Immigration and the American Dream

1785 Words8 Pages
In America today, the issue of immigration is a cause for debate. Families that decide to flee their typically poverty-stricken countries in search of the ‘American Dream’ of opportunity, are forced to pick up unwanted and exhausting jobs that pay next to nothing, often way below minimum wage. Although this human exploitation seems unethical, the illegality of immigrant workers leaves them with no choice but to take whatever it is they get. Consequently, employers acquire a hard worker for next-to-nothing wages, which is clear reasoning for the sheer amount of immigrant workers in America. Recognized as taking the “dirty jobs”, the many skilled labour workers are fundamental to the smooth running of the country and ironically, without them, America’s rich economy would crumble. Milcha Sanchez-Scott’s short play “The Cuban Swimmer” is based on a Latin-Cuban family, in which the daughter wins a swimming race from Long Beach to Catalina Island, representing the American Dream. A similarly themed book, Drown by Dominican writer Junot Diaz concerns a poor family switching lives between the harsh “barrios” of their homeland in the Dominican Republic and the struggling urban communities of New Jersey. The themes and issues raised in the fictional portrayals of immigrant life in the collection of short stories - Drown and ‘The Cuban Swimmer’ are supported by William A.V. Clark’s factual essay on multiculturalism. Both stories expose the daily hardships that immigrants face through quite shocking yet realistic storytelling, while integrating a clear desire to assimilate and follow the ‘American Dream’. The American dream for civilians in less-wealthy countries is something that is looked upon as a way out of the poverty and a way into new life. Clark’s essay focuses mostly on the issues for immigrants once they have landed on American soil, however, like the

More about Immigration and the American Dream

Open Document