identities

20 Tweets About the Realities of Being the Child of Immigrants While Pursuing the American Dream

Immigration is an American story that’s especially relevant to the Latinx community. Many of our parents and grandparents made the brave journey to a new place in hope of finding the American Dream. Often, this dream wasn’t even for themselves, but for the children and grandchildren who would benefit from their sacrifices.

More and more often, we see the children of immigrants step into their own. Showing off the success built on sacrifice, they are the American Dream and are representing the Latinidad more than ever before.

The  2018 election is a great example of a place we’ve seen a surge of Latinx representation — especially in children and grandchildren of immigrants.

Twitter / @TexasTribune

One big win for 2018 is that Texas sent its first two Latina Representatives to Congress. Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar are both third generation Americans representing immigrants’ best interests in Washington DC.

In 2018, Escobar led protests in response to the Tornillo tent cities the Trump administration set up to hold detainees at the Mexican border. Garcia has been extremely vocal against the proposed establishment of another detention facility in Houston that would house children as young as 18 months. The success of their American Dreams may help the American Dreams of other immigrant families come true.

These third generation Latinas make success seem easy but, for millions of immigrants, it’s a daily struggle. The grind, sacrifice, legal woes and hardships of immigrant life tells a unique story of strength in pursuit of a better tomorrow.

These 20 tweets share the realities of being a child of immigrants while chasing the American Dream.

1.

Twitter / @Triste4Us

Our parents and grandparents left their homes to find a better future. Many were treated with xenophobia and prejudice. Often times, they lost everything. However, they took the risk because they believed in the promise of an American Dream.

2.

Twitter / @CrisAlexJimenez

Due to their sacrifices, our accomplishments aren’t just ours. The success we achieve can be attributed to them taking that initial risk. The dreams we see realized are the realization of our parents and grandparents dreams.

3.

Twitter / @_tinacris09

As much as we appreciate our parents and grandparents’ hard work, there are drawbacks to it. Comparing our problems to theirs starts early. We don’t want to appear ungrateful, weak or spoiled. Knowing they sacrificed so much to give us something better is sometimes overwhelming.

4.

Twitter / @punnysamosa

Children of immigrants are stereotyped as hard workers because the American Dream is supposedly only achieved by unending work. Anything less is seen as lazy but this mentality is ableist. It isolates Latinx folk with disabilities and mental illnesses; excluding them from the American Dream.

5.

Twitter/ @ellomelissa

Sometimes it can feel like we’ve failed to live up to the expectations of our parents and grandparents. You might feel lazy in comparison to their level of grind. However, didn’t our parents and grandparents sacrifice so much so we wouldn’t have to do the same?

6.

Twitter / @MekitaRivas

The stress of living up to these standards can lead to burn out but it’s totally preventable. Just because our parents and grandparents didn’t have the luxury of self-care doesn’t mean we should ignore the need. We should all learn this before stress leads to major problems.

7.

Twitter / @findingnebula

On the other hand, sometimes we buy into this hustle mentality. One of the reasons our parents and grandparents had to work several jobs is because — as immigrants — they weren’t paid what they are worth. Still, they worked so one day we wouldn’t have to settle for less.

8.

Twitter / @mellosknee

Still, not all of us buy into the idea of the American Dream. Some even see it as a burden if it means having to live a life our parents and grandparents dictate. The expectation is a lot but it’s not how you should dictate life choices.

9.

Twitter / @JAlexandrHamil

Living your own life without regard for your parents and grandparents wishes can make you feel guilty. However, the American Dream wasn’t just for our parents and grandparents. We are allowed to live our own American Dream. After all, they worked towards.

10.

Twitter / @atolshuco_

Making life choices based on the sacrifices of others isn’t any way to live. Guilt leads to resentment. Our parents and grandparents didn’t work so that they could tie us up in expectations. They did so in order to give us the world.

11.

Twitter / @DaniellaAlv

Being a child or grandchild of immigrants often means being the barrier between your family and the rest of the world. It put us front and center in the world our parents and grandparents were trying to navigate. Getting a sneak peek of their struggle to secure their American Dream made us both protective and appreciative.

12.

Twitter / @sc00byd00bie

However, it’s also stressful. Like the adults in our life, we worryied over legal issues, money problems and unfair treatment. The America Dream was supposed to come to those who worked hard so why did it see so much harder for our immigrant families.

13.

Twitter / @bajwa_navdeep

Feeling stuck between two worlds isn’t uncommon for second and third generation Americans. Our families want us to be American but remainders of their homelands still surrounded us growing up. If we’re lucky, we get to keep all facets of our culture and incorporate them into our American Dream.

14.

Twitter / @MariposaBoy

We often feel the same xenophobia our parents and grandparents experience as immigrants. The fear of what’s different is one reason but there’s also a fear of what it means if we succeed. Will our American Dreams change what it means to be American? No, because the immigrant experience is America.

15.

Twitter / @en_jajaja

Knowing that our loved ones put up with such ugliness is heartbreaking. Immigrants who live good lives trying to carve out a piece of that American Dream for themselves are used as scapegoats. Having to live fearing racism shouldn’t ever be an option.

16.

Twitter / @bookhoarding

Despite the anger and hate that is directed at our communities, our parents and grandparents would still make the sacrifice. Their dream was to make our dreams possible. Their stories are our stories.

17.

Twitter / @SoniaGupta504

What it means to live the American Dream has changed. It isn’t all about hard work when the systems in place are built against immigrants. The America that separates families and locks up children isn’t the say America our families sacrificed for.

18.

Twitter / @IlsaLund88

Our country was built on immigration. Immigrants are found in every corner of America and their cultures have made up what is now American culture. If this country was ever great, it was great because of this diversity.

19.

Twitter / @killmesoftly

It’s easy to be scared of the current political climate. It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of systemic racism. However, don’t let that fear ever reduce your pride and your fight.

20.

Twitter / @tawdry_hepbuurn

Just as immigrants created this country, we’ll save it as well. Just as we’ll preserve the America Dream for the future generations of Latinos to come.


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