Immigrants have a lot to deal with when they move to America. They must establish legal residence and comply with all USCIS rules and regulations. The settling in process will go much smoother if native born citizens are mindful of how they treat immigrants and what they say to them. Many Americans unknowingly treat immigrants in a way that offends them.
Immigrants Are Not an Exotic Fruit
Immigrants hail from another country, but that does not mean to say that they want to be treated like an exotic fruit. If you look closely, you will notice that they do not look all that different from you or I. Immigrants still have the usual troubles and worries to cope with and they would rather not be treated as “special” or in any way different.
Many immigrants are offended when they come across people who imply that now they are living in America they have better opportunities for advancement than they did in their own country. This is not true in the case of many immigrants. Not all immigrants who move to America are pursuing the “American Dream”; nor are they asylum seekers trying to escape from a tyrannical government back home. A lot of immigrants move to America because they met and fell in love with an American, not because they fell in love with America and the prospects of living in their spouse’s country. Many immigrants are offended to have people assume that they came to America for a “better life”.
Do You Really Know Where They Are From?
One thing that a lot of immigrants will agree upon is the fact that many native born citizens presume to tell them where they are from and to make quite bad guesses at that! Even if you are convinced that the person with whom you are speaking is Irish, do not presume to tell any immigrant where they are from. This is extremely rude and will offend immigrants. If you are really curious, just ask the person where they are from. Immigrants would rather be asked about their nationality than have someone forcibly tell them where they think they are from.
The challenge of acceptance is one of the hardest hurdles to overcome as an immigrant living in America. Many of the above points that have been touched on will offend immigrants, even if the person who has shown an interest does so in a friendly and charming manner. If you really want to get to know more about immigrants who have moved into your area, do not be nosey or make comments that show how different they are to you. Find common ground and let them tell you about themselves. An interrogation will not make immigrants warm to you.