The American Dream and the Contemporary Immigrant Experience in the United States
Bard, Jessica L.
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Immigration has become an increasingly complicated issue in recent years, and it is difficult to ignore the conflicting attitudes directed toward immigrants entering this country. Because of such conflicting viewpoints of the current immigration situation, the way in which the United States-itself a nation of immigrants-welcomes its newcomers has changed immensely. A country that prides itself on the ideal of the "American dream"-that anyone, regardless of class, family ties or national origin, can succeed through hard work and frugality-is, as this project seeks to explain, promising more than it cares to deliver. The following research analyzes the extent to which the American dream is achievable for Hispanic immigrants residing in the U.S. today. From a primarily economic standpoint, this Senior Individualized Project tells the story of the modern immigrant experience in the U.S. through economic fact and from the points of view of Hispanic immigrants residing in the greater Kalamazoo area. As the research shows, the American dream is not a reality for Hispanic immigrants, and such barriers as discrimination, certain government policies, and the macroeconomic conditions that exist both here and abroad all interfere with the economic achievement of this group.