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Monthly Archives: February 2017

In all the continents and in almost all the countries I have lived in, there have been debates, discussions, and demonstrations against or for illegal immigrants. Some want them to be sent back to their countries; others want them to stay where they are as they are while others think that all of them should be given visas, work permits or whatever cards that would allow them to stay where they are.

They are talked about as if they were a homogenous entity, and not as if they were a group made of numerous individuals with different stories. We deal with them as we deal with people we don’t know what to do with. We put them in groups, then give those groups names. In that way, we don’t have to know the names of individuals. And if they don’t have a name, they don’t have a face. And if they don’t have a face, well they don’t exist. If they don’t exist we can implement whatever policy we want to settle their fate. Why care? They are non-persons.

Deciding to make all illegal immigrants leave a country is as foolish as asking to let them be or to give all of them visas. They are individuals. They have different stories. They have different reasons for being where they are. There might be some among them fleeing because they broke the Law and need to pay for it. There might be some who were looking for hope, for a country where they could breathe and dream. There might be some whose lives were in danger, who had to choose between death and illegality. There are some who have given birth to children where they are. There are some who just have nowhere to go. If they were to go back where they came from, they would have no place to stay, no friends, no family, no one to welcome them, and nothing to live with and for.

So what to do with them? Maybe we just need to see them as individuals and not as an annoying or needy group. Maybe we just need to listen to each story, then to take decisions accordingly. Surely, we need to be open-minded and compassionate. Surely, whether they have to stay or leave, we need to make sure they will receive all the help they need to begin a new journey. And even if they are criminals, we need to make sure their rights are respected. And always we need to remember that our societies are as strong as the weakest of their members, even if they are illegal immigrants.

 

 

 

 

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Je suis folle de langues. Je les apprends, les oublie, les apprends de nouveau, mais ne les parle jamais. Non pas que les parler ne m’intéresse pas. Je n’ai juste pas, n’ai jamais eu l’occasion de parler hébreu, chinois ou russe. Sans oublier que j’ai vraiment du mal à prononcer certains sons, ce qui rend les choses compliquées.

Alors je prétends parler anglais et oublie comment m’exprimer en français. Suis-je devenue une de ces fausses bilingues qui ne parle couramment aucune des langues qu’elle prétend maîtriser? J’espère que non. Je dois toutefois avouer que parfois je perds mes mots en français, et souvent, je prononce tout très mal en anglais. Et maintenant, je fais tout pour parler le français canadien.

Et pour rendre tout encore plus compliqué, plus je prends de l’âge et plus je cesse de considérer le français comme ma langue maternelle. Parce que voyez-vous, mes parents ont une langue maternelle différente du français, celle que parlaient mes grands-parents et leurs grands-parents, et tous mes ancêtres. Jusqu’à récemment, j’étais tellement préoccupée par apprendre de nouvelles cultures et langues que je n’ai pas pris le temps de conserver les miennes. Pour la culture, ça ira. Je suis canadienne, le pays où le multiculturalisme prend tout son sens. Toutefois, ma langue maternelle me manque. Je regrette ses sons, ses expressions, ses rires et ses chants, et je n’ai personne pour me l’apprendre.

Alors je choisis le plus facile. Je vais m’appliquer à améliorer mon français canadien et mon allemand, vais apprendre l’espagnol et peut-être me remettre à l’italien, en espérant que je ne parlerai pas toutes ces langues sans en parler aucune.