+162 It's okay to assume someone is an immigrant. amirite?

by Anonymous 4 months ago

The reason people are offended by this in the US is because of who asks and what the implication is. I am a white American, I have not once, in my whole life had someone assume I was an immigrant in America. But my husband who was born here also? People assume all the time that he's an immigrant because he is Mexican and he's also of course gotten his fair share of "go back to where you came from". Another thing that I have personally seen happen is someone asking where a person is from and when they say something like "Nebraska" the follow up question is "but where are you from". White people in America do not generally get asked if they're immigrants unless they have an accent. But I personally know non white people who have been told things like "you're English is really good where are you from" despite them being native speakers. There's a lot of anti immigrant sentiment here in America and it's closely tied to racism. I would consider learning more about that before telling people they should be okay with what someone else assumes of them, even if you're fine with it.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

My dad is a British immigrant who no longer has a British accent and people are shocked to find out he wasn't born here. He's also heard such delightful sentiments as "that doesn't count" when people are talking about how they feel about immigrants. Wonder why…

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Yep. I'm a white immigrant and people have stood right in front of me saying how it's immigrations fault that the country is going down hill, "they" are taking all the housing, and "they" are taking jobs. Not me of course though, I'm not really one of those apparently.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I'm sure you're one of the good ones /s

by Anonymous 5 months ago

My cousin is a white (passing I guess) immigrant and yeah this happens to her too. She also gets, "oh you don't look [insert her nationality]" too.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Partner is irish and he says people are sometimes a little too open about their real opinions about immigrant in front of him. When he reminds them that he is also an immigrant they get all flustered and give some version of "well, I don't mean you." Like... yeah, buddy we know you're referring to non-white people. A lot of anti immigration sentiment is just coded racism.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Exactly, no one ever assumes I, a white man, am an immigrant but my ethnically Korean and definitely from Kansas girlfriend deals with that crap all the time; it's racist.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

We all know Kansas isn't real, definitely from Oz

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I mean still doesn't explain how Arkansas ends with -saw.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

My dad is an immigrant, but he lost his accent by college and tends to get grouped in with the whole "typical middle aged white man" crowd. On the other hand, his father never lost his accent and kept his thick Eastern European accent and often flipped between English and his native language

by Anonymous 5 months ago

This reminds me a of a comedy bit. The comedian was Asian I think? and the joke was something like "where are you from"…. "Wisconsin"… "oh okay… but where are your parents from?" …."my mom is from Idaho and my dads from Wisconsin" Oddly enough, I'm a white American and people actually do assume I'm an immigrant often due to my complexion, but they're usually Latinx. I've actually had the where are you from… where are your parents from conversation in Spanish and in English several times in my life due to the diversity of the area I live in 😂😂😂 Eta: in the political climate after our last president it's actually potentially dangerous to be identified an immigrant, so imo assuming someone's an immigrant can also imply "illegal" and lead to hate crimes or ICE sweeps.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Just say Latino

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Please!

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Did you just say latinx? 🤮🤮🤮

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I'm a brown dude whose father is from Iowa and mother is from Wisconsin. I grew up in Nebraska - though I don't live there anymore.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Was it you?!?!?!

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I have sort of the reverse - ethnically Asian but parents worked in the US for a year when I was a kid, so I did one year of elementary school there and picked up on the local accent. Many years later I'm back in the US for university, and every single international person of my ethnicity assume that I'm Asian American, because I *don't* have a strong Asian accent when speaking English xD Most of them literally get a shock when I speak the native language lol

by Anonymous 5 months ago

They would if you had a slight accent. You can be completely a U.S. national and have an accent because you grew up when your parents were expats. Don't feed this fragile crap.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

As a brown dude from Nebraska, who's of Indian ethnicity, I've gotten that question a lot.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

White people get to use the word "expat" instead when they move to a different country. Ugh.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

An "expat" is not the same thing I feel…typically an expat is someone who is living abroad temporarily and an immigrant is someone who is living in that country permanently. That's how I've always viewed it anyway.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I was an expat when I was working abroad on a 2 year contract in a country I couldn't legally immigrate to if I wanted to (I would if I could). I wasn't an immigrant nor a citizen. I don't see why expat is a bad word to use per se.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

