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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.

Exploring the Potential of Two-Generation Strategies in Refugee Integration

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on December 14th, 2018

The U.S. refugee resettlement program is facing an extraordinary set of pressures and challenges. Following the Trump administration’s decision to sharply reduce refugee admissions, the number plunged in fiscal 2018 to an unprecedented low of 22,491 since the program’s formal creation in 1980. This has in turn caused drastic funding cuts for resettlement programs and uncertainty about the future—threatening the network’s sustainability and capacity for larger-scale refugee resettlement in the future. These challenges make this an important time to consider how programs can better serve the full spectrum of refugee integration needs, and how to strengthen partnerships with local governments and nongovernmental actors.

Traditionally the refugee resettlement system has concentrated on helping adults find employment quickly, with limited resources focused on children or nonworking family members. However, research and experience point to the benefits of adopting strategies that address the needs of the whole family. Strong and supportive families promote better outcomes for children. Grounded in that knowledge, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) released a study on how a two-generation approach could strengthen refugee integration in the United States.

On this webinar, MPI researchers Mark Greenberg, Julia Gelatt, and Jessica Bolter explore promising practices to better serve refugee families, including innovative efforts to secure better jobs for adult refugees over time. In a conversation with Utah's Director of Refugee Services Asha Parekh and Colorado's State Refugee Coordinator Kit Taintor, study authors discuss the potential for implementing and supporting two-generation approaches to refugee integration at a time when the system’s funding and capacity are in peril.   

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ChildMove: A Discussion on the Project Following Unaccompanied Young Refugees across Europe

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on December 4th, 2018

The Migration Policy Institute Europe and Ghent University held a discussion on vital new research into the experiences of young refugees and migrants who have traveled across Europe unaccompanied by their families.

In a discussion led by MPI Europe Acting Director Hanne Beirens, Ghent University Professor and ChildMove Project Lead Ilse Derluyn presented the early results of ChildMove, a project funded by the European Research Council, before engaging in a conversation on the implications with Isabela Atanasiu, Legal Officer at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs; Valeria Setti, European Commission Coordinator for the Rights of the Child; European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) Secretary General Catherine Woollard; and David Lowyck, Director of Minor-Ndako.

Despite images of children in peril becoming a staple of the media during the migration crisis of 2015 and 2016, there is relatively little understanding of how these journeys affect their mental wellbeing. Without detailed research, policymakers face an uphill task to cater for the needs of such young people.

The ChildMove project is a unique attempt to fill this gap. The team is following young refugees and migrants as they travel from Libya and Turkey to Europe and beyond, allowing them to describe in their own words what it means to be on the move. 

 

 

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Building Bridges Not Walls: Key Lessons from the 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report on Migration and Displacement

The international migrant population includes some of the most vulnerable people in the world, including unaccompanied children and children in detention. Yet these children are often invisible in data and in many places denied entry into schools, while they are often the ones most in need of the safe haven, stability, and path to a brighter future that education can provide.

Marking the U.S. release of the 2019 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, this event convened by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the GEM Report includes a presentation of the report that focuses mainly on migration and displacement in its continued assessment of progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education, as well as other related education targets in the SDG agenda. This global study presents evidence on the implications of different types of migration and displacement for education and how reforming curricula, pedagogy, and teacher preparation can impact attitudes toward diversity. The report analyzes the challenges to effective humanitarian financing for education and makes the case for investing in the education of children whose parents migrate for work, in countries with high rates of emigration and those seeing high rates of immigration, and in short-term refugee emergencies and in protracted crises. It also offers recommendations that advance the aims of SDG 4.

Drawing on the experience of the United States, the discussion looks at different ways education policymakers, teachers, and civil society have responded to the educational needs of migrants and how to address the legal, administrative, or linguistic barriers that sometimes inhibit children from participating meaningfully and equally in education programs. Speakers--including the 2018 Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning; Refugee Council USA's Director Mary Giovagnoli; former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development Joan Lombardi; and Priyadarshani Joshi from the GEM Report--highlighted the centrality of education for the process of inclusion and reflect on the capacity of education systems to serve children and youth from migrant backgrounds. The discussion moderated by MPI's Margie McHugh explored possible solutions, and offered fresh ideas on how to ensure that education addresses diversity in and outside the classroom.

