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Life of a New Immigrant in United States

Updated on October 17, 2010

"What is the American Dream?"

                                          "What is the American Dream?"

     Many foreigners migrate to America and hoping that they will, somehow, achieve the American dream.  What is the American Dream? Is it to own a house? a car? Send your children to the finest schools? Earning a six-figure income or even owning a business? There are thousands of people who migrate to America thinking that they will make it 'big' and provide a fulfilling lives for their families, but once they get here, reality sets in.  America is not the place of "milk and honey" that they once thought of and the streets are not paved with gold, San Francisco is very cold and not everyone is nice and friendly, unlike what they see on their televisions back home.  Furthermore, when they first get here, they realize they need to find jobs for themselves to provide for their families and once they do find jobs, they earn minimum wage and work twice as hard as the other employees who are native-born.  Despite of all their hard work and earning less than their native-born counterparts, they are also subject to prejudice and discrimination because they are not local, they have 'thicker' accents and sometimes, dress differently than the rest.  Immigrants who come to the United States feel dissilusioned, long for their native towns and find asking themselves why did they ever come here, to begin with? Why do they stay and keep coming to America? Many immigrants, in some cases, have to leave their loved ones and try to make it in America, for them to support their families in their native land and hoping that they will be able to petition them and ultimately take them to America.  It is a nice thought, but more often than not, it takes years for them to finally petition their loved ones and see be with their families again.  Inspite of these things, in many cases, persevere and work diligently to achieve that American Dream.  They may not own luxury cars, homes in a 'first-rate' neighborhood or even go to Disneyland all the time and yet, they stay because they do realize that with hard work and perseverance, they will be able to make money, no matter how little it is in the beginning, and consequently, provide for their families which is a lot more than what they can do in their own native land.  Eventually, as they have more work experience, they become more marketable in the employment world and have the potential of earning more money.  They also have the chance to improve themselves by going back to school and taking courses which will help them improve their job performance.  With that said, immigrants also contribute to the economy of United States by paying taxes, buying cars, clothing, eating out and so forth.  In some cases, some immigrants waive their nationality and become Unites States citizens themselves.  Another reason why immigrants like to stay in United States is having the freedom of religion, speech and to do whatever they wish to do without "answering" to anybody.  As much as they will always love and have their country's loyalty at heart, they find it refreshing to not have a dictator who tells them how to act, dress or what kind of religion they can have.  America is, indeed, the land of the free and the home of the brave.  God bless America!


* Please Note:

This article is based on personal experience and observing my loved ones' lifestyles as well.  Hope you enjoyed reading it!:-)


The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics
By Francis Scott Key 1814

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!



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    • helpavisitor profile image

      helpavisitor 4 years ago from Germany

      It is the same case in Europe, there are about 300 African refugees sleeping on the street of Hamburg in Germany now. They left Italy where they were issued with residence permit and try to remain in Germany where life looks better. The game is taking new turn daily. They have spent close to eight months on the street.

      Despite all these and many information revealing how life is in the west, there is no way to stop the young people from getting away from Africa especially to find better life that their countries fail to provide. Though many regret leaving but no one is ready to return.

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 7 years ago from Castaic

      Thank you, telltale, for your very insightful feedback on my hub! From observing my own mother and my older sibling's lives, I happen to have a "first-rate" experience on an immigrant's life in a foreign country. Luckily, I was pretty young when I first arrived in United States, along with my two other sisters, and we were able to find friends and adjust pretty quickly. Thank you very much for taking your time to read my hub! You have excellent hubs, as well!:-)

    • telltale profile image

      telltale 7 years ago

      I can quite safely say, that this is probably an immigrant's life - to adapt to the culture and lifestyle of which country a person migrate to. In some countries, some of the natives are considered to be second or third rated, and that is why these natives migrate to a country, which initially may be treating the migrants similarly to their own country. But, as you say, with hard work, and humbleness (when one makes it in the adopted country) one certainly can achieve the aspirations and goals. Good insight to aspiring immigrants. Thanks for the hub!

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 7 years ago from Castaic

      Hello James!

      Thank you very much for reading my post and I really do appreciate your warm welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed reading my article. Take care and may God bless you and your family always!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      CarolineVABC— Thank you so much for publishing this article, and a bit of your story. I enjoyed reading it very much. We welcome you here to America. And I welcome you to the Hub Pages Community. :-)

    • profile image

      CarolineVABC 7 years ago

      Hello Apostle Jack! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the well wishes. God bless!:-)

    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 7 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      Hoping for the best for you and yours.

    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 7 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      Hoping for the best for you and yours.

