Editor’s Note: This article is a part of a series of stories with the theme “consequences.” It was originally intended to be published in a print edition of The Collegiate. However, because of COVID-19 we were unable to make a hard-copy magazine.
Without immigration, America as it is today wouldn’t exist, yet it has such a negative connotation. Chances are, more than likely, it’s not that far down your ancestral tree that your relatives immigrated to America. Why is it suddenly frowned upon when others attempt to do the same?
When faced with the term immigration, what type of person do you envision? Most view it as someone that probably looks a lot different than them, but immigration has many different backgrounds.
Without immigration, I personally wouldn’t be here.
When my grandmother, Barb Edwards, was 20 she immigrated to America from Germany in 1964 searching for more opportunities. She was faced with many consequences and hardships.
“The worst was not knowing the language,” said Edwards. “The lifestyle is also really different than in Germany.”
Acquiring citizenship in the modern day is extremely difficult. There are a few different ways to go about it, all of which being incredibly drawn out processes.
“I think the paperwork to immigrate would be harder now, at that time it took me six months to get it all together,” said Edwards. “I had to prove that I had a job and have a sponsor before even getting a visa.”
Edwards wanted to advance her career and she hoped to do that in America. In Germany you have to have a masters degree to own your own business. However, it’s easier to open a business in America, Edwards has been operating her own salon since 1970.
“My intention was to only come for two years to get experience, then go back to Germany,” said Edwards. “I bought a car and wanted to pay that off before I left so that led to me to stay here longer, but then my mom came to visit and she encouraged me to stay.”
Shortly after that Edwards met her husband, and they’ve been together since.