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Surviving vs. Thriving: The Need for a Paradigm Shift in Adult Education for Immigrants and Refugees

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on October 31st, 2018

It is generally recognized that successful long-term immigrant integration requires a broad understanding of U.S. culture and systems, combined with strong English proficiency and other basic skills. For the past 50 years, English instruction classes provided via state adult education systems have been the default mechanism to meet immigrants’ English acquisition—and, to a limited extent, integration—needs. However, this federal-state partnership system meets less than 4 percent of adult learner needs nationally and suffers from serious flaws in the nature and design of instruction when viewed through an immigrant integration lens. Leeway within the system to support successful integration has steadily narrowed in recent years, particularly with passage in 2014 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which instituted mandatory performance measures for adult education programs that focus mainly on employment outcomes and the attainment of postsecondary credentials, placing no value on other essential integration skills or topics.

Taking stock of weaknesses in the WIOA-driven design of most current programming, MPI analysts draw on research from the integration, adult education, and postsecondary success fields in arguing for the adoption of a new “English Plus Integration” (EPI) adult education program model. Seeking to make more effective use of immigrant adult learners’ time in a formal program, the model would maintain a central focus on English language acquisition while also building skills and critical systems knowledge to support continued learning long after program exit and speed integration success along multiple individual and family dimensions.

On this webinar, MPI analysts Margie McHugh and Catrina Doxsee engage in a discussion with Art Ellison, former Bureau Administrator, New Hampshire Bureau of Adult Education, and former Policy Committee Chair, National Council of State Directors of Adult Education; Charles Kamasaki, Senior Cabinet Advisor, UnidosUS, and Resident Fellow, MPI; and Alison Ascher Webber, Director of Strategic Initiatives, EdTech Center at World Education, on strategies for implementation of this new model that will weave together supports and strengths from a range of intersecting fields.

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Administrative Power: Building an Invisible Wall Around the United States

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on October 24th, 2018

In its first year and a half, the Trump administration tested the limits of its power to reduce immigration, targeting longstanding humanitarian programs and scrutinizing immigration benefits. These unprecedented actions included deciding to end Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure for nationals from seven countries, attempting to terminate DACA, introducing new limitations on applying for Special Immigrant Juvenile status, releasing several iterations of the much-litigated travel ban, slashing refugee resettlement numbers, tightening visa screening guidelines, and changing H-1B processing. Many of these actions, as well as the way decisions have been implemented, have been challenged in the courts. In a discussion moderated by CLINIC Director of Advocacy Jill Bussey, CARECEN Executive Director Abel Nunez, International Refugee Assistance Project Staff Attorney Julie Kornfeld, and Council for Global Immigration Director of Government Affairs Rebecca K. Peters discussed the legal questions presented in litigation, as well as the consequences of these actions domestically and abroad.

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Chilling Effects at the Border and in the U.S. Interior

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on October 24th, 2018

Whether at the border or in the interior, the government is taking a hardline stance: separating arriving migrant families in a bid to deter future flows from Central America; stepping up pressure on “sanctuary” jurisdictions; increasing focus on denaturalization; and releasing a public-charge ruling that could deter vast numbers of legal immigrants and their U.S.-citizen dependents from accessing public benefits. What legal and political issues do these policies raise? What is their impact likely to be? And how are immigrant communities and their representatives reacting? Muzaffar Chishti, Director of MPI's office at NYU School of Law, moderated a discussion on these issues between "The New Yorker"'s Staff Writer Jonathan Blitzer; Ur Jaddou, Former Chief Counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; James F. Peterson, Judicial Watch Attorney; and Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the New York City's Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. The panel was opened by remarks from Georgetown Law Center Dean William Treanor.

