Immigrants and the American Dream: The Assumptions About Immigrans in the US

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Everyone has a dream they grow up in hopes to achieve. The American dream, is a term used to describe an American’s hope of living in comfort and being able to provide for their children. The American dream can also longed for by people who are not from America. Immigrants from countries like Mexico and Iraq, are searching for their own version of the American dream. This topic can be controversial, because some immigrants are coming to America illegally in search for a better life. Some Americans are convinced that their reasoning for immigrating illegally justifies their actions. Most immigrants come to America to escape something evil in their home country like gang violence. This leads us to ask the question are native-born Americans and immigrants searching for the same American dream? Due to difficult circumstances like deportation, low pay, that makes goals hard to achieve, the idea of the American dream has a different meaning to an immigrant then a native born American.

Immigrants and native born Americans have different goals, because they are given different limitations and opportunities. In the article, “Which American dream do you mean?” the writer talks about why immigrants typically only work in places with a low pay roll. Employers would rather hire immigrants because they are desperate for work and will work longer for a low price. Some of America’s greatest projects like the Hoover dam, were built mainly by immigrants who would endoor the hard labor and risk their lives doing dangerous jobs for little pay. It is more efficient for employers to hire immigrants because they can be paid less than the cost of reproducing their labor, (David Stoll, “Which American Dream Do You Mean?”). The effect of this problem is immigrants are forced into situations where it is extremely difficult, almost impossible to work their way up in the workplace, or even social status. Immigrants are looking for any kind of payment, they surrender easily to low wages and long working hours with little to no vacation days. They are so eager to make a stable income that it ends up working against them. While researching this issue, David Stoll gives reader a better understanding of why low paying jobs are unfair and hard to avoid. Stoll writes “Even if many immigrants are hard workers who deserve a break, large low-wage migration streams undermine wage structures, (“Which American Dream Do You Mean?”). When immigrants are not paid well, they are restricted from accessing things like a higher education that could help them earn a better job or a raise. This alone keeps them down, making it harder for them to achieve their American dream. A native-born’s American dream might be to own a business, for an immigrant it is simply just to have a stable job and a home to live in.

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Immigrants coming to America legally or illegally are all searching for the same things, safety and stability for their children. Simple things like buying a home becomes difficult one is from a foreign country. Vincent Parrillo explains why illegal immigration is vital to certain people’s survival in his article, “The immigrant family: Securing the American Dream.” Parrillo says “For many violence, prescription, depression, or poverty, encircled lives but they demanded something better they dreamed of freedom and opportunity”(“The immigrant family: Securing the American Dream.”). Most immigrants fled their countries due to gang violence near their homes, many mothers come to America illegally with their children in attempt to direct them down a better path, instead of the alternative which could be them joining the gang themself for protection. An immigrant mother’s biggest hope for their lives in America is safety and opportunity for their children. In a another article, Sue Kirchhoff provides the reader with staggering statistics about the home ownership of immigrants. Only half of immigrants own homes compared to 70% of those born in the USA, (“Immigrants cheese American dream”). This is because a lot of immigrants come to America illegally, which makes it harder for them to get mortgages because they need to have key things like a Social Security number which you can only get it when you are a US citizen. This forces immigrants to take illegal action like making fake social security numbers to continue life in America undocumented. At this time staying in America, is almost as challenging as making a life there if you came here illegally.

Today, Immigration in America can be quite the controversial topic. Many Americans have negative assumptions about people from foreign countries ike “all immigrants are terrorists,” but it has been proven that illegal immigrants do not commit crimes as often as people think, because they are in fear of being deported. Kirchhoff explains to the reader why immigrants are targets for deportation, “Some images backdoor methods to edge into the market, breaking the law and making them target for exploitation,” Kirchhoff, (“Immigrants Chase American Dream”). Immigrants can often face discrimination or other social setbacks due to the risks they take to stay in America. David Stoll also explains in his article, Which American Dream?, that deportees can be deported a while after they already have established a stable life in America. Stoll believes the deportees are usually people who have already made their lives in the United States, and they have many relatives friends and employers feel their human rights have been violated, (“Which American Dream Do You Mean?”). Immigrants come to America illegally because it is difficult and takes a lot longer to enter legally and get a visa. Sometimes the reason for a foreigner to immigrate can not wait for a chance to legally enter. Although illegal immigration might not be right, sometimes it is peoples only choice. When it comes to survival, or the protection of one’s kids, sometimes the goal is worth the risk.

Even though America is seen as a country of freedom and inspiration, sometimes not everyone is rewarded with equal opportunity. Obstacles like the fear of deportation, low paying jobs, and difficulty finding housing and citizenship, are what separate and an immigrant’s idea of the American dream from a native born. American born citizens are gifted with citizenship and a fresh start that isn’t always obtainable by outsiders. Even though everyone is striving for the same goal, there might not always be the same level of achievement. It is important to appreciate one’s advantages in life, because others might struggle to the achieve something that is so simple to another due to factors they can’t control. Certain people are put in environments that make it difficult for them seize the moment, while other people with advantages over them are able to achieve the same goal without the same resistance. In the end this only makes the American dream twice as valuable. The immigrants who work for the American dream and achieve it deserve it because of there hard work and ability to preserve. 

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