Gender-Based Violence against Women: Both Cause for Migration and Risk along the Journey
Migration Policy Institute, September 7, 2017, 7 pp.
Author: Anja Parish
This brief addresses gender-based violence that may cause
women to migrate, as well as the prevalence of such violence along the journey and the vulnerable position female migrants
are in when arriving in a country of first asylum. The author notes that increasingly rape and sexual violence have
become military strategies, often used within a single country when there are multiple factions fighting for control.
Evidence is presented from all over the world, including data from conflicts in Central American, Europe and Africa.
This initial gender-based violence causes women to flee their countries, and along their route they continue to face the danger
of sexual violence. For example, a UNICEF study found that half of the female Libyan migrants interviewed reported experiencing
sexual violence. Once in refugee camps, women are likely to confront sexual violence again, often perpetrated by those in
uniform. Additionally, the report notes that although the United States considers gender-based violence allowable grounds
for asylum, the burden of proof is high and the process may be difficult for
the applicant. Protections for the victims of gender-based violence
do exist outside of the asylum system, but the report’s author notes that these protections require the involvement
of law enforcement, which undocumented victims may be wary of contacting. Statistics suggest that increased fears of
deportation have led to a reduction in the reporting of gender-based violence among the Hispanic community in the United States.
The author concludes that current policy directives are placing more female migrants at risk of gender-based violence and
hampering the recovery efforts of survivors (Erik Jacobson, Montclair State University).
Keeping Families Together: Why All Americans Should Care About What Happens to Unauthorized Immigrants
Center for American Progress, March 16, 2017, 7 pp.
Author: Silva Mathema
More than eight million U.S. citizens have at least one undocumented family member in their household. This report
examines the effects of policies targeting undocumented immigrants on millions of American citizens. This study uses the 2010-2014
American Community Survey to estimate the number of family members of unauthorized immigrants. The analysis finds 16.7 million
people in the United States have at least one unauthorized family member living with them. Almost half of these people are
U.S.-born or naturalized citizens, and 72 percent of these citizens are children. Immigration policies focused on enforcement
and mass deportation separate the families of American citizens, leading to parentless children who are often sent into the
foster system causing psychological trauma. Deportations can also result in a rise in single-parent families that experience
greater economic stress. Additionally, the report notes that removing seven million unauthorized workers will result in a
loss of $4.7 trillion in gross domestic product over a decade to the detriment to the U.S. economy and its citizens. The report
recommends that U.S. immigration policies should prioritize keeping families together "rather than a relentless focus
on ramping up enforcement."(Christy Box for The ILC Public Education Institute).
Not Lost in Translation: The Growing Importance of Foreign Language Skills in the U.S. Job Market
New American Economy, March 2017, 33 pp.
The demand for
bilingual workers in the U.S. increased dramatically from 2010 to 2015: online bilingual job postings increased from around
240,000 in 2010 to roughly 630,000 in 2015. This report from New American Economy investigates the growing demand for bilingual
workers and what can be done to help both U.S.- and foreign-born workers access these high-demand jobs. The report finds that
the need for bilingual workers is widespread across many industries and skill levels, but especially strong in healthcare
and finance. Individual employers like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and the health insurer Humana had an exceptionally high
number of postings. Strong demand existed for speakers of Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish. The authors applaud policy initiatives
such as the "Seal of Biliteracy," which recognizes advanced language skills among high school graduates, as well
as efforts to aid bilingual immigrants get relicensed for careers that they pursued in their home countries The authors recommend
enhanced foreign language instruction in high schools and universities for non-native speakers and more workforce preparation
programs so bilingual immigrants can better connect with employers. (Samantha Jones for The ILC Public Education
Family Stability and Instability among Low-Income Hispanic Mothers with Young Children,
National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families, February, 2017, 12 pp.
