58 letters on the American Dream from San Marcos University students, San Diego, California, USA
letter 17: Farhea Mahmood

October 7, 2007

Gel 101

Immigration to United States

The image of many different types of people coming to the United States is true, this does not only symbolize the days of the 1800’s but even the present and every day circumstances that cause people to move and leave their lives behind. There are three images that are quite striking and jump out at the viewer: a silhouette of Joseph and Mary, a man whose feet carry his uprooted past, and grass that is shown to be greener on the other side of the wall, which is a portrayed on top of a picture of the United States and Mexican border. The silhouette of Joseph and Mary symbolizes the reason for why many people moved to the United States, the hope of a life free of religious persecution. Those who lived in countries with government enforced or favored religions were always in a constant state of terror in fear of their lives and their families. Many such as Puritans, Catholics, Quakers and later Jews left everything behind simply to start a life free of religious persecution. Even today the United States is a religiously diverse country where church and state are held to be completely separate of each other, thanks to the separation of church and state doctrine that was written into the first amendment. Secondly the image of a man whose shoes are laden with what appear to be tree roots, symbolize the immigrants willingness to leave their roots behind and travel to a place that was oceans apart from their family, a place that was strange and unfamiliar to those that decided to take the brave steps of giving up everything that they had in hopes, that perhaps in the nearby future their lives would be far better than what they left behind. Finally, conveying that the grass is greener on the other side basically conveys all the reasons for why immigrants left their countries behind, in the hopes of a better life. America offered many opportunities they used to say that the roads are paved with gold, unfortunately they weren’t literally paved with gold, many families would have to overcome various struggles before they even got to see the good life of America but nonetheless when the finally did “strike it rich” many families lived lavish lifestyles. All in all, although many immigrants moved here in the hopes of a better life and beginning, they all had their own reasons for doing it, whether it was inequalities, poor living styles or perhaps just an escape from religious persecutions.