Culture

He Has A Student Visa, But This Migrant Says Dating Is Hard Because Everyone Assumes He Wants A Green Card

Writer Kalle Oskari Mattila who moved to New York from Finland using a student visa obtained through his Columbia University admittance penned a personal essay detailing how xenophobia has permeated his dating life. Mattila says that his immigration status inevitably comes up on dates, and guys expect detailed responses from him. 

He believes this ongoing pattern he has noticed is due to the United States’ tumultuous relationship with immigration policy. Mattila posits that if everyone in the country is preoccupied with who is “allowed” to be there and who might be getting removed, it can be hard to imagine yourself dating an immigrant or worse, you might convince yourself they’re only after a green card. 

Stereotypes about immigrants marrying for green cards have always pervaded American media. 

“As it becomes harder to immigrate to the United States, the idea of the green-card marriage looms ever larger. TV shows like “90-Day Fiancé” perpetuate an image of immigrants who will go to extreme lengths to secure a green card from a relationship,” Mattila writes in the Washington Post. 

The Seattle Globalist noted that while marriage rates in the U.S. have declined, “green card marriages” have remained rather high. They cited the example of Oregon’s first lady Sylvia Hayes’ admission that she had previously married an Ethiopian immigrant for $5,000 so that he could stay in the country. 

In 2011, out of 270,000 marriage-based green cards, only 3,924 were discovered to fraudulent. Thus, the practice remains largely in the minority, and the stereotype can be harmful to immigrants who are just, well, trying to date. 

“Here, a steady immigration status seems to be a prerequisite for a stable relationship. Generally, I’ve dated liberal, big-city, educated people who believe in open immigration. Yet when it comes to their dating lives, they often resemble vigilant border-control agents,” Mattila said. 

He would then be forced to explain what an F1 student visa is, and when they’d ask how he is was still in the country after completing graduate school, he would explain to them he was allowed through a program called OPT. 

“Well, as a full-time writer,” Mattila would tell them so that he would sound more like a catch. “I qualify for something called the O-1. It’s a visa for people of extraordinary ability. Justin Bieber is on it and so is Hugh Jackman. Most people think Melania Trump married for her green card, but she actually got her visa because she proved herself to be extraordinary in modeling.”

Mattila noticed that his supposedly open-minded friends saw being an immigrant as a downgrade.

“My American friends have shared stories of how they’ve blocked people on Tinder the minute they’ve gotten an inkling that a prospect might be after a green card,” he wrote. 

A previous relationship of his resulted in his boyfriend dumping him after accusing him of only wanting a green card.

“I’d been accepted for graduate school and would begin my studies under a four-year F1 visa — a visa I’d earned on my merits — he told me he wanted to end things,” Mattilda wrote. “Later that night, he yelled at me, saying I’d used him. He implied I’d been in it for the green card.” 

The responses from friends and prospective love interests has left Mattila so deflated he stopped dating altogether. Instead, he is focusing on his career and entering the next phase of the immigration process. 

“I don’t want my dating life to resemble a never-ending immigration interview, where I have to make a case for myself, hoping the person across the table sees me as extraordinary enough to let through. I deserve to have a say in that, too,” he said. 

Stereotypes about immigrants damage the public perception of them.

According to the Atlantic, a study conducted by USC Annenberg’s Norman Lear Center and the journalist Jose Antonio Vargas’s nonprofit, Define American, found that stereotypes were pervasive on television shows that aired between 2017 and 2018. The organization analyzed 143 episodes of television from 47 different series that aired during the time frame. 

“TV immigrants in the study also tended to adhere to stereotypical associations with crime, incarceration, and low education levels. Though multiple studies have shown that immigrants don’t commit more crime than native-born citizens, 34 percent of TV immigrants were linked to a past or current crime, and 11 percent of characters were mentioned in reference to a current, previous, or future incarceration,” according to the Atlantic

A study by the University of Chicago found surveyed 1,500 non-Latinx whites, they found that someone’s immigration status determined their perception of whether they had committed a crime. 

As long as the rhetoric of the President and media portrays immigrants as criminals, immigrants will be viewed as untrustworthy. It’s no surprise that these attitudes go beyond the institutional and enter our everyday lives.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Latinas Say Don’t Get Married Until You’ve Confirmed These Things

Entertainment

Latinas Say Don’t Get Married Until You’ve Confirmed These Things

Hulton Archive / Getty

When it comes to getting married, just about everyone has opinions and advice. Of course, while input on dos and don’ts of considering marriage can be overwhelming, they’re also so important to listen. Recently, we came across a Tweet by Twitter user @cxkenobxkery⁠ who posted a thread called “Don’t get married before…” We reposted the question and asked our FIERCE readers what advice they had for other Latinas who were considering marriage and the answers were pretty eye-opening.

