The benefits of immigration are indeed numerous. Immigrants boost the economic activities of host countries, promote innovation, and improve the productive capacity of the workforce as they join industries and areas where there is a shortage of laborers. The rise in immigration increases tax revenues and fiscal costs. In other words, Immigration fuels the economy of any nation. How? The ingo of immigrants into the labor force boosts the economy and raises its Gross Domestic Product. It is good to also mention that immigration costs a lot. However, these costs should not be so exaggerated to constitute a hindrance, rather, they should be wielded, as the benefits of immigration undoubtedly outweigh the cost. In light of the above, the wisdom required to successfully undergo the stress that comes with immigration will be discussed in this article.
Wisdom For Immi-Stress
· Do well to have consistent access to your heritage culture as well as your host culture. While your heritage culture gives you access to support and resources targeted to meet your needs, your host culture gives access to institutions that can help you adjust to your new environment. For instance, you can actively join broadcast media channels e.g., radio, Tv stations, online news sites, etc. in both cultures and engage in discussions. This is most effective especially when a program is live and you are allowed to call in. For your heritage culture, call in, speak the language of your homeland, and enjoy the home feel. This is exceptionally effective especially when you have just few or no individuals around you with whom you can communicate in your native language. The same is applicable in your host culture as long as you can communicate in the language engaged on the show.
· Make the best of available access to employment, basic services, and social support, and learn the language of your host country.
· Reunite with your family as long as you have the opportunity to have them visit you or even permanently live with you as the case may be.
· Have an effective social network and stable family structure. The viable mental health of parents makes children feel safe and protected from immi-stress.
· Make the best use of information on mental health care access through schools, religious organizations, community outreach initiatives, and reaching out to at-risk groups e.g., unaccompanied minors. Enjoy the help provided by charities and organizations to support migrants who may have experienced immi-stress. Such organizations include The Coalition for Immigrant Mental Health (for documented immigrants), and Mental Health Connector (for undocumented immigrants). However, in some cases, those who went beyond their shells to get assistance from these organizations may not receive the needed help due to varying reasons such as unavailability of the needed assistance at the time of need. It is also expedient to note that some stressors require multiple coping strategies simultaneously. Some victims use other strategies following the unsuccessful outcome of earlier attempts. Unfortunately, some coping strategies can lead to new stressors.
· Respect and recognize the uniqueness of your person and identity, even when you face discrimination during the immigration process and after settling down.
· You have to understand that ethnic identity (heritage culture and racial identity) and national identity are not mutually exclusive. They can coexist successfully. This is a soothing relief to acculturation-related stress.
· Get substantial support for the right and appropriate documentation, and have stable housing. This will immensely relieve you of stress.
The Role of School Administrators in Supporting Students and Families Dealing with Immi-Stress
· Make the school safe and sane for students. Let it be evident to all that you protect the right of every child to education. Create a safe and welcoming environment for every student. Have zero tolerance for the engagement of disparaging language and behavior capable of stigmatizing immigrants.
· Help the students to build a good level of trust in the school authority that they (the authority) can be trusted to disseminate accurate, helpful, and protected information.
· Students and their families should be aware of their rights. So, interact with them and answer their questions. Engage legal experts and social service providers to present relevant topics. Consider the fact that some parents may keep their children at home for fear of deportation.
· Support students by arranging counseling sections for them and refer them to familiar agencies when necessary. These should be preferably agencies you collaborate with. Discussion circles and support groups encourage adolescents to open up and discuss their feelings with their peers who have similar challenges.
· Volunteering for advocacy organizations can empower young adults and adolescents and grant them access to valuable support and resources. Therefore, schools should encourage advocacy using school policies to provide opportunities for students’ civic engagement.
· The school administrators should endeavor to stay informed and updated about any change in policy and law as far as deportation and immigration are concerned. Likewise, they should provide professional workshops for their employees about the challenges faced by undocumented students or students who have undocumented relatives. They should also be orientated about laws guiding different immigration statuses, and how to bring about a learning environment that is culturally responsive and competent.
· There should be the provision of support, access to information and resources, and progressive awareness. Forward-looking policies such as these are the ways schools support their students as well as the parents. However, schools cannot take care of the foundational cause of immi-stress for their students.
The Role of School Staff in Supporting Students Dealing with Immi-Stress
· When you are trying to carry out disciplinary actions, be patient when you notice strange behavior in students.
· Be interested and ready to discuss immigration status-related issues without fear as some students can openly talk about their distress. Engage the appropriate language, be simple, positive, and clear, especially in the case of younger children. They may not even understand why they feel the way they do.
· Do not refer to students as aliens, illegal or undocumented, or unauthorized immigrants. These words have powerful dehumanizing effects.
· Be alert and pay close attention such that you can notice any emotional signs of distress. Then make available an atmosphere in which the student can feel protected and have a good opportunity to unveil what is responsible for his/her emotional distress. Listen actively to identify the child’s needs.
· Be as friendly and supportive as much as it is required.
· Communicate duly and effectively with the administration of the school, the school counselor, or the social worker so that they can do the needful.
· It might be engulfing to see the level of stress your students are subjected to. Please get help. Take care.
In conclusion, immigrants should have vivid clarifications on their rights as regards contract conflicts, the type of support available, and how and from whom to access them in their new location. It is important to improve the support mechanisms available for the access of immigrants. Migrant-led initiatives should be strengthened in every nation to assist migrants in coping with immi-stress. These will reduce the experiences and impact of stressors, which tends to ultimately lead to more successful migration results. No doubt, immigration will not cease. The government has to ensure migrants have the support they need to cope with the challenges they may encounter in the process.
Bewield immi-stress and live your dreams. You are able!
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