“Have a baby here, then you can settle as a U.S. citizen”

One of the most frequent questions that Vietnamese American people have asked me since I have traveled to the US is: “Hey Linh, do you wanna settle in the USA?”. Vy –a Vietnamese scholar who works as a waitress in a restaurant, was surprised when my answer was “No”.citizenship

She told me that a lot of people pay big chunks of money to get here. That is why they do not want to turn back. Vy also wants to live here. She said she wanted to get married to an American guy.

It is true that 99% of the people who come to the U.S. are here for the American dream so why I would be any different?

During my time in Washington DC, I hung out with Mr. N. He is a director of an international foundation in Vietnam. We have known each other since I started the Volunteer House Vietnam organization (VHV) and he came to help build VHV.

This time, Mr.N was in D.C. for a training course. He treated me dinner at a luxury Italian restaurant.

After hearing about things that happened to me in Vietnam, Mr.N  looked at me and said:

– I think you should live here, Linh! This is a country for people who love freedom like you.

– How? My visa will expire after a year. I don’t want to live in a country of freedom without being able to do anything freely because of my illegal staying.

–  Have a baby here then you can settle as a U.S. citizen.

–  You know that I love to travel, don’t you? How can I travel with a baby?

–  Take the baby with you!

Honestly, I was not surprised about the idea of having a baby to settle legally in the U.S.. Many young women from poor countries are doing it that with the hope of changing their lives. However, I was surprised when Mr. N, a representative of the elite class, said it.

I will have a baby when I really love to have a baby and when I can be sure that I am able to take care of my child. I wonder what those people who want to settle in the US by having a baby have in mind. Do they want to change their lives? Have they ever thought about the life of the baby? Have they ever asked the baby “Hey kid, do you want to be born and live here without a father?”….

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