Nearly 2 million college-educated immigrants in the United States are unemployed or working in low-skilled jobs, resulting in both a waste of the education and training they obtained as well as billions in forgone earnings and lost tax revenue. Foreign-trained doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, and other professionals face diverse barriers to accessing skilled employment, including difficulty gaining recognition for education and training completed abroad, filling gaps in academic or work experience, building professional-level English proficiency, and navigating the U.S. job search and application process. Unnecessary licensing requirements also frequently prevent individuals with years of experience in their home countries from practicing in the United States.
This webinar marks the release of a Migration Policy Institute report examining programs and initiatives that ease the barriers to credential recognition, employment, and relicensure facing foreign-trained immigrants, as well as recent policy developments and ongoing challenges in the field. Speakers talk about lessons from policies and practices being pioneered across the United States to overcome obstacles to career re-entry, and discuss recommendations for community-based organizations, employers, and state and local governments to expand successful efforts aimed at preventing brain waste. They also examine recent initiatives launched by Michigan’s Office for New Americans that are designed to improve immigrants’ access to professional English-language instruction, employment services, and licensing guidance.
Since 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has provided a two-year renewable reprieve from deportation and eligibility for work authorization to more than 750,000 unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as children. Known as Dreamers, many are studying at U.S. colleges and universities or working legally in jobs throughout the U.S. labor market, and what will happen to these individuals is unclear as Donald Trump takes office.
On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump pledged to terminate DACA on day one of his presidency. Since then, he has said he would “work something out” because Dreamers have worked and attended school in the United States but face an uncertain future. Meanwhile, leaders in a number of sectors have mobilized strong opposition to a possible rollback. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers from both parties have reintroduced the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act to maintain protection from deportation and work authorization to DACA recipients. In communities across the United States, officials are declaring or reaffirming their intent to limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. In higher education, administrators are declaring their campuses will be sanctuaries for students who may fear immigration enforcement.
As the Trump administration assumes office and the impacts of rescinding DACA are under review, MPI hosts a discussion with University of California President Janet Napolitano; Donald Graham, former Chairman of The Washington Post Co. and cofounder of TheDream.Us, which is funding scholarships for thousands of unauthorized immigrant students; and Ike Brannon, Visiting Senior Fellow at the CATO Institute, and author of the just released study “The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Repealing DACA.”
The United States has long attracted some of the world’s best and brightest, drawn by the strong U.S. economy, renowned universities, and reputation for entrepreneurship and innovation. But because of language, credential-recognition, and other barriers many of these highly skilled, college-educated immigrants cannot fully contribute their academic and professional training and skills once in the United States. As a result they work in low-skilled jobs or cannot find a job—a phenomenon known as brain waste.
On this podcast, MPI experts give a presentation of the first-ever U.S. estimates on the economic costs of this skill underutilization for immigrants, their families, and the U.S. economy, along with estimates on forgone earnings and tax payments for: California, Florida, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Washington. The panel discusses the factors linked to immigrant skill underutilization; highlight the potential for current city, state, and U.S. labor policy (including implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) to reduce this brain waste; and offer an employer-based view of skill underutilization and how it can be addressed.
The report and related state research can be found here: https://bit.ly/mpiuntappedtalent
The slowdown in migration from Mexico since the 2008-09 recession has had a little-noted effect on farm labor in the United States: Increased use of the H-2A guestworker program. The H-2A program, long criticized by employers for cumbersome regulations, has doubled in size since 2007 and now provides workers to fill more than 150,000 farm jobs. Since agriculture relies on newcomers from abroad to replace farm workers who exit for nonfarm jobs, farm labor markets are ideal for observing employer adjustments to the reduction in the arrival of immigrant labor. Often identified as the source for unauthorized migration from Mexico because of the Bracero program, agriculture may also provide the template for future immigration reforms that involve legalizing currently unauthorized workers and making it easier to hire guestworkers in the future.
This discussion features data that could help inform future reform debates. It also focuses on some of the adjustments that farm employers are making, including increased mechanization, improved wages and benefits, and the increased use of the H-2A program.
A deadlocked U.S. Supreme Court in June left in place the nationwide injunction barring implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which would have provided deportation relief for up to 4 million unauthorized immigrants. While the decision set no legal precedent, it has left the future of deferred action in the balance: Returning the case to the lower courts where a number of scenarios could play out based on how the Justice Department, the states that brought the challenge, and the presiding appellate and district judges respond. In this discussion, experts discuss what led to the outcome in the case and the choices that the next administration will face. Panelists discuss the legal challenge's effect on the DACA program and examine the implications for states and the advocacy community. Speakers include Cristina Jiménez, Co-Founder and Managing Director of United We Dream; Stephen H. Legomsky, John S. Lehmann University Professor Emeritus at Washington University School of Law and Former Chief Counsel at U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services; David Shahoulian, Deputy General Counsel at U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Rebecca Tallent, Head of U.S. Government Relations at Dropbox and former Policy Assistant to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner; and moderator Muzaffar Chishti, Director of MPI's office in New York, based at NYU School of Law. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.