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Systematic Plan to Narrow Humanitarian Protection: A New Era of U.S. Asylum Policy

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on October 24th, 2018

The administration has acted strongly and quickly to restrict the pathways to seek and gain asylum in the United States. In Matter of A-B the Attorney General overturned a Board of Immigration Appeals case in an attempt to eliminate domestic and gang violence as grounds for granting asylum. Such serious harm is often one of the central reasons why asylum seekers, especially from Central America, flee. Other new policies include criminally prosecuting asylum seekers who cross the border unlawfully for the first time; pushing back families without valid visas who seek asylum at ports of entry (despite laws that allow people to apply for protection at legal crossing points); detaining families, including pregnant women, while they pursue an asylum claim; and imposing case completion quotas on immigration judges so that they issue asylum and other immigration decisions more quickly. Whither asylum? This panel--including Georgetown Law Professor Andrew I. Schoenholtz; Dilley Pro Bono Project Managing Attorney Shalyn Fluharty; Immigration Reform Law Institute Director of Litigation Christopher J. Hajec; and U.C. Hastings College of the Law Bank of America Chair Karen Musalo--discussed the legal issues underpinning the asylum system changes and the immediate and longer-term effects of the administration’s actions on the U.S. asylum system. They also considered whether the new policies are in conflict with the international treaties to which the United States is signatory and other international law obligations.

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State of Play: Immigration Center Stage

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on October 24th, 2018

Immigration has played an uncommonly prominent role in elections and on Americans’ TV screens since the 2016 presidential campaign. Recent coverage has been non-stop due to family separations and zero-tolerance policies at the border. Heading into a highly contested election season, campaign strategists contend that immigration is the single issue that could move the conservative base and save GOP majorities in Congress. Yet polling shows a larger share of people say immigration is good for the nation than at any point since 2001. What role is immigration likely to play in the November mid-terms? Underneath national debates, the immigration landscape continues to fracture under the pressure of communities embracing different policies of cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, protection of vulnerable immigrants, and more. The federal government is pushing back by threatening to withhold federal dollars and heading into court to challenge state and local policies it views as harmful. This panel--with MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner, Democratic Political Strategist Maria Cardona, the New Center's Co-Chair William A. Galston, Vox Senior Reporter Dara Lind, and Barry Jackson, Former Chief of Staff for Speaker Boehner and Senior Staff to President George W. Bush--assesses these and associated political and policy trends.

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USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna keynotes 15th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on October 24th, 2018

L. Francis Cissna, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), delivered the keynote at the 15th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference on October 1, 2018. In his remarks, he discussed his priorities for USCIS; the proposed public charge regulation; USCIS's role in the administration of the U.S. asylum and refugee admission system, including recent developments and operational challenges; policy changes surrounding the adjudication of applications and notices to appear; and USCIS's work in identifying cases that may be referred for denaturalization.

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The U.S. Asylum System in Crisis: First Steps for Rescue

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on October 3rd, 2018

The United States has a long tradition of offering humanitarian protection to those in need. Yet in recent years, a confluence of factors has led to a large and growing backlog of asylum cases, with many applicants waiting years for a decision. This slowdown has both harmed those eligible for protection and invited misuse, with some claims filed to secure the right to remain in the country and receive the work authorization granted when cases are delayed.

Faced with a system in crisis, the Trump administration has taken a number of actions to narrow access to asylum in the United States. These include largely eliminating gang and domestic violence as grounds for asylum and introducing a “zero-tolerance” approach to border enforcement that entails prosecuting all first-time border crossers, including adult asylum seekers, for illegal entry—a policy that for a time led to the separation of apprehended parents from their children.

This webinar marks the publication of an important MPI report that analyses the factors that have brought the U.S. asylum system to a crisis point and proposes common-sense steps that can be implemented now to jump-start rescuing it. The report co-authors, Doris Meissner, Faye Hipsman, and T. Alexander Aleinikoff, and commentator Eleanor Acer from Human Rights First discuss the findings and measures that focus on the affirmative asylum system as the path to restoring timeliness and fairness to the system, while also deterring abuses. 

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Addressing the Intergenerational Mental Health Needs of Refugee Families with Young Children

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on September 24th, 2018

Due to the nature of their forced migration experiences, refugees can face numerous sources of stress, including exposure to violence, separation from family members, loss of community supports, time spent in refugee camps or other precarious situations, and adjustment to a new and dramatically different culture. Such experiences, as well as the potential for intergenerational trauma, have critical implications for young children of refugees and their healthy socioemotional and cognitive development. However, mental health services and supports for refugees—when available—often overlook the unique needs of the youngest children of refugees and their parents.

