What lessons have you learned from someone who is an immigrant?


Courtesy of Wikimedia.org

One of the most important lessons learned is that people from other countries look at the U.S. as the “land of dreams” or opportunity. Many quickly discover that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Iʻve talked with many who are wondering where are all the extravagant houses they see in print or popularized media. ”Why canʻt I get a great job? Send money home, support myself here.” Iʻve personally known many, and I hate to use the term F.O.B.s (fresh off the boat) that long for home within months or even weeks.

Do we as Americans turn that other direction? Is life better overseas? Just as U.S. immigrants, Americans are the same. We see what we are shown by popular media. Is life abroad so great? Use the internet, talk with those in it together, from both perspectives. Be real, show real housing, real prices, real wages. I think everyone involved would learn a lot… I know I have. From personal interaction and actual travel.

– Troy Karr


I have learned many lessons from several people that Iʻve met over the years who are immigrants. One of the most common thing that I heard from all of them is the fact that “Americans are wasteful.” They each shared with me their lifestyles that they came from in their own countries and noticed how much we waste in America with our food, money, clothes, electronics, everyday items, water and even our time. Most of them did not come from a place of luxury and had to live off of their land resources, while here we have access to everything at almost any time. They also taught me about how grateful I should be for the freedom and privileges that Iʻm blessed with everyday to be living in this great country. I realized that I take for granted everything that I have and I need to do my part to help preserve and protect these rights not only for myself, but for those of the future.

– Anolani Graham


Iʻm a daughter of a first generation immigrant. My mother immigrated here at the ripe age of 15. You could say that I made the trip with her (I was in her belly). She left everything she knew/had in hopes of giving me a better future and that she did. She enrolled in high school, graduated, then worked in the fields for a good 10 years before seeking further education. She then graduated from cosmetology school and opened up her own shop. Sheʻs taught me everything I know. Sheʻs taught me how to be brave and work for what I want. (Work harder than anyone around because of our “disadvantage.”) She taught me how to be kind to everyone (we never know what struggles other people are going through). She taught me to to do good by everyone, no matter the audience or lack of (especially when there is no audience). Most importantly, she has taught me the value of family, self respect, and that nothing is unachievable.

– Stephanie Castaneda

Iʻve learned that hard work pays off. My father-in-law is an immigrant from Haʻatafu, Tonga. He came to America and is the vision of the American dream. When he first moved, he would go “knock, knock” on peopleʻs doors and see if they needed any work done. Now, 40 years later, he has a successful business, a beautiful house, and a loving family of twelve that he supports. When my fiance was young, his dad worked through all holidays and missed most family events so he could work and be able to provide for his family. My father-in-law, Siua Kava, is the epitome of hard work and perseverance.

– Taylin Perreira


I have learned so many things from someone who is an immigrant. Growing up in Hawai‘i, you are bound to see/meet someone who is either an immigrant or comes from a family of immigrants. I have a friend, whose mom is from Micronesia and to see the way another culture interacts with our native culture really caught my attention. I learned that you should never judge someone, even immigrants, because you don’t know what that person’s been going through spiritually and culturally. I have also learned that immigrants are the soul creators of the pidgin language. As all the different races of people were all interpreted a common language that they use to communicate in work environments so that owners/bosses could not understand them. You can learn a lot from immigrants, trust me!

– Lakona Makaneole


I learned quite a few lessons about immigrants through the presidential campaign, more or so focused on Donald Trump. First off, Trump made it sound like people who weren’t born in the U.S were immigrants. This statement is false because Trump himself is an immigrant along with everyone else who lives in the U.S. The only people who aren’t immigrants are those are 100% Native American or Native Hawaiian (if you consider Hawai‘i legally a part of the U.S.). Everyone else has at least some type of immigration history in their ethnicity. This brings me to my next lesson that I’ve learned which in today’s world, immigrants, mostly white men with wealth, identify themselves as superior and the role model. They’re white, so they get power, while on the other side, you’re not going to find a Micronesian CEO. It seems as if the colored immigrant never succeeds as much as the white immigrants when they’re the same type of people. It seems as if the country is full of hypocrites. It’s literally immigrants looking down on the other immigrants. It’s like telling your kid that they’ll never be successful as you even though you two are related. The whole entire country is so full of immigrants, that they run the country instead of the Native Americans. It’s such nonsense.

– Preston Kaluhiwa