With the widening increase of hopefuls crossing the US borders every day, immigration is one issue that never seems to decline. This is putting tremendous pressure on the US border patrol and the dollars spent by the government is taking a toll. Many of the immigrant children and youth cross the border in order to escape the deadly political violence or natural disasters, to escape from civil wars in their countries or even torture. Even with the barriers set up, they still try to overcome all hurdles on the pathways to US citizenship. Immigrant students too enter the US in millions every year, and they face a lot of problems – emotional, financial and social problems in the “land of plenty”.
Adversity encountered by Immigrant youth
Teens face the ultimate hardship that is, they are stuck in two worlds, a world where they are neither fully American nor are fully a part of their own country. Most of these children who arrive do not have any formal education in their own country nor are they able to attend school in the US – due to illegal papers or low English proficiency. Even though they have enrolled in schools, migrant workers are forced to return to their homes, as they are unable to be employed during the winter season. This again affects their children who have been forced to discontinue their studies for several weeks, negatively affecting their attendance.
Limited English learning Immigrant Students
The Urban Institute reports that the number of immigrant children has tripled by 6-20 percent between 1970 and 2000. With this rapid enrollment of immigrant children, the nation’s school strength is estimated to increase by 30 percent. Immigrant youngsters who lack English Proficiency have also increased drastically. A number of Spanish speaking children are being seen with limited English proficiency, followed by Vietnamese, Cantonese and Korean.
Challenges faced by Limited English Learning Students
Even though children of immigrant perform well, most of them, especially teens face problems when it comes to language skills, culture, and social barriers along with their poverty circle. Children are not able to cope with the natives speaking English as they lack time to get their study materials and make friends with native citizens. There are no helping hands from their family as the parents work multiple jobs or work in shift timings to make ends meet. This in due course results in more dropouts.
Young immigrant’s independence constraints with the family
Children who have mastered English are often seen as translators for their parents outside, as the parents have limited English proficiency that have less education and qualification. This creates tiffs among the parents and children, where the child feels isolated in the new country and has mixed cultural barriers, on the other hand the parents feels their children have become too Americanized and independent. These misconceptions can be brought down when there is some active communication established by NGOs’ to educate the parents so that they are able to give some valuable time and support to their children.
Serving Immigrant and LEP Parents
With the help of the Federal No Child Left behind Act of 2001 the bilingual and immigration education program has been further strengthened. Many workshops and community centers support the immigrant families by introducing programs like:
-Making English a secondary Language, parent workshops, computer training, translations and referrals.
-Programs for new bees by proving language improvement and co-curricular and cultural course.
-Partnership with educators, medical team and cultural leadership in society to serve the immigrant community.
-Five-year high school program for those immigrant students who lack in English speech and who need extra coaching.
The projects mentioned above focus on the targeted immigrants that will provide them a base and make them strong and powerful. These projects will hopefully be able to contact the broader audience of the immigrant children, making it a safer place to be in, setting out their legal papers through the consulting of a good immigrant lawyer and by going through the green card process in order to receive their citizenship.
It is to be noted here that for every immigrant it is imperative to appear for the Medical Immigration Exam; one can adjust status or expedite the process for a Green Card only if the US Medical Immigration Examination is undertaken. This is a mandatory part of the US Immigration exam.