That's absolutely correct.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Ex-pat means "skilled worker not seeking citizenship and intending to return to country of origin" It's not exclusive to a skin color. Common misconception but still a misconception >An expatriate is a person who resides outside their native country. The term often refers to a professional or skilled worker who intends to return to their country of origin. However, it may also refer to retirees, artists and other individuals who have chosen to live outside their native country

by Anonymous 5 months ago

So a…migrant worker.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

No, otherwise that term would be used. A migrant worker could be unskilled and could be seeking permanent residence/citizenship An ex-pat is usually skilled and not seeking permanent residence or citizenship. That's why it's handy that the two terms exist, so we can convey those distinctions succinctly... For example skilled Indian IT workers on temporary visas in California who intend to return to India are Indian ex-pats.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Also many expats are retirees

by Anonymous 5 months ago

It's not just white people. My Indian gf recently moved to the Netherlands and she joined lots of Indian "expat groups" on Facebook. People love to assume everything white people do is racist, huh?

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Nope-not race based but travel based.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Just to be clear, the people of most countries hold anti-immigrant sentiment. That is not unique to the US by any measure and is human nature.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Exactly. Japanese people can be quite racist towards "foreigners" and you'll always be a "foreigner" if you weren't born there.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

True. I heard about it and when I went to Japan, I didn't notice it at first because I can pass for East Asian, esp Japanese, but in a restaurant in Osaka, I was refused service when they realized I wasn't a local. It was embarrassing af

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Usually they also somehow can sniff people trying to blend in from a mile away. I don't know how they do it, and you can be speaking fluent Japanese.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

According to white people who are born there, you're still considered foreign as long as you aren't ethnically Japanese.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

This answer is so obvious to all immigrants to a western country that it makes OP's voiced ignorance around this quite unpleasant

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Yup. When I worked retail, I'd get asked a couple times an hour. (I'm white but I have a speech impediment people think is an accent) When I would respond Iowa, the responses were generally I was lying, asking where I originally was from, asking where my parents were from, or just "really??". I started making up countries instead or claiming countries that made no sense. It was more entertaining that way

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Can I ask what your impediment is

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Elbonia!

by Anonymous 5 months ago

If he was born in America he is american, not mexican. I was born in México, I AM mexican :)

by Anonymous 5 months ago

this\^mexican is not a race, it's a nationality, also a culture, but if you weren't raised here, you don't have the culture, you probably celebrate freaking May 5th along with the other clowns, and you barely speak the language, Damn!, even people with USA parents who went to mexican public school are more mexican than you.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Why do you call him a Mexican since he is American? Yourself are calling him an immigrant and denying his full citizenship. Call him American or US-an.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I'm white and I've grown up in the south. I've been asked where I'm from more times than I can count over the years the second someone hears/sees my very foreign name. My parents often get asked as well and so do many other friends of mine also from my home country. We're all white as well and don't have accents. But I do get where you're coming from and what you're saying.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

In a predominantly white country, how is it shocking that people assume someone who is non-white is an immigrant? If I moved to India (where my girlfriend is from), I would fully expect people to assume I'm an immigrant before they even speak to me, because there's a decent chance based on appearance that I am. Also, if I hear a white person with a Polish accent where I live, I assume they are an immigrant. Assuming someone is an immigrant isn't even a negative assumption. There's nothing wrong with being an immigrant. I don't get this obsession with trying to paint the US as some super racist country where non-white people aren't welcome. Sure there is racism there like everywhere else. But most non-Western countries are at least as racist and definitely have no qualms assuming you're foreign.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

i agree but if someone assumes your husband is an immigrant but is obviously not being an asshole would you still be offended?

by Anonymous 5 months ago

You just said your husband is Mexican and your mad people assume that? The thing about white Americans is most have no idea where they came from because they are 6+ generations deep and so mixed that it's a stupid question, and also quite obvious that it was Europe somewhere. Meanwhile how many individual brown people do you know that are a mix of 5+ different countries? Of course the go back from where you came from is not acceptable, but white people just trying to start up conversation with good intentions get a lot of hate. Meanwhile white Americans have to deal with all sorts of ignorance from immigrants too.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I'm Caucasian and got asked that as people assumed I'm from Russia and the guy asking was Polynesian. Various ethnicities under the White label get asked that all the time.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Heh half of Americans are children of immigrants anyway, whites included. They don't get asked where they're really from now do they?

by Anonymous 5 months ago

As a person on a student visa I asked most people in the US about thier roots other than the African Americans who mostly said they didn't know. I live in a multicultural country too with many migrants from 3-4 generations ago. I can see how it's offensive though depending on context and tone. Given the implication that you're not a national just because of the color of your skin.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