Authors: Elizabeth Karberg et al
Early experiences of young children in Latino families vary greatly from
the experiences of children in white and black families. Family Stability and Instability Among Low-Income Hispanic
Mothers with Young Children compares the experiences of low-income Latina mothers, both US and foreign-born, to
their white and black counterparts using four rounds of quantitative data from the national "Fragile Families and Child
Well-Being" survey. Key findings include evidence that low-income, foreign-born Hispanic mothers report more stable family
life and lower levels of depression in the first five years after their child's birth than black, white or U.S.-born Latina
mothers. However, levels of economic stress remain the same for all groups. Both foreign- and U.S.-born Latina mothers are
also less likely to move in with a new romantic partner in the first five years of their child's life than white or black
women. The authors conclude that, because foreign-born Latina mothers are more likely to be in a stable relationship at the
time of their child's birth, efforts made on their behalf to increase family stability should account for those long-term
relationships and focus on strategies to improve economic mobility. (The ILC Public Education Institute)
A Portrait of Latino Fathers: Strengths and Challenges,
National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families. February 23, 2017, 12 pp.
Authors: Elizabeth Karberg
Using data from the National Survey of Family Growth, this study examines a sample of Latino fathers ages
18 to 44 with biological children ages zero to 18. The researchers find that Hispanic fathers possess many characteristics
that are associated with higher levels of father involvement and child well-being. Specifically, Latino fathers have high
levels of co-residence with their children, high levels of marriage and cohabitation with their female partners, and relatively
low levels of multiple-partner fertility. Although these patters were found for both immigrant and U.S.-born Hispanic fathers,
they are especially pronounced for immigrant fathers. Indeed, "the family experiences of Latino immigrant fathers and
their U.S.-born counterparts diverge to such a degree than in order to understand Latino fathers, it is important to know
their nativity status." The researchers also note that, as Latino fathers are predominantly low income and have high
labor force participation rates -- often working long hours or multiple jobs -- they were less likely than their resident
black or white counterparts to engage in daily caretaking chores.
Language Diversity and English Proficiency in the United States,
Migration Policy Institute, November 11, 2016, 13 pp.
Authors: Jeanne Batalova &
A new study shows that the 25.9 million individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) in the United
States in 2015 were more likely to have less education and live in poverty than the English-proficient population. In Language
Diversity and English Proficiency in the United States, the Migration Policy Institute presents a profile of LEP individuals
ages 5 and older citing data from the United States Census Bureau's American Community Survey and Decennial Census from 1980-2015.
This study offers insight into the distribution of LEP individuals by state and city, country of birth, languages spoken,
race and ethnicity, education and employment, poverty and age. For example, the years 1980-2015 saw a 4 percent increase (from
56 percent to 60 percent) in English proficiency, despite a significant rise in immigration levels. While the majority of
LEP individuals in 2015 were foreign-born, 18 percent were native-born. In 2015, nearly half (49 percent) of the foreign-born
population were LEP. Additional analysis reveals that LEP men and women are more likely to work in industries such as maintenance
and service, respectively, than their English-proficient counterparts. This analysis points to the need for further research
on the impact of English language skills on the educational performance and career options of both native- and foreign-born
individuals in the United States. (Sarah Purdy for The ILC Public Education Institute)
Domestic Violence, Asylum and the Perpetuation of the Victimization Narrative,
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 242, February 3, 2016, 45 pp.
Author: Natalie Nanasi
The author of this study contends that the prevalence of the "battered women's
syndrome," the notion that victims of domestic violence are passive, submissive, and helpless, has made it exceedingly
difficult for women who don't conform to this stereotype to obtain asylum under U.S. law. Under the law, a woman must prove
persecution on the basis of "membership in a particular social group." Reviewing the case law governing this phrase,
the author suggests that being locked into a male-dominant abusive relationship seems to offer the best chance for a successful
asylum claim. She argues that "the effective inability of a survivor of domestic violence to tell her authentic story,
one that may involve a combination of power and powerlessness, is a profound violation perpetrated by the legal system."
One solution would be for the Department of Justice to finalize a proposed rule governing domestic violence asylum claims.
In the absence of such a rule, the author proposes ways to reinterpret the concept of "particular social group"
to allow for agency and assertiveness on the part of victims. Women who come from countries where the state is complicit in
enforcing male dominance and where perpetrators of domestic violence are not punished should see battered women as "not
so different from the revolutionaries, freedom fighters, and political activists who came before them."
