Comparison Of Juan Manuel Peralta And John Zannikos's Migration

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All immigrants want to achieve their version of the “American Dream” and will work hard in order to achieve it. Juan Manuel Peralta and John Zannikos are immigrants from Mexico and Greece respectively. They both want to have a better life than what they would have had in their home country. Even though they start their journey similarly, Peralta’s and Zannikos’s outcome is very different due to many differing conditions during the time of their migration. John Zannikos did not grow up in the most favorable environment. He grew up during the midst of World War II, causing him to never pass the second grade and never learn to read or write. Since Greece was in shambles, teenager Zannikos became a merchant seaman and docked in the United…show more content…
He finished eighth grade, but Peralta’s future was bleak, only consisting of fixing flat tires. At nineteen, Peralta’s father borrowed enough money in order for Peralta to achieve his father’s dream of moving to the United States. In 1990, Peralta moved to the same section of Queens that Zannikos originally moved to and began working in different restaurants. Unlike the Greek community who helped Zannikos, the Latino community in Queens try to make it on their own. After five years, Peralta return to his village, married, and returned to New York with his new wife. Peralta worked hard for fifteen years, supporting his wife and two children. He finds it hard to move up in the world since he is an illegal…show more content…
Zannikos lives comfortably in the suburbs of New Jersey with his wife and three children, owns a condominium in Florida, and even helped build a local Greek church. Peralta, however, lives in an apartment with nine other Mexicans along with his wife and two children and occasionally is asked to send $100 back home to help his family. How did the men secure such different lives when they started out so alike? When Zannikos first immigrated to the United States, many immigrants were European with Caucasian features, helping them blend in in New York. It is hard to say whether or not Mexicans immigrants will eventually assimilate into the culture just as the Europeans did 40 years earlier. Another big difference between the men is Zannikos is a citizen while Peralta is an illegal immigrant. Francisco Rivera-Batiz studied what happen with Mexican immigrants after the national amnesty in 1986. A national amnesty occurs when a government of a country forgives a group of people of an offense. The national amnesty of 1986 legalized illegal immigrants in the United States among other things. Rivera-Batiz studied Mexican immigrants who were legalized and found that it helped them exceedingly. Incomes rose 20 percent and their English

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