 

Building off of prior research by MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy that underscores the need for early childhood programs to attempt to mitigate the effects of trauma on refugee families with young children, experts on this webinar will discuss state and local efforts being undertaken in Maryland to serve refugee families with young children through tailored, trauma-informed approaches that address their specific mental health needs. Speakers discuss state-level services available for newly arrived refugee families through the U.S refugee resettlement program, as well as ongoing barriers and other challenges related to these provisions. They also highlight innovative initiatives serving refugee and asylum-seeker mothers in Baltimore through a two-generation approach, along with efforts across Maryland to support early childhood providers in adopting a trauma-informed approach to serving refugee children. 

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Cambios en el Panorama de Control Migratorio Interno Durante la Administración Trump

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on July 12th, 2018

A Spanish language webinar examining the operation of today’s interior enforcement system and how state and local governments, civil society, and consulates are responding.    

 

La administración Trump ha estado reorientando el sistema de control migratorio en el interior de Estados Unidos mediante el cual autoridades detienen y deportan a inmigrantes indocumentados. Al mismo tiempo—junto a esfuerzos coordinados por la sociedad civil y las redes consulares mexicanas y centroamericanas—existe una resistencia creciente por parte de estados y localidades que se niegan a colaborar con las autoridades federales de inmigración. La reciente crisis de separación familiar ha contribuido una nueva dinámica a los esfuerzos de control migratorio de la administración y la manera en que comunidades locales están respondiendo.

 

El seminario web en español organizado por el Instituto de Políticas Migratorias (MPI, por sus siglas en inglés) examina el funcionamiento actual del sistema de control migratorio en el interior del país, las consecuencias para la relación entre los tres niveles de gobierno y las comunidades inmigrantes, y la manera en que procede el control migratorio en un entorno cada vez más polémico.

 

Expertos de MPI presentan los resultados de una investigación clave que evalúa los cambios en las políticas de control migratorio y sus alcances. Investigadores de MPI visitaron 15 localidades alrededor de los Estados Unidos, incluyendo localidades que cooperan con autoridades federales de inmigración, como Houston, y localidades que limitan su cooperación, como Los Ángeles. La investigación refleja un amplio espectro de perspectivas incluyendo agentes del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés), altos funcionarios de autoridades policiacas, representantes electos, abogados de inmigración, proveedores de servicios comunitarios, defensores de los derechos de los inmigrantes, funcionarios consulares y ex jueces de inmigración. El informe también proporciona un análisis de datos nacionales de ICE obtenidos a través de solicitudes de acceso a la información

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Chilling Effects: The Expected Public-Charge Rule and Its Impact on Immigrant Families

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on June 12th, 2018

The audio from this webinar highlights findings from a Migration Policy Institute report examining the potential impacts of expected changes to the public charge rule by the Trump administration. Leaked draft versions indicate that the rule could allow the administration to make changes to the legal immigration system, in part by making it more difficult for legally present noncitizens to acquire a green card or visa if they or their family members have used public benefits. The rule likely would discourage millions from accessing health, nutrition, and social services for which they or their U.S.-citizen dependents are eligible.

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Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on June 5th, 2018

There may be no story today with a wider gap between fact and fiction than the relationship between the United States and Mexico. Deeply intertwined social, economic, cultural, and family relationships make the U.S.-Mexico border more seam than barrier, weaving together two economies, societies, and cultures. Mexico has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past two decades that has made it a more educated, prosperous, and innovative nation than most Americans realize. And this emerging Mexico increasingly influences our daily lives in the United States in surprising ways—the jobs we do, the goods we consume, and even the new technology and entertainment we enjoy. 

At this discussion, marking the release of MPI President Andrew Selee's latest book, speakers explore the emerging trends in migration, economic interdependence, technology innovation, and cultural exchange that are transforming the relationship between the United States and Mexico, and the policy implications of these changes for our future.

INTRODUCTION:
Andrew Selee, President, MPI
Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center
 
OPENING REMARKS
Jose Antonio Zabalgoitia, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Mexico to the United States

SPEAKERS

Alan Bersin, former Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2012-17), and former Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (2010-11)
Carla Hills, Chair and CEO, Hills & Company, and former U.S. Trade Representative (1989-93)
Antonio Ortiz-Mena, Senior Vice President, Albright Stonebridge Group, and Adjunct Professor, Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) and Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

CLOSING REMARKS
Roberta Jacobson, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (2016-18)

 
ADJOURNMENT
Doris Meissner
, Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program, MPI  
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The Changing Landscape of Interior Immigration Enforcement Under Trump

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Mobility and Security, Immigration Enforcement by migrationpolicy on May 8th, 2018

Within days of the inauguration, the Trump administration announced sweeping changes that are reshaping the immigration enforcement system in the U.S. interior by which removable noncitizens are arrested, detained, and deported. 
 
