Coming To America: Then And Now
The year was 1991 and the Soviet Union was in the midst of a collapse. We were living in our government-issued apartment: two bedrooms, three families. My grandparents slept in the living room. (Themed, empty rooms and choice of your home is a capitalist concept found in America, not present in countries that endured years of socialism.) Food was sparse and the idea of a delicious snack did not exist, not even in my wildest imagination. Life was simple, cold and grey. That is, until my dad lit a firework: America.
We excitedly planned for the myriad of opportunities for schooling and work. My dad told me I can work hard to become anyone I wanted to be in America, that I could earn my place at the top of any field. I promised him to study diligently and to work hard, to build my path upwards.
We arrived on glorious American soil in 1992 (and immediately took photos in grocery stores, seeing food on shelves and not believing our eyes, but that’s a story for a different day).
Our American Dream was to work hard and to contribute to American society. My dad’s greatest fear was to disappoint Americans, to fail to contribute, to be kicked out of the country for being a burden instead of an asset.
Looking back at his fears, I chuckle. If only my dad could foresee the new wave of immigrants and their antithetical priorities, and how the government welcomes them, he would see how silly his unrest truly was.
But it wasn’t just fears, it was ethics. My parents believed in individual responsibility and hard work. They wanted to contribute and be useful. The idea of leeching was appalling to them on an ethical level. And we weren’t the only ones. The immigrants who I grew up with had the same parental guidance: work and contribute, don’t embarrass us.
It seems that we were part of the last of the group of optimistic, humbled, grateful immigrants.
1992: The year we came to America was the same year that Ilhan Omararrived with her family. She was part of the first group that started a new wave of immigrant mentality: angry, entitled, ungrateful. Instead of believing that America provides opportunities, they declared that America must provide results. Instead of looking to successful Americans and wanting to work hard to be like them, the likes of Omar looked at successful Americans with feelings of uncontrollable envy and desire to take from them. Instead of talking about working hard to build a home, they talk about taking away the hard-earned living of others to redistribute their money to build homes for those who have not earned enough to build homes.
My family came to America for the opportunities provided by the American free market, by capitalism. The likes of Omar came here to destroy the free market that made this country great, she came to institute socialism.
I remember the day that my dad and I were walking past a huge, gorgeous house. We had been in America for about a year and my dad used every opportunity to motivate me to succeed. “A lawyer probably lives there. American lawyers work long hours but they can buy incredible houses with all the money they earn. You can have a house like that if you work hard in America,” he said to me. I listened. It lingered in my mind. I wanted to work hard. I wanted to be like an American. The drive, coupled with hard work, propelled the reality. I became a lawyer.
At the same time capitalist, American Dream immigrants like myself were working feverishly to build their homes, the new-mentality immigrants were busy seeking government handouts. Opportunistic Democrats realized that with lush handouts comes a loyal voting base, and a symbiotic relationship thus began to flourish. These immigrants brought more to the U.S. like them, fortifying a leftist-loyalist base. The American Dream as I knew it somehow vanished or rapidly mutated into an unrecognizable desire to take as opposed to produce.
Instead of respectfully waiting for permission to come to America, it became a feeling of entitlement to enter the country unlawfully. Instead of immigrant parents teaching their kids that one day they can work hard and be like the wealthy American lawyers, the new immigrant parents are telling their kids that one day they can vote leftist and take from the wealthy American lawyers. The ethics of this new wave of immigrants are entirely divergent from the ethics of classic immigrants, and of the American people.
I put in the work and I built my home. I grew up in a grateful immigrant family that encouraged me to become a contributing American. I vote for capitalists to continue American greatness. What about the kids of immigrant families who despise the American people and the country that saved them from oppression? They don’t want to be like the Americans. They vote to take away from Americans. They vote for socialists.
Coming to America used to be about planning to work, to assimilate, and to contribute. Nowadays, coming to America is about wanting to take. I can only hope this is a short-lived trend. America, or any country for that matter, will not survive if it is overtaken by those who hate American values and love socialism.
Trump has emerged as an incomparable leader in the fight against the new-immigrant mentality and socialism. “America was founded on liberty and independence – not government coercion, domination, and control … America will never be a socialist country!” Trump declared. I hope he is right, but hope is not enough; I will fight to make him right, as I expect you will too. Our America is a country for hard-working people and for people who will fight for their freedom from socialist oppression.