‘Generation 1.5’ (G1.5) is used for people that were brought to the US at a young age, before adolescence by first generation immigrants; by immigrant parents that never really integrated, keeping close ties with their home countries and always dreaming of the day that they will be able to return to their native countries.
Since these immigrants never saw the US as their home, their kids, G1.5 is a generation who exist in limbo, between two nations, two cultures, with no clear identity.
Nesrin, my wife was a G1.5 kid, she arrived in her early teens to the US when her father was transferred to Washington, DC. Like any other immigrant teenager, her adjustment to a whole new way of life was not easy, trying to conform while her parents still had a foot in there homeland.
The crazy part is that:
For the immigrants that entered in the US as undocumented, their children, their G1.5 offspring have a lot to overcome.
Despite having lived most of their lives in the US, having siblings born in the US and speak fluent English, many can not get working permits, get a drivers license, or vote. Just like any other undocumented migrant they are subject to arrest and deportation. They do not have the right to live in the great America.
What happens if they get deported? Many of them do not speak other than English and have no bond with their countries of origin. For them to be evicted is like being put-away, with no chance for parole.
It is insane to imagine that in this great country, a country built by immigrants, that a young person, even though he/she were raised all their life here, have no rights and could be deported!
So, what can we do about it?
First, we must care! America was and continues to be built by legal and illegal immigrants. They are industrial-entrepreneurial people willing to risk; people that are responsible for creating a resilient-America, an America that strives. Because we care, we should advocate laws and candidates that support ‘generation 1.5’ to get a legal status.
We must speak up against ‘leaders’ that have an irrational fear of people from different countries, cultures or religion; we must stand up to these bigoted honchos that believe that their opinion is superior then any regular mortal.
Most importantly we should view ‘generation 1.5’ as an asset rather than a liability, an investment rather than a cost. The majority are not here to collect social benefits, but are here to learn, to find work and to improve their lives and those of their families.
In the same way as my beautiful ‘G1.5 wife’ did!