Challenges through life as an immigrant

The 7 biggest challenges facing refugees and immigrants in the US Moving nations comes with some big challenges. I was working with several refugee groups in Salt Lake City, Utah, and over the span of one year I found myself constantly impressed and amazed at their perseverance and strength. You would think that the struggles faced by refugees would be over once they arrived in the land of the free, right?

Challenges through life as an immigrant

Difficulties Faced by Immigrants and Refugees 3 years ago written by Lauren Schwaar Hundreds of thousands of people around the world desperately wish to leave their homelands and travel to the United States for a variety of reasons. Often, their dreams for a new life parallel the motivations that caused the Pilgrims to leave their own homelands for America.

Many who hope to escape war, persecution, famine and poverty believe they will find relief on U. However, immigrants often meet challenges upon their arrival that they never anticipated. These difficulties range from navigating legal complications to understanding complex transportation systems, securing living arrangements and employment, and battling culture shock, psychological distress, depression and despair.

For immigrants and refugees, relocating to the United States is no small feat. Many have never experienced anything like the lifestyle that we take for granted and must transition unaided to the modern conveniences typical of American life.

Difficulties Faced by Immigrants and Refugees | Light and Life Magazine

Former Mayor Lee Swaney of Clarkston, Georgia, described this phenomenon in a congressional report on refugee resettlement: Immersing oneself in a new culture almost always causes the absence of everything familiar.

Everything from hygiene routines to food choices to methods of transportation must be relearned. New habits must be formed, and once-familiar options must be lived without.

When the necessity of constant adjustment and relearning is concentrated into a small amount of time, lasting stress may affect the body and spirit.

Another formidable difficulty that immigrants and refugees face upon arriving in the United States is the language barrier. More often than not, immigrants reach the United States with a less-than-fluent grasp of English, and refugees often arrive with even less English experience.

Employment, transportation, legal responsibilities and receiving assistance in each of these areas are more difficult without a firm grasp of English. A study of a group of Burmese refugees provides another example of the stress the language barrier can cause.

Besides the drastic lifestyle changes that most immigrants and refugees face upon arrival, other differences between the United States culture and cultures left behind can cause difficulties.

Our economic system, much more complex than the survival environment that many refugees escape from in their trek to the United States, can become an insurmountable challenge for immigrants and refugees. According to a congressional report on the state of the U.

Though surface-level culture differences cause some difficulty, experiencing fundamental differences between cultural norms and values can cause deeper problems. Even your presidents brag about how poor they used to be. We never talk about [that] — except to our closest friends who already know.

Here in America, I never know what to say when somebody starts to tell me how successful he is. Misunderstandings between cultures are far from a one-way street.

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Americans expect immigrants and refugees to conform to U. These cultural misunderstandings can make the transition to American life overwhelming. The stress of the resettlement process can cause myriad ailments for immigrants and refugees.

Psychologically, the effects of sudden change and culture shock can wreak havoc on the mental well being of immigrants and refugees. During the resettlement process, even physical health can be affected. The circumstances that necessitated their relocation to the United States often involved a great deal of mental and physical stress especially in the case of refugees who, by definition, are fleeing from war or another form of involuntary expulsion from their homeland.

Coupled with the challenge of meeting basic physical needs, refugees and immigrants are uniquely susceptible to the stress of culture shock and other psychological burdens. We as the church need to recognize the amplified magnitude of the needs that our immigrant and refugee populations encounter.

Lauren Schwaar is a graduate of Greenville College. While a Greenville student, she wrote an honors thesis on the role of the U. Do you know someone else who has had misconceptions?

The story of U.S. immigrants in their own words.

What can the church do to help immigrants and refugees adjust to life in the United States?On Sunday, May 27, , from pm, come experience a FREE day as an immigrant making a new life on a small farm in the town of Scandia in the late ’s. Difficulties Faced by Immigrants and Refugees 3 years ago written by Lauren Schwaar Hundreds of thousands of people around the world desperately wish to leave their homelands and travel to the United States for a variety of reasons.

The Top 10 Problems Faced by Immigrants.

Challenges through life as an immigrant

Settling in a new region poses many challenges, whatever your background, and there are some that are common experiences for migrants across the globe. The School of Immigrant and Transitional Education offers specialized programs and services that help you to prepare for your next steps to employment or further education.

Mission and Mandate. Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre is committed to supporting Asian and South Asian women, children, youth and their families in taking greater control of their lives. Many rural communities experience new growth through in-migration. In Herøy, Northern Norway, this is a result of increased labour migration in the fishing industry and a comprehensive effort by the municipality to encourage migrant workers to settle there.

Strengths and Challenges of Immigrant Families - Child Welfare Information Gateway