Migration Policy Institute Podcasts header image

Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

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

Farm to Table: The Role of Immigrants in U.S. Farm Labor in 2016

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration, Labor Migration by migrationpolicy on October 20th, 2016

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.  


The Mediterranean Dimension of the Refugee Crisis: Session II (New Solutions: Forging Alliances for Innovative Integration Models) & Closing Remarks

As record numbers of refugees and migrants undertake journeys across the Mediterranean, policymakers are faced with the challenging tasks of receiving, protecting, and integrating new arrivals—at every stage of their migration journey—while maintaining public confidence in an increasingly immigration-skeptic climate. 

This second session, in an event co-organized by the Migration Policy Institute during September 2016 in New York, examines what is known about promising approaches to settle and integrate newcomers, including the links between development and stability in the region and integration, and how to garner support for these policies in host communities. The session also examines what drives complex public reactions to immigration, and how policymakers and civil society can innovate to combat xenophobia, better understand rising support for populist parties, and assuage fears of loss of identity. The session is followed by brief closing remarks. 

Closing the Gap? The Role of Funding in Equitable Education for English Learners in the United States

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on August 25th, 2016

There has been considerable policy activity and innovation over the last 50 years to improve educational equity across student populations, starting with civil-rights lawsuits in the 1960s over access to high-quality education and continuing through the 2001 and 2015 reauthorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Disproportionately lower achievement outcomes for several student subgroups have remained a top concern during this time, including those for economically disadvantaged students, English Learners (ELs), and certain racial and ethnic minority groups.

Marking the release of a new report, this webinar will explore the key funding mechanisms in place to support EL students, including federal Title III and state supplementary funding sources. In light of broad trends toward more decentralized decisionmaking and the increased opportunities that follow for stakeholder input to shape key educational policies, presenters discuss the diverse sources of information that should be brought to bear on public conversations about funding. These include demographic trends in the student population, district and school-based services that meet diverse student needs, and what efforts are being made to improve educational quality and student outcomes. Drawing examples from recent national and state-level actions, the speakers demonstrate how efforts to improve educational quality for ELs are tightly bound to efforts to improve the equitable distribution of educational resources.

DACA at Four: Estimating the Potentially Eligible Population and Assessing Application and Renewal Trends

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on August 11th, 2016

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. 

Using Supplementary School Funding to Improve the Educational Outcomes of Migrant-Background Students: A Transatlantic Comparison

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.

How to Fix the Global Migration Management System

More people than ever before are on the move, crossing international borders in search of safety, livelihoods, opportunity, or the chance to reunite their families. States are ill-prepared to deal with these mixed flows of refugees and other migrants, especially those who move without prior authorization from the countries they seek to enter.  

Much of the focus is on how best to address the immediate and urgent needs of refugees—and for good reason. But much less attention has been paid to protecting the human rights of other migrants, or to creating orderly processes and expanding opportunities for legal migration. Increased mobility is a fact of life in the 21st century, and cannot be continually dealt with as a crisis. 

There are signs that national governments and international institutions are working toward building collective humanitarian responses and designing more flexible systems that can respond not just to emergencies but also to protracted displacement and large-scale movements of people who are not refugees. A series of high-profile international meetings will culminate in September at a special session of the UN General Assembly and at the Leaders' Summit on Refugees convened by President Obama. These meetings provide an opportunity for states to bring greater safety, order, and benefits to international migration.

At this co-sponsored event, Lars Westbratt, State Secretary to the Swedish Minister for Justice and Migration; Simon Henshaw, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; and Kathleen Newland, Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute, discuss global and national responses to rising displacement, innovations in managing migration processes, and attempt to address the dysfunctional aspects of international migration. An introduction and welcome is given by H.E. Björn Lyrvall, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States.

How Well Are Young Children of Refugees Integrating into the United States?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on March 23rd, 2016

On this webinar, MPI analysts and experts in the field discuss the results of an analysis comparing young children of refugees to other U.S. children on several key indicators of well-being. This analysis is based on U.S. Census Bureau data with MPI’s unique assignments of refugee status to the foreign-born population, as well as administrative data on refugee arrivals from the U.S. Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, and Office of Refugee Resettlement. Key indicators to be discussed include geographic resettlement patterns, languages spoken, English proficiency, family structure, parental education and employment, poverty rates, use of public benefits, and health insurance coverage. The report analyzed these indicators for the most common refugee origin groups, including Vietnam, Cuba, Laos, Ukraine, Somalia, Haiti, Russia, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Burma, and 10 others.


Taking Stock of ESSA’s Potential Impact on Immigrant and English-Learner Students

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on January 22nd, 2016

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.

A Profile of Children with Unauthorized Immigrant Parents in the United States

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on January 13th, 2016

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. 

Using Data to Improve Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Services for Immigrants and Refugees

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on December 17th, 2015

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.

Young Refugee Children: Their Schooling Experiences in the United States and in Countries of First Asylum

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on October 28th, 2015

Conflicts in Syria and around the world have generated an estimated 19.5 million refugees, of whom just over half are children. Most refugees reside in countries of first asylum in developing regions, with relatively few officially resettled in the United States and other developed countries. The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is releasing a series of three papers, as part of a research project supported by the Foundation for Child Development, about the education and well-being of these children. The first report discusses the mental health and schooling of Syrian refugee children living in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. The second explores the experiences of Somali Bantu refugee students in a U.S. elementary school shortly after their resettlement. And the third offers a broader look at the educational experiences of refugee children in developing countries—in camps and urban settings. In this webinar, the authors of the papers and MPI analysts presented their findings on the experiences of refugee children and the impacts on their mental health and education.


