A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Contact: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/

Friday, July 1, 2022

Why People Choose to Come to the United States?

Last week, 50 people were found dead in an abandoned truck in San Antonio, TX. They were believed to be illegal migrants being transported to the United States by human smugglers. 

America has always been a popular country for immigration.  Its immigrant population has grown from 14 million to 44.9 million from 1980 to 2019.  Although immigration has declined somewhat in the past two years due to the pandemic, the United States is still the country with the most foreign-born residents in the world. On this July 4th weekend, we ask ourselves again this question: why do foreign nationals migrate to America?

Every year, countless migrants came through the Mexican border illegally, often risking their lives in the journey. Chinese migrants pay smugglers tens of thousand of dollars to come to the land of freedom. After arrival, they work seven days a week for several years just to pay off the smuggling debt.  One day, when they have a chance to return home, they dress up nicely wearing gold and jewelries, never mentioning a word about their suffering. 

Family immigration remains the most popular way for legal immigration, although the wait is unbearably long for certain countries and categories, especially sibling petitions.  Upon their arrival, many immigrants find it hard to adjust to the new lifestyle here. Unexpected family conflicts and dynamics are also challenges for many immigrant families.  Some marriage-based petitions actually ended up in divorce.  

America has been described as a paradise for children, without the pressure that their Asian counterparts are put under.  American children do enjoy more free time in general, but their life can also be busy if they have a tiger parent, or if they attend selective schools.  Gun violence, bullying including cyberbullying, racism, social media pressure, drug abuse, etc., are other issues that they have to deal with. 

Adults are not really better off. Americans are notorious workaholics. They work longer hours, don't take vacations, and retire later than ever. In order to achieve their American dream, immigrants sacrifice their time and freedom by working nonstop.  Stress-related ailments and divorces are common among the high wage earners.  

Politically, America is as divided as day and night, yin and yang. Our government stands in sharp contrast to China, where new policies get implemented swiftly and decisively.  Our Founding Fathers might have intended political partisanship as the ultimate check and balance of the system. Yet, a gridlocked Congress means that very few things can get done, including those that we all agree on. 

So why are so many people trying to come to America? Most people would say opportunities, education, culture, diversity, healthcare, stability, science and technology, etc., Perhaps they truly believe in the democracy and freedom that our flag symbolizes.  Or perhaps, despite all our flaws and divisions, we are still the best option out there. 

(Immigration laws and policies change regularly.  If you have any questions regarding this article, please visit www.1visa1.com to schedule a legal consultation.) 

No comments: