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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.

Will Immigration Reform Ever Succeed Again? The Legacy of IRCA & Its Enduring Lessons

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration, Immigration Enforcement by migrationpolicy on June 26th, 2019

Over the past two decades, efforts at immigration reform have failed again and again in Congress, leaving the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), together with its “follow-on” bill, the Immigration Act of 1990, as the most recent comprehensive immigration reforms to have made their way into law. And it appears that, at least for the foreseeable future, IRCA may retain that title amid vast partisan and ideological gulfs over immigration that seem unbridgeable despite near-universal recognition that the current system is badly broken.

So what happened in the politics of the 1980s that enabled passage of a major reform to the country’s enforcement, legal immigration, and employment systems? Is it possible to reconstruct the political conditions and coalitions that permitted the law’s passage, or has too much changed?

And what is IRCA’s real legacy: Did its passage mark the beginning of the potent pro- and anti-immigration movements that are central actors in today’s politics?  Did it, as some argue, poison the well for future immigration reform, or, conversely, did it represent sound policy? And what lessons do IRCA’s enactment and implementation offer today’s policymakers, scholars, and advocates?

This provocative, thoughtful discussion featured Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Resident Fellow Charles Kamasaki's book, Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die. Kamasaki is joined by other veterans of the IRCA debate, MPI's Doris Meissner and Muzaffar Chishti, for a conversation on these questions, the lessons that can be learned, the intended and unintended consequences, and how the 1986 law’s legacy has shaped contemporary politics surrounding immigration.

Embarking on the Next Journey: Innovations in Predeparture Orientation Programs for Refugees

As the number of resettlement countries grows across Europe, Latin America, and Asia, the question of how to better prepare resettling refugees, as well as receiving communities, for what lies ahead is more pressing than ever. For resettling refugees, adjusting to their new lives can be particularly difficult. Often, they have lived for long periods in remote regions or refugee camps, with no or little formal education and limited knowledge of how to navigate bureaucracies. Equally, receiving communities may lack the information and support they need to welcome new neighbors. While predeparture orientation alone can neither guarantee a smooth transition nor expedite integration, it holds the potential to increase refugees’ confidence in their decision to resettle and to improve their ability to start life anew in an unfamiliar place. If done effectively, orientation can make a difference for refugees’ well-being and be an investment in receiving-community social cohesion.

While the potential benefits of such preparation are clear, it is far less obvious how exactly to make the most out of the limited time at hand before refugees depart. It can be challenging to strike a delicate balance between conveying key messages and skills for the next steps ahead while meeting refugees’ own information needs. What do resettling refugees need to learn before departure, and what information can wait until after arrival? Who is best placed to deliver predeparture orientation, and how can information be shared in the most accessible and credible way? And how can receiving communities best be supported in welcoming newcomers? To answer these questions, this Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar examines concrete and innovative practices of how to better design and implement predeparture orientation programs from the perspective of a diverse range of actors.

This webinar draws from the report, Preparing for the Unknown: Designing Effective Predeparture Orientation for Resettling Refugees and features remarks from the report authors, a refugee who went through resettlement process and now serves as a mentor for those being resettled in The Netherlands, and the head of the resettlement and integration support unit at IOM Norway. The report was produced in the framework of the European Union Action on Facilitating Resettlement and Refugee Admission through New Knowledge (EU-FRANK) project and lays out guiding principles for effective orientation programs for Member States as they decide or rethink what support they offer to refugees before arrival.

“Merit-Based” Immigration: Designing Successful Selection Systems

The U.S. administration is calling for the United States to adopt a more “merit-based” immigrant selection system, looking to Canada and Australia as potential models. An immigration proposal under consideration by the administration would adjust the composition of legal immigration, giving greater preference to skills over family ties. Much of the advanced industrial world—from Germany and the European Union to China and other Asian states—is also grappling with how best to attract and retain highly skilled immigrant workers as a means of enhancing human capital and economic competitiveness.

The conversation between Jean-Christophe Dumont, Head of the International Migration Division at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Migration Policy Institute (MPI) President Emeritus Demetrios G. Papademetriou focused on what policymakers should consider in designing—and managing—immigrant selection systems in a time of intense labor-market and demographic change. The discussion relied on recent MPI and OECD research on this topic, focusing primarily on the Canadian and Australian selection systems. MPI’s Julia Gelatt commented on the conversation from a U.S. policy perspective, discussing how lessons from abroad could apply to the United States.

Do All High School Graduates Count? Unintended Consequences of State Accountability Policies for English Learner Students

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on April 29th, 2019

High school graduation is an important personal achievement as well as a key indicator of school system effectiveness and a community’s potential economic vitality. For almost a decade, all U.S. states have used a common method to calculate the four-year graduation rate as part of their state school accountability system. This measure counts for a significant portion of a high school’s performance rating, which can gain it public accolades or identify it as a school in need of improvement. Even as rates of on-time graduation have improved, English Learners (ELs) post far lower rates than the national average.

This webinar marks the release of a Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report that investigates the unintended consequences of using the four-year graduation rate for school accountability. The report shows that ELs are more likely than other student subgroups to graduate in five or six years. However, most EL-serving high schools do not get credit for these graduates, as 60 percent of the nation’s ELs are served in states that only count the four-year rate for accountability purposes. Attaching high stakes to the four-year rate may also result in perverse incentives not to welcome high school EL newcomers out of fear these students will be unable to complete a degree in four years and thereby pull down the school’s performance rating. Schools may also mechanically redesign their instructional programs to “ensure” newcomers graduate in four years without evidence such a trajectory is possible or more educationally beneficial than a five- or six-year path.

Webinar participants also discuss the implications of California’s graduation rate policy choices. California does not use extended-year graduation rates for federal accountability, and—for state reporting—has adopted an alternative method for calculating graduation rates for continuation schools that serve older teenagers at significant risk of dropping out. Together, these policies may incentivize administrators to push ELs and other students who need more time to graduate out of traditional high schools and into alternative school settings. Speakers also discuss policy options states can consider to broaden the definition of a successful high school by using multiple graduation rate indicators.

Speakers: 

Russell W. Rumberger, Professor, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, UC Santa Barbara; Director, California Dropout Research Project

Julie Sugarman, Senior Policy Analyst for PreK-12 Education, Migration Policy Institute (MPI)

Moderator: 

Margie McHugh, Director, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, MPI

Children of Immigrants and Child Welfare Systems: Key Policy and Practice

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on April 23rd, 2019

Like other children, those born to immigrants can enter into a state’s child welfare system when there are reports of abuse or neglect by a parent or other caretaker.  Children with unauthorized immigrant parents may also intersect with the system if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests, detains, or deports a parent.

The increased numbers of children of immigrants in the United States (the vast majority U.S. born), along with developments in immigration policy and enforcement, have important implications for state and local child welfare agencies. Some jurisdictions have responded by developing specialized policies and practices, but there are significant variations around the country. To better understand state and local child welfare systems’ policies and practices for working with immigrant families, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) conducted discussions with administrators in 21 states and counties and reviewed relevant literature.

This webinar showcases the release of an MPI report, drawn from this research, that describes key policy issues for child welfare agencies and promising agency approaches. During this webinar, report authors MPI's Mark Greenberg and Ann Flagg of American Public Human Services Association, provide an overview of issues of intersection between immigration and child welfare systems and describe their findings regarding child welfare policies and practices to address the needs of children of immigrants and their families. Director of Georgia's Division of Family and Children Services Tom C. Rawlings and Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services Deputy Director Roberta Medina also share their perspectives and discuss key issues they are facing, and the report authors discuss their recommendations, with examples relating to organizational structure, training, language access, licensing of providers, screenings for immigration-status issues, interactions with foreign governments, and more.

Addressing Trauma in Young Children in Immigrant and Refugee Families through Early Childhood Programs

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on April 3rd, 2019

Many young children of immigrants and refugees are affected by trauma, whether directly or through their parents or other family members. Early childhood programs have the potential to play an important role in identifying and addressing infant and early childhood mental-health challenges for immigrant families that may result from exposure to trauma and other stressors. However, their capacity to take a trauma-informed approach in their services and provide appropriate support and referrals—especially with regard to immigrant, refugee, and other culturally and linguistically diverse families—is limited.

During this webinar, speakers discuss the intersection of trauma and early childhood development, exploring how migration-related trauma and stressors can influence the wellbeing of young children of immigrants. Researchers, Maki Park and Caitlin Katsiaficas, from MPI's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy provide an overview of a MPI policy brief that seeks to raise awareness of this issue and points to key opportunities for states to support, through early childhood and other programs, the healthy socioemotional development of young children of immigrants and refugees who have experienced trauma. Jessica Dym Bartlett, Co-Director of Early Childhood Research at Child Trends, discussed efforts to integrate trauma-informed approaches into early childhood systems, with a focus on opportunities to expand access and quality of these services specifically for immigrant and refugee families with young children. Aimee Hilado, Wellness Program Senior Manager at RefugeeOne, the largest refugee resettlement agency in Illinois, discusses how home visiting services can effectively address trauma and mental health through a two-generation approach.

Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Conference: A Sense of Home - Reflection on Key Themes, Next Steps

Drawing on the expertise of housing experts, refugee and migrant organisations, social enterprises, and urban designers, this final session of the MPI Europe conference, ‘Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home,' reflects on the key themes and next steps identified in the two-day conference such as the potential of co-housing for community building; the role of urban planning for more inclusive cities; building innovative cross-sectoral partnerships; and novel approaches to measuring and communicating success in social innovation.

Moderator: Elizabeth Collett, Director, MPI Europe (on leave of absence); Special Adviser to the Director General, International Organization for Migration

Speakers

  • David Manicom, Assistant Deputy Minister, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada
  • Laura Corrado, Head of Unit, Legal Migration and Integration, DG Home, European Commission
  • Sorcha Edwards, Secretary General, Housing Europe

“Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home.” European Economic and Social Committee. 25 April, 2019. © 2019 EU.

Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Conference: A Sense of Home - Breakout Session: Innovative Partnerships

What types of partnerships best generate innovative ideas for refugee inclusion, what types of organizations should governments should partner with, and what are the challenges and opportunities of public-private partnerships? During this panel from the MPI Europe event, ‘Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home,' panelists answer these and other questions.

Moderator: Kenny Clewett, Director, Hello Europe Initiative, Ashoka, Spain

Speakers

  • Antigone Kotanidis, Project Coordinator on behalf of the Municipality of Athens, Curing the Limbo, Greece
  • Hugo Ortiz Dubon, Co-Founder and Diversity Strategist, We Link Sweden, Sweden
  • Viola Zabeti, Press and Opinion (Public Affairs), Union of Sweden, Stockholm

“Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home.” European Economic and Social Committee. 25 April, 2019. © 2019 EU.

Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Conference: A Sense of Home - Parallel Panel: ‘Innovative Cities and Rural Communities’

Discussants at this panel from an MPI Europe event, ‘Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home,' examine the innovative approaches of cities and rural areas when it comes to refugee inclusion.

Moderator: Haroon Saad, Lead Expert, Local Urban Development European Network, Belgium

Speakers

  • Eleftherios Papagiannakis, Vice Mayor for Migrants, Refugees, and Municipal Decentralization, Municipality of Athens, Greece
  • Mari Bjerck, Researcher, Eastern Norway Research Institute, Project SIMRA (Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas), Norway
  • Antoine Savary, Deputy Head of Unit, Legal Migration and Integration, DG Home, European Commission

“Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home.” European Economic and Social Committee. 25 April, 2019. © 2019 EU.

Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Conference: A Sense of Home - Breakout Session: ‘Beyond Employment: Social Inclusion Through Professional Life’

This panel examines the role of employment in creating a sense of home, including the role of professional mentoring in promoting social inclusion and access to the labour market. It was one of several panels at the MPI Europe event, ‘Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home'.

Moderator: Ben Mason, Researcher and project lead, Betterplace lab, Germany

Speakers

  • Julie Bodson, Advocacy Coordinator, DUO for a JOB, Belgium
  • Hugo Ortiz Dubon, Co-founder and diversity strategist, We Link Sweden, Sweden
  • Tariq Tarey, Director of Refugee Social Services, Jewish Family Services, United States

“Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home.” European Economic and Social Committee. 24 April, 2019. © 2019 EU.

Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Conference: A Sense of Home - Panel I: ‘Creating Home? Housing as a Gateway to Integration’

This panel from the MPI Europe conference, ‘Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home,' looks at housing as a gateway to integration and examines the role of a home in shaping opportunities for newcomers, what needs should be factored in, and how to reduce receiving communities’ anxieties concerning social change.

Welcoming Remarks

  • Stéphane Dion, Canadian Ambassador to Germany and Special Envoy to the European Union and Europe
  • Carlos Trindade, President, EESC Group on Immigration and Integration
  • Meghan Benton, Senior Policy Analyst and Assistant Director for Research, International Programme, Migration Policy Institute

Speakers

  • Anila Noor, Member of the European Migrant Advisory Board, Netherlands
  • Tariq Tarey, Director of Refugee Social Services, Jewish Family Services, United States
  • Doug Saunders, journalist and author, Canada/UK
  • Fuad Mahamed, Founder, Ashley Community Housing, United Kingdom
  • Moderator: Meghan Benton, MPI

“Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home.” European Economic and Social Committee. 24 April, 2019. © 2019 EU.

Upskilling the U.S. Labor Force: Mapping the Credentials of Immigrant-Origin Workers

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on March 8th, 2019

Amid an aging workforce, the retirement of baby boomers, and declining birth rates, the United States is expected to face a shortage of 8 million workers between now and 2027. At the same time, immigrant-origin adults are predicted to be main source of future labor force growth over the next two decades. Yet as the labor market seeks greater education and skills, 30 million adults who are immigrants or the children of immigrants lack postsecondary credentials. This webinar discusses a new MPI report offering a first-ever demographic profile of this population and analysis of the significant payoff credentials could bring in terms of workforce participation and wages.

 

Speakers include: 

Michael Fix, Senior Fellow and former President, Migration Policy Institute (MPI)

Jeanne Batalova, Senior Policy Analyst and Manager of the Migration Data Hub, MPI

Courtney Brown, Vice President of Strategic Impact, Lumina Foundation

Brenda Dann-Messier, Commissioner, Office of Postsecondary Education, Rhode Island

Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Director of Upskilling Policy, National Skills Coalition

Building the Foundations for Inclusion in Europe? - Session III: Integration policymaking in a time of populism: How can we broaden and deepen the integration toolbox?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on February 6th, 2019

Immigrant integration policymaking has become vastly more complex and under greater scrutiny amid the rise of populism in Europe. This panel from an MPI Europe event, Building the Foundations for Inclusion: What Does the Future Hold for Immigrant Integration in Europe?, examines what new skills and tools policymakers need, promising innovations integration policymakers could learn from other policy portfolios, and what institutions, systems, and actors need to be at the table.

 

Speakers include:

Laura Corrado, Head of Unit, Unit B.1 – Legal Migration and Integration, Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission

Honey Deihimi, Head of Division, Cabinet of the Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor and Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, Germany

David Manicom, Assistant Deputy Minister for Settlement and Integration, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada

Eleftherios Papagiannakis, Vice Mayor for Migrants, Refugees, and Municipal Decentralisation, Athens

Marco Zappalorto, Chief Executive, Nesta Italia

Building the Foundations for Inclusion in Europe? - Session II: The future of integration: How can we ensure that everyone can thrive in changing labour markets?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on February 6th, 2019

Amid population ageing and changing labour markets that could affect the skills, sectors, and structure of jobs themselves, governments across Europe are grappling with how to support migrants and refugees in increasingly unstable and knowledge-intensive labour markets. This panel from an MPI Europe event, Building the Foundations for Inclusion: What Does the Future Hold for Immigrant Integration in Europe?, examines how newcomers can capitalise on growing nontraditional pathways to economic success amid the digitisation and automation of many jobs, how social protection programmes can be updated to a changing world of work, and how schools and universities can help all young people succeed in future labour markets.

 

Speakers include:

Meghan Benton, Assistant Director, International Programme, MPI

Julie Bodson, Duo for a Job, Belgium

Pia Buhl Girolami, Specialist Director, Department of Integration, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Norway

Rachel Marangozov, Research Associate, Institute for Employment Studies; and Director, MigrationWork

Ben Mason, Project Lead, ‘Digital Routes to Integration’, betterplace lab

Building the Foundations for Inclusion in Europe? - Introduction & Session I: A new migration reality: How can we build common ground in a state of flux?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on February 6th, 2019

Amid major spontaneous migration to Europe in recent years, deepening anxiety about social change and rising diversity has boosted support for far-right populist and anti-establishment parties, making it a challenge for politicians to articulate a sense of common identity without succumbing to simplistic narratives around migration. This panel from an MPI Europe event, Building the Foundations for Inclusion: What Does the Future Hold for Immigrant Integration in Europe?, examines how governments can promote and maintain common values in a state of flux, how to prioritise integration without fueling unfairness among groups that feel left behind, and promising communications strategies to reduce social divides.

 

Speakers include:

Aliyyah Ahad, Associate Policy Analyst, MPI Europe

Elizabeth Collett, Special Adviser to the Director General, International Organization for Migration; and Director, MPI Europe (on a leave of absence)

Tim Dixon, Co-Founder, More in Common

Doug Saunders, Author; and International Affairs Columnist, The Globe and Mail

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.   

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.

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?

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.

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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