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 7 years ago from Castaic

      Hello Milenaamar! Thank you for taking your time to read my hub. Yes, despite of the economy crisis, America was and still is the "land of the opportunity." It might not feel like it right now, but I'm sure, we will get out of this difficult situation someday-hopefully soon:-). Glad you liked the article and I do appreciate you stopping by and commenting on my hub. Welcome to HubPages-can't wait to read some of yours! God bless!:-)

    • milenaamr profile image

      milenaamr 7 years ago

      Nice hub. I leaved in America for a while and that was the most happy years of my life. Yes, I did work hard, many hours more than the average American and I did go to College full time but even thought my schedule was very busy I still had time to enjoy and go to a movie or play tennis. The interesting thing was that life was so organized that I knew exactly where I will be two weeks from now at 5 in the afternoon. Life like that gives you stability and security.

      Country where you have everywhere sighs "Help wanted" makes you feel that there is always an option and you can choose what is good for you.

      For me this place was and its still is the country with unlimited opportunities and how far you will go is how far you want to go.

      Thanks for the article.

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 7 years ago from Castaic

      It's a pleasure, Brenda-Thank you very much for your very insightful views and comments!:-)

    • profile image

      Brenda Durham 7 years ago

      Thank you Caroline!

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 7 years ago from Castaic

      Hello Brenda! I completely understand your reservations and your point regarding illegal immigrants and how some of them do not contribute to United States such as refusing to pay taxes, but keep on supporting their families in their own countries while living in American soil. Yes, it is true, indeed that America is overly populated and has the right to refuse immigrants especially the illegal ones to enter the United States. While some illegal immigrants do such things, there are also many of them who have paid their way and worked hard to get here who also contribute to this country. It is true that many of them do try to support their families in their native land, but on the other hand, they also work hard to contribute to the United States. When they buy a new car, clothes or dine out, they also contribute to America's economy and yes, many of them do pay their taxes and have the proper paperwork and legally stay here in United States.

      In regards to your question, "What defines an American?" That is a valid question and a very good one. Many times, people consider one is an American, just because they live on American soil or they have been neutralized as citizens of the United States or perhaps, they were born and raised here and having a "mixed" genes due to an interracial marriage. For instance, my son is a mixture of many nations. On his father's side of the family, he has Italian, French, Scottish, German and a little bit of an Irish, and on his mother's side, he has Filipino, Chinese, Malaysian and Portugese. Sometimes, it is hard to define which culture does he belong to? So, we just call him an "all American boy" which is rapidly becoming the "New American" these days. So many children are of "mixed" cultures and we proudly call them "Americans." As far as countries being at odds with each other, sadly, this will probably never be 'completely' eliminated; however, a nation that is more versed about other cultures than our previous ancestors, we try to get along and be accepting of other cultures and traditions.

      Moreover, when I mentioned, "as much as they will always have their country's loyalty at heart, they find it refreshing not to have a dictator"-please, let me clarify my point here. What I meant by that is, of course, immigrants will always miss their native land because they have their 'roots' there, but it is in no way disrespecting America. They enjoy their freedom here and also are loyal to America. Many of them waive their citizenship in their native land once they become American citizens. One will never forget where they came from was the point that I was making here and not being disloyal and unpatriotic to America. Although there is no denial that some immigrants still practice many of their cultures and traditions here in United States which is not bad, in my opinion, because America is called the "melting pot"-a combination of many cultures and traditions, but at the same time, many of them do embrace the American culture and are proud to be in this country.

      It is true what you've mentioned that America is being "invaded by outside influences, including religious influences and other-National influences and having to fight for our moral and religious rights both from the inside and outside." You are absolutely right that many of Americans' forefathers have fought so hard for their freedom, but sadly, other countries try to take it away from them. Your concern regarding losing one's freedom and still try to offer it to new immigrants is a very poignant one. As it stands, I don't think anyone has the answer to this very important question.

      One thing I know is that many immigrants contribute and do what they need to do, to get the economy moving and even though they remain loyal to their own countries, they do work hard to become a part of this beautiful and freedom-seeking country that we call America.

      Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on this, Brenda-I really do appreciate you taking your time commenting on my hub. I hope to have enlightened you, though, in some way:-). I'm very glad to "meet" you here and very much looking forward to reading your other hubs and conversing with you, too.

      Blessings to you, too, and I wish you success with your writings, as well!:-)

    • profile image

      Brenda Durham 7 years ago

      CarolineVABC, thanks for this hub. It gives me a more personal look into the life and mind of an immigrant. Thank you for posting the Star-Spangled Banner!