More than 65 million people have been forced to flee their homes, including 21 million refugees who have crossed international borders in search of a safe haven. The United States long has accepted more refugees annually for resettlement than any other country, though the numbers represent a tiny portion of those awaiting resettlement around the globe. Yet that historical welcome is under challenge in ways not seen since the immediate aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris, more than half of the nation’s governors announced opposition to the further resettlement of refugees in their states. And there are calls in Congress for major changes to the resettlement program, which will admit 85,000 refugees this fiscal year, even as defenders note that those under consideration for resettlement undergo more stringent security screening than all other would-be immigrants and travelers to the United States. This panel at the 13th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference discusses the policy and legal concerns raised by state and federal lawmakers about the resettlement of refugees, examines how the federal government and its humanitarian partners have responded to these concerns, and addresses the implications of these challenges for the future of a program that has resettled more than 3 million refugees since 1975. Speakers include T. Alexander Aleinikoff, former United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees and Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School; Kevin Fandl, Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at Fox School of Business, Temple University; Anna Greene, Policy and Advocacy Director for U.S. Programs at International Rescue Committee; and moderator Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Director of the Center for Applied Legal Studies and Human Rights Institute and Professor from Practice at Georgetown Law. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.
Immigration proved a central issue in the 2016 Republican primaries, helping eventual GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump emerge from a crowded field of 17 candidates and solidify his standing with a conservative base that is deeply skeptical about immigration. With the focus now turning to the general election, Republican Party leaders, strategists, and intellectuals from different vantage points—the #NeverTrump, #NeverHillary, pro-business, and libertarian wings of the party—are coming at the immigration debate differently, with differing interpretations of how pivotal immigration will prove to be in attracting or repelling voters and constituencies. This panel at the 13th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference delves into the range of views and approaches to immigration that are in play among Republicans and discuss their implications for the next Congress and the future of the party. Panelists discuss the on-the-ground strategy and lessons, their views on where immigration fits in today’s Republican Party, and how the election discourse on immigration is likely to affect the party going forward. Speakers include Alfonso Aguilar, President of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles; Linda Chavez, President of the Becoming American Institute; Daniel Garza, Executive Director of the LIBRE Initiative; Tamar Jacoby, President of ImmigrationWorks USA; and moderator Josh Gerstein, Senior Reporter, covering the courts, justice, and national security issues, at POLITICO. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois discusses deferred action for unauthorized immigrants, the DREAM Act, refugee resettlement, and other issues facing U.S. policymakers on immigration in this keynote address opening the 2016 Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.
Immigration enforcement, always a central component of immigration policy, has received particular focus throughout President Obama’s administration. Regardless of who wins the presidential election in November, enforcement will likely continue to play a large—and contested—role for the next four years. In this panel discussion at the 13th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, speakers Elizabeth Cedillo-Pereira, Senior Advisor to the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security; Dree K. Collopy, Partner at Benach Collopy LLP and Co-Director, Immigration Litigation Clinic, Catholic University School of Law; Thomas D. Homan, Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security; Stephen Manning, Partner at Immigrant Law Group PC and Director, Innovation Law Lab; and moderator Charles Wheeler, Director of Training and Legal Support, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, INC. examine three key aspects of current U.S. immigration enforcement: family detention and policies affecting unaccompanied children; the replacement of the Secure Communities federal-local immigration enforcement cooperation program with the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) amid rising local resistance to cooperation with the federal government; and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidance on its use of prosecutorial discretion with regards to deportation decisions. Panelists evaluate the successes and failures of these policies, and consider what legislative and other change could happen in the upcoming year. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.
Immigration proved an especially contested battleground during the 2016 Republican primary season and appears likely to be a top-tier issue in the general election, amid striking contrasts in policy and tone between the two major political campaigns. Moderated by MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner, this panel at the 13th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference explores the role immigration is playing in the campaigns and politics of the election. Panelists include David Frum, Senior Editor at The Atlantic; Rosalind Gold, Senior Director of Policy, Research and Advocacy at the NALEO Educational Fund; Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice; and Karen Tumulty, National Political Correspondent at The Washington Post. The discussion focuses in particular on the stances of the presidential nominees and other leading voices. How will a new Congress and administration move forward, given the complicated political dynamics within each party? What is each presidential candidate likely to do in his or her first 100 days? And what will the legislative landscape for immigration action look like in 2017? Panelists explore these and other pressing questions.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas discusses refugee resettlement and other pressing immigration issues in this keynote address opening the 2016 Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.
August marks the fourth anniversary of implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Since its launch in 2012, DACA has provided a reprieve from deportation and temporary eligibility to work legally in the United States to more than 700,000 young unauthorized immigrants. And in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision not to allow a more expansive deferred-action initiative for parents to go forward, DACA remains the only large-scale initiative that offers relief from deportation to unauthorized immigrants.
This webinar marked the release of a new Migration Policy Institute issue brief that includes the most current estimates of potential DACA beneficiaries, which were generated using data from the 2014 American Community Survey (ACS) and MPI’s unique assignments of unauthorized status to noncitizens in the data. Webinar participants discussed their findings regarding the rates of those who have applied, have sought renewal, and may apply for a second renewal of status, along with data on those who might be eligible in the future for DACA or able to gain eligibility through education. They also discussed recent policy and political developments, present trends in DACA requests and application rates by country of origin and at U.S. and state levels, and examine how DACA has affected the social integration, education, and employment of qualifying young unauthorized immigrants.
