, wouldn’t it?