As an immigrant living and working in Colorado, you may face various types of challenges that the average U.S. citizen is not likely to encounter in his or her own daily life. Without intending any sort of stereotype, there may be certain issues that cause you stress and worry as an immigrant, especially if you're one of many whose paperwork is not in order.
Whether you recently settled into your current living arrangements or have resided in this state for a decade or more, you may have already overcome some difficult situations that made you worry about your current legal status and potential risk for removal. Knowing how to protect your rights and where to access immediate help when needed are two key factors to keep your stress levels to a minimum and avoid major immigration problems.
Everyday situations that may be stressful for you
No two lives are exactly the same and neither are any two immigrant journeys. You may find, however, that you share similar experiences and emotions with others who have come to live in Colorado from other countries of origin. The following list includes several types of issues that many immigrants say cause them to worry:
- Traveling by public transportation: Police and other security officials are often present at subway systems. Many immigrants say they fear this presence may subject them to profiling. It's easy to understand why you might feel nervous if a police officer or other official asks you for a government-issued ID or makes an inquiry about your legal status.
- Inability to obtain a valid driver's license: Some immigrants say their living situations force them to drive cars without proper licensing. This, of course, places an immigrant at great risk for detainment if a police officer pulls him or her over in a traffic stop. If you drive in Colorado without a valid driver's license, you may also be subject to substantial fines or jail time.
- Difficulty setting goals for the future: If you don't have a Social Security number or other necessary paperwork to secure gainful income, enlist in the U.S. military or purchase a home, etc., it can be quite stressful trying to make plans for your future. Many immigrants say they experience stress from having to stay so focused on day-to-day survival.
- Losing children to the foster care system: Many children who attend schools in Colorado come from households with undocumented parents. Social Services has been known to remove children from such homes in the past, claiming their parents' legal statuses place them at risk. If this type of issue concerns you, you can seek immediate guidance from someone well-versed in U.S. immigration law.
U.S. citizens undoubtedly face many challenges and obstacles in life as well. However, emigration may place you at risk for certain problem situations that would not necessarily pose a risk if you were a born or naturalized U.S. citizen.
Tap into available support resources
Hopefully, you enjoy friendships with others who understand your situation. There are many immigrant advocates throughout the nation who work tirelessly to raise awareness and help protect the rights of those who come to the United States to live from other countries. Connecting with such people when you face a particular worry may be the key to avoiding deportation and overcoming obstacles that arise.