Illegal Immigrants, When the Dream is Drawn by Blood and Tears

“39 bodies found in a frozen truck container in southeast England.” This news may make people all over the world feel shocked. They are all Asian, mainly Vietnamese, with 38 adults and one teenager. They died from suffering -25 degrees celsius without oxygen when they stayed in a container for illegal immigrants to England. I cried when I read this news on every newspaper, both print and online. These Vietnamese people, and all immigrants, are the victims of something called “dream about a better life.”

It is not hard for me to explore the reasons why they chose to leave their hometown for another country. Most immigrants have the same cultural background: they value their community and family. It means they have responsibilities to take care of their family, including their parents and siblings, before caring about themselves. In addition, immigrants are often from poor rural areas, which cannot give them the opportunities to earn more money and provide them a better life. Therefore, the most common reason that motivates them to go to another country illegally is earning more money than they can send to their hometown. That is their dream, a common dream of all immigrants.

However, they did not know that their choice would make their life worse than ever before. A lot of individuals lost their lives just because of this “dream.” It's painful to say, but 39 people in the trunk of this truck are like "a batch." The number of victims is so huge that people feel shocked and, as a result, immigration problems are also made clear. However, honestly, the number of people dying in the jungle on their way from Europe to England is unknown.

What is the real situation? If the immigrants cannot survive in the frozen trucks, they will die like the 39 bodies that were found. But if they can survive, what will happen to them? Those who have already overcome the dangerous travel to the UK must live and work in terrible situations.. Without legal papers, they must live carefully, work under the table and all transactions must be in cash. They must ask a student to rent a house, a train card or a bank card. Then, they will use these services under that student’s name.

The most common work for illegal immigrants is usually in nail services or a kitchen. Worse services would be going into sex work or selling/making illegal cannabis in remote areas of the forest. Because of illegal working conditions, they accept that they are not human anymore and have no protections, even from the government (from YouTuber Giang oi). When they are still alive, nobody knows. When they die, nobody cares. Sometimes, cannabis growth is more valuable than their lives. 

I know many people will judge them and think about them as “stupid” or having “narrow views.” But please, we are not them. I cannot ask these people why they choose to live like this. I cannot judge what they did as right or wrong, or decide how they should live. I have not been in their position. I do not understand how they felt.

Everyone should know the amount of money the immigrants have the opportunity to earn in another country is extremely bigger than they expect, even though it is illegal. I’m sure that they never dreamed about that amount of money when they worked in their home country. Their methods or earning money are dangerous and difficult, but it can prove successful. The money can feed the whole family and even relatives. The money can repay the debt and help their children to go to school. When they live in such a poor situation, they cannot refuse the opportunities to get a better life, even if that “better life” won’t be like their expectations.

Illegal immigrants are all victims. Sure! But victims of what? Victims of human trafficking or victims of their own decisions? Who knows. After all, behind this tragedy is the bitter pain that their family will have to suffer.

I hope we can stop judging, reprimanding and even abusing immigrants with bitter words. Please take a moment to be more sympathetic for their families and be grateful that you were born into a more fortunate situation.