Raising the Future: Parenting Practices among Immigrant Mothers
Urban Institute, June, 2015, 48 pp.
Authors: Julia Gelatt et al
Prior research has shown that parenting
practices have an impact on children's social and cognitive development. Specifically, "displays of warmth and affection,
monitoring of children's activities, and consistent but not harsh discipline are tied to improved academic performance and
fewer behavioral problems." This study attempts to understand how parenting practices vary among immigrants from various
ethnic backgrounds while at the same time, controlling for socio-economic and educational factors. Using data from the
Early Childhood Longitudinal study (Birth Cohort), the authors examine five groups of immigrants: Mexicans, immigrants from
the rest of Latin America, Chinese, immigrants from other Asian countries, and all other immigrants. The researchers find
"strong differences" in "supportive parenting" by place of birth, with lower supportive parenting among
Mexican and other Latin American-born immigrants than among U.S.-born white mothers or U.S.-born Hispanic mothers. However,
there was also less use of physical punishment among all foreign-born mothers than among U.S.-born mothers. In future research,
the authors "plan to analyze how changes in family circumstances - such as education, employment characteristics, material
hardship, and social support - are correlated with changes in parenting."
Race inequity Fifty Years Later: Language Rights Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Legal Studies Research
Paper, July, 2015, 45 pp
Author: Jasmine B. Gonzales Rose
Noting that provisions of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, designed to address the discrimination and indignities experienced by African-Americans - the largest racial
minority at the time -- may be insufficient to prevent discrimination against Latinos and other minorities, the author argues
that English-only requirements in employment, education, public accommodations, and civic participation (jury service) may
serve as a "method of subordinating Latinos." She observes that "expressions of racism have become more
subtle and sophisticated" over the last 50 years. While the Civil Rights Act clearly bans restaurant signs such as "No
Mexicans or dogs allowed," common in the Southwest during the Jim Crow era, the Act does not bar the ‘racialized
code" term "English-only." Not only are Spanish-dominant customers poorly served by such policies, but even
bilingual employees who "inadvertently revert back to their native language" in speaking with customers from the
same ethnic background could be harmed by such policies. "Penalizing an employee for - or preventing an employee from
- expressing this essential element of his or her national origin when there is no genuine business necessity is inherently
discriminatory." The author gives a number of examples of the "inconsistent and incomplete language protection
under the Act," including the failure of almost half states to require interpreters in civil proceedings. She observes
that "the lack of explicit mention of language in the text of the statute or its legislative history has made language
protections under the Act uncertain and subject to attack, criticism, and inconsistent treatment." On the other hand,
the existence of the Act, under the "doctrine of constitutional avoidance," has been used as a reason not to extend
constitutional protection to language minorities under the 14th Amendment.
Welcoming the Outsider: The Practices of Public Libraries towards Immigrants,
Social Science Research Network, Research supported by the National Science Foundation, March 23, 2015,
Author: Linda M. Williams
Research increasingly shows that local administrative agencies,
staffed by what the author of this report calls "street-level bureaucrats," such as librarians, teachers, police,
and social workers, play an important role in the integration of immigrants into the community. Perhaps on a continuum from
welcoming to hostile, these local officials have some discretion in how they approach immigrants. Public libraries stand out
in this regard, having provided important information and services to immigrants throughout their history. Moreover,
unlike the police or social workers, librarians do not pose any kind of serious threat to immigrants. This report analyzes
the results of a nationwide survey of public library systems (responses were received from 461 libraries), measuring their
degree of "welcomeness," defined as the capacity to offer specific programs and services for immigrants. In designing
the survey, the researcher identified seven dimensions of welcomeness: in-language resources for non-English speakers; classes
or other programs specifically for immigrants, such as language or citizenship classes; in-language website resources; immigrant
community outreach programs; collaboration with other immigrant-serving agencies; staff training on immigration or cultural-awareness
skills; and eligibility for library services without immigration status verification. The report describes the range of library
practices for each dimension, differentiating between welcoming and unwelcoming libraries. Findings show that many of the
surveyed public libraries intentionally developed welcoming practices to build positive relationships between the library
and immigrant patrons and to support immigrant integration. According to the author, "libraries are safe spaces that
pose little risk to immigrants...and can serve a unique role in helping immigrants integrate into the community." (Chiara
Magini, The ILC Public Education Institute)
Unauthorized Welfare: The Origins of Immigrant Status Restrictions in American Social Policy,
Journal of American History (Paywall restricted), 102:4 (March 2016), 42 pp.
