E.g., 07/31/2014
E.g., 07/31/2014

Integration at the Local Level - Diversity, Social Cohesion, and the Descendants of Immigrants

Integration at the Local Level - Diversity, Social Cohesion, and the Descendants of Immigrants

June 2009 Extraordinary Meeting of the Transatlantic Council on Migration

This extraordinary meeting of the Transatlantic Council on Migration, initiated by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, was called to analyze specific aspects of diversity and social cohesion in a transatlantic perspective. The deliberations of the Council were discussed with the German Minister of the Interior, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, and presented to a broader public during an expert conference on integration at the local level. The issue was examined through the lenses of social mobility and education, with a particular emphasis on second-generation immigrants. The goal was to help political leaders identify effective practices and policies that advance the integration of immigrants and their descendants, which will have a positive and enduring impact on social cohesion in society. The Council Conclusions can be found here.


Prioritizing Integration
The global recession is having a major impact on immigrant integration. With cuts in public budgets and a rise in anti-immigrant sentiment across the Atlantic, many governments have made short-term decisions responding to the economic crisis that will have long-term implications for immigrants and the broader society.

This book takes stock of the impact of the crisis on immigrant integration in Europe and the United States. It assesses where immigrants have lost ground, using evidence such as levels of funding for educational programs, employment rates, trends toward protectionism, public opinion and levels of discrimination.

Individual papers presented at the Council's meeting are available below:


The Social Mobility of Immigrants and Their Children
Transatlantic Council Convenor and MPI President Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Will Somerville, and Madeleine Sumption examine social mobility, which is essential to immigrant integration. First-generation immigrants in Europe and the United States typically experience downward mobility largely because of four factors: language barriers, differences in educational attainment, difficulties obtaining recognition for credentials and experience gained abroad, and problems accessing opportunities through social networks and other recruitment channels. The second generation improves substantially on its parents’ generation. This improvement is insufficient, however, to allow all groups to catch up with the children of natives. This paper examines some immigration and educational policy interventions that could improve integration.

The Second Generation in Europe: Education and the Transition to the Labor Market
In this report, authors Maurice Crul and Jens Schneider examine the findings of The Integration of the European Second Generation (TIES) survey with respect to educational and labor market outcomes for second-generation Turks across 13 cities in seven European countries. Among the survey’s findings: There is a direct relationship between the educational attainment of children of immigrants and the years they are able to spend with peers who have native-born parents.

Education, Diversity, and the Second Generation: A Discussion Guide
The discussion guide, written by Michael Fix and Margie McHugh, Co-Directors of MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, offers a brief demographic and statistical profile of the immigrant student population in the United States, with comparison points drawn to Germany where the data permit. The guide sketches broad policy implications of the demographic data and offers up for discussion a set of policy and practice issues in two areas: early childhood care and education, and secondary instruction of first- and second-generation students, with a focus on those whose proficiency in English or German lags.