Are Undocumented Migrants Able to Mystery Shop in the U.S.

I am a recent immigrant. English is my mother tongue; I have met many people from around the world for whom English was a second (or third) language and were quite proficient.



@KathyG wrote:

Getting back to the original question, I wonder how many (recent) aliens-legal or otherwise- have a good enough mastery of the English language to produce a report that would meet a MSC's standards? Other than Marketforce, most of them have quite a bit of narrative.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/2019 07:18PM by heartlandcanuck.

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Another immigrant here!



@MikiNV wrote:

I assume I am the only immigrant here, also an American. Immigrants are not here nor anywhere to do any harm to you nor that they are cause of your problems...
Thank you for clarifying :-)
@heartlandcanuck wrote:

I am a recent immigrant. English is my mother tongue; I have met many people from around the world for whom English was a second (or third) language and were quite proficient.

@KathyG wrote:

Getting back to the original question, I wonder how many (recent) aliens-legal or otherwise- have a good enough mastery of the English language to produce a report that would meet a MSC's standards? Other than Marketforce, most of them have quite a bit of narrative.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
@MFJohnston: yeah, that was us....and you were that guy who spoke English too fast to understand a word..
Many never mention, but this country is the most beautiful; it is gorgeous: oceans, mountains, valleys, bayous, red rocks, NV desert.

@ heartlandcanuck....why would you give up curling, Tim Hortons and Justin?!

My husband recently got his residency visa; it cost us about $2,000 (processing fees, medical exam, trip to consulate for interview) This is annual salary of a Walmart associate. We did not use attorney so this cost is low.
@Jacqui wrote:

I’m not so sure immigration is the cause of the problems. I don’t think it’s that simple.

It is not simple. You are right about that. Immigration (but not necessarily individual immigrants) can compound existing problems and contribute to new issues as time passes.

The United States is not the youngster it used to be when my ancestors arrived hundreds of years ago from... somewhere. We are mutts, and I did not read the family "pedigree". I only know that we are not primarily Native Americans. Anyway, in the early years people were needed who could perform the work of building and populating. They were referred to as hands because they often worked with their hands and they produced offspring who could lend their hands to the needed tasks. That is not a slur. It is just a wee bit of descriptive history. Many of our ancestors built the United States, in one way or another. But that was then, and this is now. We are not our ancestors. We have a different set of challenges.

We are living in a different time, and there are more of us now than there were then. Survival rates have increased. Work has changed. If we are humane and provide extensive medical care, we must pay [billions? trillions?] annually for longer life spans. Where is the food coming from in 2019 and beyond? Can we afford to continue to import food from our global neighbors? After all, much of the arable land has been paved and turned into a parking lot or a shopped location. (Thank you, Joni Mitchell.)There are many more factors than those few, but this has become a book. I am not scheduled to be a novella-ist today, so others can continue to mention those other factors.

.. September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception. - Oliver Wendell Holmes
I do Jones for Timmies sometimes. No Canadian will admit that the coffee tastes terrible, which is why we drink it "double double," but has a magical, addictive quality to it. It is hard to fin a decent cup of coffee in rural Iowa so we use a French press.

You must mean Justin Trudeau... Bieber came south, too. smiling smiley I miss where every small town has at least two rinks: one for curling and one for hockey. The hockey rinks typically are dry arenas in the summer. Can't polka on ice.

Not supposed to get into politics here, so I'll just say that I remind our three sons quite often that they are dual citizens. The thought of getting our house up to snuff to be put on sale is daunting. Some day... (or 2020 will make America kind again...) Anti-immigrant sentiments are quite strong in the Midwest. I realize most of the intention is veiled racism, as people will say they don't mean me, an English-speaking woman of European ancestry. So yeah, the racist remarks aren't really aimed my way. They sting, though. Sometimes I make the mistake of reading public comments on articles by local media. People I know from town will say horrible things. There have been weeks when I didn't want to leave the house. I'd drop the kids at school, make my US-born husband do the grocery shopping, and do mystery shopping on weekends far away from here where no one knows I am an immigrant. I cannot imagine what it must be like for an immigrant who has brown or black skin right now. sad smiley Open hostility towards "the other' is en vogue right now.


@MikiNV wrote:



@ heartlandcanuck....why would you give up curling, Tim Hortons and Justin?!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2019 01:56PM by heartlandcanuck.
Hmm. I live in a university town. We always have people from all around the world here. They have light and dark skin. No one really cares about that. More important is that they are smart, and they work hard. Has anyone measured how much brain drain has occurred, to date? I am talking about what happens when people come to the US from other countries for education and then leave. They arrive in their next destinations with education, skills, and ways to change their [past/present/future] worlds. Presumably, they can pass along what they have learned. Is this happening? Or, are successive generations being sent to the US for education because the information does not reach into successive generations?