In ways big and small, the administration is reorienting the enforcement system. At the same time, there is growing pushback, particularly from states and localities unwilling to cooperate with federal enforcement. How do arrests and deportations under the Trump administration compare to past administrations? How are state and local governments, civil society, and consulates responding? What are the impacts of new policies on federal enforcement, federal-state-local enforcement relationships, and immigrant communities? 
 
To assess the changes and their impacts, Migration Policy Institute researchers visited 15 jurisdictions across the United States, both those cooperating, such as Houston, and those limiting cooperation, such Los Angeles. Their findings are contained in a major MPI report. It reflects interviews across a broad spectrum including ICE field leadership, senior local law enforcement and elected officials, immigration attorneys, community service providers, immigrant-rights advocates, consular officials, and former immigration judges. The report also provides analysis of national ICE data obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests. 
 
This discussion examinining the operation of today’s interior enforcement system features remarks by:

Randy Capps, Director of Research, U.S. Programs, MPI

Muzaffar Chishti, Director, MPI's office at NYU School of Law

J. Thomas Manger, Chief of Police, Montgomery County, Maryland, and President, Major Cities Chiefs Association

Gary Mead, former Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 

Rafael Laveaga, Head of Consulate of Mexico in Washington, DC (responsible for DC, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia) 

Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program, MPI  

   

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Responding to Early Childhood Education and Care Needs of Children of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Europe and North America

As asylum seekers and refugees have arrived in significant numbers in Europe and North America in recent years, many countries have struggled to address the newcomers’ basic reception needs and provide effective integration services. Young children comprise a substantial share of these arrivals, and many have experienced significant trauma and stress that pose serious risks to their cognitive, psychosocial, and physical development. Early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs present an important opportunity to mitigate many risks these children may face, improving their education trajectories and supporting longer-term success. They can also play a critical role in the integration of refugee parents and families more broadly. In many countries, however, services for young refugee children are highly limited and lack the capacity to meet their learning and development needs.

This webinar marks the release of an Migration Policy Institute report examining the challenges and successes major host countries in Europe and North America are experiencing in providing high-quality ECEC services. The report draws on fieldwork conducted in nine countries: Belgium, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States. It is an initiative of the Transatlantic Forum on Inclusive Early Years, a consortium of European and U.S. foundations convened by the Brussels-based King Baudouin Foundation.

During the webinar, authors, Maki Park and Margie McHugh discuss the report’s findings, highlighting promising policies and practices identified in field research, as well as key areas in which ECEC services for this population need to be strengthened. They are joined by Anna Österlund, from the Swedish National Agency for Education, who highlights innovative national and local policies in Sweden that support young refugee children in their early learning experiences.

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Family Immigration Policy and Trends: How the United States Compares to Other Countries

Posted in US Immigration Policy, International Migration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on April 10th, 2018

All immigrant-receiving countries grapple with the rights and requirements surrounding family reunification and how to balance them with other immigration priorities. 

Deciding which family members should be eligible to join their relatives in the United States, and under what conditions, has become a hot button political issue. The Trump administration has proposed restricting family-based immigration severely, prompting a wave of responses arguing that family-based immigration should remain at the heart of the U.S. immigration system. On this webinar, MPI analysts Julia Gelatt, Kate Hooper, and Demetrios G. Papademetriou, compare U.S. policy on family migration to that of other significant immigrant-receiving countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Specifically, do these countries define "family" for the purpose of immigrant admissions and how does the proportion of family admissions compare to the other admission streams, especially to the admissions of the economic/labor market stream? This conversation, moderated by MPI Senior Fellow and Director of MPI's U.S. Immigration Policy Program Doris Meissner, highlights findings from MPI's issue brief examining family migration trends in nine countries and marks the launch of a data tool that models potential U.S. legal immigration cuts, by category and top countries. 

