What are the challenges that 1st generation immigrants face when raising children in the US?
Oh, boy, don't get us started :-p. 1) greatly increased college costs. No scholarships (99% are for citizens only), no financial aid, no loans. No in-state tuition in some states *ahem* Minnesota. But wait, you say, why should you reap benefits of our system that we pay for? And I answer that I mean -legal- immigrants that pay higher taxes than citizens for even 10 years and are denied benefits. So, $35k tuition + 10k living expenses * 4 years. Pull it out, and put it down. (Partial) solution is college credit in high school + being thrifty. I had 64 credits coming into college (AP, IB, and Post secondary classes in HS) and finished in 3 years. Parents were thrifty and moved to a really cheap ghetto apartment to pay for my college (I now live in that appartment 10 years later cause yeah rent is $450). 2) children and spouses can't work on some visas. So, all this was done when mom couldn't work. I’d done internships every summer since the start of high school but didn't get a penny. Internships were also hard to get (lots of talking to target institution and HS) because they're “citizen benefits” and there may not be a procedure to let someone work for free. 3) Limited English - self evident; solution - learn it with your kids? Really motivated me that mom was learning it too. Before long I was excited to get it right and be teaching her. 4) Documents suck. It's getting better but you used to need social security number to get a driver’s license. Lawyers make mistakes with your paperwork 30% of the time they file, so gotta have your paperwork in order and be ready for “provide proof and leave the country tomorrow” sort of mail every 3 years. Gotta read laws -a lot- to know what alternatives count as ID, social (=taxpayer ID), proof of this and that; gotta check the work of lawyers and hard your own records. 5) finances and Healthcare are an issue. Even if parents work in their own field, they're often in “trainee positions” and have low salary, yearly contact, few benefits. You just learn to be thrifty and prioritize. Goodwill/Aldi are your friends. Car repairs etc you do yourself. It's still much nicer than in the home country. And the US gets super high skilled workers/inventors for free, so horrible idea to stop hiring foreigners/pad minimum salary limits of 120k. P.S: I am taking about legal immigration - the kind where people come on temporary visas and work hard to stay while being called temporary aliens - not the come and ignore the law approach. First way is harder :-p. If you're tenacious enough, though, there's good opportunities.