In the USA, when you become a PR, they give you a card that identifies you as a Resident Alien. This is widely known as the Green Card (although it’s not actually green, but pink; maybe once upon a time it used to be green). I got this card almost a decade & a half ago, when I got married.
Theoretically speaking, I have been an alien* for more than half my life. My parents moved here when I was barely out of toddlerhood. My dad was, what you would today call, a foreign talent, who left his home country to seek a better life for his kids. He & my mom landed here, liked it & decided to call it home. With his qualifications, he found a job here, & made a comfortable living. He became PR of this country & by default, so did my sister & I (mom was already Singaporean by virtue of birth). I only naturalized when I turned 21 due to some sexist ruling that said that only a Singaporean dad can sponsor a PR minor to become a Singaporean. So I had to wait till I became an adult before naturalizing on my own merits (i.e. doctor-to-be – therefore desirable citizen, I assume ☺).
Growing up, I was never made to feel different by my Singaporean friends. For all
intents & purposes, Singapore was home to me, despite my different colored IC & foreign passport. There was no talk of whether foreign talent was good or no good; my family & I were accepted for what we were (& still are!).
Hence all this recent discussion about foreign talent bemuses me. When did it become such a controversial issue? And why?
I remember in the 70’s, construction workers & cleaners/sweepers were made up mainly of locals. Somewhere between then & now, foreigners took over these “undesirable” jobs, presumably because Singaporeans were unwilling to take up menial jobs & dirty work. Hence foreign workers filled this niche. I didn’t hear anyone make any noise about that.
If the government hadn’t made it an issue in the recent years, would it be so hotly discussed now? Would people be more accepting of the fact that sometimes, you have to look at the person & what he/she can do instead of looking at his/her passport before deciding if he/she is deserving of working in this country?
After all, if these people are willing to uproot their families to make their living here, & there are employers who are willing to hire them, why the fuss? Could it be that the jobs being talked about now are higher paying ones, & not cheap labor.
I truly believe that if you have the ability, the desire & the qualifications to do a job, you WILL be able to get the job that you deserve. So I don’t see why Singaporeans are making such a big deal over it, unless they are not confident of their own abilities to get the aforesaid jobs in the first place. But then, that is a different kettle of fish altogether, innit? ☺.
*part of the reason why I adopted the moniker “aliendoc”