A Mexican-American veteran who left the US for a better life

A Mexican-American veteran introduced himself to me on a train from Oberschleißheim to Nűrnberg Germany in 2004. He heard me speak English during a mobile phone call and struck up a conversation. I asked him how he came to live in Germany.

He was born in Mexico, came to the US and won his citizenship through military service during which he spent time in Germany and understood the German systems for employment and social benefits.

After his military service, He returned to Los Angeles, married and had two young children. He worked at a union job with Federal Express.

After considering the cost and uncertainty of being American, the cost of healthcare and the cost of educating his children in the US he decided to emigrate from the US to Germany.

His American union and the German union had a reciprocal arrangement in which he was guaranteed a job if he applied to Federal Express Germany. He would have to wait a year because the union hired in order of application, and a year’s worth of applicants stood before him.

It is a little easier to get a residency permit in Germany than in the US. With the union’s support, little more is required than proof of health insurance and employment and no record of a felony conviction presented at the town hall. His confirmed application to Federal Express and union membership met the residency permit requirements.

He moved to Germany. During his one year wait for employment he and his family took German as a second language courses.

Immigration to Germany availed him to an equivalent job, real pension benefits, 6 weeks vacation, free college education for his children and a healthcare system that costs less than half of what it costs in the US and according to the CDC produces a greater longevity than the US where the Bundestag (Germany’s congress) would never repeal health insurance. Maybe he had more modest aspirations, like family and security, compared to his fellow Mexican-American Trump supporter and real estate developer, Marco Gutierrez. Esquire reported that Gutierrez lost his real estate license because of his business practices.

Given the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, and the Trump cabinet appointments, my Mexican-American acquaintance must feel he made a good decision.

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