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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.

Centering English Learners in Schools’ Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on September 29th, 2020

Since school buildings closed their doors in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, English Learners (ELs) have faced significant barriers to participating in remote instruction. These include circumstances related to many immigrant families’ limited capacity to support home learning as well as more structural challenges such as inadequate digital learning resources.

But responses to the pandemic should also cause schools and local and state education leaders to reflect on their system’s capacity to equitably support ELs’ linguistic, academic, and socioemotional development. Implementing remote learning has exposed long-standing weaknesses in many districts’ approaches to teacher professional development, multilingual supports for parents with limited English, and building meaningful connections with immigrant families and communities.

In this webinar, Julie Sugarman and Melissa Lazarín, authors of a report from MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy discuss key challenges to meeting ELs’ needs during the pandemic and the policies and practices school systems will need to put in place to support them and their families through the public-health and education crisis, as well as when schooling returns to normal. In addition, presenters, Californians Together's Shelly Spiegel-Coleman and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools's Molly Hegwood, provide examples of centering ELs in planning for school year 2020­­­–21, including how to document supports for ELs in a district’s continuity-of-learning plan and how one district incorporated EL needs into its virtual learning plan.

The U.S. Immigration Policymaker-in-Chief: The Long History of Executive Authority over Immigration

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on September 12th, 2020

The inability of Congress to enact any meaningful legislation on immigration during the past quarter-century has left the United States with a long-outdated immigration system that works for very few, leaving the president with enormous influence and control over U.S. immigration policy. While President Obama’s decision to protect DREAMers via the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was praised by some as an overdue action amid congressional stalemate, it also was the subject of major legal challenge and was criticized as presidential overreach.

Well into its fourth year, the Trump administration has undertaken more than 400 executive actions on immigration. President Trump has been able to dramatically reshape the U.S. immigration system through regulatory, policy, and programmatic changes, and his executive actions have prompted extensive advocacy and litigation in response.

Is executive action on immigration a recent development? And has it always been as controversial as it seems today? Two leading legal scholars, Adam B. Cox and Cristina M. Rodríguez, tackle this question in their book, The President and Immigration Law (Oxford University Press). 

In this webinar, these scholars join Elena Goldstein from the New York State Office of the Attorney General, and MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Sarah Pierce for a discussion that examines the Trump administration’s substantial use of executive power to change the country’s course on immigration, and how the president’s role in immigration policy is a inevitability that should be carefully considered and reimagined in any blueprint for immigration reform or strategy for activism on immigration.

Esclareciendo el Panorama: Una mirada a los datos sobre migrantes y refugiados venezolanos en América Latina y el Caribe

Alrededor de 5 millones de venezolanos dejaron su país debido a la actual crisis política y económica en la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, de los cuales, al menos, 4.3 millones se movilizaron a otros países de América Latina y el Caribe. Este flujo masivo de población proveniente de Venezuela, que comenzó en el año 2015, ha generado desafíos de política migratoria y de integración para los países de acogida. Adicionalmente la pandemia del COVID-19 le ha agregado una nueva capa de complejidad. Ahora, los países receptores se enfrentan al reto de gestionar una crisis de salud pública, mientras que, al mismo tiempo, gestionan las necesidades de los venezolanos en situación de movilidad humana y de las comunidades de acogida.

Dados estos retos que enfrentan los países de la región, existe una necesidad apremiante de datos detallados sobre las características y vulnerabilidades de esta población. OIM está trabajando para llenar dichos vacíos utilizando La Matriz de Seguimiento de Desplazamiento (DTM por sus siglas en inglés) para reunir datos intersectoriales mediante evaluaciones detalladas en todos los países de América Latina y el Caribe. Así, la DTM es una herramienta que se ha convertido en la principal fuente de información primaria para el diseño de políticas públicas tanto para los países de acogida, como para los países de tránsito de los flujos de migrantes y refugiados provenientes de Venezuela. Dicha herramienta, recolecta datos de la demografía de los migrantes, sus actividades económicas, sus condiciones de salud, su acceso a servicios de salud, detalles de sus viajes, y los desafíos con los que se han encontrado mientras viajaban. A partir de la información que arroja dicha herramienta, un grupo de investigadores del MPI han elaborado un perfil regional de los migrantes y refugiados venezolanos que viajaron a través de 11 países de América Latina y el Caribe durante 2019. De esta forma, se esclarece el panorama de la situación de los migrantes y refugiados y da cuenta de las variaciones de un país a otro en cuanto las características de estos migrantes y refugiados y sus experiencias cuando viajan y establecen una nueva vida en otro país.

