Navigating Conflicting Emotions In a Time of Transition

Given the recent events that have unfolded in the United States political sector, many in the immigrant community are facing difficult and confusing emotions concerning the rise of a new president and policies to be put into place. With a hectic turn of events, there is the fear of safety, stability, and security for those in this vulnerable community, causing distress and uncertainty. While there is much to unpack mentally and emotionally for those especially affected by the drastic shift in circumstances of our society, there are multiple ways to come to terms with any anxieties or fears that may have arose, such as the following:

Verifying Information is Credible

With the ever changing news cycle and misinterpretation of events, it is no surprise that there is a display of unrest and distress in the undocumented community. We are all subject to the unfortunate spread of incorrect information as many web articles and social media posts are enticing with their captivating titles and content that mimic the appearance of an everyday news journal. However, it is important to look further into the source itself as the information that is being absorbed may cause unnecessary scares. Looking to news outlets such as the local news channel or nationally acclaimed television channels, such as ABC World News Tonight or Good Morning America and their respective websites, can provide much needed clarification on topics such as immigration policy changes or resources made available that affect these groups. Not only does this dispel the spread of misinformation, but it alleviates any fears or anxieties that can affect overall personal and mental health.

Creating A Conversation

In many ethnic households, the discussion of policy changes and the possibility of displacement may be a taboo or a difficult conversation to have. However, it is one that may help in support and understanding as openly communicating thoughts, insights, emotions, and confusion over these present topics can relieve tension and build a sense of motivation to develop plans such as where to go or who to contact should a policy affect a family’s place in society.

Look Towards Community Resources and Support

In times where we are finding ourselves confused and searching for answers or a sense of solidarity, our communities are the best places to go to for help and guidance. While we may not have all the answers as to how a policy change or executive order will affect us or what we can do personally to ensure the stability and safety of our families, we can find solace and support within our personal networks as many may also have had these experiences. Many undocumented communities have local resources relating to job searching, COVID-19 assistance, immigration legal help, etc. through nearby non-profits, church programs, and even within educational settings at public schools and community colleges. Not only does looking towards the community for guidance bring knowledge and opportunity, but it creates a new source of close-knit networks for you to rely on in times of need.

The resilience demonstrated by those who are navigating these times of fast-paced transition is something to be recognized as for many immigrants and undocumented individuals, the constantly changing nature of policies and government resources can be highly overwhelming in terms of their future in the United States. It is important to reflect on what we are in control of and to shift our focus into the different ways we are affected and how we can gain opportunity and help in times of crisis as well as extend that same assistance to those who may need it. At the basis of thriving in these uncertain times, togetherness prevails amongst our people.