E.g., 12/12/2019
E.g., 12/12/2019

Language Access

Language Access

The phrase "language access services" describes services that agencies use to bridge the communication barrier with individuals who cannot speak, understand, read, or write  fluently in the host-country language. In the United States, federal law and executive orders mandate compliance with language access requirements for any agency receiving federal funds. Explore MPI's research in this area and visit the Language Access: Translation and Interpretation Policies and Practices section for national and state-level data on LEP individuals, commentaries by service providers, and more.

Recent Activity

Reports
April 2019
By Mark Greenberg, Randy Capps, Andrew Kalweit, Jennifer Grishkin, and Ann Flagg
Reports
January 2019
By Meghan Benton and Alexandra Embiricos
Articles
Articles

Pages

Reports
April 2019
By Mark Greenberg, Randy Capps, Andrew Kalweit, Jennifer Grishkin, and Ann Flagg
Reports
January 2019
By Meghan Benton and Alexandra Embiricos
Reports
June 2015
By Meghan Benton, Helen McCarthy, and Elizabeth Collett
Reports
September 2013
By Jeanne Batalova, Monisha Das Gupta, and Sue Patricia Haglund

Pages

The digital era offers opportunities for cities to improve access and outreach to residents, including immigrants and minority groups, through online tools and apps. This feature article explores ditigal-inclusion strategies in "smart" cities New York, London, and Barcelona, as well as the creative use of new technologies in response to the European refugee crisis.

In 2013, more than 25 million people in the United States reported limited English proficiency (LEP), an 80 percent increase since 1990. The LEP population, the majority of which is immigrant, is generally less educated and more likely to live in poverty than the English-proficient population. This Spotlight explores key indicators of the LEP population, both U.S. and foreign born, including geographic distribution, language diversity, and employment.

With rising inflows of humanitarian and economic migrants, Norway faces a series of integration challenges. In conversation with the Migration Information Source, Solveig Horne, Norway's Minister of Children, Equality, and Social Inclusion discusses her work on integration policy, from the importance of language training and a feeling of belonging, to the protection of immigrant women and resettlement of asylum seekers.

The U.S. immigrant population—estimated at 40.8 million in 2012 — is the nation’s historical numerical high, and it is also the largest foreign-born population in the world. About 20 percent of all international migrants reside in the United States, even as the country accounts for less than 5 percent of global population. This article presents the latest, most sought-after data on immigrants in the United States—by origin, residence, legal status, deportations, languages spoken, and more—in one easy-to-use resource.

Though little recognized as such, the Workforce Investment Act represents one of the most important immigrant integration initiatives in the United States, assisting workers in obtaining the necessary training and language skills to advance in the workforce. Despite a steady increase of immigrants in need of these services, a decreasing share are able to access the programs to keep pace with a changing labor market.

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Video, Audio
June 18, 2015

Covering the findings of the UPSTREAM project, this MPI Europe event explores how a coordinated approach to integration may create more effective and inclusive approaches to diversity across the policy-making spectrum.

Video, Audio
March 18, 2015

Part of a series exploring issues likely to be addressed by the new National Integration Plan, this webinar, with perspectives from the cities of New York and Seattle and others examines possible recommendations on federal coordination of local government immigrant integration initiatives, including language access. 

Video, Audio
October 21, 2014
This conference, keynoted by USCIS Director León Rodríguez, featured panels on local immigrant integration policies; expected executive action on immigration; the treatment of unaccompanied children from Central America; and innovations in government-funded legal counsel and accelerated court cases.
Video, Audio
December 4, 2013
The winners of the Migration Policy Institute's 2013 E Pluribus Unum Prizes, honoring exceptional immigrant integration initiatives in the United States, discuss their work at an award ceremony on December 4, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Video
September 24, 2013

This briefing at the State Capitol in Honolulu, organized in conjunction with the University of Hawaii at Manoa, marked the formal release of a Migration Policy Institute report that presents key demographic and socioeconomic information about the Mexican-origin population in Hawai’i.

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Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
August 2019

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.

Policy Briefs
June 2019

A complicated web of laws, policy guidance, and court rulings affect how English Learner (EL) and immigrant-background students are educated across the United States. This EL Insight sorts through them to highlight seven key ways the U.S. government protects the rights of these students to a K-12 education. It also highlights who can enforce these rules and how they can be seen in action.

Reports
April 2019

With the children of immigrants a growing share of all U.S. children, and federal immigration enforcement and other policies undergoing significant change, some state and local child welfare agencies are developing new ways to improve how they work with immigrant families. This report examines key cultural, linguistic, and legal challenges, and how agencies are adjusting staffing, training, placement, and other policies to tackle them.

Reports
January 2019

Across Europe, policymakers responsible for immigrant integration are dealing with a rapidly evolving set of challenges—from the diversification of new arrivals and changing European labor markets to rising anti-immigrant sentiment and tight budgets. This report explores promising strategies from other policy areas that could be used to develop, fund, evaluate, and make the case for investing in integration.

Commentaries
March 2016

As states move to implement the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which provides the national framework for workforce training and adult education services, the Obama administration recently missed a prime opportunity to ensure that immigrants and refugees receive equitable access to the law’s services, as this commentary explores.

Articles

The digital era offers opportunities for cities to improve access and outreach to residents, including immigrants and minority groups, through online tools and apps. This feature article explores ditigal-inclusion strategies in "smart" cities New York, London, and Barcelona, as well as the creative use of new technologies in response to the European refugee crisis.

Commentaries
October 2015

Whether driven by pragmatism, local laws, or federal civil-rights provisions, state and local governments and agencies across the United States increasingly have designed and implemented language access services (i.e. translation and interpretation) in response to growing Limited English Proficient populations. This commentary argues it is time for the federal government to follow suit.

Articles

In 2013, more than 25 million people in the United States reported limited English proficiency (LEP), an 80 percent increase since 1990. The LEP population, the majority of which is immigrant, is generally less educated and more likely to live in poverty than the English-proficient population. This Spotlight explores key indicators of the LEP population, both U.S. and foreign born, including geographic distribution, language diversity, and employment.

Pages