Reducing Integration Barriers Facing Foreign-Trained Immigrants: Policy and Practice Lessons from Across the United States
Margie McHugh, Director, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, MPI
Madeleine Morawski, Associate Policy Analyst, MPI
Karen Phillippi, Deputy Director, Michigan Office for New Americans
Nearly 2 million college-educated immigrants in the United States are unemployed or working in low-skilled jobs, resulting in both a waste of the education and training they obtained as well as billions in forgone earnings and lost tax revenue. Foreign-trained doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, and other professionals face diverse barriers to accessing skilled employment, including difficulty gaining recognition for education and training completed abroad, filling gaps in academic or work experience, building professional-level English proficiency, and navigating the U.S. job search and application process. Unnecessary licensing requirements also frequently prevent individuals with years of experience in their home countries from practicing in the United States.
This webinar marks the release of a Migration Policy Institute report examining programs and initiatives that ease the barriers to credential recognition, employment, and relicensure facing foreign-trained immigrants, as well as recent policy developments and ongoing challenges in the field. Speakers discuss the report’s findings, including lessons from policies and practices being pioneered across the United States to overcome obstacles to career re-entry. Speakers also discuss recommendations for community-based organizations, employers, and state and local governments to expand successful efforts aimed at preventing brain waste, and examine recent initiatives launched by Michigan’s Office for New Americans that are designed to improve immigrants’ access to professional English-language instruction, employment services, and licensing guidance.