The educational needs of immigrant students in primary and secondary schools pose a growing challenge for policymakers and educators, whether in countries such as the United States, where nearly 10 percent of students are learning English, or in Germany, which is dealing with record numbers of asylum seekers. Many local schools lack the resources and capacities to meet the needs of these students, particularly given that many have limited or interrupted formal education, coupled with low or no proficiency in the language of instruction.
Speakers on this webinar discuss the need for supplementary funding to support the educational needs of migrant-background students and provide an overview of the mechanics of school funding for migrant-background students in the four focal countries examined in the report. They also discuss how schools use those funds to provide specialized services, and highlight the most salient choices facing policymakers who seek to use supplementary funding mechanisms to better support effective, high-quality educational services for children from immigrant and refugee families.
On April 18, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in U.S. v. Texas, the Obama administration’s appeal of a lower federal court order suspending DAPA implementation. How the court rules in this legal challenge filed by 26 states will have both economic and social impacts on the population of eligible parents, their families, and the communities in which they reside. MPI experts explore who makes up the affected population, analyzing the legal arguments presented to the court, and examining the potential immediate and long-term implications of this case.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recently signed into law updates the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and provides a stronger focus on closing the achievement gap between English learners and other students. The law maintains accountability for subgroups of students, including English learners. Most importantly, it builds on that requirement by elevating English proficiency outcomes to be a key element of statewide accountability systems.
Despite these changes and other improvements for English learners, the law moves many critical accountability decisions from the federal to the state level, meaning that new strategies and efforts will be needed to ensure quality education services for these children. The creation of state plans and accountability measures to implement the new law’s provisions will provide immigrant groups and other English learner stakeholders with numerous opportunities to safeguard English learners’ rights to an equitable education and ensure they can excel along with other students. Join us January 21 to learn more about ESSA’s provisions and particular areas of concern for stakeholders who seek to maintain and build policies and practices that support immigrant and English-learner students’ success.
Research finds that growing up with unauthorized immigrant parents places children at a disadvantage. Over the past decade, legislation that would provide a pathway to legal status for these parents stalled in Congress several times, and last year federal courts blocked implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)—an Obama administration initiative to extend work permits and a temporary reprieve from deportation to unauthorized immigrant parents. Absent major policy changes, millions of American children will continue to face the possibility of parental deportation and other risks associated with having an unauthorized immigrant parent.
MPI analysts and a leading education scholar present and discuss findings on the citizenship and immigration status of children with unauthorized immigrant parents, their age structure, variations in status by age, school enrollment patterns, geographic distribution, English proficiency, and educational attainment rates. Presenters also discuss the effects of parental unauthorized status on children and the risks unique to this population in comparison to children of immigrants generally and all U.S. children, along with policies that could compound or ameliorate the negative effects of parental unauthorized status on children.
Timed to coincide with the release of a series of new fact sheets that provide in-depth data profiles of immigrant and refugee adult learners and workers, this webinar explores the relationship of key Census data findings to current state and local efforts to devise plans for implementation of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
In recent decades roughly 1 million foreign-born individuals have settled in the United States per year, many with needs for adult education and workforce training services. WIOA’s implementation could play a critical role in supporting the upward mobility of these immigrants and refugees in the workforce and their successful integration into the civic life of the cities and states where they have settled. However, the law’s narrow accountability measures are expected by many to make it more difficult for local providers to serve immigrants and refugees seeking to learn English or improve their basic skills, especially those who are not on track to earn postsecondary credentials or who do not have this as a goal.
MPI Leadership Visions held a discussion with the Foreign Minister of Mexico, Claudia Ruiz-Massieu, for the first public appearance during her first visit to Washington, DC in her current capacity. With the growing importance of migration matters tying the United States and Mexico together, this Leadership Visions program moderated by MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner offers a special opportunity to hear from and engage with a critical figure in the U.S.-Mexico relationship. Minister Ruiz-Massieu was appointed to her post by President Enrique Peña Nieto on August 27, 2015, having previously served as Minister of Tourism since 2012. Prior to joining the Peña Nieto administration, she served two terms as an elected member of Mexico's House of Representatives. Minister Ruiz-Massieu has also had a distinguished academic career.
On November 29, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Immigration Act of 1990. The law increased immigration levels by redesigning admissions categories and restructuring employment-based entry provisions for both permanent and temporary admissions, with the aim of increasing emphasis on the skills, education, and investment of these immigrants. The bill also revised the grounds of inadmissibility and deportation, expanded the definition of aggravated felony, and established administrative naturalization and Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
To mark the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Act, MPI hosted a discussion examining the history of the legislation, how it was accomplished politically, and the stakeholders and issues that were critical to its passage. Panelists will recount the goals of the legislation, assess whether they have been met, examine the unintended consequences, and discuss the relevance and lessons of the Act for current immigration debates.