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Supporting DLLs in Superdiverse PreK-3 Programs: Findings from Two Studies

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on March 22nd, 2018

Across many early childhood education and care (ECEC) and K-12 school systems in the United States, the diversity of languages spoken, countries of origin, and other characteristics of the young child population is rapidly rising. An increasing number of communities in the United States are experiencing conditions of “superdiversity,” creating learning environments that require different instructional strategies and approaches than those used in more homogeneous or bilingual settings to support Dual Language Learners’ access to high-quality early childhood services that can support their healthy development and future academic success.

This webinar marks the release of two research reports that illustrate the challenges and opportunities related to teaching and learning in a superdiverse environment, pointing to promising approaches to work effectively in multilingual, multicultural classrooms. The reports focus on patterns of home language use across different ECEC program types, and the potential of the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) model to improve instruction and outcomes for Dual Language Learners in superdiverse settings. During the webinar, authors present findings and highlights from their work, and key implications for policy and practice will be discussed.

The reports discussed are:

The Language of the Classroom: Dual Language Learners in Head Start, Public Pre-K, and Private Preschool Programs

Supporting Dual Language Learner Success in Superdiverse PreK-3 Classrooms: The Sobrato Early Academic Language Model

 

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Immigration Data Matters: How to Find the Most Accurate Resources

With immigration increasingly visible in the news and the political space in the United States and internationally, getting access to accurate, high-quality data is essential for publics and policymakers to understand immigration’s demographic effects and impacts on the economy, education and labor systems, and the communities in which immigrants and their families live and work.

This event marks the release of an updated version of the popular Immigration Data Matters guide, which directs users to more than 220 international and U.S. data sources, and explains how to navigate sometimes complex datasets issued by government statistical agencies, international organizations, and reputable research organizations. This handy online guide includes data sources covering everything from the size of foreign-born population stocks and flows to citizenship applications, children in immigrant families, refugee admissions, migrant deaths, international student enrollment, global remittance flows, enforcement activities, and much more. 

At a time of proliferating data sources on immigration and immigrants, the presenters (Jeanne Batalova, MPI Senior Policy Analyst and Data Hub Manager, MPI; Mark Mather, Population Reference Bureau Associate Vice President for U.S. Programs; Elizabeth M. Grieco, Pew Research Center Senior Writer/Editor and former U.S. Census Bureau Foreign-Born Population Branch Chief; and Marc Rosenblum, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director of the Office of Immigration Statistics at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) discuss where some of the most user-friendly data can be accessed, including MPI’s own Migration Data Hub. They share their insights on how to avoid common pitfalls in using existing immigration data and highlight relevant data sources available from international organizations and national governments, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  

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State and Local Labor Standards Enforcement in Immigrant-Dense Industries

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration, Labor Migration by migrationpolicy on March 15th, 2018

Immigrants, who account for 17 percent of the U.S. labor force, are twice as likely as native-born workers to work in industries where core labor and safety standard violations are widespread. Many immigrants have been driven into low-wage, under-regulated work by a confluence of immigration policies and economic transformations in which companies now routinely contract out for their labor needs, such as occurs in the cleaning, warehousing, food preparation, construction, and transportation sectors. In these sectors, it is commonplace for employers to misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying employer-related taxes and workers compensation, and to evade responsibility for compliance with labor standards. Pushing back against the deterioration of labor standards in these sectors requires robust and strategic enforcement, but both government and private-sector driven enforcement are stymied by limited resources and disincentives for workers to file complaints.

State and local governments, with their broad enforcement powers, access to tax and insurance data, and their role in regulating unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation, are uniquely positioned to respond. As a Migration Policy Institute report outlines, state innovations in enforcement can benefit both native-born and immigrant workers alike, increase state tax revenue, and level competition in the marketplace for law-abiding employers. However, since states also contend with limited resources, strategic enforcement of workplace statutes that change employer behavior is key. 

At this report release discussion, the authors, Muzaffar Chishti, Director, MPI's office at New York University (NYU) School of Law, and Andrew Elmore, NYU School of Law Acting Assistant Professor and former New York Office of Attorney General Labor Bureau Section Chief, discuss the dynamics in low-wage workplaces and immigration law that have contributed to systematic violations of labor standards. They also highlight the new and effective enforcement strategies that state and local governments across the United States are utilizing. And California Labor Commissioner Julie Su and Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Administrator Abbie Hudgens discuss how they have leveraged existing resources to more effectively enforce labor laws. 

 

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