Civic Imagination

"The American Dream"

Growing up in America, we all learn about the "American Dream;" the idea that if we work hard we can achieve anything we want. While this idea is problematic, it does attract many immigrants even today. My grandparents encouraged my father and his brother to go to America for a college education and better opportunities for jobs and life. He and his brother worked multiple jobs to pay their way through school. They both earned technical degrees and were able to find stable jobs in America. His brother married an American and tried to help my father petition for residency, but before the lengthy process was complete his brother died in a car accident, which meant my father’s visa petition died as well. Before he could be deported, he and my mother got married - after dating for awhile. An immigration officer came to investigate their petition case, which was not usual. The officer insisted on driving my father to the Federal Building, and my father was deported back to Iran later that evening. My mother told me how she remembers going to the immigration office once or twice a week for six months, determined to help my father get back to America. Finally, after eight months my father was able to return and later received his permanent residency, and eventually, his citizenship. He continued to work odd jobs and eventually saved enough to start his own business. He worked seven days a week to provide a good life for me and my two brothers.

The story of my family's origins inspired me because it taught me to never give up on something just because it gets hard. I provided a very quick summary of the main points about my father's journey to citizenship. However, it was not a simple and quick as it may have appeared. My mother felt a great deal of desperation when my father left and no one at the immigration office would help her. But she persisted and continued to go every week and demanded someone help them. Even after my father returned, he had a difficult time finding jobs even though he had an education. But they both persisted and didn't give up.

This story inspired me because both my mother and father faced many struggles but persisted and worked hard to provide for their family. There are ways to solve problems and fulfill your life's dreams and working hard for them has a lot to do with succeeding.

American Dream, immigration, family, persistence

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