En este webinar expertos de la región, incluyendo OIM Director General Antonio Vitorino Eduardo Stein, Representante Conjunto ACNUR-OIM para Refugiados y Migrantes Venezolanos, discutirieron acerca del perfil demográfico de los refugiados y migrantes venezolanos en Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Perú, Trinidad y Tobago y Uruguay. La conversación explora las necesidades de la población, los cambios en los patrones de movilidad, los diversos instrumentos políticos que se han diseñado desde los países para gestionar este flujo y las importantes implicaciones políticas para la planificación a futura. Lo anterior, particularmente, en un nuevo contexto de pandemia mundial y las consecuencias sociales, políticas y económicas que lo acompañan y que tienen una serie de implicaciones para los refugiados y migrantes venezolanos y las comunidades de acogida.

Excluding Millions: How Trump Administration Changes to the Decennial Census Could Leave Out U.S. Citizens and Immigrants

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on August 29th, 2020

In July 2020, the Trump administration announced it is excluding unauthorized immigrants from the 2020 Census data used to reapportion representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states. The plan is to match Census data with administrative records to identify the U.S. citizens or lawfully present noncitizens in the Census, excluding all others. At a time when the once-a-decade Census collection has already been greatly challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, and shortened by a month, the administration’s actions are raising questions about the accuracy of the 2020 Census, and concerns about a potential undercount and under-representation of immigrant and other hard-to-reach communities across the United States.

Drawing on evidence of past data-matching exercises, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) has estimated that up to 20 million U.S. citizens could incorrectly be lumped together with unauthorized immigrants. With the Census counts shaping not only congressional apportionment, but also billions of dollars in federal spending, and government and private-sector planning, the 2020 Census continues to face more legal challenges than any prior Census.

This conversation, featuring a former U.S. Census Bureau director and other top experts, examines how the many challenges facing the 2020 Census could affect the count and representation of immigrant communities, the difficulties inherent in data matching to determine legal status, and the legal and constitutional issues surrounding the administration’s actions.

 

A Bumpy Path to U.S. Citizenship: A Survey of Changing USCIS Practices

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on July 16th, 2020

Even as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to approve the lion’s share of naturalization applications it receives, the agency’s average processing times have risen significantly in recent years. The backlog of citizenship cases has grown in 2020, with the naturalization process grinding to a halt for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And it will swell further if USCIS furloughs two-thirds of its staff in August amid a projected $1.2 billion budget shortfall.

Nine million immigrants are eligible to become U.S. citizens but have not done so for a variety of reasons. A more recent element has been added to the mix: increasingly strict scrutiny of applications by USCIS officers as the agency shifts its focus from customer service to fraud detection, as traced in a Migration Policy Institute report, A Rockier Road to U.S. Citizenship? Findings of a Survey on Changing Naturalization Procedures. The report traces the agency’s evolving adjudication standards and procedures for citizenship applications during the Trump administration, drawing on a nationwide survey of naturalization assistance providers. The report findings were shared during this MPI webinar, which features officials who oversaw the citizenship process during prior administrations, as well as the study’s lead researcher and the executive director of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, which administered the survey.

In this interesting conversation moderated by MPI’s Doris Meissner, the discussants—MPI Director of Research for U.S. Programs Randy Capps, ILRC Executive Director Eric Cohen, and former USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez—examine the increasing obstacles to citizenship as a result of changing USCIS practices, and the effects the pandemic-related shutdown and USCIS financial turmoil could have on the ability of would-be Americans to take the oath of citizenship in the months ahead.

Enhancing the Social and Economic Inclusion of Refugees through Local Development Strategies

Humanitarian and development actors in low- and middle-income countries that host refugees have focused many of their recent interventions on integrating newcomers into national development strategies and promoting access to public services nationwide. But how do these efforts play out at the local level?

