A friend of ours is an immigrant from Guatemala. She arrived here poor, not knowing the language (and with a green card!) She worked hard at a full time job and cleaned houses on the side. That’s how we got to know her. She’s a citizen now.
She has two children and raised them mostly by herself. Last month her daughter graduated from high school with high grades, was prom queen, and got accepted into four colleges. Her younger brother always gets straight A’s. He’ll be going to college soon too.
They are, by most measures, poor. Mom is strict. And her children aren’t in gangs or on drugs. They have real futures ahead of them.
Despite all our problems, what Mom did, and her kids probable pole-vaulting into the middle class, is still easier to do here than in most other countries.
It’s not just immigrants of course. My wife’s father started out as a stonemason, said there must be an easier way, went to college on borrowed money, and ended up as an aerospace engineer.