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Legal Immigrants

Mariana Hall, Elizabeth Hares, Austin Lepper, Hayley Meredith, Sotheavy Moeung,
Sylvia Niemyjski, Natalie Noss, & Ian Sande

Legal Immigration
Difference between Legal Immigrants and Illegal
Legal Immigrants, two groups:
o Legal Residents
o Legal Citizens

Retrieved from http://www.kesq.com/news/some-groups-in-california-pushing-to-expand-immigrant-healthcare/30001258

Legal Immigrants


Nonimmigrants: noncitizens permitted to reside temporarily in the United


Unlawful/undocumented immigrants: individuals who entered the US

illegally, without a visa, ort inspection and reside in the US. OR Individuals who
entered the US legally, but who stayed after the expiration of a visa

Legal permanent residents: immigrants who came legally and obtained

residence. They are permitted to live, and work but they are not allowed to vote.
They may choose to become naturalized citizens after 5 years

Naturalized citizens: have reached the status of American citizen after taking a
test of US history and English.

Retrieved from http://ideas.time.com/2013/02/12/do-immigrants-drain-society/

Hispanic Immigrants
Hispanic: a term created by the U.S government for the 1970 census, used
to identify individuals living in the United States but from Latin American
Beliefs, roles, and customary practices
The family is a close-knit group and social unit, not only nuclear
family but extended family
The father is the head of the family, and mother is responsible for the
Preserve the Spanish language within children and home
Have a moral responsibility to aid other members of the family

Retrieved from ilovenjlibraries.org

Hispanic Immigrants
Occupational injustice, health, wellbeing, and occupational
Alienation & imbalance due to language barriers
Limitations in education, leisure, and health maintenance
Stereotyping and common assumptions about Hispanic immigrants:
o They are un-educated
o They take jobs from the Americans
o They are illegal
Retrieved from http://www.ibtimes.com/republican-outlook-immigration-reform-we-have-get-past-primaries-1556446
o They receive government help
Impact on Occupational Engagement and Health:
Loss of sense of community
Feelings of depression and isolation
Difficulties adapting to fast paced life
o Loss of occupational balance

Retrieved from http://www.albany.edu/rockefeller/profile_murphy.shtml

Personal Interviews
Colombian-American Male

Occupational injustices
o No occupational injustices noted by the interviewee

Rather the interviewee felt grateful for the opportunity to move to America
Occupational experiences
o Status did not affect work and was able to start a career in business
Barriers and supports
o Barriers



School system
o Supports

Able to move with family

Legalization process went smoothly

Retrieved from http://www.zazzle.ca/colombian_american_waving_flag

Personal Interviews
Mexican-American woman

Occupational injustices
o Interviewee had difficulties opening bank accounts
o People often assumed she was uneducated
o Healthcare providers assumed she could not afford to
pay for services and that she was receiving government
Occupational experiences
o Interviewee had to redo her undergraduate in
o Interviewee misses the sense of community and walking
to the grocery store
Barriers and supports
o Barriers


College education is more expensive under legal

resident status than under citizen status
o Supports

Legalization process went smoothly

Retrieved from http://www.eventsloscabos.com/2013/02/flag-day-dia-de-la-bandera/

Retrieved from http://imashon.com/w/a-vibrant-whirl-yucatan-mexico.html

Personal Interviews
Puerto Rican Women

Occupational injustices

The interviewee felt America provided more opportunities for occupational

Occupational experiences
o Immigrant status impacted work positions offering me more labor
positions because I am hispanic and they felt I would be best at hard labor
jobs versus customer service
Barriers and supports
o Barriers

School system

Work Place

Outside Activities
Retrieved from: www.timothyraines.com
o Supports

Lots of resources for work

More occupational choices for leisure activities

A more safe environment

Personal Interviews
Cuban-American Woman

Occupational Injustices
o Alienation
o Marginalization based off of assumptions of others