This MPI Europe conversation explores how development actors can work with local authorities to enhance the social and economic inclusion of refugees. Subnational authorities have been at the forefront of hosting refugees; while their capacity can be narrow, they often have first-hand experience in managing relations between host and refugee communities. During this webchat, experts discuss partnerships between local authorities, the UNHCR, and development actors that are aimed at integrating refugees in local governance mechanisms. These experiences suggest that improvements for refugees often start at the local level, where general principles agreed upon in international fora are being tested. 

This discussion involving representatives from the World Bank, UNHCR, and Kenya’s Refugee Affairs Secretariat explores three main questions: How can development and humanitarian actors engage with local institutions to promote refugee inclusion? How has the involvement of refugees in local institutions materialized and what are the ways to ensure this participation leads to tangible changes? Finally, in fragile environments, how can discussions on refugee inclusion enhance the engagement of other groups that have traditionally been marginalized in refugee-hosting regions (e.g., internally displaced persons, ethnic minorities, or returnees)?

Climate Change and Migration: Converging Issues, Diverging Funding

Posted in International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on June 30th, 2020

While climate change and migration remain high on political agendas in Europe, the exact link between the two remains uncertain. Without clarity on how different climate events might lead to more human mobility (or conversely, immobility), it is difficult for migration policymakers and development actors to align their efforts and ensure they are spending resources wisely. Investments in climate adaptation, for instance, which aim to build communities’ resilience to cope with environmental stress, have only recently begun to take human mobility into account. And so far, adaptation activities make up only a small part of Europe’s formidable climate spending.

The COVID-19 pandemic only adds to the urgency of finding innovative financing tools for climate adaptation and migration. Many of the adaptation strategies policymakers previously applied to support communities affected by sudden-onset floods or slow-onset desertification are now obsolete, for example as physical distancing requirements have complicated evacuation and relocation. And because the issue cuts across different policy portfolios, it is difficult to assign clear responsibilities. 

This MPI Europe discussion, with MPI Europe's Hanne Beirens, University of Liège's François Gemenne, GIZ's Dorothea Rischewski, and the European Investment Bank's Moa Westman, explored different migration policy options related to climate adaptation and the evolving landscape of climate finance tools. Speakers also examined what funding gaps and opportunities exist for collaboration with partner countries and what funding instruments might address the most pressing needs. The conversation also explored the implications of COVID-19 for migration and climate adaptation funding approaches.

Rethinking and Restarting: What should the returns process look like post-pandemic?

COVID-19-related border closures, travel restrictions, and uncertainties as to how to safeguard the health of returnees and their receiving communities have paralyzed the migrant-return system across the globe. With a few notable exceptions, such as the United States and Sweden, most countries have halted the return of rejected asylum seekers and irregular migrants, including overstayers, to their countries of origin until further notice. Authorities have paused or postponed return or removal orders, shifted to automatic renewal of immigration permits and, in some cases, opted to release migrants awaiting their return from closed detention centers (e.g., in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom).  

As countries move into different phases of reopening, the question of when and how to return migrants will become increasingly pressing. How feasible will the transfer of migrants be between countries that are at different points on the containment curve? How politically desirable is it to press certain countries to readmit their citizens when the coronavirus is already testing the limits of their infrastructure?

Furthermore, the return process was already plagued by problems of low return rates, controversial returns, and overly ambitious reintegration goals.

Part of MPI Europe's webinar series exploring what the migrant-return and reintegration process might look like in the post-COVID period, this webinar highlights the opportunity the restart offers countries to rethink and improve their return and reintegration operations. Before turning to the reintegration process later this summer, this first webinar in the series showcases speakers from Belgium's Fedasil, the French Office of Immigration and Integration, and the International Organization for Migration discussing the counselling of (potential) returnees to increase the uptake of voluntary return – a return option that is generally seen as more humanitarian, practical, less expensive, and sustainable.

