Who actually belongs in America has not long been asked but not fully answered nor can it be. Many immigrants have entered the United States including the Americans who live here now. Yet we as Americans as a whole are trying to keep immigrants out of the nation or limiting who can come and when. But the reason for why so many immigrants want to come in the U.S. is because of the “American Dream” that so many immigrants have heard and gotten a false sense of security through it. This dream is of a land where anyone from anywhere can start a new beginning and through hard work be rewarded by money and a sense of well being. The motif of traveling is repeated because traveling is representative of leaving attempting to follow a dream that one has created or has been told of. Bit its not always the dream that is being chased but rather other factors such as a civil war in a home country or disputes with other countries that send people to the US.
America becomes a false home for many immigrants that come to America in hopes of starting over and hopefully attaining the American dream. The American is different among people, but rather much still has the same goals in which the person owns a home, car, kids, and is financially secure. But many times for many families this dream falls short or is short lived. Carlos’s father was an engineer back where he came from, but upon arriving in America in hopes of furthering his career had to settle for a mediocre job because his skilled weren’t viewed as American material. Yet he still held on to the notion that he could work hard at what he was doing because it was still better to be an American in America than to be anything else. Enrique’s mother knew that going to America was indeed the only way to have her family survive. As Lourdes sends things to her kids back in Tegucigalpa it is seen that she has been influenced by the American culture. Where she thinks that sending and giving material objects shows ones love for another.
This following of the dream as it is called often times comes at a high price and that price is the cost of a torn apart family. When Carlos’s dad is working with him in the store and the lady takes a bite out the apple and places it back, Carlos attempts to confront the lady, but his dad stops him. Telling him that she is a good customer rather than we are immigrants she is American. Carlos begins to see his father in a different light now. And when Mitt is killed by the boys the father loses his mind because he really loved Mitt. And he cannot do anything about it really except accept and deal with it. Just as with Enrique’s mother who comes to America and leaves behind the kids and father. While she is in America the father starts a new family with another lady. Further ripping the old family apart because he has to care for the new one cares less about Enrique and the siblings. Just like my father who played baseball in Costa Rica, who left that lucrative career in hopes of a better chance at life traveled here to the US, had to face the fact that not everyone can realize the American dream. For him he half way met the dream and missed out on an incredible opportunity that he had already had, but was blinded like so many others that the US is all that any better than anything you are doing elsewhere. Not everyone needs to leave where they are to come here, but many do so willingly because of their families saying it would be the best thing.
To be an American is like being a total immigrant almost every day for one has to constantly keep adapting to the customs of the standards that are presented. Anyone who can stand to bear the pains and harsh reality of actually being an American like so many immigrants have done, are doing, and will do so in the future, they are the ones who truly deserve to belong to America. After all America is founded upon immigrant labor. The dream in reality has become a nightmare for many who were once better off in their home country but decided to come to America because it’s the land of opportunity.
What many fail to realize first is that hard work doesn’t always equate to the automatic success that is preached in ones homes country. There are many other factors that cause the success of immigrants in the US. Some have connections and others just plain luck, but he rule do not always apply and are constantly in a changing motion.
“Enrique’s Journey” by Sonia Nazario
Sociologist Asks What It Means to be American