While Hollywood movies can glorify living in the US or in California where the high palm trees are, they do not show the real dilemma. Living in the US is not as beautiful as they claim it to be. The infrastructure is not how it seems. People are not all fit, healthy, and beautiful with gleaming skin. The cities aren’t as lively as you think. In fact, the streets are full of homeless people who live in the streets as well as unsheltered and mentally disturbed people.
Let’s talk about the culture, As an Egyptian, we really depend on the factor of “family”. Every couple of weeks, we gathering, eat together and socialize with our relatives. On the other hand, culture in the US is regressive. They like to have private, isolated lives, devoid of family and community in general. There are high rates of divorce and abuse in families for many reasons. The houses have a high rate of depression and even abusing prescription drugs and alcohol. When settling down there, you sure would not want your kids growing up in such an environment of bad values.
Racism. And I am talking the darker your skin is, the worse it gets. As an immigrant, you would be exposed to so much racism, whether it is your religion or your skin color. Everyone who is an outsider, even if they are born in the US, is exposed to racism. And what is worse, they are racist towards people of their country! Let’s not forget George Floyd who cried out “I cannot breathe” multiple times before dying in a harsh inhumane manner that shook the whole world.
Bills, bills, and more bills. Americans have so many taxes and bills to pay for electricity and water. They are usually deducted from your paycheque automatically. And they are usually 30% of your wage, which is a lot. It would talk so much effort to find a good place to live in in the first place. The further it is from the city, the better.
Why do people migrate to the US? One answer for this question is a higher income, lower stress, and satisfying life, away from every hardship they face in their hometown. Also, they immigrate to the US hoping for a 5 times higher salary where what they do not know that prices will be 5 to 20 times higher as well. I am talking about transportation fees, basic daily meals, and rent. All the basic stuff would cost more as well. Universities are expensive.
And if you find a suitable job, when they hire you at the least possible wage and fire you for no reason at all, healthcare would be expensive.
The Americans live and die, yearning for the American dream that can go unachieved. In the famous playwright written by Arthur Miller, “Death of A salesman” the main protagonist spends his whole life pursuing it and when he fails, his life crumbles and he decides to leave the world so that his sons could take the money of his life insurance.
Violence. While you still can be careful to stay away from any area that is famous for guns and crimes. There is a serious gang war and drug problems in the US. You will always have that fear of it. Guns and crimes. Even in an area that would seem nice, anyone can have a gun. In big cities, some areas are a do-not-go-there because of violence. Towns would be the safest solution where the upper middle class lives. Just anywhere with fewer crime problems. Schools aren’t even safe, for example, the 1994 Wickliffe Middle School shooting and many others.
Fitting in with the others in the US would be a challenge. You would always try to find people from your country to socialize with due to the segregated lives the US people live. You will have to adapt and get used to their traditions or anything that would sound unusual there. The food, the people, and the culture.
To conclude, most people view America based on what the movies and the TV portrays. America is not all red carpets and the GRAMMYS and fancy movies. It is much darker and deeper and settling there would be a challenge unless you are willing to adapt to hardships.