It's mainly about the way it's been asked. Seeing someone and asking about their ethnicity is mostly fine. Asking them where they're from implying they're not local because they look different isn't. It's not always done in a malicious way but it comes across rude.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

In America is a pretty stupid question to ask someone, and usually never directed at white People.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

It's also usually not directed at black people either, it's aimed at people of ethnicities that are more likely to be immigrants…

by Anonymous 5 months ago

As a black American I wish somebody would ask me where I'm really from so I can say "slavery" 🤣

by Anonymous 5 months ago

where are you really from?

by Anonymous 5 months ago

My dad's balls! Heehee

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Ahahahaha Thank you for that. The next time someone asks me where I came from, I'm going to respond with, "my mom's uterus!"

by Anonymous 5 months ago

My ancestors hail from the plantations of Galveston, Texas. The last place in the country to abolish slavery

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I read this with hay in my mouth & a cowboy-ish accent. I tip my hat to ya

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Dude I'll be in Galveston tomorrow. Never been there before. My slaveholding ancestors never made it as far south as Texas.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

As an immigrant in North America (Canada but close enough) I sometimes feel a little bummed that more people don't ask me. I speak English like a champ. Back in the day when people used to ask, I'd tell them and it was usually followed by them being mindblown by how native my English sounds, and that alone would impress them. Now no one asks and so I get less compliments. Give me more compliments.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Wow your English is spectacular

by Anonymous 5 months ago

No staaaaaahhppp :)

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Yeah man, you English GOOD

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Quebec IS pretty far away. All the way in France.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

It surely depends entirely on *why* you're assuming it? If someone is clearly speaking in their second language or something to that effect its obviously fine. Same as assuming someone is from the south because they've got a southern accent. I dont think anyone's got a problem with that? But if you just look at someone and assume they weren't born in the country because of how they look, or assume someone's direct nationality with little information (think like saying Chinese when you mean Asian), it becomes a problem.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I don't really mind a quick where are you from but so many people continue to ask so many questions after that initial one. They proceed to ask why we moved here. When I reply with we came here as refugees because of a war in my home country. They then ask what the war was about. I tell them there was a genocide. They then ask why. And it just continues until they feel like they've received enough information. And it often makes the conversation very sad and solemn. I wish after the where are you from they'd end it and just say oh cool and move on but they rarely do.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

If it helps, some people like learning about cultures from the locals. I'm one of these that like to ask questions, but it isn't to be annoying or anything, I just like learning about other people and places. I will notice if I seem to be annoying you and I'll apologize and go on with my day. It's like, tall people get all those goofy jokes about how the weather is up there, but they've heard them tons of times and the fake, awkward laugh must get annoying to do.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Asking "where are you from?" is okay Asking "but where are you REALLY from?" is plain rude and stupid. People would have told you their origin when you ask "where are you from" if they want to. If they don't want to, it's none of your business.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

It's not offensive to ask, it's offensive to keep pushing it. "Where are you from?" "Boston" "No I mean originally" "... Boston?" "No, I mean like, where did your family come from?" "...... Boston." Like come on man take a hint

by Anonymous 5 months ago

"So why the Cockney accent?"

by Anonymous 5 months ago

"BECAUSE I'M A FACKIN' GEEZER, INIT?"

by Anonymous 5 months ago

CAN YA SMAAHT PAAHK?!

by Anonymous 5 months ago

It's okay to ASK. But don't assume. Once someone assumed I was an immigrant because I'm not white (was a white town) and assumed I didn't speak English. I was born in Canada my English is fluent.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

When someone asked me if I'm from India I was offended. Yes I'm Indian. But I'm American. So don't assume I'm an immigrant. Thanks. lol I don't know why it just offends me. Especially cuz I was born here and I don't have an accent.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Making assumptions about a person based on their race or ethnicity is never ok.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Funny, this reminded me of this time I went to a coworker's bday party and his immigrant wife asked one of my other coworkers where they were from. Dude goes "Uh, Boyle Heights" and she goes "No, like originally, where were you born?" Mildly annoyed, he said "I was born there, at Women's & Children's hospital; LA County." Before her embarrassed ass said another word, I said "Life Pro Tip: if you ever meet someone who's Native American, don't ask them this - because they too won't sound like your husband" (White)

