I know a little something about the American dream. I was born in the Soviet Union, into a young family persecuted because of our religion. My brother was a math prodigy with no hope of receiving an education worthy of his talent. My father was a mechanical engineer consistently held back in his career. I had just been born when my family decided to emigrate.
My father was demoted and stripped of his degree; our friends and family stopped speaking to us. When we were finally allowed to leave, we were sent to Italy, a waiting ground for refugees, with no money and almost no belongings. For a year my father applied to Western countries for permission to immigrate while my mother and brother supported us with odd jobs. After a year, we were granted refugee status to go to Canada. Eventually, my dad landed work in Detroit, Michigan, and commuted an hour each way over the border for three years while we all waited for green cards. It took years for us to be eligible for American citizenship, and even then we had to file all the appropriate paperwork, go in for individual interviews, take the citizenship test and denounce all allegiances. Only then were we finally sworn in as American citizens…
My family jumped the hurdles, not the line, and it paid off. My father and brother both became college professors. My mother became an entrepreneur. We fulfilled our American dream with hard work and by systematically and legally working within the system. There is no reason everybody else shouldn’t.
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