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I can offer a reverse perspective for you. I moved to the States as a young boy (11 years) and have lived in the US and Canada for the last 30 years--Northern California now. We moved from Northern Ireland during a very turbulent time, yet it was still home. I had just lost a cousin in the troubles and my Dad was a time finding work (not to get religious, but it was always tough for Catholics in Nor Iron to find work that wouldn't get you killed and paid a decent wage). We had family in the States and a brilliant opportunity for my dad to go into business with a cousin who was well established.

For me, it was difficult. We moved to a rural part of Northern California and you were either White or Hispanic, but I was more accepted by the Hispanics as we shared common sport and religion. The white kids, particularly the boys, made it very difficult at first, but I tried to assimilate as quickly as I could and by the time I got to High School I had become a pretty good American Football player, as much as I hate to watch the sport, so that was really what turned it around for me. I also got into the other local 'white' kid sport of choice--rodeo. Imagine that, an overgrown leperchuan riding rough stock... At any rate, I learned to cover up most of my accent pretty quick, but it did come in handy with the ladies as I got older. ;-)

All in all, I had a tough first few years, but there were absolutely no other Irish kids about. Eventually I found a Glaswegian family that took me under their wing a bit as we had a common ground in being supporters of Glasgow Celtic FC, so at least I had a partner in crime in their son who was about 5 years older than me, but by then I had become generally accepted by the rest of the kids as well, not for the lack of a few dust-ups and bloody noses though.

As young as I was, I can't really speak for the experience of my parents, and we had family here already, so they had an immediate network and as I said my dad walked into a partnership on a business and immediately was doing better than I had ever recalled.

Sorry this is a bit scattered, but it has been so bloody long ago now. :-)

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