      I know that America was begun by immigrants (notwithstanding the Native Americans that were here, and that's a whole 'nother story, a controversial one to boot, my views of which I won't get into right now)....

      but what I know now is that America is more populated, more complicated, and need of preserving the freedom of those who've been here for many years than it was even a few decades ago. I think that's part of the reason that many Americans aren't willing to welcome illegals with open arms these days, because we've kinda reached the limit of how many people can viably aspire to that "American dream" you mentioned, especially when they're illegal, not legal, and refuse to go through the proper government channels. (Plus, there's the problem of knowing which illegals are here to add to that freedom and dream and which ones are here for bad purposes.)

      And even if it's not for "bad" purposes, sometimes it's for selfish purposes. I say that because it's been my experience (limited though my experience is) that many come here and refuse to pay taxes, and do not work any harder than anyone else for any less pay! Or else they live several families to a home for an extended period because their entire intent is to send money back to their Country instead of contributing to THIS Country). And while I understand that, I also see it as rather selfish and unaware of any concept of American patriotism.

      I've been questioning other motivations too, like....what defines an "American"....

      If you say you're an African, are you an American just because you live here? If you say you're an Italian, does moving here make you an American? How does one resolve the idea of being African-American or Italian-American or Chinese-American, when so often those double-nation-names are at odds with each other?

      You said something about "as much as they will always have their country's loyalty at heart, they find it refreshing not to have a dictator"......and that divided loyalty or loyalty to the former country is one of the factors that creates difficulty for other Americans who've been here all their lives and especially whose parents/grandparents were here.....

      So, the thing is that us lifelong Americans are, these days, finding ourselves in the position of feeling "invaded" by outside influences, including religious influences and other-National influences and having to fight for our moral and religious rights both from inside and outside. That doesn't mean we hate other people, nor does it mean we aren't compassionate; it just means that it stretches the limits of our own ability to retain our own dreams of freedom that OUR forefathers fought so hard to set in place for themselves and for us. And if we lose that, how can we impart it or offer it to new immigrants?

      At any rate, I'm glad to "meet" you on here, and I hope you see my thoughts as an attempt at understanding more, and I'm looking forward to further conversation with you.

      Be blessed; hope you have much success with your writings!

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 7 years ago from Castaic

      Thank you for your comment, Kris! I've actually written about my Mom's experience here in America about two (2) years ago. She first came over here in '77. I will try to post it sometime soon. I appreciate you taking your time to read my hub. God bless!:-)

    • krishubpages123 profile image

      krishubpages123 7 years ago

      it is cool portrait of american immigrants in USA...

      keep going...

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 7 years ago from Castaic

      Hello Conservativemom! Thank you for the book suggestions-we will surely look into it. My son is currently a freshman in high school and has a great gift in drawing especially animation. He would like to become a great animator someday. We appreciate your recommendations, but we believe, our son can soar in whatever chosen profession he gets into-whether it is animation or some other profession. One thing weI know is that we will back him up whatever it may be. Also, our son is very accepting of other cultures, especially he is of "mixed" cultures, himself. We do teach him the value of friendship and accepting other people, no matter where they came from. Thank you for your comments and for taking your time to read my hub-I truly appreciate it very much. Take care and God bless!

    • conservativemom profile image

      conservativemom 7 years ago

      Welcome Caroline!

      I've encouraged my children to embrace other cultures and many of their brightest and most accomplished friends are from other countries.

      Please encourage your son to read Thomas Sowell, Dinesh D'Souza, Milton Friedman and Charles Krauthammer.

      My recommendations: help him to fully assimilate and help him to choose a constructive professional major (applied mathematics or science, engineering, architecture, medicine, etc.) during college so that he may help to bridge our nation's great divide. Given your devotion, I'm sure he'll have the opportunity.

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 7 years ago from Castaic

      Hello Petra Vlah! Thank you very much for taking your time to read my hub. I completely agree with you-sometimes, even when immigrants are better qualified or better educated, people still look down on you because they have a slight "accent" and they are not local. Therefore, they still do not get the promotion that they do so well deserve. Also, when it comes to doing a great performance at your job, even if you don't mean to show off, the other co-workers will look at you like you are and "who does she think she is?" kind of a look. A very important and interesting point that you've made is being "politically correct" at all times. The difference between America and other countries is we don't get shot or killed when we say something, but as immigrants, we still have to watch everything we say and do. Thank you very much for your very insightful comments and dropping by my hub page. I will, surely, return the favor. God bless!:-)

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      I know all too well what it means to be an immigrant in America and everything you said (in terms of difficulties) is true and sad. We have to be twice as good and work twice as hard just to keep a job that will pay less than what the American born get. The slightest accent is a red flag and many are looking down on you even if you are better qualified or better educated.

      Should you finally make it in the “land of the braves” be careful not to “show off” – immigrants are not allowed to get at the front of the line and do better than the ones who were born here – never mind the sacrifices. Most importantly make sure you are politically correct in everything you say and do (so much for freedom of speech!)

      P.S. Welcome to America and to Hub Pages


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