Migrants in Africa & COVID-19: From Emergency Measures to Inclusive Social Protection Systems

Most African states closed their borders in attempt to contain COVID-19, resulting in a loss of livelihood that has been devastating for many, including migrants, in the absence of a community-based safety net. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports migration flows in West and Central Africa were nearly halved between January and April 2020, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded and requiring assistance with shelter, health care, and food. Already under pressure to deliver health services and emergency safety nets for their citizens, host countries often lack the capacity and the resources to support migrants, especially the ones who are in transit or informal workers without legal status. As a result, assistance for migrants during this public-health crisis has often come from international organizations such as IOM, civil-society actors, or diasporas.

The coronavirus crisis has also raised longer-term questions about social protection systems in Africa and which dimensions should be set up and prioritized for funding. In many ways, the pandemic has confirmed the pressing need for social protection for everyone, particularly in terms of health care, as vulnerabilities in one group can affect overall community wellbeing. But the looming economic crisis also risks limiting the appetite of host governments and development aid donors for more ambitious protection systems for non-nationals, which may ultimately reduce the benefits of regional and continental free movement regimes that African countries have been working towards for a decade.

This MPI Europe discussion with the Acting Regional Director for West and Central Africa for the International Organization for Migration, along with representatives from the African Union and International Labor Organization explores what emergency measures have been deployed by African governments and aid actors in response to COVID-19 to assist migrants in need. The panelists also examine what the health crisis says about social protection systems, the incentives for inclusionary systems for all, who should support these mechanisms in times of crisis, and how to make (at least some of) these measures sustainable.

Addressing Equity Concerns for English Learners: Where Do Native Language Assessments Fit In?

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on June 17th, 2020

With major budget cuts inevitable post-pandemic and school systems disrupted across the United States, states may find it difficult to develop or sustain important supports for English Learners (ELs). One such support is allowing ELs to take annual state standardized tests in their native language. Federal law requires ELs to be given accommodations to ensure that their scores on standardized tests accurately reflect what they know in reading, math, and other subjects. The law also encourages—but does not require—states to offer native language assessments as one type of accommodation. Research shows that such assessments are effective in improving test scores.

However, only 31 states offer native language assessments, and those that do typically only offer them in Spanish and for math. Further, little research or guidance exists to help states figure out to whom the assessments should be given, and in which languages, grades, and subjects. In the last few years, advocates in several states, including California, Florida, and Illinois, have sought to expand the role of native language assessments as part of their accountability systems, seeing them as critical to ensuring policymakers, practitioners, and the public have accurate information about ELs’ academic achievement.

This webchat marks the release of an MPI report on native language assessments, and offers an introduction to the key policy and practical considerations in their implementation. MPI’s Margie McHugh and Julie Sugarman also discuss the role of native language assessments in the current educational environment.

Beyond the Border: U.S.-Mexican Migration Accord Has Ushered in Sweeping Change in Mexico in Its First Year

Following months of rising Central American migration through Mexico to the United States, the U.S. and Mexican governments on June 7, 2019 signed a joint declaration pledging to work together to manage and reduce irregular migration. The accord effectively marked a new era in the development of Mexico’s immigration enforcement and humanitarian protection systems. To avert the imposition of tariffs on Mexican goods threatened by President Donald Trump, the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador agreed to deploy its recently created National Guard to combat illegal immigration and accepted the expansion of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP, also known as Remain in Mexico) along the entirety of the U.S.-Mexico border. In turn, the Trump administration agreed to expedite asylum processing for migrants waiting in Mexico under MPP and committed to addressing the conditions driving migration by investing in economic development efforts in southern Mexico and Central America.

While the full effects of the U.S.-Mexico cooperation agreement will take years to unfold, the Migration Policy Institute has assessed the changes during the accord’s first year. At the agreement’s one-year anniversary, MPI researchers Andrew Selee and Ariel Ruiz Soto engaged in discussion with former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson, former Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Gerónimo Gutiérrez, and journalist Angela Kocherga about the changes it has sparked. The panelists also discussed how the agreement, coupled with U.S. policies designed to narrow access to asylum, has increased demand for humanitarian protection in Mexico, exposed significant weaknesses in the systems for protecting vulnerable migrants and exacerbated precarious conditions for migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border. As both countries face mobility challenges due to COVID-19, speakers explored how these changes may affect the future of U.S.-Mexico relations. 