Effect on occupational experiences

Retrieved from

Social interactions

Otherwise, no larger negative impact to interviewees perceived health and wellness*

Barriers and supports

o Barriers

o Supports

Family members

Legal residency status

(Mueller, 2014)

Cambodian Immigrants
Beliefs, values, roles, and customary practices:

Traditional: Strong family identity and respect for ancestors

Modern: The American Dream and remembering the hardships of the Genocide

Customs center on food, friends, family, religion and the Arts

Occupational injustice, health, wellbeing, and occupational engagement:


Language and education level limits health opportunities (Kim & Keefe, 2010)

Difficulty with acculturation, limited social support, and low income

Children take on adult responsibilities

Immigrant children eat high calorie meals to fit in (McElroy, 2011)

PTSD (Marshall, Schell, Elliot, Berthold, & Chun, 2005)

Retrieved from

Personal Interview
Cambodian American Woman

Very few occupational injustice were experienced

Effect on occupational experiences

Social interactions with others may be limited at times

due to language barrier

Otherwise, no larger negative impact to interviewees

perceived health and wellness

Barriers and supports

o Barriers

Language and level of education

o Supports

Safety and protection from the government

Naturalization was a smooth process

Immigrant optimism (Baum & Flores, 2011)

Retrieved from http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/kh_hstry.html

Arab Immigrants
Beliefs, values, roles, and customary practices:

Religion is KEY to assimilation! Muslims, Christians, or Jews.

Customs center on hospitality around food, socializing with family and friends

Men - Formal authority

Women - socializing children, preserving kinship ties,

and maintaining social and religious traditions

Retrieved from

Occupational injustice, health, wellbeing, and occupational engagement:


Stereotyping - Rise in hate crimes targeting after the 9/11 attacks

May prefer to be treated by a medical provider of the same sex

Language & part-time work limit access to health care

Retrieved from

Personal Interview
Palestinian American Woman

Occupational Injustices:
o After 9/11, neighbor told her to go back where she came from
o Arab stereotypes

Effect on occupational experiences:

o Freedom to obtain jobs
o Opportunity to change their circumstance

o Finding balance between American and Palestinian cultures

Raising her children

Adapting back to Palestine when visiting

o Freedom and leaving the occupation behind in Israel
o Marriage - receiving her green card
o Religion - Christianity

European Immigrants
Populations beliefs, values, roles, and customary practices

Eastern Europeans:


Religion plays a large part in culture


many sayings/greetings incorporate religion


Importance of family, including extended family



always using Mr./Ms. for anyone older than you/strangers

Correlation between occupational injustice


imbalance if language barrier was present


imbalance due to judgement on accent


Personal Interview
Polish-American Woman

Occupational injustices
o No occupational injustices noticed by the interviewee
o The interviewee felt that the benefits and opportunities in America outweighed any injustices that they
were faced with

One instance where there was a prejudiced remark based on an accent

occupational experiences (how did your status affect your work...etc)
o In the beginning it was difficult in the workforce because of the language barrier
Barriers and supports
o Barriers

Was more of a problem in the beginning of residence in the United States
lack of finances
o Supports

Family in the states

Had an aunt that the interviewee lived with, then met her future husband

British Immigrants
Beliefs and Values
- British Immigrants see themselves generally as different than Europeans.
- 59% reported Christian, 25% reported no affiliation, and 3%-5% reported
as Muslim.
Occupational Injustice
- Similar to the United States in that its a westernized industrial nation,
speak similar language, however accent is recognizable and distinguishes
from American general population.
- Culturally soccer or football is the most popular national sport, creates
confusion with American football.

(Office of National Statistics, 2015)

Personal Interview
British-American Woman- Legal Resident

Occupational Injustices:
o Alienation- Accent
o Marginalization based off of assumptions of others- Views herself as British first, before American based on
others people opinion of her.