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Why...are you also asking random strangers where they're from? Otherwise, this wouldn't come up then.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I think this depends on where you're from/the culture you're used to. Very normal to ask people where they're from where I live - extremely diverse area with transplants from all over. I get asked this often as well & I'm blue eyed & white - it's friendly conversation when you're in a situation with someone where polite conversation is expected. I guess you could ask them their favorite color but that seems a bit juvenile.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Accent or perceived accent, maybe? I have a significant speech impediment and I'm constantly getting asked by customers where I'm from because they think I have an accent.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I don't see how that's a bad question to ask *if you don't push it when your expectations aren't met*.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

\>be me \>be filled with hate and resentment for my community \>Never respond to random hi's or hello's \>Never make small talk with the store clerk \>Over time people learn to avoid you "Damn racists, why are they so hateful for no reason!"

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I think there is a difference between everywhere else saying "oh where do you come from" and America's "Go back to where you come from". Might be the reason for the hostility.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

The hostility is becuase the question "where are you really from" is meant to put people in a box based on their skin color, forgetting that many people who look "ethnic" in America have no ties or values to their ancestral country. There is no reason to ask someone where they're really from other than the asker trying to fit them into a heuristic. And no one wants to be stereotyped into a caricature of a country they weren't even born into let alone don't identify with.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Yikes 😳

by Anonymous 5 months ago

So help me god, keep this civil.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

It's a white man's world.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Okay passport bro (derogatory)

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Were you immigrants though, or did you just live there?

by Anonymous 5 months ago

He was a murican in an "ermergrent country" is it?

by Anonymous 5 months ago

That's what an immigrant is lmao.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Totally fine imo, and I'm a child of Polynesian immigrants 👍

by Anonymous 5 months ago

i think it's because the way immigrants are treated in the US and also the way ppl ask. no one would care if they were asked if they were an immigrant if there wasn't an underlying negative treatment or stigma towards immigrants here.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

It's not okay because you don't know the identity of a second (or third-generation) child of immigrants. I'm an immigrant (Eastern Europe to the Netherlands), so I understand my accent and name are the reason to be asked where I'm from. My kids, however, won't be asked this because they will be white. Compare this to an immigrant from another ethnicity whose children (and their children) will be asked the same thing as someone who is first-generation. I'm not American, but in countries made up of immigrants, there is a very obvious double standard: no one will ask the white guy if his grandparents come from Scotland or France, but once you're not white, it's VERY important to know the country.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I immigrated once. It's how the question is asked that matters.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

It's never okay to assume anything. You can make educated guesses but never assume.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Assumptions.. are educated guesses

by Anonymous 5 months ago

...i don't think you know what the difference is lmaoo 💀

by Anonymous 5 months ago

The fact that you didn't elaborate means you didn't know either. But that's just an assumption

by Anonymous 5 months ago

User name checks out 🙄.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

If you think they are an immigrant just because they have a different skin color, yeah, that's bad. If you think they are an immigrant because they have a different accent, yeah, that's fine.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

The difference is that america is a melting pot. Other countries are generally homogenous.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Not really. Most of Europe is super diverse. The only places that I went to that weren't were the small Eastern European countries and that was a few years ago so not sure if that's even the case anymore. But most Schengen countries and England have a lot of racial and ethnic diversity.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

As long as you continue to acknowledge that it's an assumption and don't let it change your behavior towards or perception of that person, sure.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

Until recent times North America was predominantly White so it is natural that non-Whites were considered foreigners.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

It's okay to ask someone where they're from, just at least be respectful about it. As a Native American who is constantly being labeled as ‘Mexican' or ‘Hispanic' based of the first glance, it does get really irritating when people just assume though. I've had people come up to me and start speaking Spanish and it's the most awkward feeling ever.

by Anonymous 5 months ago

I love when people ask me where I'm from, so I can tell them my story. I hate, when they say "Are you from Russia?" That's not the only country in Middle/East Europe.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

I only assume someone is an immigrate when I hear that English isn't their first language or the do something than no one born in the us would do otherwise how the hell would I know I see to many people of every race for that to be an assumption

by Anonymous 4 months ago

I think you're lying, you're actually an immigrant

by Anonymous 4 months ago

.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

I'm native american and was born in Nevada and I've been told to go back to my own country so many times . it is offensive when someone assumes youre immigrant based on skin and hair color alone

by Anonymous 4 months ago

As long as it's friendly, I love asking and being asked. Im American and my boyfriend is Colombian and we live in Colombia together. Since I am a minority here, I always ask where other foreign-looking people are from, just to strike up conversation, possibly in English!

