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Onboarding new immigrants in USA

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  • Onboarding new immigrants in USA

    I have dozen plus family members joining us in USA. My mom applied for her siblings decade ago & they are finally crossing over. It is up to us to get them settled and established here. I am wondering if any of the members here have going thru this experience or noticed anything among successful immigrants vs. struggling immigrants especially in context of migrating here with a family.

    We want to set them up for the best possible outcome. Any tips/suggestions you have will be useful.

    My uncles/aunts are in their 50's and 60's. They are old but they have to work until their kids are old enough to help them. There is so much help we can provide to that many people. They all have kids most are 17-21 years old. there are few 2 young school age kids. The old people will have to find any job they can and work. The really young once will be in school. I am mostly concern about putting the teenager/young adults in right track.

  • #2
    Re: Onboarding new immigrants in USA

    Originally posted by Kya View Post
    I have dozen plus family members joining us in USA. My mom applied for her siblings decade ago & they are finally crossing over. It is up to us to get them settled and established here. I am wondering if any of the members here have going thru this experience or noticed anything among successful immigrants vs. struggling immigrants especially in context of migrating here with a family.

    We want to set them up for the best possible outcome. Any tips/suggestions you have will be useful.

    My uncles/aunts are in their 50's and 60's. They are old but they have to work until their kids are old enough to help them. There is so much help we can provide to that many people. They all have kids most are 17-21 years old. there are few 2 young school age kids. The old people will have to find any job they can and work. The really young once will be in school. I am mostly concern about putting the teenager/young adults in right track.
    As Salamu Alaykum dear sister,

    Congratulations to your family on being able to finally join you in the USA. A decade long wait is a long test of patience indeed! Personally, I came to the USA along with my family about more than a decade ago. I can gladly share some of the things which we found helpful to us when we arrived here.

    Since I don't know whether or not your family will be living over at your place for the first few days or somewhere else, I can give this advise first. If they will be living in their own place, I would first highly suggest that they rent an apartment in the beginning rather than buy a home. I would suggest that you take your uncles/aunts (and possibly their older children 17-21) on a tour of some nearby apartments for rent. It can be greatly helpful for them to actually see a couple different options rather than just picking one that is cheap, so that they may settle in and feel at home.

    In regards to your aunts and uncles working, I am sure they could find a job almost any store such as a grocery store or clothing store such as Target. I would suggest helping them out with filling out online applications and giving them some interview tips. (Again, I don't know what their skills are, or how literate they are, I apologize if I am saying basic things.)

    One of the biggest things which my family faced here was communicating and making new friends. Over time we got through this hardship by meeting with new people who lived by and attending social events in our mosques and other places.

    As for the teenagers/young adults, if they have not already completed a high school equivalent education, they should begin by enrolling in a community college. (I do not know if this is an option in the state you live in.) If they are great a speaking English, they might be able to take some online classes and get caught up, and later apply to a university. Getting them started on their education as soon as possible is key! Try to meet with some community college academic advisers to see what options are best for them. Also, they should try to get their driving licenses as quick as they can, which will be a big help to them. If they don't already know what they want to major in, make sure to help them in taking personality tests and career tests, to help guide them in possible career options.

    In the meantime, (if they understand English well) they can take courses on Udemy.com to get them started on building skills.

    Another thing I can say is that when we first got here, we were being pushed to learn everything in a day. However, it does take quite a bit of time to get used to such a big change. Try to help your family feel as much comfortable here as you possibly can. Give them a list of what stores have what to offer, emergency contact numbers, etc.

    Finally, I would suggest that you help them in getting some decent quality phones so they can remain in touch whenever necessary. If they already have cell phones that work here, I would say if T-Mobile has decent coverage in your area, sign them up onto a family plan with T-Mobile. (If they don't have phones and you're looking to buy some for them, a cheap but valuable option is the Moto E 2015 http://www.motorola.com/us/smartphon...e-2nd-gen.html. You can find cheap used phones on Swappa.com as well.

    Also, get them setup with interest service as well, as I'm sure the young adults will need it for study or learning purposes.

    That's all I have to offer to you at this time. I will pray that they all have an easy time adjusting and settling here in shaAllah. Congratulations to you all again!

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    • #3
      Re: Onboarding new immigrants in USA

      Jzk for the detail input. May Allah give you reward for the help. Two question for you:
      1) you mentioned 'having to learn everything really fast'. What is a reasonable time? This is something we hope to avoid. After all they wont be dependent on us for too long. Reasonable time before a new family can live on their own in an apt? Reasonable time to send them to work (with Ramadan coming our plan is to wait until after to send them to work), reasonable time before they r expected to pay their own way for everything?

      2) regarding sending older teen/young adult to school asap. I am little conflicted over this for the high school graduate kids. Is it better to prioritize study or work experience for them the first year? Being new to this country I figure getting them in jobs asap would help with their English, get use to hard work, help their family financially and give time to adjust to the surrounding before deciding about future. Basically take care of today now and then think about future after settling down. But the downside is, after getting invested in fulltime work, its hard for ppl to give it up to study. I dont want that. At same time, a 18+ year old is adult in USA but still a child in back home when it comes to managing finance. I dont want them to think mommy/daddy will take care of me here as they did over there. Also college/univ cost money & I believe the minimal amount one needs to live in my state before they pay "local tuition" is 6 months.