Effect on occupational experiences:

o Social interactions- Personality changed from shy, and self-conscious, now out- going, confident, less caring of
other peoples opinion.
o Occupations- Driving a career, bus riding, grocery shopping occupations changed, job attainment, better
housing, and more money in her pocket.
Barriers and supports
o Barriers
Language- accent, home sick, hard to change routine
o Supports
Family members lived her already, but didnt change home-sickness.
Legal residency status- GOP and Amnesty article.

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their


The Garcias move from the Dominican Republic to New York


The girls were bullied at school and called spics

Had a hard time fitting in with their Dominican cousins, as their assimilation to
American culture made them different.

They felt torn between maintaining their heritage in order to please their parents and
fully assimilating into the American culture

They felt that no one would ever understand their mix of Catholicism-Agnosticism
and mixed Hispanic-American Styles.

(Alvarez, 2010)
Retrieved from

Commonalities among immigrants

Language Barrier
Assumptions based on accent
Personal choice and
circumstance dictates
experience and status
o Martin, 2012

Retrieved from http://clas.berkeley.edu/research/immigration-economic-benefits-immigration

Health & Well-being

Interviewees healthcare options were severely

limited or impacted by their immigration
Other people felt that their health status,
declined, improved, or stayed the same based
on individual opinion and circumstance.

Language barriers impacted motivation to seek

health care opportunities and feelings of high
quality healthcare (Doyle,2013).

Retrieved from: simplydeliciousliving.com

Occupational Engagement
Immigrants changed their occupational habits and choices after coming to
the U.S.
Language barrier limited some occupational engagements (i/e higher
education, social participation)
Safety & freedom to partake in occupations of choice
A theme of Immigrant Optimism was a common dialogue with all
interviewees (Baum & Flores, 2011)

Occupational Injustice
Marginalization is subjective.
Factors related to stigma
Differences in appearance - traditional dress
Cultural and religious practices
Language barriers - speaking with an accent
Skin tone.
American born citizens tend to make stereotypical assumptions that all legal
immigrants feel marginalized
This is a myth!
Whether immigrants felt marginalized or not depended on their personal
lived experiences.
Pitkin Derose, Escarce, & Lurie. (2007)

MadGab link:
Citizenship test:

Alvarez, J. (2010). How the Garcia girls lost their accents. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books
of Chapel Hill.
Associated Press. (2015, February 14th). Gop: obama giving amnesty bonuses. Wall Street Journal, pp. 1A, 2A.
Partee, G., & Council of Chief State School Officers, W. E. (1995). Ensuring All Students Access to
chool-to-Work Opportunity Systems in the States. Fifth in a Series on School-to-Work Implementation
Baum, S. & Flores, S. (2011). Higher education and children in immigrant families. Future of Children, 21(1), 171-193.
Doyle, K. (2013, July 10). Many pediatricians still not using interpreters. Retrieved February 23, 2015, from
Kim, W. & Keefe, R. (2010). Barriers to healthcare among asian americans. Social Work in Public Health, 25, 286295. doi:

Marshall, G., Schell, T., Elliot, M., Berthold, S., & Chun, C. (2005). Mental health of cambodian refugees 2 decades after
resettlement in the united states. Journal of the American Medical Association, 294(5), 571-579.
McElroy, M. (2011). Fatting in: immigrant groups eat high-calorie american meals to fit in. UW Today. Retrieved from
Mueller, B. (2014). Requirements keep young immigrants out of long island classrooms. The New York Times.
Retrieved from http://nyti.ms/ZEFubE
Office of Statistics. (2014). Retreived from http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/index.html , 2015.

Pitkin Derose, K., Escarce, J., & Lurie, N. (2007). Immigrants and health care: sources of vulnerability. Health Affairs,16(5),
1258-1268. Retrieved from http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/26/5/1258. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.26.5.1258.

Conclusion & Discussion

Avoid assumptions

No limits!

Language differences