The world has nearly 200 nations, thousands of languages, and thousands of religions. Many people grow up and live their entire lives mostly in one region. If a natural disaster, governmental collapse, warfare, or other catastrophic event should occur, many individuals and families wind up emigrating from those locales and situations.
Many come to the United States seeking asylum
and to resume their lives as much as possible. Just getting to the United States and gaining lawful entry as well as permission to remain can be difficult when you must do so suddenly and with little or no resources. Those who have job skills that are in demand in the United States might have a slightly better outlook than most immigrants and refugees. But many barriers still exist.
When immigrants and refugees arrive in the United States, the cultural shock can be overwhelming. A big city could be very intimidating to someone who might have lived in a mostly rural area. Even when coming from a densely populated area, the differences between U.S. cities and those located in other areas around the world can be significant.
Legal Definitions of Refugees
When people leave their native lands, they often do so under three circumstances. The three circumstances greatly reflect the varying levels of difficulty facing new arrivals.
Least prepared and typically least capable to care for themselves are refugees who are fleeing their homelands because sudden upheaval. That upheaval might be due to natural disasters, warfare, or a total governmental collapse. A sudden change in political regime might create a significantly dangerous situation that forces refugees to flee.
On arrival in the United States, refugees can apply for asylum because of the dangerous conditions in their homelands. Those seeking asylum do not automatically gain approval to stay. They must prove they are subject to threatening conditions that would make it dangerous for them to return home. When that proof is provided and acknowledged, asylum typically is granted.
It is virtually impossible for refugees to illegally enter the United States. That is because federal law automatically grants refugee status to those seeking asylum from truly deadly situations. When a refugee arrives at the border and announces the intent to seek asylum, the refugee is given the opportunity to seek permanent asylum.
If a refugee crosses the border, he or she has not committed a crime or broken federal law. The refugee only needs to announce the intent to seek asylum and can do so at a federal immigration center.
Immigrants and Legal Migrants
In addition to refugees seeking asylum, two levels of lawful immigration
also occur. In both situations, the emigration from their homelands is planned rather than suddenly forced on the people who become refugees and asylum-seekers. An immigrant undertakes a permanent move to the United States or another nation and settles there. An immigrant could obtain permanent resident status or eventually apply for U.S. citizenship
A migrant is the third general type of legal immigration in the United States. In most cases, a migrant is someone who has special skills or education and can fulfill underserved roles in the United States. A qualifying migrant obtains legal permission to live and work in the United States for a period by applying for and obtaining a work visa
. The migrant can begin the process while located outside the United States and obtain a green card
prior to leaving his or her homeland.
Cultural Barriers Affect Virtually All Newcomers
Whether coming alone or as part of a family unit, virtually all immigrants and refugees endure a significant cultural shock on arrival in the United States. Many might wind up living among similarly situated people from the same or similar locales to provide some measure of familiarity. But most likely will find themselves in situations in which they are completely out of their comfort zones and in need of at least some assistance.
Many local churches and nonprofit organizations provide support services for refugees and immigrants who are struggling to adjust to life in the United States. The barriers to cultural assimilation are many, including differences in language, religion, and even the types of foods available. Finding a job capable of producing suitable income to maintain a home and sustain the family also could be very difficult.
The impact on the family unit also could be significant. Schools can be very different for refugee and immigrant children, especially those whose native languages are other than English or even Spanish. Young children often can assimilate and fit in more rapidly than their parents and grandparents, but that also could create internal conflicts in the home because of cultural differences.
Transportation Issues Could Limit Opportunities
Many refugees, immigrants, and migrants have limited or no experience driving a vehicle. Obtaining a driver’s license is easy in some locales and not so easy in others. In addition, differences in U.S. roadway laws versus those in other nations could be significant. If the refugees, immigrants, or migrants wind up in a big city, buying a car and affording the cost to insure it and park it can be prohibitive in many cities.
That leaves many dependent on public transportation. However, even boarding a bus or municipal subway or elevated train could be an intimidating experience for those who just arrived. Many job providers in big cities are fine with workers using public transportation and expect them to do just that. But a new arrival might find even public transportation to be a barrier because of language differences and a lack of understanding regarding how a city or other locale is laid out.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at MC Law Group, LLC Help Clients with a Variety of Immigration Issues
Immigration laws differ based on the type of immigration being pursued and the individual circumstances that might cause you or someone you know to seek a new life in another nation, such as the United States. The many difficulties that refugees, migrants, and immigrants face could make the services of an experienced immigration lawyer necessary to help streamline immigration processing. The experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyers at MC Law Group
can explain the immigration process and help to ensure you have the best opportunity to make a permanent and positive change in life. Call us at 215-496-0690
or contact us online
today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.