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Tbag's avatar

Would you still travel to the U.S. if you were me?

Asked by Tbag (3325points) September 18th, 2017

As someone who was born and raised in a Muslim country in the Middle-East, traveling to the United States for me now is something that is filled with hesitation, fear and insult because of Trump. Some of the things I’ve heard or read aren’t exactly the nicest things you hear. Some of you may know that I completed my Masters Degree in Norway and I had solid plans for traveling to the U.S to kick-start my career there. I do have family there in New Jersey and I’m in limbo because I have this fear of being turned away or just having a hard time getting in. In a way, it’s my second home because I stayed there for a while. At the moment, I’m just weighing my options. If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

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16 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

You’re going to do fine here.

Muad_Dib's avatar

You’ll be fine in Jersey. I’d avoid Alabama, but I recommend that to everyone.

Zaku's avatar

I’d talk to my family/friends/others about their experiences in the part of the US I was planning to live, asking about their worst experiences, and then use my gut in considering my options.

The larger urban and coastal cities tend to be much less xenophobic than the rural interior and southern USA, but there are still some xenophobes in all corners. My guess is that you would be fine in New Jersey, the northern half of the urban East Coast, or almost anyplace on the West Coast, but might have some individual bad experiences if you meet crazy xenophobes. Also US Customs and TSA can be annoying to practically anyone, even as a US Citizen of European descent.

I might also try a visit to try it out before committing to moving.

Personally, I prefer Europe anyway, so if I could stay there, that would tend to be my personal choice, although I know there can be some prejudice and insane xenophobes there as well.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Plenty of people from the middle east settle here in Tennessee and Alabama. There is some prejudice but it’s nothing like you are lead to believe on the media.

josie's avatar

My girlfriend was born and raised in a Muslim country in the Middle East and she does great here. Plus I think she’s fabulous, and I am a tough audience.
For what it is worth….

Tropical_Willie's avatar

This is sort of like talk with your relatives, but also reach out to the local Islamic Center for networking for jobs.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The OP never mentioned he was an islamist.

JLeslie's avatar

I live in America, and if I were you I wouldn’t worry about it at all. Do you wear western clothing when traveling? If so even less need to worry. But, even if your clothing isn’t western I still think you’ll be fine.

What parts of the US are you planning on visiting? Or, I guess maybe you are wanting to see about living here. There might be a few small corners to avoid, but I would avoid them too.

If your profile photo is actually you, you’re good looking, very approachable, and look as American as a lot of people I know.

CWOTUS's avatar

Contrary to popular depictions in various media (including, too often, our own) we are not generally a nation of gun-totin’, rootin’, tootin’ maniacs… as a rule. There’s a few in every crowd, I suppose. In my own experience, the legal gun-toters are law-abiding (because they have to be; illegal brandishing or use of firearms is one of the quickest ways to arrest in this country). For that reason, again as a rule, the illegal gun-toters are even more polite, because they don’t want to be found out. And that’s because illegal possession of a firearm is, if anything, even more dangerous for the carrier.

If you should happen to encounter one of the exceptions, then the wisest course here, as elsewhere in the world, is to defuse the situation, back away with eyes open, and seek public areas with calmer heads. Don’t engage the trolls, in other words.

In general, I think that anyone who can interact on Fluther with the various types and opinions to be found here, and not engage in flame wars or banning (of either party) should do just fine in most of the USA. In most of the world, in fact. But I can’t speak for “all of the USA”, just as I can’t speak for “all of the world”.

And while Trump’s politics may strike fear into all or most who listen to him, we don’t all abide by the ravings of ANY politician. Enjoy your trip. And I concur: Alabama is a generally nice place to visit.

Politeness goes a long way.

Tbag's avatar

Ah thank you all for the kind responses.
@JLeslie I wear western clothing all the time. And yes, that that’s me right there in the profile photo. If anything, I was thinking New Jersey to start off with then see about living there. @CWOTUS “Politness goes a long way” <= I’m tweeting that.

janbb's avatar

Do you need a Visa to get in? I would look into whether you will have a problem getting in but if I’m reading you right, you will be coming from Norway? What country is your passport from?

I live in New Jersey and there have been bias crimes here – mainly swastikas – but not mostly anti-Muslim and not many. It is a multi-cultural state and the vast majority are very tolerant. We are probably less tolerant of New York summer people than other ethnicities!

JLeslie's avatar

Can you take a few weeks and travel a bit and see some of the different regions of the country?

Tbag's avatar

@janbb I already left Norway. My passport is from Bahrain. I’ll have a look if there’s a lot of hassle with getting into the US. Thanks!
@JLeslie I currently do not have the financial means to travel to different regions you know? New Jersey would be a good start I suppose though.

JLeslie's avatar

Are you coming on a tourist visa initially? If the visa is given to you, which I believe shouldn’t be a problem, then I think traveling here shouldn’t be a problem. How does it work from your country, do you have to apply well before traveling to the US?

What was your area of study?

Tbag's avatar

@JLeslie Initially yes, it’ll be on a tourist visa. About seven years ago I’ve been given a visa for 5 years. I do not think it’ll be a problem but you never know. I have to apply pretty early which isn’t exactly a problem and the process isn’t that complicated to be honest from my own experience.
My area of study is mainly logistics and transportation with a speciliazation in Maritime commercial management!

JLeslie's avatar

Sounds like a great specialization.

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