Serving Newcomer Immigrant and Refugee Students in Secondary Schools: Comparing U.S. and European Practices

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, European Migration by migrationpolicy on October 23rd, 2015

Against the backdrop of the refugee crisis in Europe and the unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied minors entering U.S. schools in the last two years, this webinar considers the particular challenges facing educators and policymakers as they attempt to meet the needs of immigrant and refugee students who arrive during their middle and high school years. Providing these students with instructional, linguistic, and socioemotional supports is especially complex in the secondary grades, due to the rigor of the curriculum and the short timeframe available for students to prepare for postsecondary education and the workforce.


Variations in In-State Tuition, Financial Aid, and Scholarship Policies for Unauthorized Youth

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on October 8th, 2015

In this webinar, the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy and other national experts discussed patchwork tuition policies, their implications for unauthorized immigrant youth seeking two- and four-year college degrees, and the progress of major new proposals being considered by states this year. The webinar will also mark the release of updated information on the college access, tuition, and financial aid policies in the top 15 states for youth potentially eligible to apply for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In addition, hear about the new round of scholarships available from TheDream.US, the largest provider of scholarships for youth with DACA or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) who cannot afford to pay for college.


Overcoming WIOA’s Barriers to Immigrant and Refugee Adult Learners

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Language Access by migrationpolicy on September 29th, 2015

Adult English language, education, citizenship/civics, and workforce training services are critical in supporting the economic, linguistic, and civic integration of immigrants and refugees. Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs and the state partnership and investments they require comprise the central architecture for provision of these crucial services in communities across the United States. In this discussion, experts discussed aspects of the law that will likely limit prospects for immigrants and refugees to receive English language and other services they may need, serious weaknesses in WIOA regulations proposed by the Obama administration that will govern implementation of crucial services for immigrant integration, and strategies that may help ensure more equitable access for immigrants and refugees to services provided under the law.


Left Behind: How the Well-Being of Children Is Affected by Parental Deportation

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on September 21st, 2015

In two new reports, the Migration Policy Institute and The Urban Institute review the literature examining the effects of parental deportation on children and the broader community and report the results of field visits to five communities with large numbers of parental deportations.In this discussion, MPI authors discuss the effects of parental deportation on the children of immigrants, and the related needs for health and social services. Panelists will discuss U.S. policy responses to protect these children, community responses, and possible directions for future research and policies.


Exploring Innovative Ideas to Strengthen the Global Protection System

This discussion explored the tensions facing asylum systems in Europe and North America, and asked what tools governments have at their disposal to respond proactively to forced displacement and reduce its costs for refugees and host communities alike. Where and when should governments focus their protection investments to have the most impact? What actors and stakeholders need to be engaged, both within a government and internationally? What lessons can be drawn from responses to past asylum flows? 


Growing Up in America: The Extent and Impacts of Discrimination on Young Children from Immigrant Families

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on September 14th, 2015

While the effects of discrimination against immigrant adolescents and adults have been the subject of much study, discrimination’s impacts on young children of immigrants has gone largely unexamined. During this webinar, three scholars explored the educational, psychological, and social impact of discrimination on immigrant-origin children from birth to age 10. The three presenters discussed the types of discrimination that young children of immigrants may experience, particularly in the school setting, and its consequences for children, their families, and schools. The presenters also offered recommendations for addressing discrimination in school settings and explored ways to promote family and child resilience in the face of discrimination.


DACA at Three: New Data on Potential Applicants and Analysis of the Renewal Process

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on August 11th, 2015

August 2015 marks the three-year anniversary of the implementation of the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and approximately one year since U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began processing DACA renewal requests. Renewal offers current DACA beneficiaries an additional two-year reprieve from deportation as well as work authorization, yet not all those eligible to file for renewal have done so.

MPI experts unveiled updated data on characteristics of the potential DACA applicant pool as well as a new brief examining who is signing up for DACA renewal and some of the administrative difficulties surrounding the renewal program in this latest webinar.

Resettling Increasingly Diverse Refugee Populations in the United States: Integration Challenges and Successes

This discussion focuses on the Migration Policy Institute's new report, The Integration Outcomes of U.S. Refugees: Success and Challenges, which uses previously unpublished State Department data among other sources to examine refugee characteristics at arrival for the ten largest national-origin groups resettled between 2002-2013, as well as their integration outcomes. The discussion examines the report's findings with respect to refugee employment and incomes, English proficiency and education levels, public benefit use, as well as differing integration outcomes between refugee groups with similar characteristics at arrival. 


Rethinking Integration for the Age of Superdiversity: How to Adapt Public Services? Session 3: The Future of Integration Policy

Posted in Migration and Development, Immigrant Integration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on June 19th, 2015

This Migration Policy Institute Europe public discussion explores how a coordinated approach to immigrant integration may create more effective and inclusive approaches to diversity across the policy-making spectrum. It also covers the findings of the UPSTREAM project, a multicountry study funded by the European Integration Fund that looks at the practice of mainstreaming in early childhood education, multilingual classrooms, antiracism, and equality strategies, and neighborhood and housing policy. Session 3, "The Future of Integration Policy," includes speakers  Elizabeth Collett, Director of Migration Policy Institute Europe, Carmen Blanco, Spanish Deputy Director of Legal Affairs, and Laura Corrado, Head of Legal Migration and Integration of the European Commission Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs.


- Older Posts »