So here goes, if you’re thinking about getting married consider pumping the breaks unless you’ve…

Worked out your parenting styles

Too strict? Too soft? Balance and teamwork is crucial. It comes down to what kid of little humans do you BOTH want to raise.” – ramfamfour

Discussed mental health stuff

“ANY mental health issues. My ex husband was not verbally or physically abusive, but his mental health issues were at the core of our marriages demise. I would also add to pay attention to how compatible you are when the ‘feeling’ of being in love isn’t tinting your glasses. He hated new foods and I loved to cook. He didn’t understand hyperbole, sarcasm, analogy, humor, etc. And those are all native to me. Otherwise, this is a great list.” – dinneronmylap

Learned how you plan to grow together

“I think asking how a person plans to continuously seek knowledge during their lifetime is important.” – lachullavida

Have underlined your boundaries

“Speak about the boundaries you plan on having with your families as you create one of your own. TRUST ME, you don’t want a spouse who doesn’t know or understand how important this is. Nobody wants their in laws overstepping. If their parents or yours are doing this now, it will only get worse once you are married and it will create so much drama. People have divorced over this.” – taialvarez

Talked about credit scores

“And CREDIT SCORE, family health history, twins?”- liani9

Seen them when they’re angry

“Other tips: See how this person reacts when angry, see how this person treats strangers, see how this person faces a difficult dilemma. This will tell you a lot about a person.” –mariar09_

Have self-appreciation on both sides

“Don’t get married before you truly know, love and have appreciation for yourself.”- moni.gram

Know their family

“You absolutely need to know about family, how they were raised and around who… she’s wrong on that one.”- your_phoenix_

Have the age experience

“Don’t even THINK about it until you’re in your 30s.” – arlee_la

Sorted out cleaning habits

“The cleanings habits.” – nancyesquivel

Know how their parents fight

“Parenting / disciplining! Questions about in laws expectations. Alone time vs quality time – are you someone who needs a lot of time away or close to your partner? How fairly do you fight? How did your parents fight growing up? How do you negotiate with one another?” – melmor

Lived on your own

“The best thing I did for myself: Live away from family. I had a whole year to live with roommates and I learned so mhch about myself. If at all possible, consider doing this!!!” – dj_enamoured

Asked how their prior relationship ended

“Always ask how the prior relationship ended, been almost marry for 5 years and I never asked and I found out that he got 7 women pregnant and all of them got an abortion, also ask about mental health issues with the family I never did and found out his mother was bipolar without treatment now I know why he is the way he is cause he is bipolar… I thought things would changed but nothing has changed and don’t marry a men that has a lot of guy friends cause his priority are his friends… Yes I know don’t need to tell me to get divorce I m already working on it.” – suequte_yoginyc

Figured out how to spend time alone and apart

“Date/Outing expectations – is one a home-body vs outdoorsy? This made for some very uncomfortable situations for both if us in a prior relationship. Would lead to full on arguments. But if both aren’t comfortable with group dates or don’t consider a quiet dinner at home as romantic then someone is going to become resentful.” – rosanam1978

Been genetically tested

“On having children, it best to get a gene-carrier (gene disease testing) before marriage. It makes me so angry when hearing that married couple… MARRRIED, do it after marriage. What if both of them are carriers? Then having a kid with their gene disease is on its way, if they have 1 biological.” – officialdarlin

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

FIERCE LGBTQ Couples Are Sharing How They Met And It’s The Sweetest Thing

Fierce

FIERCE LGBTQ Couples Are Sharing How They Met And It’s The Sweetest Thing

Charles McQuillan / Getty

As we highlight Pride month, we wanted to share beautiful stories of LGBTQ+ love. To do so, we recently asked our FIERCE readers on Instagram to tell us how they met their partners and the results were not only hilarious but deeply inspiring.

Love is love and we love this kind of love.

Check it out!

The old slide in trick.

“I slid into the DMs.” – joanacanna

On their start to being ~educated latinas~

“My girlfriend and I met at the end of our first year of law school. She would say that I curved her for a few months before we became close. Almost three years later, we are both attorneys and looking forward to where life takes us.” – legalricanmujer

These two lovers who met while pushing for a joint interest

“We met in boot camp! 10 years ago (we’ve been together 2 /1/2 years, married 1 yr.” –hey_itsaj18

Chicas who started out on the same path and stuck together.

“We met in Nursing school we graduated together. That was 4 years ago, she’s a psychiatric nurse and I’m a geriatric nurse.” – m_a_r_i_a__j_o_h_a_n_n_a

They found love in a pandemic place.

Love in the time of Corona, thanks to Hinge!” – bienvenidarealidad__

Turns out the internet is the ultimate matchmaker.

“On the HER app. The same day she liked my profile she ended up coming into my job. I saw her but she didn’t see me. I ended up messaging her that night when I got off of work & we have been inseparable ever since. 3 years later and everyday I fall in love with her over & over again.” – _yourfavoritepoet_

And this is the most hilarious one of all.

“My wife @chulaworldand I were both seeing the same guy (total 🐶) …… so when we found out about each other we met up! And we have LITERALLY been inseparable ever since. Married on 4/20/19.” –bunuelitas

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com