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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.

Translating Into Success: Key Features of U.S. State & Local Language Access Laws and Policies

Posted by Migration Policy Institute on October 22nd, 2021

The U.S. population included more than 25 million Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals in 2019, four out of five of whom were foreign born. Language barriers can pose serious obstacles for immigrant integration and hamper access to essential public services, ranging from schools and health care to police, fire departments, and the legal system. Recognizing the serious health, safety, and civil-rights issues at stake, many states and localities have introduced language access laws and policies to ensure LEP individuals have effective access to critical government services.

On this webinar, MPI researchers present an analysis that examines the common features and notable areas of innovation found in more than 40 state and local language access laws and policies. The discussion explores aspects of the policies that seek to build capacities to support their implementation and ensure the quality and consistency of services provided to LEP individuals. The conversation also illuminates key policy design elements and vital practical insights that state and local governments can employ as they face growing linguistic diversity and the need to ensure all residents have meaningful access to public information and services.   

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