The struggles refugees and immigrants face everyday

The struggles refugees and immigrants face everyday
Many refugees and immigrants were highly educated in their home countries but today work in jobs that do not use their education or experience.

Refugee and Immigrant Families Face Challenges on a Daily Basis.

What comes in mind when you hear the word immigration? People have different thoughts on this question considering their geographic, psychographic, and demographic areas. For many the word immigration makes one think of hope, liberty, opportunity, and for some people, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of the word immigration is the word illegal.

Everyone has their own opinion on what it means to be an immigrant.

However, very few know the deep struggles between immigrant parents and their children face every day in the United States. Being a young refugee who migrated to the United States at age thirteen, I have carefully studied the struggles my parents and I face on a day-to-day basis.

In this article, I am going to share with you the struggles immigrant parents and their children are facing today. This is important because if everyone was aware of what others are going through, we would know how to value, and treat, others wholeheartedly.

How wonderful would that be? In my mind, they are two kinds of immigrants: olmmies and newmmies.

There are immigrants who have arrived to the United States long ago and have mastered the lifestyle. In addition, their children are not associated with the status of being a refugee or an immigrant. I identify these people as olmmies. Olmmies are immigrants who have arrived to the United States before the year of 2000. Immigrants who have migrated to the United States after the year of 2000 are what I call newmmies. These immigrants include my family who came to the United States in 2008.

Since I belong in the category of the newmies it is only fair to talk about what I understand. 

Struggles Immigrant Parents Are More Likely to Face

Newmmies want to be treated like everybody else. They want to receive the same service everyone is getting. For example, they want to get the right medicines and get treated fairly when they go the hospitals.

Newmies like my parents face the challenges of speaking the English language. As result, my mom is forced to work the harder tasks because everyone else is capable to talk themselves out of it.

A number of newmmies went to school back in their home country but were not given the opportunity to expand their knowledge and their horizon when they came to the Unites States. It is flabbergasting at how a newmmie might go from being a high school principal to working in factories. From a number of immigrant parents that I have interacted with, many among them claim that their immigrant status is keeping them from being treated equally especially in their job activities.

Just like everybody else, newmmies are concerned about their safety. For example, in Australia there was a Congolese family that was harassed by their white American neighbor who stood in front of their house insulting them saying they should go back to Africa.

In addition, some immigrant parents have difficulty raising their children in the new country. Children adapt quickly behaviors of a particular environment and might want to live with those behaviors with parents who cannot stand it. These parents might want their children to keep their culture and tradition alive but very few do. For some parents, it is somewhat difficult to raise children who turn into American quicker than the process of actually becoming an American themselves.

Another struggle a young immigrant especially a “newmmie” might have is being comfortable enough to welcome his or her parents to his or her school related activities. Some parents might still struggle with the language or might have never attended an event like soccer banquet before.

So we know that that our parents might not be comfortable especially when they do not know the other attendees. Some young immigrant might not even invite their parents or might feel embarrassed to have their parents present at their extracurricular activities for a multiple of different reasons.

There are numerous of struggles both big and small immigrants face in the today society. In this article I have tried to name the most important ones for you. I hope that you have taken away something from my outlook on struggles immigrant parents and their children face on day-to-day basis.

Refugees shaking hands

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About Wilson Kubwayo
Wilson is a refugee from Burundi, a motivational speaker and leads USAHello's digital media strategy.