Kymberly Gurdon

English 103

Professor Kitana





You believe all the struggles and hardships faced by Jamaican immigrants would be resolve when they come to America, however, that’s wrong they are faced with many barriers even when they are here. Some barriers they are faced with are, securing a job, raising their children who are born in America, securing a place to live and accessing health services.

Securing a job is a huge problem for Jamaican immigrants because, jobs in the United States have certain requirements that you must have. For example different educations levels for a specific field, a certain certificate to show that you have experience and knowing to speak fluent English. Although a majority of the Jamaican immigrants already completed some type of education back in their county sometimes jobs here require a higher level of education. Jamaicans who are educated find it frustrating that they can’t get the same or even better opportunities of having a strong job like they did back in their country. The main problem is that majority of the employers in the United States prefer work experience within the U.S and the immigrant’s certificates and credits doesn’t usually transfer over.

In addition, immigrants in the workplace are a target of discriminating causing them financial and emotional hardships. Many employers discriminate against them and work them with low wages, long hours and poor working conditions. BLS data shows that foreign born workers tend to earn less per week than native born workers. The median usual weekly earning of foreign native born full time wage/salary by 2012 annual average was about $1,000 more than a foreigner even though they are performing the same task at work. (BLS.gov).

Another barrier that is faced by Jamaican immigrants is raising their children that were born here. The United States culture isn’t familiar to them. The culture in Jamaican is slightly different even in education. Could you imagine trying to help your child succeed in school but don’t have the right education to do so? This is a huge problem they struggle with. This problem causes depression to the parents knowing their child struggling and can’t help. Not only is it hard for parents but the children of the Jamaican immigrants often gets bullied by others because of the cultural difference. Growing up with parents from Jamaica they are going to eventually adapt to that culture and the way they speak. This cause a problem at school because they are looked at differently. Rates of bullying among immigrants have risen over the years this because of language difference and just them adapting from what they see and learn at home. Although children tend to pick up English much faster than their parents it still causes a problem. This throws off the parent-child dynamic and you know that kids especially teens are going to use this to their advantage (Nunez). This means that since the child knows more English tan the parent they might use it in a way to have the upper hand and be disrespectful and start belittling there parent since they don’t know much English.






The United States housing market is notoriously more expensive than other countries so not being able to afford to live somewhere comfortably was one of the Jamaican immigrant’s barriers. Imagine trying to obtain a safe secure place to live but with a low paying job. They struggles to pay for rent even landowners barely wanted to rent out there space to the immigrant because they didn’t have enough income for a place. Additionally, some immigrants lived in bad conditions, broken abandon apartment with children, this was a bad environment but they couldn’t afford a comfortable space. While traveling to America most immigrants just come with no money and not being able to establish where they can live until they’re actually in America so they will have to depend on others until they get on their feet. Here in the United States it’s hard to find affordable housing and having a child with you may cost you way more.




Accessing health services is very hard for immigrants especially after just establishing residence in the United States, being new to a job and getting settles into your apartment health insurance may not be a priority. Unless your job is providing health care, finding a provider that will cover you and your family for a major health issues for a reasonable roc could be challenging. Additionally, many public insurances include a copay to see a doctor so on top of paying out of pocket you still have to pay even more money. Accessing mental health issues is especially problematic. Many times, refugees and immigrants have been exposed to violence, rape, even torture- but they may not know how to seek help (Nunez). That could really mess up there mental it’s really hard going through these things and not being able to seek help because a primary doctor won’t accept you because you don’t have to right requirement to access health services. Many of the immigrants are scared to reach out to health services since they are considered illegal and do not want to get deported. Even those who get to see the doctor don’t always have good services sometimes they are treated differently from someone that was actually born here. For those who are able to successfully obtain the services they need, the experience is usually negative/ bad. ( Nunez).



Could you imagine coming into the Unites States unable to speak English, secure work, and help your children succeeding school, securing a place to live and accessing health services?  Jamaican immigrants faced all those hardships here in America. Many people might think that coming here will be better and having easier life, however that’s wrong coming to the United States could be challenging to find uplifting opportunities that could help you to survive without the right educations and requirements that jobs in the United States offer then you won’t really be living the life you want. This is why the Jamaican immigrants have so many hardships and barriers when they are here in the U.S.

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