The Complex Realities of Illegal Immigration: Chasing the American Dream
Immigration has been going on for who knows how long. Immigration isn’t only about Mexican Immigrants crossing the border from all the southwestern states. Immigration is considered any kind of people from different races coming in that isn’t American. In this case, I will focus on immigration from our southern neighbor, Mexico. Immigration was an issue, but not as big of an issue is being made about today. With Donald Trump as President, Immigration hasn’t touched headlines in decades until now. Millions of dollars have been invested in the elimination of immigration, but that cannot break the big dream of a Mexican. Although the big Mexican dream has many key parts to it, I will only focus on the three major parts that are meaningful to me.
Crossing the Border: The Pursuit of Safety and Prosperity
The big Mexican Dream every Mexican can dream of is, first and foremost, to be able to cross the U.S. border. Mexicans cross illegally to escape the harsh society they live in. Their society is far less developed than ours here in the U.S. They cross for better economic opportunities and to provide a better life for themselves and their families.
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The number one reason why immigration is happening from Mexico to the United States is simply to have a better life for themselves or their families. Crossing the border is a tough journey. Not only does it test you physically, but it also tests you mentally. Walking through endless miles of deserted land or going through the Rio Grande River isn’t an easy task. Everything is thought through thoroughly. Is risking their lives worth getting closer to the big American Dream? I could possibly speak for every immigrant that, yes, it is worth the risk.
Economic Struggles in Mexico: Low Wages and Few Opportunities
Back in Mexico, there are far more lower-paying jobs than what the minimum wages are here. People make their living based on taco stands or selling homemade products. They can’t afford much because of how low their income is. Some don’t have any kind of income coming in. The government is so corrupt that they can’t even go to the government for help. They want to escape that and come to the U.S. to get jobs as cleaning staff, construction workers, or any job the typical American wouldn’t take because of the low wages.
Americans are the first to point and blame fingers that the immigrants are taking their jobs and that they don’t belong here. The immigrants are coming for better economic opportunities, so they’ll accept any job, no matter how low the wage is. It’s better than getting two or three hundred dollars a week rather than getting a couple of bucks every other day or no money at all back home. Manly, immigrants come to work to send money back home to their families or save money to prepare when their families make it over. Most of the immigrants come to work on Construction sites because it requires little to no education and because that’s all they know because that’s what most did back home with lower wages than here.
Escaping Corruption and Danger: Mexico’s Struggle with Law Enforcement
Much of the law enforcement back in Mexico is corrupted, including the government and much more. As I had said before, their economy is so low that their law enforcement must seek other ways to make a quick buck. To pull people over for no apparent reason but to make a quick buck off them to threaten someone’s life to get their money. Many immigrants don’t want to be next because many don’t have money to give, so they’ll probably end up being taken into custody or even killed. Many can say that they don’t want that for their family and loved ones.
How could they make it stop when everything and everyone is corrupted, including the government? Many just live with it, but others cannot take the risk. That’s why people flee to the U.S. to get away from the corrupted law enforcement and the dangers of gang wars.
The Cost of Dreams: Coyotes and the Perilous Path to the U.S.
Many people care about their loved ones and can’t bear to see them suffer living in the situation they’re living in, so they make plans to cross the border with the help of coyotes. Coyotes are fearless people who lead the way to the big American Dream for others to feel at their fingertips. It’s expensive when paying a coyote to pass you over the border. They sometimes charge one thousand dollars per head, adult or child, but still one grand for every head. The price is high, but the reward can be even bigger. That’s why many families leave their country to leave the violence behind them, so they won’t have to worry so much about getting robbed or killed.
Immigrants in the U.S.: Challenges, Sacrifices, and Hope for a Better Future
In conclusion, an immigrant is a person from one country who moves to another country permanently for a better life. There are many different reasons why people leave their country to go to another country. I’m not an immigrant. However, according to my own experience, some people move to another country to find jobs, but some move to another country to look forward to a better education. Being an immigrant to the United States is not easy. What I mean is the way of life is not easy for some people because everything is about money. We must pay for everything.
In the U.S., there are many things we must go through if we want something, and we also spend a lot of money for many reasons: rent, water, and food. Everything always costs money. There are many sacrifices people face while they are immigrants. They work long hours for more money, but they don’t have enough time with their family. Some people work 24 hours in order to have enough money for their rent and bills. Some people even get sick because of working hard during the day and night. But they don’t choose to quit their jobs because they must work hard to get money for their needs and wants.
Being an immigrant is not an easy way to live well and have a better life. For immigrants, it is not easy to adopt the culture and the way that people behave. That’s why immigrants come to the United States: for a better life for them and for their families and for better economic opportunity.
- Migration Policy Institute. (2019). Mexican Immigrants in the United States. Washington, D.C.: MPI.
- Fernandez, L. A. (2017). Border Crossings: Stories of Desperation and Hope. Mexico City: University of Mexico Press.
- World Bank. (2020). Economic Overview of Mexico. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.
- Hernandez, R. (2018). “The Impact of Corruption on Migration from Central America.” Journal of Latin American Studies.
- U.S. Department of Labor. (2021). Mexican Immigrants in the U.S. Workforce. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
- Anderson, S. & Solis, M. (2019). “Coyotes: The Price of the American Dream.” Journal of Border Studies.