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Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

MPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide.

Education for the Future: Extending Georgia’s High School and College Reforms to its Growing Immigrant Population

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on March 20th, 2014

This Migration Policy Institute webinar discusses the report from MPI's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, released on March 20, which provides one of the first cross-system analyses of the educational experiences of Georgia’s first- and second-generation youth. Speakers include report authors Michael Fix, MPI CEO and Director of Studies, Sarah Hooker, MPI Policy Analyst, and moderator Margie McHugh, MPI Director of the National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, as well as Pedro Portes, Executive Director of the University of Georgia Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education, and Elizabeth Webb, Director of ELL Programs for Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Georgia has experienced one of the fastest rates of growth from immigration in the United States over the past two decades, and today one in five Georgia youth is foreign born or is the child of parents who are immigrants or refugees. The educational outcomes of the state’s first- and second- generation young adults (ages 16-26) are cause for concern, however. Many are English Language Learners (ELLs), and they lag considerably behind their nonimmigrant peers in terms of high school graduation, college access, and postsecondary degree completion. They often face extra hurdles as they seek to develop academic English-language skills, complete high school course requirements, navigate the transition to college and careers, and finance postsecondary education—often while juggling work and family responsibilities. Educators in districts such as Gwinnett County—which enrolls one-fifth of the state’s ELL students—are on the front lines of efforts to address these challenges.

The webinar assesses where Georgia’s ambitious education reforms have met—or failed to meet—the needs of this growing population, including those who have been granted status under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The report, Education Reform in a Changing Georgia: Promoting High School and College Success for Immigrant Youth, is available online.

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Children on the Run: An Analysis of First-Hand Accounts from Children Fleeing Central America

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on March 12th, 2014

This Migration Policy Institute event with UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres features findings from UNHCR’s report, Children on the Run, which examines the increasing numbers of children from Central America and Mexico who head off alone to find refuge in the United States, fleeing violence, insecurity, and abuse in their communities and at home. The panel moderated by Kathleen Newland, Director of the Refugee Protection and Migrants, Migration, and Development Programs at MPI, also includes speakers Javier Sagredo, an advisor in the UN Development Programme's Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Leslie E. Vélez, UNHCR Senior Protection Officer. A troubling new trend has emerged among those seeking asylum: the number of children making the treacherous journey alone and unaccompanied from Mexico and the countries of Central America—particularly El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala—has doubled each year since 2010. And the U.S. government estimates 60,000 children will reach U.S. soil this fiscal year in search of safe haven. This discussion surrounding the UNHCR study, which was based on interviews that a team of researchers did with more than 400 unaccompanied children, analyzes the reasons behind the growing migration of this vulnerable population and makes recommendations for a way forward.

The UNHCR report is available online here.

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