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What Does It Mean To Be American To Immigrant?

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I live in the United States, so I call America home. However, it would not have been home if it were not for my parents. 5 years ago, my parents told me about their journey to America. According to my parents, about 20 years ago they arrived at the United States to start a new life here. They came to America with hope and wanted their children to have a good future. My parents encountered racism here and there but many kind hearted people helped them out. In America, although we consist of so many ethnic groups, we all blend together to form one nation. So what does it mean to be American according to me? To me being American is not as simple as being born in the United States. To be an American is about freedom, perseverence, and responsibility.

Freedom is such a beautiful and powerful word. A gift that not everyone gets in the world. When my parents came to the United States, they faced many obstacles. Some obstacles they faced were language barrier, cultural gap, and racism. Of course when times were hard they got homesick and missed their country, the place they once called home. Freedom is what makes America different from other countries. My dad came to the United States alone at the age of 23. He needed to get a green card to invite his family over to America. My dad married my mom in 1997 in Korea after getting his citizenship. After both of my parents became citizens of United States, they told me how moving here was important to them. They wanted to have a better life for their children where we have freedom, be safe in this country, and get an education. I felt so grateful that my parents did this for me and my sister. Imagine having to live in a new country, find a job, and communicate with others where you do not speak the language fluently. I felt happy they pushed through no matter how hard the cicumstances were.

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Now that my parents both reached their target, they moved on to finish their goals. They wanted to speak English fluently for many reasons. The first reason was so that they could have a lot of job opportunities in America. Language barrier was something they both struggled with and they still do. My parents got better at understanding and speaking English. However, back then they were so new to a whole different culture and language. So my sister and I would try to teach my parents whenever they had time. My parents worked every day and probably felt very tired but still took time to learn. I was inspired to see my parents showung perseverence. I felt very proud to see my parents working hard.

Soon after my parents became citizens they had a lot of responsibilities. They had to pay income, rent, and other taxes. I wanted to help them but at my age I could do nothing except go to school and get an education. We all have resonsibilities of our own. Such as paying bills, going to school, or working. My parents often apologized for not helping us with school. They think it is their responsibility but it is our own. I get sad whenever my parents say sorry about being busy and not having enough time to spend with us. I am grateful that they work for us, feed, and put a roof over our heads.

I discovered that my parents immigrated here because they wanted their children to have a good future, get an education, and reach for our dreams. I have learned that my parents feel like they are not enough to their two daughters. Now, I know that my parents want the best for their daughters and we will not let our parents down.

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What Does It Mean To Be American To Immigrant? (2021, August 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from
“What Does It Mean To Be American To Immigrant?” Edubirdie, 17 Aug. 2021,
What Does It Mean To Be American To Immigrant? [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Sept. 2023].
What Does It Mean To Be American To Immigrant? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2021 Aug 17 [cited 2023 Sept 24]. Available from:
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