Get that work permit but beware…
This article isn’t really targeted to those undocumented few who are so set that they have jobs lined up and ready to go once they get work permits. Those whose charms are only outpaced by their accomplishments despite their undocumented status.
This article is for those of us who have worked such shitty jobs that the idea of a work permit is insanely salivating. Around three years ago, I was detained in an ICE raid at my home. Because of the medicinally dependent nature of my bipolar disorder and a compassionate ICE agent, I was let go under supervision. None of my lawyers at the time knew but apparently, this being released on supervision allowed me to get a work permit. So nearly two years later (midway last year, if you’re keeping track at home) I got a work permit.
I liked my “undocumented” job and felt fortunate to have it. Yet, I consider myself a pretty ambitious person, so having a work permit meant I could get a better job, with better pay and I would stop at nothing to find it.
A year later, I am once again looking for work. But this time, I have lost the fervor from last year. I began to think, perhaps, I have taken advantage of my work permit. Many of the people I know, I know through the movement and are therefore undocumented. They have jobs and I don’t and I have the work permit. Am I taking for granted my privilege?
And then I realize, like many of my “legal” friends growing up, I have a dissatisfaction with having just any job. Perhaps it happens to any undocumented-turned-legal worker. Sometimes in a couple of months, sometimes in a year, sometimes several years later. I began to realize I wanted a career, I wanted a job that pays me more than just enough to not be in debt. I want a job that allows me to save and not worry month to month. What was I doing before, when I made even less money? I wanted a job that actually let’s me use my talents, that engages me and challenges me, even if it’s not my career.
Right now, a work permit means more than just a step up the ladder. It means I should now be pursuing my career, my aspirations. I am sick of doing any job, I want to do my job. So get that work permit but beware of the ambition and dissatisfaction with just any job that comes along with it, eventually. The pursuit of a better life never really ends until you’re happy with what you do.
Minhaz is the creator of Undocublog. He likes to write nonsensical bullshit and watch sappy movies. He also likes to gamble.