Humanitarian Protection in an Era of Pandemic

The rapid closures of borders around the world have been among the most dramatic migration-related effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 130 countries have introduced entry restrictions at their borders, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates. While these closures have virtually suspended leisure and business travel across the world, the effects are proving even more severe for refugees and migrants fleeing danger. Crossing an international border to a country of safety and filing an asylum claim is no longer possible in many places—a seismic shock to the foundations of a post-World War II international protection system that relies on the goodwill of national governments to grant access to their territory for those in need.

The pandemic has also placed into stark relief the unique vulnerabilities forced migrants now confront in the face of outbreak. The reception facilities where many asylum seekers live while awaiting a verdict on their claim invite outbreaks, even in high-income countries with well-run asylum and reception systems. Infection is likely to spread even more rapidly in severely overcrowded facilities, such as the camps on the Greek islands and informal settlements in Mexican border cities where migrants awaiting U.S. asylum hearings are massed. In developing countries where access to proper health care is limited even for nationals, the consequences of the pandemic could be disastrous for refugees who often live in densely packed housing with poor sanitation. At the same time, the suspension of resettlement operations by IOM and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has closed off a crucial lifeline for the especially vulnerable.

Speakers on this webinar consider how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected—and perhaps, remade—the global protection systems. Meghan Benton, Director for Research of MPI’s International Program, is joined by MPI colleagues, Kathleen Newland, Hanne Beirens, Sarah Pierce, and Susan Fratzke, for a free-flowing conversation regarding the effects of the pandemic on asylum systems in Europe and North America, as well as those in developing regions, where 85 percent of refugees remain. In addition to considering the immediate effects the crisis has had on national asylum systems and on refugees themselves, the conversation looks ahead and begin to assess the implications for the principle of asylum and access to protection in the future.

View MPI's resources on COVID-19

COVID-19 in Latin America: Tackling Health Care & Other Impacts for Vulnerable Migrant Populations

Governments across Latin America have taken extraordinary mobility-limiting measures in recent days as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge, with important impacts for a region that has seen a massive scale of forced and irregular migration. Most countries in the region have ordered the full closure of their land and sea borders, and imposed stringent air travel restrictions on all foreigners. In addition, government leaders in Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador are among those who have announced countrywide lockdowns and declared states of emergency, ordering the closure of public spaces including businesses, schools, and shelters.

This global public health crisis comes at a critical time for regional mobility and migration. Since 2015, Latin America has experienced unprecedented migration flows, with the exodus of millions from Venezuela. There are major questions about how the pandemic-related preventative measures will impact ongoing migration flows and border communities that depend on cross-border trade and services. And there are significant concerns about how COVID-19 may affect immigrant communities that do not always have access to health services.  At the same time, several governments, such as those in Colombia and Argentina, are looking at creative ways of engaging immigrant health professionals in the effort to combat the spread of the virus.

This Migration Policy Institute webinar brings together public health and migration experts to analyze the impact these preventative measures will have on vulnerable immigrants and refugees in Colombia. The speakers also discuss how policymakers and international organizations can include migrant populations in their emergency response plans.
 
Speakers included:
Iván Darío Gonzalez Ortiz, former Vice Minister and Acting Minister, Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection
Julián A. Fernández Niño, Professor, Department of Public Health, Universidad del Norte (Barranquilla, Colombia)
Christian Krüger, former Director, Migración Colombia
Gladys Sanmiguel, former Secretary of Social Integration for Bogotá, Colombia
 
Moderator: Andrew Selee, President, Migration Policy Institute
 

Expert Podcast: Meeting Seasonal Labor Needs in the Age of COVID-19

Governments are facing urgent pandemic-related questions. One of the more pressing ones: Who is going to harvest crops in countries that rely heavily on seasonal foreign workers? In this podcast, MPI experts Hanne Beirens, Kate Hooper, and Camille Le Coz, examine ways in which countries could address labor shortages in agriculture, including recruiting native-born workers and letting already present seasonal workers stay longer. Catch an interesting discussion as border closures have halted the movement of seasonal workers even as crops are approaching harvest in some places.

