E.g., 09/25/2020
E.g., 09/25/2020

National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy

National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy

Middle school students studying in a library
Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency

The 2020–21 academic year is underway, but many U.S. schools, students, and families are still reeling from the rocky transition to remote learning that occurred months earlier, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. For English Learners and students in immigrant families, many of the challenges are magnified. This policy brief examines how schools’ pandemic response is affecting these students and offers recommendations to help schools and districts support them in this period of uncertainty.

A classroom with exam papers on students' desks
Eric E. Castro

With high stakes attached to standardized tests in U.S. education, it is critical that these assessments accurately capture what students know and can do in a subject. For English Learners, this may be a challenge if they cannot fully demonstrate in English what they have learned. Native language assessments are one promising tool for overcoming this hurdle, though questions about when and with whom they are most effective remain.

Jamie Henderson

The transition to remote learning for school districts across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for most families, but especially those with English Learner (EL) and immigrant students. This commentary outlines how the pandemic has brought new focus to well-known equity gaps and spotlights ways in which nonprofit organizations can be important partners in mitigating the effects of school closures and anticipated spending cuts.

High school students working together in the library
Allison Shelley/Alliance for Excellent Education

States publish a wealth of data about their English Learner students’ academic achievement and other outcomes such as graduation rates. But the answer to the question “Who is an EL?” is not always the same. This brief explains how the EL subgroup varies across states and types of data, and why it is important to understand these differences when making decisions about how ELs and schools are faring.

A student taking an exam
F1Digitals/Pixabay

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have developed blueprints to meet their commitments under the Every Student Succeeds Act—including requirements that aim to raise the profile of English Learners (EL) in state accountability systems. This report breaks these plans down, comparing the significant diversity of approaches taken on everything from EL identification to tracking academic achievement.

A mother and two children
Amber Carter/U.S. Air Force

Home visiting programs for young families are growing in popularity across the United States, and have demonstrated their effectiveness in supporting maternal health and child well-being. At the same time, more infants and toddlers are growing up in immigrant families and households where a language other than English is spoken. Why then are these children under-represented in these programs? This brief explores common barriers, ways to address them, and why it is important to do so.

Recent Activity

Educating English Learners during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Policy Ideas for States and School Districts
Policy Briefs
September 2020
By Julie Sugarman and Melissa Lazarín
Immigration Enforcement and the Mental Health of Latino High School Students
Reports
September 2020
By Randy Capps, Jodi Berger Cardoso, Kalina Brabeck, Michael Fix, and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
Stethoscope sitting on a medical textbook
Fact Sheets
July 2020
By Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix, and Sarah Pierce
Native Language Assessments for K-12 English Learners: Policy Considerations and State Practices
Policy Briefs
June 2020
By Julie Sugarman and Leslie Villegas
COVID-19 and Unemployment: Assessing the Early Fallout for Immigrants and Other U.S. Workers
Fact Sheets
June 2020
By Randy Capps, Jeanne Batalova, and Julia Gelatt

Pages

Educating English Learners during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Policy Ideas for States and School Districts
Policy Briefs
September 2020
By Julie Sugarman and Melissa Lazarín
Immigration Enforcement and the Mental Health of Latino High School Students
Reports
September 2020
By Randy Capps, Jodi Berger Cardoso, Kalina Brabeck, Michael Fix, and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
Stethoscope sitting on a medical textbook
Fact Sheets
July 2020
By Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix, and Sarah Pierce
Native Language Assessments for K-12 English Learners: Policy Considerations and State Practices
Policy Briefs
June 2020
By Julie Sugarman and Leslie Villegas
COVID-19 and Unemployment: Assessing the Early Fallout for Immigrants and Other U.S. Workers
Fact Sheets
June 2020
By Randy Capps, Jeanne Batalova, and Julia Gelatt
The Patchy Landscape of State English Learner Policies under ESSA
Reports
February 2020
By Leslie Villegas and Delia Pompa

Pages

Health-care workers

Immigrants make up a disproportionately high number of U.S. health-care workers, from doctors and nurses to home health aides. In 2018, more than 2.6 million immigrants worked in the U.S. health-care field. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, immigrants have played a key role in the frontline response. This article explores the demographics of this group of essential workers by occupation, origin, language, education, and more.

Although the number of U.S. residents who speak a language other than English has grown in recent decades, the share of those who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) has fallen: 40 percent in 2015, compared to 44 percent in 1980—even as immigration rose rapidly. This article examines growing linguistic diversity in the country and sketches a profile of the LEP population, including size, location, and socioeconomic characteristics.

The Head Start program—a model for early childhood education programs nationwide—has served more than 33 million children since its inception half a century ago, many from immigrant families. This article examines the role of Head Start in the education of Dual Language Learners, who now comprise one-third of enrollees, and discusses how recent policy changes may affect this population.