Anyway, back to the original question. I hope that some presently illegal immigrants will be able to make some sort of conversion and be able to work. In a perfect world, they would have an option to choose typical work, independent contracting self-employment, or some of each. (Others are still too young for this, and we do not want us or them to be in violation of child labor laws,)

.. September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception. - Oliver Wendell Holmes


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2019 04:23PM by Shop-et-al.
Haha thanks. gave me a good laugh haha I didnt even think of Bieber; different age group, you know.
I am talking about my Justin...and did you hear him speak French....it’s the only politics I follow

Edited due to not reading the post past my Justin: yes, I agree with you. Racism is present, some parts more then others. But never lose faith in American people, it is the most humbling nation. You come from the most educated land that also has no enemies. You can’t expect the same from the rest of us. Haha I am trying to look at the bright side. I am still thinking about Bieber..

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2019 04:30PM by MikiNV.
Speaking to Shop-et-al's post....I have experienced years ago before all this tension in our world, my daughter was a 3.9 and applied to and couldn't get into our state college U.C.L.A where we pay taxes. Reason being they "have" to accept their international students and minorities first and meet that quota. (Money talks). We sent her to a better smaller private Univ., far away, and thank goodness we were able to do that, worked out to our advantage, but was that fair?
I also live in a college town with many international students, and love the diversity.

Live consciously....


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2019 04:26PM by Irene_L.A..
Irene_L.A.: if the university told you that they cannot accept your child because of they need to accept international and minority students, be glad your daughter did not go there. Things like such are not true. You delt with wrong people, I assume, who couldn’t provide good direction. Btw international studenta pay at least double tuition. I hope minorities get more scholarships and encouragemet from the goverment and society. I was an international student who spoke “limited” English. One thing I learned at the very beginning is to try hard. Even harder. Keep working hard. Believe in yourself and do not blame others. Other are never cause of one’s failures; never feel like a victim. It is like shop having rejected; it happens, own it.
You don't have to be a victim to recognize some fair and unfair practices. We all know that quotas exist and they do adversely affect some and benefit others. Comparing a mystery shop rejection to being denied college admission is somewhat outlandish. I myself am a naturalized immigrant here. Those of us who benefited from the advantages this country offers have to be respectful of those who were here already and decided to accept us with open arms. We can't just shut down opinions by throwing out words like racist or victim.
@MikiNV...do not call me or my family victims , I thought name calling wasn't in your vocabulary. My daughter worked hard (straight A's except for one B all through high school).and we didn't use the advantage of applying for grants or assistance, we worked hard and saved for her college. Your opinions are so one sided, you should look at both sides of a story, and don't expect everyone here to agree with your side. Taxpayers pay for Welfare, and the support of those that don't make a good living.

For your lack of knowledge, we were speaking and got a letter from the higher up's of the University explaining the then rules and laws of the University.......experience is the best learner of what is going on, not someone who hasn't done it' and always thinks their opinion.is right.......you are now toggled.

Live consciously....
Miki, usually I am in closer agreement with your posts. In this case, Irene is correct. I did not read her post as complaining that her daughter failed or that she or her daughter are victims. Irene's daughter went to a good college and is quite successful. Things such as Irene reports have been true at US colleges. I'm not sure about California, and I am not sure about current practices (I finished college 10 years ago, and Irene's experience would have been longer ago as her daughter is older than me), but I applied 15 years ago to several colleges in several states. One was the University of Texas at Austin. At that time UT gave preferential treatment to minorities, accepting a minority students with lower grade point averages than non-minority applicants. Even higher preference was given to foreign students over US citizens, even those who were Texas residents (which I was not), with most of those foreign students receiving aid up to and including 100% of tuition and room and board, as part of a UT diversity program. When I saw how many lower-ranked students and foreign students would be given preference over Texas residents, and even more preference over out-of-state applicants like me, it made no sense for me to consider a move to Texas and I went elsewhere. I laughed a few years ago to read that their diversity preferential treatment was challenged in court by a couple of female US citizens and UT lost. It was a blatantly unfair practice and UT deserved to lose.

