Few thoughts on our (illegal) immigration problem

A month ago, my girlfriend found five puppies near the garbage container. Five newborn creatures with no sight or hearing. They still had their umbilical cord, so I guess this was their first day in this world… They were crying so loudly, that even without seeing them, you’d know this was a desperate, sad cry. It was like they were begging for their mother. But there was no one. Just the hot spring sun that was keeping them warm so that they can experience the world a bit more before they finally inhale their last breath. When we found them three had already passed away without experiencing one bit of happiness in this world. Heck, they haven’t even seen the world…

But two were alive. One brown and one white. I knew that my girlfriend would try everything to keep them alive, but I thought that was impossible. Miraculously, after a few days, they were still alive. We had to feed them every two hours, so my coffee machine worked overtime too. It was a lot, but we never really doubted that this was the right thing to do. After all their lives were in our hands.

Today I gave them up. Two amazing people decided to adopt them. I could not be happier. Growing up with a lot of dogs and cats I knew that they were in for a ride, but it’s all worth it. Seeing them leave was very hard even though I knew they were going to be happy and I had them only for a month. I knew that this day would come since we took them but that did not make it any easier.

But what I came to realize next was even harder.

I live in a place where 83% of our youth wants to leave. The majority do that by visiting the US and never coming back. Most of you reading this are probably not parents, and neither am I, but please take a second to think about that. Thousands of loving, hardworking, caring parents raise their children just so one day they will take them to that short, final trip to our airport and say goodbye. How can you say goodbye to your kid? How is that even possible? I could not do it with dogs that I had for one month, let alone someone I dedicated my whole life to. Someone that came from my genes, out of my love. Someone that I thought how to walk talk, swim, play soccer, dance, smile… Someone that I would choose his/her life over mine in a blink of an eye.

But that’s our reality. Every May this is something that is happening at our airports. Shattered, heartbroken parents waiving while that escalator takes their kid to a place where they will not be able to see them ever again. This is just mind-blowing for me. But I do understand. Having no options and being forced to live a life just surviving each month is not a good life to have. So you have to make the decision to leave and your partners, and as much as it pains them, know they also don’t want you to live your life as they did theirs. Still, this rational thought does not make the decision easier…

But what can we do? Here is how I see the situation:

1. We have to join the EU, fast! We are very far away from all of us wanting to stay in this country. Even people from far more developed countries want to leave, but the difference is, they can do that legally. So, the visa-free travel in the EU was a perfect start for us but getting to the EU is a must.

2. Study hard. Education is by far the best way to get out of this place legally. If you are good and you are trying very hard, there is no one stopping you. During my college days, I met some fantastic people that through continuous education, made it to the best tech companies in the world. What we can all agree on is that studying can open a lot of doors for you. I am a firm believer that your grades do not correlate with how good at your job you are but believe me, there will be a sea of new opportunities if you get them.

3. Word harder. If you are a terrible student, then ignore the paragraph above. Just as I said, I don’t believe that education has anything to do with how good you are but working hard has everything to do with that. So if class is too boring for you and you think you know better, then please, go ahead and prove that.

4. Understand that the grass is always greener on the other side. Nothing and no one is perfect. If you plan on staying somewhere illegally, take a good hard look at your life, not now, but 10, 20 years from now. Every nation has their struggles but not having your parents, friends or siblings around you is something that can’t be replaced with anything in the world.

5. We are not as bad as you might think. I am not saying you should not move if you have the chance. I would even say the opposite! You should do it! You can’t be the best version of yourself if you don’t hang around people that are the best in your area of interest. And unless you want to be a dumb politician, then chances are your idols are in Paris, San Francisco, Berlin. But (and this is a big, bold but), we have the free internet, we have very cheap rent and really low living and educational costs. Do 2) and 3) until you can leave this country legally!