Updated: Nov 21, 2022
By Emily Ibrahim
The word 'Immigrant' has always been surrounded by some controversy, especially in the United States; yet, it is also tied to the term 'The American dream,' which America was supposedly built on. The American dream has been redefined throughout the decades, and many would describe it differently when asked, but the main idea remains the same. It glorifies America as the place where the poor can become rich, and the opportunities overflow no matter who you are. Where if one works hard enough, they can achieve anything.
The idea of the American dream is predominantly sold to immigrants. People outside the US that require a chance at a better life. Like so, many immigrants come to the United States full of hope with a world of opportunity promised to welcome them in. Shortly after their journey’s, the wave of adrenaline wears off, and reality settles in.
Putting immigrants aside while diving further into the American dream, people who were already living in the US for their entire lives struggle with savings and providing for their families. Studies show that Americans are continuously hurt by inflation, low wages, debt, and declining benefits such as health care, leaving them unable to put aside any money for retirement or college funds. People who were not forced to start over completely, learn a new language, and have a college degree have difficulty maintaining their jobs and sustaining their loved ones. Therefore, how are people with nothing, who start from scratch, supposed to succeed? Even Americans cannot manage to achieve the American dream. As time went on, their lives were not better, richer, or fuller in the United States.
America was built on the backs of outsiders. The people who were so desperate for a job that they, to this day, fill the spots that no one wants to take. The people who tend to the earth, pick the fruit, build the skyscrapers, and tirelessly slave away in factories as underpaid workers.
This has been the same cycle that America repeats throughout the past century. Yet, on the inside, we find the unrepresented people who still hadn't achieved freedom. Hidden beneath the mirage of America's freedom, those are the people who wouldn't dare to dream of an opportunity or a chance for an opportunity.
The American dream has been glorified for way too long and makes a promise that it cannot keep. We hear so many success stories about the top but never about the millions more who cannot support themselves and live in poverty. The American dream rarely provides a "better life." The American dream rarely provides a "fuller" life. The American dream rarely provides a "richer life." The American dream rarely delivers its promise of equal opportunity. The American dream rarely provides.