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How to Succeed in America?

Updated on November 8, 2017
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Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Jack has worked at IBM for over 28 years.


If I was a poor kid of 16 or so, how can I succeed in America? Interesting question that deserves an honest answer. Let me answer this with a fictional account. One that is more satire but sometimes, life is stranger than fiction.

- August 2016

What would I do?

First, I would renounce my US citizenship.

Next, I would travel to Mexico.

Then, I would sneak back to the US across the porous southern border.

If I was caught by the border patrol, I would be given a hearing court date and released.

Next, I would make my way to one of the over 100 sanctuary cities around the US such as San Francisco, the beautiful city by the bay.

I would find a cheap SRO to stay. I would get a job at a local McDonald's that pays $15 per hour. Even a salary of 8 or 9 dollars is fine in some cities.

I would be able to get a drivers license that is issued without ID.

I would attend night school and get my GED.

I would then be able to apply to out of state colleges that offer in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants. If I was really good, I may be able to graduate in four years with Magna Cum Laude and be chosen as the Valedictorian speaker. I would be able to get on stage and pronounce to the world how proud I am of being an undocumented alien.

I would get a scholarship to Harvard or Yale and live the American Dream...

Oh yes, I can vote in the elections without a photo id.

Map of Sanctuary Cities


How great is our country? We are so generous and caring and open to people from all walks of life. Who just want to come here and be a part of our American experience.

Wait, this must not be happening. In fact, it is a figment of my imagination. It can't happen because the kid could not have gotten into Mexico in the first placed. It turns out, Mexico has one of the strictest immigration laws. Who would have guessed?

© 2016 Jack Lee


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