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Transcript of American Immigration
depression, anxiety, fear (inability to feel safe), loss of trust, loss of self expression, sudden mood shifts, numbness
dissociation, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, nightmares, flashbacks
withdrawn, easily startled, decreased job performance, hyperactive, agoraphobic, restlessness, substance abuse, aggression
weight gain or loss, nervous energy, muscle tension, headaches, frequent urination, rapid heart rate, dizziness, cold sweat, high blood pressure, chest pains
Mental Health Resources
-Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights @BMC
-Harvard Program for Refugee Trauma
-MA DPH Office of Refugee and Immigrant Health
Thank you for your support!
Mental Health of Refugees or Immigrants
-Traumatic exposure in native country (war, famine, torture, terrorism, natural disaster, etc.)
-Traumatic exposure in refugee camp, detention facility, transition country.
-Overall stress of journey
- Separation from Family
- Job placement below education level
- New and unfamiliar home environments
The Immigration Experience
There are many different ways
for someone who is born on foreign soil
to enter, and live in America legally.
Someones "immigration status" refers to whether they have permission to live in the country, and what conditions they need to meet to remain legally in good legal standing.
A person who is outside his or her country of origin because they have suffered (or fear) persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because they are a member of a persecuted 'social group' or because they are fleeing a war or natural disaster.
Bosnian Refugees fled their country
due to the atrocities of the
war and genocide
in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.
Rwandan Refugees fleeing after the
Hutus committed genocide
on the Tutsis
Genocide or War
Iraqi refugees who were affiliated
with the U.S. during the war.
Lawful Permanent Resident
an individual who migrates
to the United States
willingly, and permanently
and is not yet a citizen.
In common terms: "Green Card Holders"
There are many different statuses
LPRs may work almost any type of job
LPRs are eligible for public benefits
LPR status does not expire, however they can loose there status due to legal matters.
Victims of trafficking, and witnesses of crime
can receive a U-Visa or a T-Visa.
The specifics of these visa are case-to-case.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
-Can work and are free from fear
of deportation for at least 2 years.
- Must have arrived before 16th birthday and have resided in the US since June 15, 2007
-Must be in high school, graduated or obtained a GED.
-MASS: eligible for drivers license, in-state tuition, Commonwealth health care
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Like a refugee, this status is reserved for people whose home countries are not fit to live in.
Unlike refugee status, TPS is not a permanent visa, and is only granted until country conditions have changed.
Individuals from Haiti, displaced
by the earthquake in 2010
are in the United Sates under TPS
Individuals who are not living here with the proper identification are considered to be "without status" or "undocumented."
Please, do not use the "I" word when describing individuals who are undocumented.
Remember, a person cannot be illegal,
however the action they took may be.
-Au Pair (J)
-Domestic employees or nanny -must be accompanying a foreign national employer (B-1)
-Professor, scholar, teacher (J)
-Students: academic, vocational (F, M)
-Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitors (B-2)
-Temporary agricultural workers (H-2A)
-Temporary workers performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature (H-2B)
Other, Temporary Visas
Currently, there is no pathway to citizenship, or legal status for individuals who are undocumented (besides dreamers).
Trying to legally obtain status could result in deportation.
However, there is hope.
Bill S.744 (immigration reform) will give a pathway to citizenship for almost all people living in the United States
Most Visas do not have a pathway to citizenship.
The Refugee Process
The President and Congress determine annually the number of refugees the US will aim to resettle.
In 2013 the projected total number of refugees ranges from 58,000-70,000
15,000-17,000 East Asia
1,000-2,000 Europe and Central Asia
2,500-5,000 Latin America & Caribbean
30,000-31,000 Near East/South Asia
Because of the relatively high availability of services, MA has become a destination in the U.S. for refugee resettlement with medical complications, "free cases", and other difficult resettlement cases.
Before arrival in the U.S. a health assessment is conducted to screen for TB, HIV, STD's and Hansen's Disease.
Once arrived, each refugee has to attend two health assessments in the U.S.
Individuals may be denied refugee status, for any of the following reasons:
- Health related (oversees assessment)
- Criminal Activity
-Security Reasons (especially post 9/11)
Public Services Available to Refugees in MA:
- Health Insurance (MassHealth)
-Completion of Documentation
- Employment Services (Matching grants through ORI)
- Social Services through MAA
- Cash Assistance/ SNAP
Short term welfare and
Long Term Outcomes
Public Assistance, ESOL, MassHealth
Fluent in English
Integrated in Community
A Refugee has documentation, and authorization to enter the U.S. before arrival.
An Asylee, comes to the United States without the proper status, in the hope that they will be granted asylum.
Am I a citizen?
It is common for U.S. Citizens to not
realize that they are citizens.
There are three main ways to gain citizenship;
1. Acquisition: Anyone born in the U.S. (Includes children of undocumented parents, refugees, or immigrants.)
2. Naturalization: Lawful Permanent Residents apply to be come U.S. Citizens.
3. Derivation: (after 2/27/01) Child under 18 with physical presence in the U.S. becomes a U.S. citizen when parents with physical and legal custody naturalize.
Current Path to Naturalization:
1. Must be a LPR for at least 5 years.
2. Have continuous residence.
3. Paid taxes.
4. Have "good moral character".
5. Demonstrate knowledge of English and U.S. Civics.
6. If male, must have registered for selective service.
7. Pay $700 for naturalization application fee
When working with New Americans (regardless of status), it is important to remember that most have been through some sort of Trauma.
Does NOT lead to a Green Card.
Being undocumented severely limits access to public benefits and services
Many are afraid to seek services, call police for help, or trust those who are there to help due to constant fear of deportation and separation of family members
is a very real fear for all non citizens,
but especially for
-An undocumented immigrant can be placed in detention or tried deportation even if they have not broken any additional laws.
-If placed in detention, they could be taken without notice to their family as to where they will be going, and held for any amount of time.
-If you work with undocumented clients, who speak limited English, advise them not to speak with any law enforcement if arrested or detained. Hand out "safe cards" with a lawyer or advocates number.
- Tell clients if they are arrested or detained, DO NOT SIGN a voluntary departure before consulting with an attorney or authorized legal expert.