On March 8th, 2021 the Department of Homeland Security added Venezuelans to the list of those that can seek temporary protection status in the United States.
Many Venezuelans will accept this offer and make their way to the land of freedom and opportunity during this time — but adjusting to their new surroundings may not be the easiest. Understanding more about the emotional and mental process that faces an immigrant to a new land can help someone cope.
Adjusting to a new life in a new country takes time
Brown University’s Office of International Student and Scholar Services has produced a handbook titled “Adjusting to life in the U.S.” They describe four stages of cultural adjustment to help international students adjust that could also apply to Venezuelans immigrating to the United States. Let’s take a brief look at the four stages:
- Honeymoon: Stepping off the plane, one is sure to feel a mixture of emotions: excitement, nervousness, anticipation and fear. This rollercoaster of emotions is much like those experienced by the recently married.
- Hostility: When the excitement wears off, it is often replaced with anxiety, depression and anger. Navigating the bureaucratic immigration process and being surrounded by English speakers can be frustrating for a recent immigrant. This could cause feelings of hostility towards the host country and its citizens.
- Humor: Once a person begins to relax and adjust a bit, it is possible to find humor in the daily struggle. Making new friends helps to find the lighter side of a difficult situation.
- Home: Once a person begins to feel at home in their new country, things start to become easier. This doesn’t mean that Venezuelans forget their place of birth, but it does mean that America becomes their new home.
As one can see, just like there are stages of grief, there are also stages to adjusting to a new life in the USA. With the new Temporary Protected Status (TPS), many Venezuelans are accepting this invitation. If you are among their numbers, you could possibly benefit from the helpful guidance of a legal advocate that is experienced in immigration law.