by Anonymous 4 months ago

What life do you live? I mean, seriously. I have to wonder about these "opinions" and how much of that is because of the internet and how little it has to do with your actual life.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

I have nothing against immigrants - as long as they are Legal immigrants & I don't assume that anyone is an immigrant I am an immigrant, (I am an American but I have not lived in the US for a long time), I immigrated to another country & had to go through the process of becoming a legal resident as the laws require. I have had too many people ask me if I was from another country as it is / was obvious I was not a local. Each time that I moved to another country I had to go through the process again just to obtain the right to live in that country. I once had a job offer in Mexico & had signed the employment contract and the stipulation was that I would start working once the Mexican Govt. approved my work visa - the visa was not approved and the reason was that the Mexican Govt. wanted a Mexican citizen to fill the position vs. a foreigner, fair enough, I had no rebuttal to this so the employment offer was rescinded. The country I currently live in has recently started experiencing a flood of illegal immigrants coming in & the locals do not appreciate that in the least bit. This is not an issue that only effects the US, most of the people that I have met through the years of not living in the US while residing in other countries feel the same way about illegal immigration.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

Well I guess it depends on how you frame the question. If you ask someone, "where are you from", I see no issue. But if you just blatantly ask someone, "Are you an immigrant?", then I can understand why someone might get offended by that.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

Why though? Im not from the US but I cant see how that would be an insult.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

The US is a hotpot of different races so spotting an immigrant based on appearance alone is harder than in a place like China or Norway. Usually the people assuming someone is an immigrant is doing it from a racist perspective. Mexicans get harassed and accused of being illegal immigrates all the time, but no one would assume the white person is an immigrant unless they had an accent. "Where are you from" is a less loaded question since it doesn't immediately assume you're a foriegner.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

It's becuase America does a great job of allowing you "American-ness" even if you're an immigrant, whereas very few other countries do that. I.e. if you're from India and move to America, you're readily welcomed and seen as American as long as you want to identify as such. And that's such a powerful and good thing. Pretty much no other country does this - you're Indian in Ireland? You're a foreigner. You're Indian in Australia? You're a foreigner. America gives ready acceptance and inclusion, so after that is given, it's rude to continue to ask them where someone is from becuase it assumes exclusion.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

The people who take offense at the "where are you from" question are usually second gen (i.e. born to immigrant parents). First gen immigrants are by definition not from the US so the question makes sense to them and they're usually delighted to have the conversation. 3rd+ gen are secure enough in their American-ness to not care. It's the 2nd gen who have a complex about their identity.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

People in Japan get offended also. It's a different can of worms though because if you are not "pure blood" Japanese you will stand out like a sore thumb. Even if you are Eastern Asian or half Japanese by heritage. (This is even more hilarious with "pure" Japanese that actually weren't born and raised in Japan, especially when they don't speak the language.) The tone is different though. Japanese people usually ask out of curiosity. Expats on the other hand... they are trying to gatekeep the country as much as the right wing. Anyway. I am still slightly offended when somebody asks me when I will go "home". Dude, I live here, my life and assets are here, and I want to get citizenship. My citizenship country doesn't want me. This is my home and end of story. With Japanese, it usually sparks an interesting conversation afterwards, but I still feel there are better ways to ask this question.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

I find that if you wit for there to be an obvious tell that someone is an immigrant, then it goes better. For example, I never ask people where they're from. I ask where their *accent* is from. And I do that to those with "american" accents too.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

People in the US get offended for every little thing TBH

by Anonymous 4 months ago

It really depends on the situation and the connotations tbh.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

It is ok to assume in the sense that 100% of people in the US that are not indigenous got there by immigration or forced removal from their own home land.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

This is definitely a US thing. In the real world people rarely mind being asked where they're from.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

Yes, sometimes politeness becomes a sort of haughty refusal to accept reality. It's okay to speak about what your eyes see sometimes.

by Anonymous 4 months ago

I mean, not if it's rude. That's what the crux of this argument is. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. generation immigrants in America get tired of being asked where they're from. Becuase they're American, that's where they're from. Looking at someone who is not white and assuming they're not American is annoying and exclusionary.

by Anonymous 4 months ago