Immigration and First Gen Issues
Several members of our team are either immigrants themselves or first-generation immigrants to the US.
Not only do we believe strongly in justice for all immigrants- documented, or not, we also believe immigrant families deserve support, compassion and attunement to the unique challenges they may face when coming to the US. A lot of people think that once you get to the US, everything is instantly better. However, immigration is complex, it impacts the mental, spiritual and emotional well-being of the family for generations to come. Here are some of the unique challenges immigrant families may face.
We aim to provide culturally attuned care to ease your transition into the US and hold so much compassion for whatever it took to get here:
1. Language Barriers: Language proficiency can impact access to education, employment, healthcare, and social integration. Learning a new language takes time and effort, which can create difficulties in various aspects of life. Our therapist, MariPaz, speaks Spanish and English and loves working with Latinx immigrant families among her other specialties.
2. Cultural Adaptation: Adjusting to a new cultural environment involves learning social norms, customs, and expectations. Cultural differences in communication styles, values, and social dynamics can present challenges in forming relationships and feeling a sense of belonging.
3. Discrimination and prejudice: Immigrants and their children may face discrimination or prejudice based on their ethnic or cultural background. This can manifest in various forms, such as racism, xenophobia, or stereotyping, and can negatively impact their well-being, opportunities, and sense of identity. We help you process this trauma and build resilience against racial discrimination.
4. Educational challenges: Immigrant children may encounter educational barriers, including language barriers, differences in academic systems, and unfamiliarity with the education system of their new country. Limited access to resources or support can further compound these challenges.
5. Economic disparities: Immigrants and their children may face economic challenges due to limited job prospects, lower wages, lack of recognition of foreign qualifications, or difficulty in finding employment that matches their skills and education.
6. Family separation and reunification: Immigrants often face the emotional and logistical challenges of leaving their families and support networks behind. Separation from loved ones can be distressing, while reunification processes can be complex and time-consuming. All emotions are valid in this process including anger, resent, sadness and grief. Allyson’s family has personal experience with this and we are here to hold space in how challenging this is.
7. Immigration status and legal complexities: Individuals with uncertain or unstable immigration status may face additional stress and anxiety. Navigating immigration policies, obtaining legal documentation, and addressing concerns about deportation or family separation can be overwhelming. We believe no human is “illegal.” We do not report immigration status to ICE or other harmful authorities. Whether you have documents or not, you are an important and valued member of our community.
8. Dual cultural identity: Children of immigrants often grapple with the complexities of dual cultural identity. Balancing the values and traditions of their heritage with those of the new culture can create internal conflicts and a search for a sense of belonging. We can help you explore how to integrate your heritages in a way that feels most aligned and authentic to you.
9. Social support and networks: Establishing social connections and support networks can be challenging for immigrants. Limited familiarity with the local community, isolation, and difficulties in maintaining ties with their home country can contribute to feelings of loneliness and social exclusion. We help folks feel more connected, seen, understood and provide a sense of belonging. Our aim is also to help connect you to community in your daily life where you can feel a sense of belonging.
Challenges faced by immigrants of any status and their children can vary significantly based on factors such as socioeconomic status, country of origin, immigration pathway, and individual circumstances. We provide a supportive environment, inclusive policies, and culturally sensitive services to help address these challenges.
We would be deeply honored to support you in this challenging and overlooked process.