In the United States, there are people who are born and raised here or have been here enough long time to acquire permanent residence or citizenship. These are assumed to have “natural” right to live in the U.S. and have many privileges in comparison with non-citizens or temporary residents, such as the “aliens”. The citizens or permanent residents can easily acquire jobs even if their skills are not as competitive as those who just landed in the U.S. and their the difference is applicable in medical insurance case as well. The trademark of graduating from a university in the U.S. is such a big thing, that sometimes it feels like the degree from GWU can break any doors easily regardless of the actual capacity and experience of the potential employee, which shows, at least for me, the fallacy of the system. The system that has been based upon pure capitalist understanding of who has power, s/he has the money or vice versa.
The other group of people are called “aliens” which refers to those who don’t have permanent residence and are here temporarily. I am still puzzled with the term “alien”, which is somehow a mystery word for me with abstract meaning hiding in it. I am not claiming or seeking some written and constitutional explanation for or justification of this word, that why it is used referring to the people who have no permanent residence in the country. When I filled out some documents upon my arrival in the U.S. noting that I am an “alien”, right from there I felt underprivileged, discriminated and marginalized if these words are enough to express the way it makes me see myself as an individual here. It rather, for me, demonstrates that there is a structure, which has established agencies in the U.S. that promote this idea of erecting sublime divisions between the so called “locals” and “outsiders”, which digs into the subconsciousness of people.
The contradiction lies in the fact that constitutionally everybody is equal before the law, but when it comes to practicality of it, people are being treated in respect with being an alien or non-alien, right when they enter the country. The word itself is very demeaning because aliens are usually those who bring or will bring some apocalypse and end the world civilization. At least, the mainstream Hollywood movies have such scenarios where aliens are pictured as evil who are not reliable and the world is united to fight against them. Well, I think now it becomes very self-explanatory that what it alludes to when one is called an alien. In other words, the dilemma of “us” versus “them” is a rooted structural issue within the U.S. society although the fact remains there, that this country was established by the “aliens”.
Coming to this country does not necessarily make the opportunities equally accessible for those two groups of people mentioned above. The preferential treatment in everything is unavoidable in majority of the cases. The problem does not only lie in regards with the aliens, so even the division with the locals is obvious if you observe who is doing what type of jobs in Washington DC. One simple thing that I can share among many things that I have noticed: Friday and Saturdays when white Americans go to pubs and bars around after 11.00 pm in big groups (it can be observed on queues before the entrance doors of bars too), the black people or African Americans and Hispanics go home from work. It is not difficult to differentiate between tired and thoughtful faces of blacks versus happy and fun searching expressions of white youth across the streets.
The structure does not allow anything different to happen and the agencies conform to the demands of the structural issue of division and discrimination, which lies in the core of the system. That in turn produces opportunities destined specifically for different groups in the society. Or, the society produces people that can’t easily get out of the so-called “caste system” of belonging to one group or other for who only definite number of opportunities are available, pre-given or embedded upon.