The "American dream" means many different things to many different people. For some people it is the freedom of religion so that they can worship in any way they like without feeling threatened. For some it is the dream of becoming your own boss, a pursuit that just isn't possible in many countries. To some it is knowing that for all of their hard work their children and grandchildren will have a much better life than they had. For others it is living in a country where they know that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the foundations of its national life.
In the play West Side Story the American dream is very important to many of the characters. To the Puerto Ricans it is very important because in Puerto Rico they were very poor and didn't have a very good life. They came to America to make a better life for themselves. This is why they struggle to beat the Jets. The Jets are trying to make them unhappy and take the Puerto Ricans' chance at the American dream away from them.
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