 

Migration & Coronavirus: A Complicated Nexus Between Migration Management and Public Health

Governments around the world have adopted significant migration management measures to try to contain and halt the spread of COVID-19. Border closures, travel restrictions, prohibitions on arrivals from certain areas, and heightened screening have been among the leading policy responses, initially to try to block COVID-19 from crossing borders and later, as the pandemic became a global one, as part of a raft of mobility restrictions seeking to mitigate further spread. The success of these restrictions in stemming the initial breakout of public health threats across international borders as well as their role in mitigating "community spread" within affected states is a matter of dispute. More clear, however, is that internal measures—such as business closures and "lockdown" orders—are likely to be borne disproportionately by the most vulnerable, including refugees, unauthorized populations, and other immigrants.
 
This webinar, organized by the Migration Policy Institute and the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School, discussed the state of play around the globe and examined where migration management and enforcement tools may be useful and where they may be ill-suited to advancing public health goals. Experts compared the current response (and rhetoric) to what has been seen during prior major public health crises in the United States and internationally, and discussed how this is likely to affect future mobility and international cooperation on issues such as humanitarian protection.

Speakers included:

Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow, MPI, and former Commissioner, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service

Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Associate Director, International Program, Migration Policy Institute (MPI)

T. Alexander Aleinikoff, University Professor and Director, Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, and former Deputy UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Alan Kraut, Distinguished University Professor of History, American University, and MPI Nonresident Fellow

View all MPI resources related to COVID-19.

Green Cards and Public Charge: Who Could Be Denied Based on Benefits Use?

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on March 12th, 2020

Even before the Trump administration’s public-charge rule took effect on February 24, there was evidence of sizeable disenrollment from public benefit programs by legal immigrants afraid that use by themselves or their U.S.-born children could doom a future application for legal permanent residence.

These “chilling effects” result from confusion about which benefit programs and populations are considered under the new public-charge determination, or fear that the government could change the rules in the future. Yet the number of noncitizens who could be deemed ineligible for a green card based on existing use of a public benefit is very small, as a Migration Policy Institute (MPI) analysis shows.

On this webinar, MPI experts, Julia Gelatt, Mark Greenberg, and Randy Capps, released their estimates of the populations that could be deemed ineligible for a green card based on existing benefits use. During the webinar, the experts also discussed the far larger consequences of the public-charge rule, through its chilling effects and imposition of a test aimed at assessing whether green-card applicants are likely to ever use a public benefit in the future. This wealth test holds the potential to reshape legal immigration to the United States in far more significant ways than any other measure taken by the administration to date. 

None of the comments on this webinar should be considered as legal advice; instead, all information and content provided are for general informational purposes only. Individuals with concerns or questions should consult with an attorney.

Expert Podcast: Understanding How English Learners Count in ESSA Reporting

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on March 12th, 2020

Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states must report a wide range of information about their students’ English language arts and math standardized test scores, graduation rates, and more. They must also break these data down to show how students with certain characteristics—subgroups including racial/ethnic groups, students with disabilities, and English Learners (ELs)—are doing. This wealth of data is meant to help policymakers, practitioners, and community members identify schools that need to do a better job of helping ELs learn. But for this to be possible, it must be clear who states are including in the EL subgroup—something that varies across types of data and that is not always clear marked on state student performance reports or online dashboards. This podcast features a discussion between the Migration Policy Institute’s Margie McHugh and Julie Sugarman about how to understand the varying composition of the EL subgroup, and why understanding these technical differences matters when making decisions about how ELs and schools are faring. They also talk about different groups of ELs: newcomers, students with interrupted formal education, and long-term ELs, and data collection around these different subgroups. The related report can be found here: 

Seasonal Worker Programs in Europe: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward

Posted in Labor Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on February 28th, 2020

Across Europe, employers with seasonal labor needs in sectors such as agriculture, hospitality, and tourism often rely on hiring workers from other countries. Some, such as Germany, source these workers from other EU Member States, especially in Eastern and Central Europe. Others rely on programs that recruit seasonal workers from non-EU countries such as Morocco. While low-skilled workers generally have limited opportunities to legally migrate to the European Union, seasonal migration forms an important exception.