Author: Cybelle Fox
This paper challenges popular and sometimes scholarly assumptions that restrictions on undocumented immigrant access to
social welfare benefits can be traced back to the New Deal period. Indeed, "when the modern welfare state was established
in 1935, there were no federal laws barring non-citizens, even unauthorized immigrants, from social assistance."
States, however, were free to enact their own restrictions on immigrant access to benefits, but as late as 1970, only
Texas required welfare and Medicaid recipients to be U.S. citizens. Nine other states barred non-citizens from some of their
other welfare programs, "but the vast majority of states did not ask applicants about their legal status." The author
suggests that state policy reflected the legacy of 19th century state poor laws which restricted aid only
to "transients," not to people who had resided in the community for a specified period of time, whether foreign-born
or native-born. The "restrictive turn" in federal policy started in 1972 under the Nixon administration when Congress
created the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Between that year and 1977, unauthorized immigrants were barred from
receiving Medicaid and AFDC, Food Stamps, and Unemployment Insurance. The Social Security Administration also stopped issuing
Social Security numbers for unauthorized immigrants. The author suggests that these "dramatic" changes in federal
policy had their roots in the sixties, when the Bracero program was eliminated and quota limits were placed on immigration
from Latin America, thus leading to a growth in the unauthorized immigrant population. Although there is little evidence that
unauthorized immigrants were abusing the system, and even less evidence that restrictions would deter people from migrating,
"the symbolic value of restriction was good enough" for most policy makers.
What Kind of Welcome? Integration of Central American Unaccompanied Children into Local
Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University, February, 2015, 29 pp.
Elżbieta M. Goźdiak
The arrival of young migrants at U.S. borders is not a new phenomenon, according
to the author of this study. Countless unaccompanied children have entered the country since Annie Moore, a 15-year-old Irish
girl and her two younger brothers became the first immigrants to enter Ellis Island when it opened in 1892. After reviewing
the several waves of unaccompanied children to have entered the United States since that time, Goźdiak focuses on the
2014 migration. Citing data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Pew Research Center and the United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the first part of the study examines the demographic characteristics of this population,
emphasizing the growing number of females and the surge in the number of Central Americans. The second part, drawing on interviews
with school officials, policy leaders, attorneys, and community leaders, focuses on how these children have been received
and integrated at the community level. The author identifies strategies to overcome some of the challenges they face, highlighting
the central role that community programs have played in creating welcoming and cohesive communities. The author also provides
details on programs that have proven most successful in addressing the emotional needs of this population. (Ariella Katz-Suchov
for The ILC Public Education Institute)
Examining the Hidden Ideologies within Cultural Competence Discourses Among Library and Information
Science (LIS) Students: Implications for School Library Pedagogy,
School Libraries Worldwide, 19:1 January, 2013, 13 pp.
Authors: Kafi D. Kumasi
& Renee f. Hill
The goal of this research is to elucidate the "dominant and competing discourses around
cultural competence" in the field of library and information science (LIS). The authors begin by reviewing the
literature on cultural competency within the LIS field. They point out that some scholars have exposed "the conceptual
blind spots and false ideologies" that exist within the profession, which tend to obscure the role of race and class
in American society. One researcher (Pawley, 2006) identifies four dominant paradigms that tend to guide LIS teaching
and practice, including the business/management model, which sees library and information users as consumers or customers,
or the mission/service model, which depicts them as clients or patrons. In this paper, the authors administered an electronic
survey to LIS students at two accredited institutions. The survey responses tended to show the strength of the dominant service-oriented
ideology in which "the library user is depicted as a somewhat powerless consumer of the goods or services that an all-knowing
librarian has procured for their benefit." An alternate view of cultural competency, reflected in some of the survey
responses, values "authentic interactions with people and engaging with the cultural context of their daily lives."
Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services: Final Report
Urban Institute, October, 2014, 25 pp.
Editors: Julia Gelatt & Heather Koball
This report contains
information drawn from seven briefs and one policy report produced by the Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services Project
of the Urban Institute - an initiative that analyzed policies and practices that govern immigrant access to health and human
services in the U.S. The research found that "complicated eligibility criteria combined with existing data systems and
eligibility screening forms and processes made enrollment difficult for both agency staff and immigrant families." Other
barriers included the lack of availability of in-person translation services, inaccessible service locations, and misperceptions
regarding the consequences of enrollment on undocumented family members. As a result, eligible low-income immigrant
families have lower utilization rates for programs like SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, and CHIP than other low-income families. However,
research in the states of California, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Texas revealed a number of promising practices
to close this gap. The most commonly mentioned one was collaboration with immigrant-serving, community-based organizations.
"Community-based organizations can provide linguistically and culturally appropriate outreach, build trust between immigrant
communities and programs, bring enrollment services to places immigrants already visit, overcome cultural barriers, and communicate
important program and eligibility information." The report also spells out a number of techniques that might prove useful
with mixed status families.
How can a metro embrace and build on the strengths of its immigrant communities?
Brookings, The Avenue, September 30, 2014, 23 pp.
Author: Jennifer Bradley
The article is adapted from
a book entitled The Metropolitan Revolution published by Brookings. When outsiders look at a high-poverty
neighborhood, they often focus on what's wrong with the neighborhood instead of what's right. "How can a metro embrace
and build on the strengths of its immigrant communities?" focuses on the Houston-based nonprofit group Neighborhood Centers,
Inc. and its use of the Appreciative Inquiry model, a management style that challenges people to examine the positive aspects
of a community or organization rather than to "fix" it. Neighborhood Centers has implemented this model in Gulfton
and Pasadena, high-poverty communities in the Greater Houston area with large immigrant populations. Interwoven with graphics,
pictures and video interviews, the article describes how neighborhood residents were asked to contribute their skills and
abilities to make the neighborhood better. It also discusses the demographic history and evolution of Gulfton and Pasadena,
and how the "wish list" of the community became the blueprint for the services of a new community center that opened
in 2010 and served 23,000 people during its first year and a half. Neighborhood Centers has now grown to become one
of the largest nonprofit organizations in the U.S., with a budget of $275 million and a presence in 58 other locations in
the Houston region. The organization is adept at "tak(ing) rigid, compartmentalized, regulation-encrusted funding streams
and braid(ing) them together to provide the services that new and low-income Houstonians need if they are to flourish."
This article examines current services provided to Houston community members through partnerships, including statistics on
the effectiveness of Neighborhood Centers' Head Start program, charter school, and adult education program. (Ariella
Katz Suchow for The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.'s Public Education Institute)
Immigration and the Changing Landscape for Local Service Delivery: Demographic Shifts in Cities
Urban Institute, March, 2014, 8 pp.
Authors: Julia Gelatt, Gina Adams, William Monson
immigration has varied impacts on the size, dispersion, and diversity of immigrant populations in local communities. According
to this report, corresponding services and policies must be differentiated and context-specific. Overall, the growth in U.S.
immigrants and their children rose from 14 million in 1980 to 41 million in 2012-from 6 percent to 13 percent of the total
population. While traditional areas like New York and California reflect these trends, the fastest growth has been in the
Southeast. At the same time, European immigration decreased, while immigration from Mexico/Central America, South America,
Asia, and the Caribbean increased; such a shift in immigrant demographics impacts agencies providing services. The report
contains sample maps to illustrate the importance of place-based planning. The rise of Mexican/Central American immigrants
in Raleigh (NC) occurred as academic and research institutions attracted highly skilled immigrants. By contrast, Houston showed
steady growth in the Mexican population, but also increasing numbers from China, Vietnam, and India. Meanwhile, Minneapolis-St.
