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{SPEAKER name="Speaker 1"}
The process is very complicated.
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What a lot of, I think, parents and particularly the Ethiopian community want to do,
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there is a strong feeling of protecting your child.
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Like, I was born here and so it's almost like this is just another burden as a parent
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that I don't want to pass on to my child, right?
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They never really wanted to get in the ins and outs of that and I found a couple of things.
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My father actually passed away earlier this year,
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and so I was looking through a lot of his documents and I found like, just this big box full of INS documents and stuff like that.
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Going back to the early seventies, bank ledgers of when he was sending money back to Ethiopia when he was a student in college
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And um, it's something that I think because of the, like I was saying,
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the very strong need, um, for them to want their children, like myself, to assimilate
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that there there isn't as much information shared.
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I know more about my extended family who came as refugees

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{SPEAKER name="Speaker 2"}
Mhm.

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{SPEAKER name="Speaker 1"}
than I actually know about my parents.
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A lot of my families who came to this area in particular, because I grew up in Texas,
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a lot of my family members started coming to D.C. in the nineties.
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And they were coming from Ethiopia by way of Kenya and Tanzania, so they were passing through Nairobi,
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and then over there that's when they would get to the UNHCR Office, and so on that side of my family,
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they come from a group called the Oromo people in Ethiopia who were for people who were
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politically involved and families who were politically involved like mine
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Number one, they had the access and the ability to leave the country and the privilege to be able to do that.
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And number two, it was recognized in the East African UNHCR Policy,
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the UN High Commission for Refugees that they were a targeted group
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and so in that time period it was possible for them to get refugee papers and to come directly to the United States.

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{SPEAKER name="Speaker 2"}
Did they have to have sponsors in the U.S. as refugees?

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{SPEAKER name="Speaker 1"}
Mhmm, they did, and there was a previous generation.
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Among Ethiopians, I don't want to make quick and hard rules here but Ethiopians first started coming to the D.C. area in the fifties,
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many as students and diplomats.
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The 60s and 70s, a lot more who were from more well-to-do families came to the area.
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That includes my parents' generation and my parents' standing in Ethiopia at the time.
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And then in the 80s when the Civil War started going on is when more people started coming as refugees.
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And then in the 90s, that continued until the 90s and 2000s when a lot of refugees and also through the diversity visa program.

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{SPEAKER name="Speaker 2"}

Right.

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{SPEAKER name="Speaker 1"}

So the sponsors were the more well-to-do uncles cousins

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{SPEAKER name="Speaker 2"}
Mhm.

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{SPEAKER name="Speaker 1"}
or whoever who had made roots here earlier.

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{SPEAKER name="Speaker 2"}
Right. So um, for those of you that don't know,
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when you are actually in a country abroad and you're actually recognized as a refugee, as a persecuted group,
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the United Nations has to deem you a persecuted group.
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Due to race, religion, ethnicity, that also is tied into larger issues around policy,
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but once you actually are a refugee you have to then wait for a U.S. sponsor that takes financial responsibility for you and/or your family.
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So in this case, aunties, uncles would say to U.S. Immigration service,
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"I will sponsor, I will take on my niece, my nephew. I am financially responsible for them until they get on their feet.
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I will enroll them in school. I will help them find a job."
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Sometimes this changes, it fluctuates.
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But one of the privileges of being a refugee, if you can call it that, even though people are fleeing war and terror and other issues is that the
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U.S. Government does provide some services.
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Uh classes- English-language classes, job training, possibly rent subsidies in addition to the spon- to the sponsor who takes on the
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responsibility. This is one of the largest differences between refugees and undocumented immigrants.
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Refugees have legal status, which means they can, if they can find a job, they can get a job.
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Undocumented immigrants do not have a legal status in the United States,
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which means they often have to break another law to get false documentation or work under the table.
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So, and they also rely on family networks that unofficially kind of sponsor them, but there's no kind of safeguard in place.
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So one of the other things that Kumera said that's really important is that largely speaking,
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whether you're looking at Latin America, Cuba, Nigeria, the first cohorts,
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the first and second cohorts of people fleeing political turmoil or economic crisis are the elite,
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are the wealthy people of those countries.
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For Cuba the Golden Exiles in the late fifties, 1960s were people with money.
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Same thing for Nigeria. And you start to see the repercussions of this when their U.S.-born children become really successful. Right?
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Those of you that are familiar with the idea of the model minority, it's like
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"they did it, the rest of you poor people should be able to do it too".
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A lot of the people that made it that are the children are actually children of very educated people in their countries of origin.
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So they're the children of doctors or professionals in a way that a lot of undocumented children from
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Laos, from Vietnam, from Thailand, from Mexico, Guatemala are not.
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Their parents are not highly educated, in addition to the immigration issues that are present.
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So that's also one of the things that really structures immigration in the United States,
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is parents' educational obtainment in their country of origin,
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whether they're literate in their native language on top of any legal issues present.
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Um, what do you want to tell us a little bit about?
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A little bit more about Mexico? Any kind of like, political issues?
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You touched upon the kind of corruption, anything else you want to share about the context and kind of like,
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as a push factor, right? Why people leave?

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{SPEAKER name="Speaker 3"}
So I think very generally, a lot of the stuff that happens here in the U.S. directly impacts Mexico.
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So if the U.S. starts to have an immigration problem, then they kinda look at Mexico and they're like,
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"well, it's your people." And then Mexico will say, "O.K. I don't think it's our people
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but it's maybe like, people coming from other countries crossing Mexico to get to your country."
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So we see a lot of that stuff.
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Uh when when the U.S. started to have a lot of youth that coming here undocumented,
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and this was a couple of years ago when they were coming from Central America,
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and what Mexico did in retaliation to that I guess, is that the border patrol,
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because Mexico also has a border patrol between Central America, Guatemala, and Mexico,
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is that they started to reinforce it to prevent those people from coming into Mexico
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so that Mexico kind of doesn't get blamed for these immigration issues.
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Also a lot with drugs. When the U.S. needs drugs, or when they start to have a problem with drugs,
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then Mexico gets pointed at it like "oh, well it's your people again".
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And the government starts to take a lot of action into that.
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They start to do a lot of more repercussions and more stuff but again,
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the corruption in Mexico is due to a lot of that stuff, people taking power, so

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