In order to become a citizen of the United States as a foreign national you must first attain permanent resident status. There are a number of methods by which you can get a green card (the document that indicates your permanent residence), but immigrants with few connections in the United States find that the easiest way to get a green card is by the Diversity Visa Lottery. Around 50,000 visas are granted through this program and the only time to enter the lottery is right now between October 2 and November 3 of 2012.
For the entire history of the region known as America people have immigrated in order to live a life more in line with what they find to be true to themselves. Instead of being pressured into some situation which they do not agree with, traditionally religious issues, they came to America to be free from such pressures.
After a while of steady immigration these beliefs began to solidify into the concept of the American Dream. Although this theme can be traced very far back to the original pilgrims, to the late 1800s and on up through the 1950s it has been distinctly linked to immigration in the United States.
Well, what exactly is the American Dream? In recent years modern cynicism has distorted the idea into something impure and oppressive, but the original concept was truly romantic and wholly American. Horatio Alger, a popular paperback writer in the late 1800s penned scores of books that later thinkers eventually saw as tracts on the American Dream. Mr. Alger was not necessarily the best writer and his stories were often formulaic. Generally they began by describing the outright poverty of a young man or boy who had just arrived in the United States, an immigrant. However, as the book progressed, through ingenuity, will and heroic amounts of effort he built his own metaphorical empire through business. He climbed the social ladder and ended up a successful and important man by the end of the book.
This plot, often called a rags-to-riches story, actually mirrors the real stories of some prominent immigrants from the time. The giants of industry in the 19th century, the men who owned the businesses that made the country run and created the American reputation for excellence, often started out poor. They were not handed title, bank accounts or anything for that matter, but they died absurdly rich. This still happens today. Some of the greatest innovators in the world live here in the United States, but were born and raised abroad.
America still holds onto its reputation for being a place where dreams come true. America is a place of freedom and opportunity. America, the land of hope and endurance.