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Through the perspective of individuals who reside in countries that are outside of the United States, they look at the United States as the “Land of the free” and prosperity. The question that we should really be asking ourselves is, ” Are we in the position to the blame them”? As you may know, today the United States is regarded as the number one global economic leader. The United States is known for its mixed economy. A mixed economy is an economic system in which contains elements of both a free market and market economy. When you are an outsider looking in, it is obvious to misinterpret the reality of a situation. In the eyes of immigrants, they looked at America as the opportunity seeking land, but they faced the all time reality when they experienced it for themselves.
According, to the Migration Policy Institute, As of 2016 forty-three million seven hundred thousand immigrants reside in the United States which accounts for the total of the three hundred twenty-three million one hundred thousand United States population. People migrate to America seeking both political and religious freedom. Since, America protects the rights of its citizens through government laws and the constitution, many looks upon us as the ideal place to live. Our nation continues to be a kaleidoscope of ethnic and cultural groups which causes us to be referred to as the “melting pot” of the world. This is so because for every individual that comes here, they bring along their culture, religion, and ethnicity. What is most widely embraced by American’s is culture.
Culture is a certain custom or belief that makes an individual unique. In addition. A person’s culture is known to be in relation to where they grew up as well as their relationship to their family. When immigrants come to the United States and start settling into their environment they begin to unravel their culture and share it with people around them. To embrace the cultures of everyone who lives in America there are many activities such as marches, parades and food festivities. Some of which are keenly depicted through towns like, Little Italy and Chinatown It is within these places that you can find popular Asian or European goods that you could not find anywhere else.
Much like every human action possible, everything happens for reason. With this being said, all immigrants come to America with a certain prerogative. Every year, hundreds of thousands of immigrants from all around the world those of whom are either illegal or legal come in search of a better life. Often this prerogative is to live in freedom to practice their religion, escape oppression and create a better life for themselves as well as their family. A primary reason why most residents of other countries emigrate from their homeland is due to poor living conditions, low economic development, poor sanitation, high poverty, absence of a healthcare system and so much more. Living conditions outside of the United States are extremely different, especially in third world countries. Still to this day, people do not have proper housing. Yes, they may have somewhere to call home but, in reality it’s not to the exact expectations it should be. The first thing that most immigrants look at when on the verge of making a move is finding somewhere known and has a reputation in the world. Due to America’s success in the economy this often serves as attraction.
What attracts people to come to America is the simple fact that since our economy is the leading economy in the world, it’s portrayed as if we have better opportunities, lifestyles, and stability. However, they fail to see is that everything comes with price. The expectation they usually have prior to their entry to the United States is partly due to all the pleasant things they hear about America from the media, which are usually sugar coated. What is often implanted into everyone’s head is the whole idea of the “American Dream”. The “American Dream” is known to be an ideal that every United States citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination and initiative. A popular idea formulated by the American Dream says that children should grow up and receive a good education and career without any artificial barriers. Meanwhile the high aspect of achievement that anyone ever accomplishes when it comes to the American Dream is not being discriminated by their class, religion, race or ethnicity. Having that immigrants already have this idea in their mind that America is this land of opportunity and has this goal achieving platform, they feel as though moving here has already successfully completed this first step and they are closer to obtaining a better life.
A pure representation of the “American Dream” is accentuated in Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. In the novel, the idea of the American Dream is supposed to represent independence and free will, in addition to having the ability to make something of yourself. This is more accentuated in someone who starts on the low economic level and who is working toward wealth. The main lesson or goal here is to depict that anyone who works hard enough can be successful in their own work. Eventually,the truth unravels to be that there is no such thing as the American Dream but corruption and selfishness. The desire for something ultimately causes people to turn into someone their not and results in a negative outcome.
The ultimate hardship that almost every immigrant faces when going into the job market is having a direct skillset or the educational component related for the job that they apply for. The base requirement for every job here in the United States is the completion of High School and a diploma or it’s equivalent a GED. It is evident that in most cases the level of schooling that you completed in your home country is not to the standards. This leads to an extreme downfall, and that step that you think you made to achieving to what you believe “The American Dream” was not one forward, but backward.
Due to the fact that most immigrants who come here are not qualified to work, they are forced to take jobs that an average American looks down on. Their jobs are often janitorial, maid, personal assistants, delivery or construction jobs, The negative impacts of these jobs are that they fail to come with support from the government, you will never know if you’re being underpaid for your services, or if you’re being taken advantage of in the workplace. Most importantly, another aspect of American life that is relatively new to a recent immigrant is the amount of household bills you have to pay for a living. As long as you live in the United States, there is a price for literally everything you encounter.
It is clear that in different countries there are not as many rules and stipulations regarding what you have to pay for in order to keep your home. The main bills that are enforced would be for your electricity, a phone bill, car payment or grocery. This is a rather new encounter to someone who has never been introduced to such responsibility and often times it will strike as a burden. So, not only are you on the search for a well paying job, but how to maintain your monthly payments, how to support your family and provide for them when their in need.
In addition to this, a hardship that every immigrant encounters when they are employed is ostracization by society. Most people look down on immigrants for working because they feel almost threatened, which is not necessarily fair. Theoretically speaking, the people who migrated to this nation came here with a specific agenda. They were tired of their living conditions and wanted a change for the better. An American who was privileged enough to receive an appropriate education, has human rights and has the opportunity to fulfill anything they put their mind to should not look down on someone who is trying to better their life.
The ultimate wake up call for many immigrants is the idea that “the grass is not always greener on the other side”. In order to prosper in America you literally have to work until your last breath. There are so many ongoing responsibilities and bills that you have to pay in order to survive here. Yes, it may seem like America offers you a different life and liberation but it does have a toll on you eventually. Our Nation offers so many opportunities and allows you to embrace yourself, but it’s better to know what you’re getting yourself into before jumping ahead.

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