E.g., 09/27/2022
E.g., 09/27/2022
National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy

National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy

Image of two students in a classroom, one with a laptop
Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages

While the pandemic has given a boost to efforts to water down or limit end-of-year state assessments of students in K-12, this commentary notes the importance of testing to drive equity for the nation's 5 million English Learners and ensure that they are not overlooked or that resources and support services are misdirected from where they are needed.

Side view portrait of young man and two other students taking a test
iStock.com/SeventyFour

In addition to upending daily life in the classroom, the pandemic has affected how states administer annual assessments to their students—disrupting a key means of collecting data on new or growing learning gaps that demand attention. This report explores how states have approached testing English Learners during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what 2020-21 assessment data can and cannot tell us.

Parents and their young child at a naturalization service.
Kelsey Bell/U.S. National Archives

As the United States becomes more diverse, changes in the cultural makeup of communities can challenge longstanding practices in human services delivery. This brief explores strategies service providers can employ to build their understanding of and responsiveness to the cultures of the communities they serve, leading to better outcomes for immigrant and refugee families.

A woman and three children sit on a bench reading.
Knight Foundation

Language barriers can hinder immigrant families’ access to services and make it challenging for immigrant parents to find family-sustaining jobs and actively participate in their children’s education. This brief explores approaches service providers are using to make their offerings more culturally and linguistically responsive, and to support language learning among children and their parents.

A family with young children at a naturalization ceremony.
Alabastro Photography/Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

What status immigrants hold affects their access to U.S. public benefits and services. This brief examines approaches that two-generation programs are using to service immigrant families with a variety of statuses, including mixed-status families.

Parents and their children talk to another adult seated at a table at a Parents & Family Conference
Knight Foundation

Building trust between service providers and immigrant and refugee families can be challenging, but it is also a key component of programs that successfully serve these families. This brief explores two-generation program strategies for creating trusting relationships, including hiring culturally competent staff and creating welcoming and safe spaces, and discusses the policy implications.

Recent Activity

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Policy Briefs
August 2017
By  Randy Capps, Michael Fix and Jie Zong
How Are Refugees Faring? Integration at U.S. and State Levels
Reports
June 2017
By  Michael Fix, Kate Hooper and Jie Zong
New Brain Gain: Rising Human Capital among Recent Immigrants to the United States
Fact Sheets
June 2017
By  Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
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Fact Sheets
March 2017
By  Julie Sugarman and Kevin Lee
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Reports
February 2017
By  Margie McHugh and Madeleine Morawski
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Fact Sheets
December 2016
By  Maki Park, Margie McHugh and Caitlin Katsiaficas

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Video, Audio
December 7, 2016

A presentation of the first-ever U.S. estimates on the economic costs of brain waste for highly skilled immigrants, their families, and the U.S. economy. The researchers discuss their findings in terms of the billions of dollars in forgone earnings and unrealized taxes when college-educated immigrants are relegated to low-skilled work.

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Video, Expert Q&A
December 6, 2016

Nearly 2 million college-educated immigrants in the United States are stuck in low-skilled jobs or are unemployed—a phenomenon known as brain waste. In this brief video, MPI researchers discuss their key findings on immigrant skill underutilization and the resulting billions of dollars in unrealized wages and forgone federal, state, and local tax receipts.

2016.11.17 Dual Gen Webinar  Briya Public Charter School Washington DC Lauren Stoltzfus_2
Video, Audio
November 17, 2016

MPI experts discuss their analysis of data on U.S. foreign- and native-born parents with young children, along with their findings from a field study of select two-generation programs that serve immigrant and refugee families. They explore the implications of WIOA and recommendations for successful program and policy design.

2016.8.25EventPHOTO CHILDREN COMPUTERS
Video, Audio
August 25, 2016

This webinar explores the key education funding mechanisms in place to support English Learner elementary and secondary students in the United States, public conversations about funding, and efforts to improve the equitable distribution of educational resources.

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Video, Audio
August 11, 2016

Marking the fourth anniversary of the implementation of the DACA program, this webinar presents findings on the most current estimates of potential DACA beneficiaries, trends in requests and application rates, and discussion of recent policy and political developments.

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Recent Activity

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.

Articles

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.

Fact Sheets
May 2020

As millions of U.S. workers lose jobs and the health insurance associated with them, Medicaid and similar programs are increasingly important for people seeking COVID-19 testing and treatment. Yet many low-income uninsured noncitizens, including green-card holders, are excluded from such programs because of their immigration status, as this fact sheet explores.

Commentaries
April 2020

In a time of critical shortages of U.S. health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, retired doctors are being called back to work and medical students are graduating on a fast track. There is another important pool that could be tapped: Immigrants and refugees who have college degrees in health fields but are working in low-skilled jobs or out of work. MPI estimates 263,000 immigrants are experiencing skill underutilization and could be a valuable resource.

Video, Audio, Webinars
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. They examined the far larger consequences of the rule, through its "chilling effects" and imposition of a test aimed at assessing whether green-card applicants are likely to ever use a public benefit in the future. And they discussed how the latter holds the potential to reshape legal immigration to the United States. 

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. They also talk about different groups of ELs: newcomers, students with interrupted formal education, and long-term ELs, and data collection around these different cohorts.

Policy Briefs
March 2020

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.

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