Paul showed a pattern of balanced growth in its Mexican, Asian, and East African populations. The report emphasizes the importance
of neighborhood-level shifts, which impact service delivery provision. Chicago's Archer Heights, for example, changed
from a predominantly Polish community comprising 49 percent of the total local immigrant population in 2000 to being 75 percent
Mexican in 2011. Meanwhile, the Near South Side saw growth in its Southeast Asian populations. Here, the same city has differing
neighborhoods requiring contextualized responses and skill sets from agencies. Related challenges include: communication,
different beliefs, legal status, and establishing relationships with community leaders. Knowledge of trends and data, flexible
approaches, and diversifying a range of resources are crucial in service delivery. (Colin Liebtag, Rutgers Graduate
School of Social Work)
Ten Years of Language Access in Washington, DC,
Urban Institute, April 15, 2014, 39 pp.
Authors: Hamutel Bernstein, Julia Gelatt, Devlin Hanson, William Monson
Written with support from the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights, this paper analyzes the achievements
and shortcomings of the DC Language Access Act of 2004. One of only a few cities in the U.S. to have passed such legislation,
the District has seen a significant inflow of immigrants since 1980. Roughly 1 in 20 District residents are either limited
or non-English proficient. The report summarizes the provisions of the Act and discusses steps taken to implement it.
The report also provides a detailed demographic analysis of the limited English proficient (LEP) population, so that agencies
with a more specific mandate, e.g. poverty-reduction, senior services, might understand how the LEP population intersects
with their populations of interest. The report concludes with a number of recommendations to improve the Act's effectiveness,
including improved data collection and analysis, greater attention to recognizing and strengthening the District's multilingual
personnel, improved coordination between agencies, and possible new investments to ensure greater access to language access
Governing by Guidance: Civil Rights Agencies and the Emergence of Language Rights,
Harvard Civil Rights - Civil Liberties Law Review, April 17, 2014, 52 pp.
Author: Ming Hsu Chen
article traces the emergence of language rights for non-English speakers out of the "national origins" provisions
of Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - a development that occurred without any explicit reference to such
rights in the legislation. The author credits the initiative of "policy entrepreneurs" within the federal government
for this expansion of rights, rather than any pressure from activists within immigrant communities. Working within regulatory
agencies, these individuals "used nonbinding guidances to interpret the undefined statutory term ‘national origin
discrimination'" and in so doing, provided "meaningful legal protection for a neglected group," whose numbers
were growing sharply thanks to the passage of landmark immigration reform in 1965. The author contends that social scientists
tend to overlook regulatory agencies as "institutional change actors and regulatory practice as a mechanism of change.
To the extent that they do consider agencies, they paint agencies as weak institutions subject to significant political or
organizational constraints." The author provides two case studies to buttress her argument: the efforts of the Office
of Civil Rights to combat linguistic isolation and lack of educational opportunity in the schools, and the work of the EEOC
to define national origin discrimination in the workplace. Although Congress and the courts acted to constrain the efforts
of bureaucrats, particularly in the case of the EEOC, their work "enable(d) the law to keep pace with changing circumstances
and assist(ed) the ongoing quest for equal opportunity."
Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for all Children,
The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2014, 33 pp.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation developed the Race
for Results Index "to better measure the impact of a child's race on his or her opportunity for success in
adulthood." The index is made up of 12 measures, including normal birth weight, pre-school enrollment, reading scores
at the 4th grade level, math scores at the 8th grade level, high school students graduating
on time, teenagers delaying childbearing until adulthood, and children living in two-parent families. Results are reported
by race and ethnicity, singly and in composite form, and by state. Asian and Pacific Islander children have the highest
composite score at 776, followed by white children at 704, Latinos at 404, American Indians at 387 and African-Americans at
345. In interpreting the results, the authors give two caveats: first, that the scores sometimes mask significant intragroup
differences; and second, that "a family's immigrant status often is a determining factor in the well-being of children."
In each of the separate racial and ethnic sections of the report, there are sidebars pertaining to the immigrant cohort within
each group. The report concludes with four broad recommendations designed to improve outcomes for "children of
color - especially African-Americans, American Indians, and Latinos - (who) are in serious trouble in numerous issue areas
and in nearly every region of the country."