      I know the parents and kids will want to start school but I thought its best they wait 6 month to a year before signing up in community college. Also I thought maybe focus on certificate program or associate first instead of full blown university. But then I have a habit of dreaming small. I tend to be too conservative. Maybe its better they take the big risk at start and maybe that will help them reach their goal faster instead of the slow/long dragged out path I thought of.

      I know way too many people who migrated in their 20's and went to community college but failed to finish anything. My cousin's wife finally completed her associate after 10 years. My bro signed my bhabi up 3 months after she came from back home yet after 2 semester she lost motivation/kid happened. Several of my friends husband from back home with BS degree started college, attended few semester and then nothing

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      • #4
        Re: Onboarding new immigrants in USA

        Living - half the family will stay at my parents. The other half will stay at another house we have 2 blocks away.

        Internet - figure they can come to my parents house to use Wi-Fi

        Cell phone - would pay as you go phone be sufficient for now? They can use my parents phone and WhatsApp or Skype for longer conversation. I am reluctant to do T-Mobile. Family plan because that only take 5 people and I have 17 ppl plus my current family of 7. Thats several hundred in phone bill per month.

        Making friends - alhamdulilah we live in a very walkable, high Muslim population area. I am sure they will meet people and we will introduce the once we know

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        • #5
          Re: Onboarding new immigrants in USA

          2 weeks down.

          Found a job for 2 off the young adult (20 and 22 year old) at local fast food. They can walk there. One of them, the 20 year old, has a 2nd interview at another place I took them on job fair. He is good, he can find better job but for now this will have to do. I have to focus on other people. The 17 year old needs work permit from school & that will take while. The 19 year old doesn't have SSI yet.

          Found a easy but long hour job for adults. But only 2 male are going due to Ramadan. One of the lady wanted to go but the other ladies started complaining about having to cook her share if she is at work. These people from back home can't get along with family. They fight like cats & dog. Hopefully as soon as they settle they will move out to rental place and not fight so much. It is funny I live with my inlaws for 2 years and we have not had 1/100th of the fight these elders are having after living together for 2 weeks. Whatever works for them.

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          • #6
            Re: Onboarding new immigrants in USA

            Trump.....

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Onboarding new immigrants in USA

              Originally posted by Kya View Post
              2 weeks down.

              Found a job for 2 off the young adult (20 and 22 year old) at local fast food. They can walk there. One of them, the 20 year old, has a 2nd interview at another place I took them on job fair. He is good, he can find better job but for now this will have to do. I have to focus on other people. The 17 year old needs work permit from school & that will take while. The 19 year old doesn't have SSI yet.

              Found a easy but long hour job for adults. But only 2 male are going due to Ramadan. One of the lady wanted to go but the other ladies started complaining about having to cook her share if she is at work. These people from back home can't get along with family. They fight like cats & dog. Hopefully as soon as they settle they will move out to rental place and not fight so much. It is funny I live with my inlaws for 2 years and we have not had 1/100th of the fight these elders are having after living together for 2 weeks. Whatever works for them.
              Sounds good alhamdulilah. Hopefully In sha Allah , everything else works out too. It is not easy to get people from back home settled here. Some of the back home family members I've come across, once they came over here, thought they were here for 'vacation.' As long as everyone does their part, it should be a good transition In sha Allah.
              Allah gave us two ears and one mouth, so we can listen more and talk less.

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              • #8
                Re: Onboarding new immigrants in USA

                update for no reason but just to write... I feel bit burned out. I feel like my threshold will be end of this month or end of ruza. I feel stressed out and anxious to get everyone settled. For some reason i have volunteered to make it my mission to get these people settled and get moving. They are anxious too but they need our help. So what do I do, I jump full force spend all my free and busy time thinking/planning/figuring out what to do next to get them settled. And surely enough every time i go to my parents house they are all waiting for me to help make things happen.

                Living away from my parents helps because i get time to plan, strategize and have action items for the two days I am visiting my parents. But i am left exhausted. Those are my vacation days & i am more tired than my work days & of course there is more to do. I get irritated at the lack of help from my other siblings or my dad, sometimes I am even frustrated at my husband for not helping enough but then i realize its my family not his. Whatever help he has given so far has been more than he has to do. But i am also tired, tired of thinking, tired of planning, tired of giving up my middle of the week vacation that I took specifically for Ramadan ibadath. I don't feel connected to ramadan cuz I have these people in my mind. I am spending less of my free time reading quran or doing extra namaz because i am on craigslist browsing help wanted section. And its getting to me. But Alhamdulilah things are falling in place as well & I am sure everyone is helping in their own way.

                Out of the 4 family with 17 people total:
                *7 people joined the vegetable packaging place that requires 14 hour day. This is a temporary job for them until they find something better. But it is something. The young boys are kicking it, going everyday while the older people are going every other day to catch up on sleep
                *2 people found job at downtown restaurant. Ride is bit of an issue but my dad knows someone who works there & he will offered to give them ride when schedule matches
                *1 cousin got job at breakfast place. Ride is a issue here too & we will continue looking for alternative job. For now my mom will drop him off
                * got work permit for the 17 year old, that was lot of running around as the school didn't know what to do with him.
                * one family found a rental property and will move out after Ramadan ends. Maybe i will go to thrift store and see if I find useful things for them
                * had my brother register young boys in masjid/arabic study. so they don't lose that

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