Seriously. I tried to help people who wanted to leave after 2016, but there was like, resentment that white Americans can’t just waltz in and get all the nice things. (But also zero understanding that being an immigrant is hard for me, too, even though I moved for family.)
These are usually the same people who tell me how good I have it. You know, living in an intensely xenophobic country that gatekeeps foreigners out of the workforce and demands endless energy and gratitude while arguing over which rights we should lose next.
What a lot of privileged Americans don’t get is that “I want to move to X country” doesn’t automatically confer all the privileges of that country. They can’t imagine their lives without unearned privilege. They think “expat” is a legal category, distinct from “migrant”
It’s also obnoxious because other countries aren’t utopias. It always smacks of people wanting to move to a country where they don’t have to feel responsible for the social and political problems. And they assume their privikege to ignore those problems will come with them.
These are also the same people who yell about how I’m lucky to live where I do. Like, do you know anything about my situation? If no, shut up. If yes, how can you know this and still join the Swedes telling me I should be grateful to live with my nose pressed against the glass?
In Sweden we still have a mostly privatized school system, our health system is on its way to being worse than the US (it’s not socialism, it’s privatization) and 35% of voters think the Nazis have the best immigration policies. You just want to move where the Nazis arent yours.
I believe borders are violence and everyone should be able to move and live where they want. However, by assuming another country is utopia, you also send a message to people suffering in that country that you don’t give a shit about them.
But most importantly, the Nazis not only become your problem, you’ll quickly learn that now you’re in a place where they don’t just embarrass you, they’re actually anti-you AND they have the power to act on it. Becoming an immigrant is very very hard and most people won’t like it
Borders are violence. However, the people going “I’m leaving!” are often the ones who just assume borders don’t apply to them. They aren’t prepared for how much you have to think about borders when you live outside your own.
It’s also hard because, in the case of Sweden, at least, if you’re so privileged that you can just move here with little to no notice and be unaware of injustice, you’re ignoring the people waiting years for family visas, or being denied them over trivial things.
It’s a big decision and you have to weigh up things like your personal safety against your right to have a voice. One of the biggest frustrations my migrant friends and I have is that we see the problems but we don’t have solid enough rights or political capital to address them.
Being an immigrant is hard. There’s no legal category of “expat” so the legal consequences a country’s anti-migrant sentiments (they all have them) will apply to you, too. Are you willing to give up your rights and your voice? Is being unequal under the law still safer for you?
If where you live doesn’t matter because you can buy your way out, then fuck you, stop being selfish. If living in a place where you’re never sure if signing a petition or attending a protest could affect your ability to *keep your life* is still better, then I get it.
Mixed-nationality families (like mine!) already know that whenever you are, someone is always an immigrant, and being an immigrant is hard. The culture fatigue alone will burn you out if you’re not careful, and usually even if you are.
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