The topic of immigration has become a common talk in our everyday lives. A variety of forces seems to be pushing people towards taking the option of moving to a foreign country rather than staying home (Silverman 213). Several studies have implicated economic hardship as the primary motivator of immigration. The logic behind such a statement is that economic status of a particular country tends to impart all the other domains of life, that is, social and political. Most emigrants often have the aspirations of exploring better economic opportunities present in the receiving states to allow them to get out of paucity. However, emigrants often have to undergo unforeseen challenges before they can attain anything significant (Alba, Richard & Nancy 300). Reyna Grande has presented such a scenario in her book The Distance Between Us. She highlights the challenges associated with the distance dream that most people are ignorant about when in their home country. The book emphasizes that the immigrants must make considerable sacrifices to convert the American Dream from a mere fantasy into reality. This paper uses arguments to highlight the authenticity of the American Dream that motivates most migrants to use any available channel to get into America.
According to Reof the Distance between us, the perception that immigrants from developing nations have often contradicted with the reality in the host states. moving from Mexico into the US was like crossing into a new world ( Grande 222). Young Reyna had a misconception regarding America; she imagined that life was entirely different i.e. Americans did not face the problems that they were facing in Mexico. For example, the existence of social classes that limited some essential needs such as education and healthcare services to a particular population. Individuals often fail to identify some of the benefits their home country offers them thus magnifying the misconceptions regarding the foreign nations.
The contrast between Reynas expectations and the reality are highlighted when she gets to America and recognizes that life is not as easy as she and other children her age had been made to believe , this makes her to relate the situation in America as the broken beauty of Iguala (Grande 62). While Mexico America was the promising land built on the principle of equality regardless of race and class. Therefore, every individual was entitled to education and prosperity; this is evident in the joy that Reyna and her sister share when they get to America. In this case her sister tells her that my umbilical cord was like a ribbon that connected me to Miamiit doesnt matter that there is a distance between us now. Since such opportunities were not present in Mexico, a good percentage of the population fail to get out of poverty thus encouraging the idea of immigration. However, Reyna finds it hard to get integrated into the new nation due to the language barrier as well as her familys conflicts that are brought about by the disappointments the father feels due to the unfulfilled dreams.
The achievement of the American dream requires significant sacrifices. Most Mexicans describe America as a garden of paradise (Grande 222). Such a belief often gives people the illusion that once they get there, they can quickly secure a job and accumulate a considerable amount of wealth which will improve the living standards of their families. Although job opportunities might be available accessing them is often impossible especially for the undocumented immigrants thus forcing them to settle for low paying temporal positions. Immigrant children also face considerable challenges as they try to adapt to the new environment. For instance, Reyna states that the freedom and familial attachments they had experienced at home was no longer available in the new home and this is evident in the forms of mistreatment that they get from their father while in America as their father tells them that The minute you walk through the door with less than As, Im sending you straight back to your mothers house. She also explains that getting along with other children was a challenge due to her accent. The outcome of such hardships is often highlighted in the family setup in the form of domestic violence.
Attainment of American Dream can be considered an individual choice rather than a universal occurrence. Reynas father leaves his family behind to explore the opportunities in the foreign land with a dream of giving the family a better life Building the dream house However, he fails to fulfill his goals as evidenced by his disappointments that he lets out by mistreating the family. The mothers frustrations are also highlighted when she changes to a different person when she gets back home. However, Reyna decides to focus on the primary objective that had motivated her choice to move to America. Despite her parent's failure Reyna manages to prosper in her academics and career.
Since there is no hope of reducing economic disparities between the developed and the developing nations, the issue of migration is not close to getting resolved. Economic hardships in the developing countries will always force people to find solutions in the developed which can be considered a natural thing that any person can do (Gest et al., 261). However, there have been several cases where migrants have moved out of the home in search of a healthier life only to find the same living under the same or even worse conditions. To avoid such immigrants must evaluate both the advantages and disadvantages of moving before making the final decision (Dunn 33). Such a strategy prepares people to make necessary sacrifices in realizing the benefits in the foreign country. The book is therefore of great importance in the society where there is increasing cases of immigration and where people experience challenges in the foreign countries. This requires the society to appreciate the opportunities that they get in their countries and ensure that they make the best of what they have.
In addition, the book deals with the various avenues that the society can deal with the challenges that they get from the foreign nations. This is highlighted in the challenges that the parents of Reyna face and the challenges that they have in fulfilling their dreams. There is need for the society to ensure that the society identifies the various ways of dealing with disappointments as this will help in tackling the challenges that foreigners experience in the foreign lands. The issue determination plays out perfectly in the books and this theme is pushed by Reyna. This is because despite the fact that her parents have challenges in the foreign countries, she is determined to fulfill her dreams and this is evident in her performance in school. The progress in the foreign land shows that despite the challenges that people can face in foreign countries, determination and aspiration supersedes any challenges that a person can face and this calls for the mental preparedness of the challenges be it social, political or economic (Dunn 35).
Although it is natural and human nature to be seek greener pastures in the foreign lands, There is need for the people to be prepared of the challenges that might be evident in such places. The book confirms the old adage that all that glitters is not gold as the book proves that immigrating to America led to more serious challenges for Reyna and her family and this confirms the need for psychological preparation before moving to the foreign lands. In this case, the book suggests that people need to exhaust the opportunities that they have in their original countries before making the serious decision of moving into the foreign lands (Silverman 216). This would avoid the challenges of dealing with the various challenges and it would encourage nationals to engage in the building of their countries. This would help in boosting economic development.
Alba, Richard, and Nancy Foner. Strangers no more: Immigration and the challenges of integration in North America and Western Europe. Princeton University Press, 2015.Dunn, Kevin M., and Alanna Kamp. "The Virtues and Challenges of Comparative Analyses of Immigration, Migrant Settlement and Transnationalism." Social Transformation and Migration. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2015. 33-44.Gest, Justin, et al. "Measuring and comparing immigration, asylum and naturalization policies across countries: Challenges and solutions." Global Policy 5.3 (2014): 261-274.
Grande, Reyna. The Distance Between Us. New York: Atria Books, 2012. Print.
Silverman, Stephanie J. "Detaining Asylum Seekers and Immigrants: A Normative Introduction, New Challenges in Immigration Theory." (2015).
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