Your Uber Driver Has a Masters Degree


Labeeba Shah Muneem

My dad has an honors and a  masters degree in political science and is a driver. It does not sound quite right but why is that?

High caliber people, who were previously very accomplished, come to America with the dream to reach the perfect life or just a better life, just to do some job that would not pay fairly nor treat them fairly. I know you have seen your store employees, street vendors, especially your drivers to be immigrants and it’s the same everywhere.


I think immigrants who are capable and educated should have the same job opportunities as any other. A chance to create a life that they deserve. People choose any kind of job after coming to the country, to make ends meet. People who know that, exploit them endlessly. Paying them unfairly low and forcing them to do dangerous work. Desperation drives people to do anything to make money and greedy people get away. The system should be changed in order to give competent immigrants fair job opportunities in their fields. For example, examining in the interviews to know their capabilities or making an order about evaluating certifications.  On the other hand, you can say that giving jobs to people who simply have a certificate does not make sense at all . That, it’s not the government’s role to accommodate everyone. But people who are born here or have a certification from this country, people who are coming from another land are not on the same footing. They don’t have the privilege to have their education recognized or seen as equal in the US.  It is the government’s responsibility  to enforce policies that benefit everyone.


Next, the government should have stricter control over employers that largely recruit immigrants. Fair contracts and conditions and pay alongside aid if they are being exploited.  My father once worked as a fruit seller, into the late night snowy blizzard of New York, without a break or a place to sit. All he did and went through was in the effort to support us, back in our home country.  It can be said that it is not the job of the government or the average employer to take proper care of their employees. Would you say the same thing to any white-collar worker on the upper side of Manhattan? Hence, everyone who works is deserving of equal treatment, even just as humans. The immigrant workers’ workplace should be properly regulated by the authorities.


Adding to my previous point, there should be much more solid laws and policies to protect the rights of the immigrant workers.Back to my father, in a blizzard he even wasn’t allowed to sit somewhere, per the orders of the boss. He worked 12+ hours a shift and had to desperately find a place to  just give his legs in his break. Published in The Annual Reviews, “They work for less pay, for longer hours, and in worse conditions than do non-immigrants and are often subject to human rights violations, abuse, human trafficking, and violence.” is proof.  Yeah, it can be because the work requires him to be on his feet continuously and it just comes with the job. But even your grocery employees, who as part of the job have to be on their feet, have strict laws to have their rights to breaks and overtime and good treatment. What is the difference between them now? Protecting workers and their rights is a big hole the government has to fill, and when they do it both workers and the community will prosper.


Changes cannot be made by one, only when numerous join the cause. So, as a community please raise your voice for the government to make these necessary changes. As for the government, they need to throw away rose tinted glasses to see the desperate situation and help those in need instead of their pockets. Why would you want your possible journalist to be driving an uber for a decade and never fulfilling their potential? Please urge your lawmakers to do the right thing.