I. Introduction: Until recently I was of the opinion that Pakistani immigrants were highly intellectual learned people that decided to settle in America because they could not completely utilize their education back home, and thought that by staying in Pakistan they were doing injustice to their education. Being in America for over a year and mingling within the local Desi community (as the Pakistani immigrant community is known as) I have learned that the government of United States of America has a big social problem that is developing inside their own borders. I do not in any way intend to be discriminatory as there are some highly intellectual learned Pakistani people present in America but America's political correctness is being misused. In this paper I will try to focus on the life of a Pakistani immigrant, after settling in Southern California, and its social implications.
II. Methodology: I decided to interview three different types of families that belonged to the three classes of the Desi community, upper, lower and median.
Each of these families' shared similar characteristics; a son, a daughter, the wife and the husband. Namely, the Azariah, Mohsin and Saroia family. These interviews would help me analyze my observations about these families. I have known these three families for about a year and have noted some distinct characteristics of each family. These interviews were totally life based i.e. I talked to the families about their life before coming to America and their present life. I asked them about the factors that motivated them to relocate. I inquired about preliminary hardships. What seemed most interesting was the families' dependence upon their children's well being. These thirty minute interviews were crisp and concise and in the end I was left with a lot of notes about each family that when analyzed shocked me even more.
III. Findings: Since my method of fact finding was totally literary and no family shared the same characteristic it was virtually impossible to represent the findings with tables, graphs, pie charts etc. However, following is a jist of collected and analyzed facts about each family.
The Azariah's a small content family that is socially stratified to the median class accurately fulfilled all my speculations. Mr. Azariah a motor mechanic by profession stepped onto US soil about ten years ago. His reason for relocating was that he had dreamt of earning in dollars all his life. He came here on a visitor's visa and took advantage of his religion (Christianity) to seek political asylum. He had put no thought into post-relocating circumstances. Over here he got some teaching credentials by utilizing student loans. He is now teaching English at a public school in Pasadena. His wife is an ordinary housewife and his children have hopes of going to some of the top-notch 4-year colleges for higher education. What really hit me was that though he really wanted to succeed he did not have the means to achieve what he wanted.
The Mohsins whom I would socially stratify into the lower class have a little different but equally interesting story. Mr. Mohsin came here after completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Philippines. He was laid off due to the slump in the Aerospace Industry and now is merely a sustaining engineer in a computer-related firm. He came here to make a better future but could not, this I thought was due to the pride he had. From my observation and his way of talking I deduced that he thought that his biggest accomplishment was migrating to America and for this he should receive respect in the Desi community and in his community back home. It kind of made him different from other Pakistani's because he was a so-called American now. He had no plans of making something out of himself. His wife an accountant in the Metropolitan Travel Agency leaves home at six in the morning, comes back at five, doesn't even look after the household and is always cribbing about things. All the work is left with Mr. Mohsin and his mother-in-law. Even though they both make reasonable money their standard of living is still low.
The Saroias on the other hand have a totally different story. I would stratify them in the upper class of the Desi community and I think they should be the role model for the Desi community. Mr. Saroia himself comes from a very good family and has basically earned the right to reside in America. He came here when the computer industry was short of software programmers, by proving himself in the market he got sponsored for permanent residence. His wife is in the nursing profession. The couple strives for stability and that's what I think is the key to their success. Mr. Saroia had planned everything before shifting to America and he knew that he would be an asset to the industry. Their children display proper upbringing and are planning to attend 4-year colleges. Mr. Saroia is ready for all the expenses. The couple makes good money and is constantly moving higher in their standard of living. Altogether the family is pretty humble.
IV. Discussion: Looking at all of these families one can state that they all want to enjoy the fringe benefits of America. For many of these people depression outweighs risks, as they are all desperate to come out of their community in Pakistan. Most of them don't even have a plan and completely make their decisions of relocating based upon mood swings. Let me first start on discussing the abuse of America's political correctness. The asylum processes have become so easy for these Pakistani Christians that they don't even think twice about applying for it. I mean that procedure was for people that are really in danger of their lives being taken away from them, I know so many people that just applied because they wanted to get their hands on the "dollar". In wrongfully applying they are taking the space allocated for another person who needs it more than them. Excessive and hurried appeals for asylum are one of the major causes for instability among this Desi community they don't plan about what they are going to do after receiving asylum and many resent they even applied for it because the charm of America withers away in two months time. The Azariah's are a family that adopted this process of trying to make a better living. But can you justify a motor mechanic who all his life has been studying in an education system where English is not emphasized teaching English in our public schools, schools that will produce some of our nation's top leaders. People cry that our states academic scores are falling, if they just look into these teachers' profiles they will know why. I am not saying that diversity is a bad thing, introducing our youth to other cultures is a good thing but socially thinking I would not risk the study of our youth in the hands of a motor mechanic the disadvantages of this by far outnumber the advantages. I know that the government has raised the political count of South East Asians due to the success of the ones that came a decade ago and brought prosperity to our economy. Next I will like to discuss the effects this community has on our taxes. When everything else fails for these people they start relying on social security. Not that this is a bad thing, but this is affecting our society in two ways. One, it is increasing the amount of taxes we are paying and, second, it is giving birth to a community that is socially lazy, one that does not want to work and still get all the benefits. All that I am saying is that people like Mr. Azariah, though successful in making the journey out of Pakistan are straining all our resources and are in no way benefiting tour society. These immigrant minorities will soon become majorities and then we will have a problem of unemployment. They will request employment but how can one employ some one who is not academically fit for his respective job, that's a straight loss to multinational companies. That is why many multi national companies are denying permanent residency requests to those who do not prove themselves. Looking closely into these three families one can observe that no matter how hard these individuals try to succeed their internal atmosphere is so instable that rather than working on their jobs to prove themselves they are thinking about family problems and how to get out of their economic slump. With no trace of organization within the lives of these individuals it is not hard to see why even thought they have some access to the means of succeeding they cannot succeed.
According to the Functionalist perspective, I think families like the Azariahs and the Mohsins are dysfunctional. They have no ways of improving themselves as they find themselves in economic situations they cannot get out of e.g. cars, house loans and credit cards. These people cannot succeed because one they do not have the means to achieve what they want and secondly when they have supplemental income coming in they are not motivated.
The conflict perspective says that all this instability is good for the people as if it wasn't there, there would be a lot of monotony i.e. everybody will have equal access to resources. This instability provides competition, a means for making life worth living. But the way that I see it is that if people like the Azariahs and Mohsins aren't willing to live their lives in competition because they receive help from social services how is it good for the society? According to my interpretation of the Symbolic Interactionist perspective I think that all this is a warning for our societies' downfall. We should do something about it and not let people take advantage of us. We should have stronger methods of looking into people and perceiving their future in our society.
V. Conclusion: After all of this research and analysis I can construe that the Desi community has a larger part that is not doing fairly well. With communities like these affecting our society there can be inevitable everlasting effects. I can claim that less than 10% of the Desi community is highly intellectual and learned. It is very important to be organized and disciplined in life to properly utilize the available means of achieving success. Our book classifies people on the basis of access to means of success but I think one can create his own ways to achieve success it is just a matter of focusing. Mr. Saroia was not part of a network he believed that he could achieve success by working hard and he did. There is a famous Sufi saying that emphasizes this and it goes like this "Great achievements come after hard work."