Please do not be dismissive of Irene's personal experience because it does not match the personal experience you had as an international student.
Oh no please do not take my post that way. There are many unjust experiences that a lot of people have. I meant to let it be, let it go, do not hold the grudge. If I think of my experiences, my sisters’, childs...parents...neverending story....but I somehow don’t. I guess words don’t come out the same on paper. No please do not think that. I kind of meant to be uplifting but that didn’t work well
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

Speaking to Shop-et-al's post....I have experienced years ago before all this tension in our world, my daughter was a 3.9 and applied to and couldn't get into our state college U.C.L.A where we pay taxes. Reason being they "have" to accept their international students and minorities first and meet that quota. (Money talks). We sent her to a better smaller private Univ., far away, and thank goodness we were able to do that, worked out to our advantage, but was that fair?
No, it wasn't fair. UCLA has a strongly documented affirmative action policy, which CA banned in 1996 with proposition 209. The percentage of Asian and Caucasian students skyrocketed, while black admissions plummeted. So they went around it and went to "holistic" admissions which allows them to award points based on race and economic factors (https://nypost.com/2015/12/08/college-quotas-are-actually-destroying-lives-of-minorities/). Now they're doing recruiting -- identifying high-achieving black students in their freshman year of high school and shepherding them through.

@Miki, why do you hope that minority students get more scholarships because of their ethnicity? Can't you see how that's a very racist statement? Scholarships ought to be awarded based on merit and the potential for a student to reflect well on the school - not on the color of one's skin.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2019 11:28PM by iShop123.
Thank you both for explaining your view in my defense. I would like to say, although my daughter has an amazing life and job and got a better education at Northwestern which at the time was rated 11th in our country,
I did lose her to Chicago where her license and degree were from. Had she been able to attend U.C.L.A., she would have stayed in CA.......I think things work out the way they're supposed to, as she met a great guy, has a great job for a private Psychology college, and recently returned from New York after lecturing on "Emotional Intelligence". to the New York Times, and I was lucky enough to hear her on the link she sent. She works hard, no victim here....smiling smiley
Proud Mama, wouldn't have it any other way......you understand my bragging (I hope).

Live consciously....
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

Proud Mama, wouldn't have it any other way......you understand my bragging (I hope).
I don't know about anyone else, Irene, but I think you have every right to brag about your daughter's accomplishments!
I work in the world of education.
There was a time when universities openly admitted (advertised) having policies that favored the admission of folks of various ethnic minority backgrounds. That has since been deemed illegal by SCOTUS.

However, they do have different policies now that are legal that can have a similar effect. I write a large number of college recommendation letters for kids. It is very common for colleges and universities to have questions such as, "Are there any difficulties or challenges that this student has overcome that might have made his/her accomplishments even more impressive?" This will give a boon to kids who have had to work on the side or babysit younger siblings to support the family. Immigrant kids who had to learn the language would have a leg up. Etc.

I have no knowledge was to how heavily these questions are taken into account in the admission process and am certain that they are handled differently at different educational institutions. However, by the fact that they are part of the recommendation process, they must hold some weight.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I know for fact, Northwestern wanted well rounded kids, not only academic but for us, my daughter had 9 years of classical piano winning many competitions. She received early admission and still plays in many productions around the city. We were not asked for any financial problems, but then we didn't offer we had any problems.

Live consciously....
@iShop123 wrote:

@Miki, why do you hope that minority students get more scholarships because of their ethnicity? Can't you see how that's a very racist statement? Scholarships ought to be awarded based on merit and the potential for a student to reflect well on the school - not on the color of one's skin.

Let's take 2 hypothetical students. 1 is white, comes from a middle class family that could afford things like books as a toddler and a stay at home mom that could steer early education. They had parents with white collar jobs that could take off for teacher meetings if something went wrong. They could afford all of the things that help a child succeed in school in both a time and monetary standpoint.

The other is black, comes from a lower income family where both parents have to work blue collar jobs. They can't afford things like books and the ability to be a stay at home mom is a joke. The ability to afford all of the things that help a child succeed in school in both a time and monetary standpoint is just not there.

Both students have good grades and are of similar intelligence level but one had so many more things to overcome just to get to the same spot. You can stop right there and I would say the one that had more to overcome is more deserving. That doesn't mean the other isn't deserving.

Now, take it a step further. Let's say neither of the above students get a scholarship. It is highly likely that the white student will be better able to get student loans in order to pay for school, is highly likely to get a job easier and be paid a higher wage after college, making repaying those loans easier. Their career earnings will statistically be higher and they statistically will advance further in their careers. All based on racial bias, which exists, even if you believe it or not.

