The United States is a nation of immigrants. This makes it essential to review the experiences of immigrants as a way of understanding how these experiences shape the economy of the country. One of the core issues of immigration to the United States is the American dream which makes immigrants relocate to the nation in pursuit of new opportunities and improved life.
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The number of immigrants into the United States continues to grow with the majority coming from Africa and Asia. Immigrants accounted for over 12% of the United States population in the year 2009 (Fishman, 53). More so, American history especially around 1800, immigrants into American have not been identified as Americans as seen Indian-Americans, Mexican-American, Spanish-Americas and so on. Immigrants are expected to assimilate American culture regarding values, and customs fast and shed off their homeland traditions. With this challenge, immigrants have been able to forge a unique identity which has helped them effectively blend with the rest of the American population. African immigrants into the United States are more educated and proficient in English as well as having a higher social-economic status than immigrants from other parts of the globe (Fosco, DD). It has for long been assumed that immigrants come as laborers to improve their lives. Looking at the experience of immigrants today may shed new light into the issue of immigration. Therefore, this paper examines the experience of immigrants in acculturation to the United States.
For this study, I interviewed an immigrant of African decency to establish his perception of acculturation to the United States. Thus, there is a need to have an overview of the interviewee. Therefore, the discussions in this paper rely on oral history conducted on one individual. My interviewee was a twenty-five-year-old man, Timothy, from Nigeria’s capital Lagos. While still in Nigeria, Timothy had acquired a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Management from one of the leading public universities in Nigeria. He now stays in Colorado and is pursuing another master’s degree from a University in Missouri. Like most students in Africa, Timothy started learning English from a young age and continues to study the language even past high school level. He was also a teacher in college while in Nigeria. Though he has not focused on studying English as a core subject, he was proficient in American university even outperforming some of the American students. His choice of coming to the United States was motivated by the financial offer and was more so interested in entering the American culture. Timothy considers returning to Nigeria but coming back to the United States remains a possibility for the future. His class and social status could be viewed as to have been critical in his transition to life in the United States.
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