Designing and implementing seasonal worker programs that are responsive to labor market needs but also prioritize the well-being of seasonal workers and deter overstays remain challenging. Likewise, while studies point to the potential development contributions of seasonal migration for origin countries, policymakers can struggle to translate this potential into practice. 

As the European Union prepares to review the implementation of its Seasonal Workers Directive, as well as countries such as the United Kingdom continue to explore new approaches to selecting seasonal workers, this webinar features findings from a policy briefSeasonal Worker Programs in Europe: Promising Practices and Ongoing ChallengesOn this webinar MPI Policy Analyst Kate Hooper was joined Concordia CEO Stephanie Maurel and Jan Schneider, Head of the Research Unit at the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR), for a discussion recent trends in European seasonal migration programmes and best practices.

This webinar is part of a project by MPI Europe and the Expert Council’s Research Unit on mobility options to Europe for those not in need of protection, supported by the Mercator Foundation.

An Uneven Landscape: The Differing State Approaches to English Learner Policies under ESSA

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on February 19th, 2020

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) elevated states’ responsibility to improve English language proficiency for English Learners (ELs), as well as their academic achievement. ESSA’s first stage of implementation required states to develop and submit their plans for executing the new law to the U.S. Department of Education. Highly technical, these state plans are usually difficult for parents and even educators to understand.

The Migration Policy Institute’s (MPI) National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, in partnership with state-based EL organizations and immigrant policy organizations, has endeavored to ensure that state ESSA plans create the optimal conditions for EL achievement.

On this webinar MPI released the results of its comprehensive review of state ESSA plans for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with a focus on EL policies. The compendium, The Patchy Landscape of State English Learner Policies under ESSA, reveals a picture of great variability across states’ approaches to ensuring accountability for the success of their EL students.

MPI's Delia Pompa and Julie Sugarman were joined by Kim Sykes, Director of Education Policy at New York Immigration Coalition, in a discussion on how states have approached ESSA implementation, and areas where the law and state efforts to support ELs can be improved.

¿Se Están Cerrando las Puertas? Respuestas a la Migración Venezolana en América Latina y el Caribe

En los últimos años, más de 4 millones de venezolanos se han desplazado a otros países en América Latina y el Caribe, debido al deterioro económico y el agravamiento de las tensiones políticas de ese país. La magnitud y la velocidad en la que ha ocurrido este fenómeno migratorio lo han convertido en una de las mayores crisis de migración forzada en la historia de la región y del mundo.  

En general, los países receptores han intentado acomodar la llegada de migrantes venezolanos, ofreciendo el acceso a educación básica, atención médica de emergencia, así como la implementación de medidas para regularizar el estatus migratorio de muchos de ellos. Sin embargo, a medida que continúa el éxodo de venezolanos, algunos gobiernos han empezado a imponer barreras de entrada. Así mismo, los gobiernos están afrontando otros retos relacionados a la inclusión de la población migrante y las comunidades de acogida.

El Migration Policy Institute (MPI) ha venido monitoreando de cerca el panorama regional y los cambios en materia de política pública y tendencias migratorias en la región. En este seminario en línea, MPI lanzó dos recursos importantes relacionados a esta materia:

  • Portal sobre Migración en América Latina y el Caribe: un sitio web que ofrece acceso a estadísticas, investigación y análisis riguroso sobre las tendencias y la política de inmigración de los países en la región.
  • Un informe que examina los efectos de las políticas migratorias y de integración en 11 países en América Latina y el Caribe ante el aumento de la migración venezolana y nicaragüense.

El presidente del MPI, Andrew Selee, en compañía de Jessica Bolter, coautora del informe, compartiero un panel con tres expertos en la materia de la región—Diego Beltrand, Enviado Especial de la OIM para la Situación de Venezuela, Dra. Luciana Gandini, Profesora de UNAM y Coeditora del libro Crisis y migración de población venezolana. Entre la desprotección y la seguridad jurídica en Latinoamérica, y Luis Carlos Rodríguez, Director de Incidencia del Servicio Jesuita de Refugiados en América Latina—para analizar las políticas más relevantes.

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