More than 653,000 immigrants became U.S. citizens in fiscal year 2014, bringing the total number of naturalized U.S. citizens to 20 million—nearly half the overall immigrant population of 42.4 million. Over the past decade, naturalizations have ranged from about 537,000 yearly to just more than 1 million. Learn more about naturalization trends in the United States with this Spotlight article.

A split ruling by the Supreme Court in United States v. Texas has dealt a hard blow to the Obama administration's signature deferred action programs. While the decision makes it unlikely the DAPA program and DACA expansion will be implemented in their current form, the outcome at the high court may have opened a path for renewed movement on immigration policy changes in Congress, as this article explores.

Pages

Commentaries
March 2020
By Randy Capps, Julia Gelatt, and Mark Greenberg
Commentaries
October 2019
By Julia Gelatt and Mark Greenberg
Commentaries
August 2019
By Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix, and Mark Greenberg
Commentaries
March 2019
By Julia Gelatt
Commentaries
August 2018
By Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix, and Mark Greenberg
Commentaries
June 2017
By Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix

Pages

Video, Audio
July 16, 2020

Marking the launch of a report on changed USCIS procedures that appear to be adding hurdles to the citizenship process, this discussion also examines the effects that the pandemic-related shutdown and a possible furlough of two-thirds of USCIS staff could have on the ability of would-be Americans to take the oath of citizenship. The conversation, featuring a former USCIS Director, also draws on a national survey of naturalization assistance providers.

Video, Audio
June 16, 2020

This webchat marks the release of a report examining the role native language assessments play in addressing equity concerns for English Learner (EL) students.

English Learners Photo Credit: KOMUnews
Expert Q&A, Audio
March 11, 2020

This podcast features a discussion between MPI's Margie McHugh and Julie Sugarman about how to understand the varying composition of states' English Learner (EL) subgroup under ESSA, and why understanding these technical differences matters when making decisions about how ELs and schools are faring.

Video, Audio
March 5, 2020

On this webinar, MPI experts discussed the public-charge rule and released estimates of the populations that could be deemed ineligible for a green card based on existing benefits use.

Video, Audio
February 12, 2020

Experts share how states have approached Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation, areas where the law and state efforts to support English Learners can be improved, and findings from the compendium, The Patchy Landscape of State English Learner Policies under ESSA

Pages

Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
September 2020

The 2020–21 academic year is underway, but many U.S. schools, students, and families are still reeling from the rocky transition to remote learning that occurred months earlier, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. For English Learners and students in immigrant families, many of the challenges are magnified. This policy brief examines how schools’ pandemic response is affecting these students and offers recommendations to help schools and districts support them in this period of uncertainty.

Reports
September 2020

This study explores the relationship between immigration enforcement and the mental health of Latino high school students, finding that majorities surveyed in both high- and low-enforcement environments reported fear that someone close to them could be deported, with resulting symptoms of conditions such as depression and PTSD. The report provides examples of how schools are responding to support the mental health and engagement of these students.

Fact Sheets
July 2020

Across the United States, the skills of an estimated 263,000 immigrants and refugees with health-related degrees are going underutilized during a time of pandemic, with these health professionals either in low-skilled jobs or out of work. This fact sheet offers the first-ever state profiles of this population, including the states in which they live, the languages they speak, their fields of study, and legal statuses.

Video, Audio, Webinars
July 16, 2020

Marking the launch of a report on changed USCIS procedures that appear to be adding hurdles to the citizenship process, this discussion also examines the effects that the pandemic-related shutdown and a possible furlough of two-thirds of USCIS staff could have on the ability of would-be Americans to take the oath of citizenship. The conversation, featuring a former USCIS Director, also draws on a national survey of naturalization assistance providers.

Video, Audio, Webinars
June 16, 2020

This webchat marks the release of a report examining the role native language assessments play in addressing equity concerns for English Learner (EL) students. The conversation offers participants an introduction to the key policy and practical considerations in the implementation of these assessments, particularly in a time of pandemic-induced disruptions for schools and looming budget cuts.

Policy Briefs
June 2020

With high stakes attached to standardized tests in U.S. education, it is critical that these assessments accurately capture what students know and can do in a subject. For English Learners, this may be a challenge if they cannot fully demonstrate in English what they have learned. Native language assessments are one promising tool for overcoming this hurdle, though questions about when and with whom they are most effective remain.

Commentaries
June 2020

The transition to remote learning for school districts across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for most families, but especially those with English Learner (EL) and immigrant students. This commentary outlines how the pandemic has brought new focus to well-known equity gaps and spotlights ways in which nonprofit organizations can be important partners in mitigating the effects of school closures and anticipated spending cuts.

Fact Sheets
June 2020

Even as the pandemic-induced loss of tens of millions of jobs over a period of weeks dealt a devastating blow across the United States, its effects were most pronounced on certain demographic groups: Immigrant women and, regardless whether they were born in or outside the United States, Latinos and workers with less than a high school degree or under age 25.

Pages