So yes. I absolutely believe more minority students should get scholarships based on their ethnicity.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I agree and disagree BG.....I know many upper class families where Mothers were home, but did not push education for one reason or another, knowing kids could go into the family business or have no worries, and the kids were not into education. The student determines what he/she wants in order to succeed. They either have it in them or don't. My being able to stay home at 35, after working since I was 19 was my biggest pleasure...when I had her I didn't make her who she turned out to be. We did read and love her and give her good self-esteem and all that, but if a kid doesn't have desire, they don't always listen to parents. Those that want it, do it, those that don't, just don;t. Minority students get help as should be, folks that afford it don't apply.

Live consciously....


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2019 12:57AM by Irene_L.A..
@bgriffin wrote:

@iShop123 wrote:

@Miki, why do you hope that minority students get more scholarships because of their ethnicity? Can't you see how that's a very racist statement? Scholarships ought to be awarded based on merit and the potential for a student to reflect well on the school - not on the color of one's skin.

Let's take 2 hypothetical students. 1 is white, comes from a middle class family that could afford things like books as a toddler and a stay at home mom that could steer early education. They had parents with white collar jobs that could take off for teacher meetings if something went wrong. They could afford all of the things that help a child succeed in school in both a time and monetary standpoint.

The other is black, comes from a lower income family where both parents have to work blue collar jobs. They can't afford things like books and the ability to be a stay at home mom is a joke. The ability to afford all of the things that help a child succeed in school in both a time and monetary standpoint is just not there.

Both students have good grades and are of similar intelligence level but one had so many more things to overcome just to get to the same spot. You can stop right there and I would say the one that had more to overcome is more deserving. That doesn't mean the other isn't deserving.

Now, take it a step further. Let's say neither of the above students get a scholarship. It is highly likely that the white student will be better able to get student loans in order to pay for school, is highly likely to get a job easier and be paid a higher wage after college, making repaying those loans easier. Their career earnings will statistically be higher and they statistically will advance further in their careers. All based on racial bias, which exists, even if you believe it or not.

So yes. I absolutely believe more minority students should get scholarships based on their ethnicity.

I agree with your assessment of the two hypothetical students. One would substantially benefit from more help and should receive it. However, I disagree that the decision about providing benefits should rest with ethnicity.

Let's reverse the situations of your hypothetical students, because they are merely hypothetical. Let's say the black student comes from a family where Mom stays home and Dad is a doctor. And the white student has a working Mom, two siblings, and Dad died when the student was very young. Both are bright and deserving, but to give assistance to the black student because he has minority status does not look at the whole picture. I agree that "You can stop right there and I would say the one that had more to overcome is more deserving." In order to truly help those who have more to overcome, one would need to look beyond race and minority status. Unless we learn to look beyond race as a determining factor in everything, racial bias will continue.
I did not think about college options and scholarships and fancy, 1st world problems lol I was thinking about simple human race. We are so lucky, we are blessed, we are blissfully ignorant. Some of you mention your families having to enter legally (or illegally) Let me tell you (with sense of sadness, bitterness, anger and sadness (again)) ..I remember being taken out of the home, I was old enough to remember clearly, we were taken to soccer field which served as a concentration camp, as many other families who did not fit the neighbors profile. We are all the same race btw and we speak the same language too. Different nationality, different religion beliefs. This was not World War I people, you watched it on TV while eating dinner after work. Turn the TV on right now, there is same thing happening in other areas. Look in neighboring Mexico, immigrants marching, hoping to reach, not university, but a safe haven.
Fast forward.....I am in America. No kid has ever heard of my country. I attended two universities, one as international and one as an American student, and finally third university as an American student in Paris.
My parents are both surgeons. My two sisters follow the path; two surgeons more. You are just a patient to them too; no application needed, no question asked, no insurance needed. I am just a thrifty engineer. I have only few photos from when I was a kid. It stinks. I missed on many luxuries that a normal person should experience or have. It stinks and I can feel bitter about it... I do not feel anger or even need to mention the struggles because I am an adult now and realize that life sometimes throw you lemons; and I make martini winking smiley
There are Americans universities in many countries around the world, in English; Americans live and work globally, America is global; we have choices and so many opportunities. No one is stopping us or threating us. You do not apply to one university, you apply to ten. You send fifty resumes, not one. People sometimes ask how we can get along (me and my "enemy"-origin friends) I say, "We are in America" True story. It is so good people. America is good.
I think you think I'm saying something that I'm not. In every case there are a lot of factors but in the big picture my hypothetical is statistically several times as likely to be realistic, so I would prefer seeing more minorities get scholarships. I'm looking at the overall situation not individual examples.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I am saying it is so great to have an option to consider going to school winking smiley

@bgriffin wrote:

I think you think I'm saying something that I'm not. In every case there are a lot of factors but in the big picture my hypothetical is statistically several times as likely to be realistic, so I would prefer seeing more minorities get scholarships. I'm looking at the overall situation not individual examples.
@MFJohnston wrote:

The misery is real and there is largely not a "way out" aside from 1) working for a cartel or 2) having a family member working in the States and sending money back.

