My Immigration Experience

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Rajvir Bhullar, my dad, was 22 years old when he came to America. In India, it is very common to send the oldest kid abroad, so my grandparents made the heavy decision to send my dad. My dad, not knowing much, agreed with their decision. After getting his visa, he booked a flight and traveled 19 hours to the other side of the world. He had absolutely no idea what he would encounter in America, but he was up for the challenge. He was up to encounter all the obstacles to achieve the goal of living a better life.

If you could move anywhere in the whole world, where would you go? I would go back to India because I was born and raised there. I want to go back and visit the country where my origins are from.

Since you lived in India for 20
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Basically, I went around and collected milk from local farmers. After that, I would take the milk to the factory. At the plant, they would check and inspect the milk and send it off to the Nestles Company. It was cool because their chocolate was made from our milk.

Why did you decide to come to America?

My parents wanted me to come to America so I could have a better future. I heard if you worked with dedication, you would make very good money here.
Describe the process of coming? Was it easy or was it hard?

It was very hard. I came on a visa, but the process was very complicated. I had to fill out many forms and wait many months to finally get my visa. I’m pretty sure the process is way harder now. You were lucky you came at that time. Yeah, I know a friend in India who has been waiting two years to get a visa and to come here legally. I’m glad I came here at the time immigration was a little less strict.

What were your thoughts and feelings when you first stepped into America? Like when you arrived and saw America for the first time.

First I thought I was in heaven. There were different looking people and everybody was speaking a different language. Everything looked so different. There were different roads and different buildings. It looked so beautiful. It felt like I was in a dream or that I was in a
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The food was pretty odd; I was used to the organic vegetables from the fields or the backyard. I’ve never heard of more than half of the cuisine in America. Also, the clothing was odd, because in India everybody wore traditional clothing. Basically everything had a different style. Everything was way different and opposite compared to India. Now when I go back to India, I see that they are adapting more of the western culture and are becoming more modern.

What was your first job?

For my first job, I worked in a garment place in New York. I would go to New York City to pick up orders, and then bring them to the office to pack. Then, I would load them onto a UPS truck.

Did you have to look for that job?

Umm not really. My friend was working at that garment place before, so he found a job for me there. The owners were Indian, so communicating and talking to them was easier.

How much did you earn in your job?

I worked 12 hours a day and earned $800 in a month. Woah! That’s nothing!! At that time, it wasn’t that bad. I remember I would take train number 7 from Flushing to Brooklyn and then back to home. Traveling back and forth was hard, but it wasn’t bad compared to the crowded trains in India.

Was speaking English a big
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