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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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How Latin America Is Responding to the Venezuelan Exodus

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration by migrationpolicy on December 5th, 2018

 

In recent years, more than 3 million Venezuelans have fled in response to the deepening political and economic crisis in their country, becoming one of the largest and fastest outflows anywhere in the world. More than 80 percent of these migrants and refugees have settled in other Latin American countries or in the Caribbean. For the most part, countries in the region have opened their doors to the Venezuelans, finding creative ways to incorporate them into local economies and societies by regularizing their status and giving them access to public services. Still, this generous welcome is being tested amid growing recognition these arrivals will be more than short-term guests.

In this webinar, Felipe Muñoz, Advisor to the President of Colombia for the Colombian-Venezuelan Border; Francisco Carrión Mena, Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States; and Frieda Roxana Del Águila Tuesta, Superintendent of Peru's Migration Agency—representatives from the governments of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, which are home to more than half of the Venezuelan migrants and refugees—discussed their countries' responses to the sudden arrival of hundreds of thousands of newcomers. Andrew Selee, MPI's President, and Feline Freier, Professor of political science at Universidad del Pacífico in Peru, talked on the broader trend across the region and the prospects for future policy responses.

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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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Understanding the Policy Context for Migrant Return and Reintegration

Posted in Migration and Development, International Migration by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2018

In December 2018 in Marrakech, UN Member States are scheduled to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. Among the compact’s many groundbreaking ambitions is a commitment to facilitate the return, readmission, and reintegration of migrants that recognizes the priorities of both origin and destination countries. Implementing this commitment may, however, prove extremely challenging.

Migrant returns take place along a spectrum ranging from wholly voluntary—at times even solicited by countries of origin—to compulsory or, at the extreme, physically forced. The ways in which returns are carried out vary widely, from individualized legal proceedings with due process and reintegration support, to coercive mass returns with no legal or humanitarian safeguards.

This webinar examines the policies, practices, and contextual factors that make compulsory returns such a difficult issue for international cooperation, and the programs that are being implemented to make reintegration of returnees sustainable. Speakers explore the competing perspectives migration policymakers must attempt to reconcile when considering returns—from the rule of law to humanitarian, development, security, and stability concerns. With all eyes turning towards the challenges of compact implementation, speakers discuss the possibility for international cooperation on returns and how reintegration assistance and development cooperation can mitigate shocks to often-fragile communities of origin, add positive incentives for return, and ameliorate the conditions at origin that motivate people to migrate.

The discussion draws on an MPI policy brief that explores the policy frameworks of return and the role of reintegration and development assistance in international cooperation on safe and sustainable returns. The brief forms part of a collaboration between MPI and GIZ supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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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 Next Frontier in Immigrant Integration Policy? Using Behavioral Insights to Foster Social Cohesion

Posted in International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on October 16th, 2018

Can tiny tweaks in how public policy is designed and how services work really “nudge” us to become better citizens? An increasing number of governments think so. Policymakers have used behavioral insights—an interdisciplinary, research-based approach to policy design grounded in understanding how people make choices in practice—to great effect to inspire people to become organ donors, encourage them to pay their taxes on time, and more. 

But while behavioral insights have been adopted in everything from education to health policy, their application in the field of immigrant integration has so far been limited. Could this method be used to promote social mixing and reduce inequality between those with and without a migrant background? Emerging experimental and real-world evidence suggests a range of ways a behavioral lens could to help policymakers reach their integration goals, from fostering open-mindedness among young people and reducing classroom segregation to encouraging immigrants to become citizens. 

On this webinar, speakers—Meghan Benton, MPI Assistant Director for Research in the International Programme; Antonio Silva, Behavioural Insights Team Senior Advisor; Laura Gonzalez-Murphy, New York State Department of State Director of Immigration Policy and Research; and Will Somerville, Unbound Philanthropy UK Programme Director and MPI UK Senior Fellow—explored what untapped potential behavioral insights may hold for integration policy, and how policymakers can start fitting this approach into their work. The webinar marked the release of an MPI Europe-Behavioural Insights Team report, Applying Behavioural Insights to Support Immigrant Integration and Social Cohesion, produced under the framework of MPI Europe's Integration Futures Working Group. 

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Preparing Newcomers for the Jobs of Today and the Labor Markets of Tomorrow

Getting recently arrived immigrants and refugees into work has long been considered the lynchpin of successful integration, with the legitimacy of migration and asylum systems often linked to positive economic outcomes. Spurred in part by the European migration crisis, significant social innovations and public-sector investments have focused on assessing newcomers’ existing skills, matching them with available jobs, and providing training to those in need. But with labour markets increasingly characterized by technological disruption and the flexible but precarious "gig economy," this model risks being severely upended.

This Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar marks the release of two publications produced in the framework of its Integration Futures Working Group. Jobs in 2028: How Will Changing Labor Markets Affect Immigrant Integration in Europe? examines possible scenarios for how social, economic, and technological trends could affect jobs, labor market policy, education and social policies, and migrant integration. The second report, Tech Jobs for Refugees: Assessing the Potential of Coding Schools for Refugee Integration in Germany, explores the potential of coding schools for refugees to help alleviate skills shortages and provide a pathway to work—for more than only a high-skilled minority. Join the experts for a discussion of key questions: How can governments equip newcomers—and indeed citizens—with the skills to thrive in the job markets of the future? How can governments prepare public services and contribution-based benefit schemes for a changing world of work? And for those unable to find work, what are the alternative ways that newcomers can meaningfully and measurably contribute to society?

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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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Making the Global Compact on Migration a Reality: Ideas for Enhancing Regular Migration Pathways at All Skill Levels

Posted in Migration and Development, Labor Migration, International Migration by migrationpolicy on September 12th, 2018

On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 26, the UN Special Representative for International Migration will launch the final phase of preparations for the historic adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration in Marrakesh, Morocco in December 2018. As the global compact moves from the realm of ideas and into reality, the focus of states and UN bodies is shifting from design to implementation.

This podcast considers two central objectives of the compact: enhancing the availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration, and investing in skills development. Experts from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the Germany Development Cooperation Agency (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, or GIZ) discuss concrete ideas for implementing these objectives. Panelists examine how migration pathways can be expanded, including through bilateral and regional agreements, to meet the needs of labor markets in destination countries while safeguarding migrants against abuse. The podcast also draws on lessons from previous migration partnerships to assess the potential of “skills partnerships,” a concept proposed by the compact that aim to facilitate the training and development of skilled workers who can fill labor market gaps in both countries of origin and destination.

The discussion draws on research conducted for the project, Towards a Global Compact for Migration: Rethinking the Links between Migration and Development, by MPI and GIZ, and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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Young Children in Refugee Families and Early Childhood Programs: Ways to Mitigate the Effects of Trauma

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on August 31st, 2018

Young children in refugee families often endure significant direct or indirect trauma from their experiences during conflict, flight, or resettlement. Extensive research demonstrates that trauma can seriously impact the brain, cognitive, and socioemotional development of young children, potentially interfering with their learning capacity and ability to form healthy attachments. The issue of trauma has therefore gained increasing visibility across the early childhood field, yet relatively little research has explored the specific traumatic experiences and needs of young refugee children or strategies to address them.  

High-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs can have enormous benefits, particularly for the children of immigrants and refugees. ECEC programs also present an important opportunity to provide trauma-informed services in a nonclinical setting, significantly expanding access to important socioemotional and mental health supports for this vulnerable population. However, Migration Policy Institute research shows that many U.S. ECEC programs and systems lack the capacity and knowledge to take a trauma-informed approach in their services.

Experts, on this webinar, discuss the effects of trauma on the development of young refugee children. They also highlight ways ECEC programs can address this trauma, including practical strategies that child-care providers in Canada are using to support the resiliency of refugee children and families. This webinar is the first of two discussions that MPI is hosting on the issue of trauma-informed care for young children of refugees in early childhood programs. The second webinar is on September 13.

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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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K-12 Instructional Models for English Learners: What They Are and Why They Matter

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on June 27th, 2018

Ample data on English Learner (EL) student outcomes provide evidence of the steep challenge these students face in developing grade-level academic language and content knowledge. These data point to a critical question: are local schools and school districts using appropriate instructional program models to meet EL needs? While the effectiveness of specific instructional models for these students—such as dual language, transitional bilingual, and English-only approaches—have attracted the attention of researchers and policymakers, instructional programming actually provided by schools or school districts is often a mix of different models or approaches. For this reason, it is crucial that a range of stakeholders—including state and local education agency leaders, legislators, school board members, and community advocates—have a clear picture of what programs are offered to EL students and factors that might indicate whether they are appropriate and effective choices.

To improve understanding about the critical nature of the choices schools make with regard to EL instruction programs, MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy released an issue brief, the second in an EL Insights series, that describes the goals and main features of common instructional models and key factors that often shape their selection and implementation by schools. In this webinar, the brief’s author, Julie Sugarman, discusses the key features of EL instructional models, how they are sometimes woven together to address language- and content-learning needs of students, and factors that can account for varied approaches within and across schools.

Other experts discuss state- and district-level approaches to supporting schools in implementing effective EL program models. They highlight the evolution of bilingual and dual language programming in Madison, Wisconsin, and New York State’s implementation of English as a New Language units of study as the foundation for more effective EL programming. Both speakers illustrate how, in order to improve the academic trajectories of EL students, ongoing reflection guided policy revisions and changes to the design and support of EL programs.

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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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