I think given all the wars the U.S. involves itself in, why not go into Mexico and try to crush these drug gangs also?

They are honestly scary. And I sympathize with those fleeing that violence. The U.S. should grant these people refugee status. It's better than having them come in illegally and work for less money than our own native born workers, because that lowers our citizens' wages.

But, longer term, I wouldn't mind seeing these evil drug gangs wiped off the face of the Earth. I mean, we have the technological capability and firepower to blow them away. I imagine it would maybe be a tough guerrilla (spelling?) type of warfare possibly, due to the cartels taking over cities (at least, that's the impression I get).

This could help solve the problem long-term, because if people have stable governments and free economies, there will be less reason for people to illegally enter the U.S.

As for a case for deporting unauthorized aliens (assuming they aren't from a war-torn nation and deserving of refugee status), I think you could argue they benefit more in the long run by having this type of orderly process/restrictions on immigration. It protects the U.S. economy, which is a major source of money for a place like Mexico. IIRC from my college sociology class, 50% (which is huge!) of Mexico's economy is from remittances (i.e., money sent home there from their relatives who migrated away and work in better economies like the U.S.).

So a question would be: What if the U.S. economy tanked? That would hurt Mexico, because 50% of their citizens' wealth comes from us. And then you ask, well, do these illegal alien workers hurt our economy? Yes, if they are working for less than minimum wage and lowering wages for our own citizens. If undocumented migrant workers destabilize the "host" economy (sorry for using parasitic analogies/language, but honestly, I sort of see it this way - not in a personal, judgmental way, but just as a "theoretical"/conceptual type of analogy) and lead to its demise, then the migrants' own families back home will suffer too. Everyone suffers.

It might seem crazy to call the unauthorized migrant workers selfish, given that they likely come from dire poverty, but in a way they are if they knowingly do what they do and don't care about well-being of others in the host nation.

Just my 2 cents for the moment.

I think everyone wants to help the poor throughout the world. But, I also think we should do it in a way that makes long-term sustainable sense. Maybe it requires some short-term pain, such as some people having to wait longer, but that would be better than destabilizing/collapsing the U.S.A. - in which case, everyone loses long-term.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2019 08:30PM by shoptastic.
Btw, I think this political tangent we've deep dived into should get its own thread in General Chat and not here.

eta: Ohhh, we're already here! smiling smiley *thanks mods*

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2019 08:33PM by shoptastic.
@bgriffin wrote:

@walesmaven wrote:

In 1848 my mother's family came here so that they would not starve in Switzerland. How can I fault others who try to follow that path?

Yeah but your family was white European so it's ok!

There is some historical racial hypocrisy when it comes to illegal immigration, but I think it's also sort of a red herring when it comes to our current debates/discussions. A lot of really messed up stuff happened in the past in this country, but we can't let that lawlessness dictate how we go forward.

Today, there are laws that seem more fair and make sense when it comes to immigration.

There are legal channels to come here. The U.S. also gives tons of charity to poor and developing nations (some government sponsored and some through individual/private donations - Christian churches being a big source).

If our system is fair today, then that's how we should be judged (not by our grandparents' and great grandparents', etc. actions).
Drug Cartels:
We tried that with Reagan's War on Drugs. The issue is this: As long as there are consumers (primarily in the U.S.) who want the products, there are folks in impoverished countries who will try to enrich themselves (even at risk to their own lives) through providing the desired product.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Mexico sells many illegal items over the computer, there is no stopping anyone from getting whatever they please, one way or another. Illegals can and do include criminals, is that what everyone wants. Years ago, those coming into our county legally, worked hard, didn't have welfare, couldn't take our kids spots in college, they didn't have so many scholarships, you were judged on your merits. Shouldn't we use "our" money to care for our homeless and let those in that are without criminal record....why have an open door, come one, come all, take our resources...really, toughen up, things are out of hand, and times have changed. Drugs have been going on forever, walls won't work, they'll fly in use drones or whatever.

Live consciously....
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