"Are We There Yet?" Immigration Reform for Children Left Behind,
Regent Journal of International Law, 2013, 31 pp.
Authors: Keila E. Molina & Lynne Marie Kohm
article calls attention to the plight of millions of citizen children left behind in the U.S. after their parents were deported;
more than 5,000 of these children are now in foster care. The authors trace the root of the problem to the failure of
federal immigration law to take into consideration the "best interest of the child" doctrine, which is considered
"central to American family law." Nor does the federal government consider the impact of its actions on state
actors. "State governments are expected to handle the fallout and devastation from the separation of these families without
receiving recognition or assistance from the federal government." According to the authors, there are at least
22 states where parental rights have been terminated by family court judges on the grounds that parents who entered the country
illegally engaged in criminal behavior and were therefore unfit to raise their children. The authors make ten recommendations
to address these problems, including allowing federal immigration judges to consider the best interest of the U.S. citizen
child when his or her parent is in deportation proceedings; using methods such as house arrest or angle bracelet detention,
rather than detention, to allow parents to care for their children during their hearing process; and federal reimbursement
to states for child welfare costs associated with immigration enforcement.
The Immigrant "Other": Racialized Identity and the Devaluation of Immigrant Family Relations,
Northern Illinois University College of Law, February 3, 2014, 60 pp.
Author: Anita Ortiz Maddali
undocumented parents are detained or deported their children, often U.S. citizens, become involved with state child welfare
systems, which determine appropriate temporary or permanent custody. The author draws upon historical and current practices
and legislation, as well as case examples to show how ideas of identity and culture serve to bias officials against the parental
rights of immigrants without status. According to a qualitative study done by the Applied Research Center, at least
5,100 children are in the foster care system as a result of immigration detention and deportation. The article suggests that
children of undocumented parents are more likely to be placed in foster care as a result of the anti-immigrant bias of child
welfare officials, who keep children from being placed with other family members or returning to their parents' country of
origin if deported. When the parental rights of undocumented parents are terminated, "these decisions may have more to
do with tensions around identity than the protection and welfare of children." As boundaries between the
immigration and criminal justice systems have dissolved, there is a growing tendency for the public to believe that a parent's
undocumented status equates to abuse or neglect of their children. The author draws a parallel between current anti-immigrant
biases in the legal and child welfare system and the removal of immigrant children on the "orphan trains"
of the late 19thcentury to be raised by Anglo-American families in the West, and the use of boarding schools to
"civilize" Native-American children. The author urges passage of the Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections for
Separated Children Act introduced in the Senate and a companion bill in the House. Finally, she takes issue with legal scholar
Marcia Yablon-Zug who has argued that the State has an interest in keeping U.S.-citizen children in America. (Jade Flora-Holmquist)
Immigrant Legal-Aid Organizations in the United States,
Urban Institute, October, 2013, 8 pp.
Authors: Erwin de Leon & Robert Roach
that the application process for legal status will be "long, arduous, and costly," the authors of this study weigh
the capacity of nonprofit legal service providers in the United States to respond to the anticipated surge in demand for legal
services from the estimated 8 million individuals who will be eligible to apply for legal status under various immigration
reform proposals. Using a variety of methods, the authors estimate that there are at least 684 such organizations around the
country. A map shows the location and relative budget size of these organizations. The authors are then able to determine
the ratio of projected new clients to each existing organization. For example, nonprofits offering legal aid services in Texas
would be confronted with a 1 to 41,250 client ratio, whereas New York nonprofits would have a 1 to 7,911 ratio. In order to
prepare effectively for the influx of immigrant clients needing legal assistance, Roach and de Leon propose a more in-depth
analysis of the nonprofit legal services sector. "Adding thousands of new cases to existing caseloads without substantial
infusion of resources - funding and staffing and volunteers - is not a realistic scenario." (Jade Flora-Holmquist)
Rainbow Welcome - A Field Manual for LGBT Refugee Resettlement,
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, 2012, 65 pp.
This publication is intended to support
resettlement service providers as they adapt their services to meet the specific needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
(LGBT) refugees and asylees. According to the authors, "the housing, employment, health, and safety concerns shared
by LGBT refugees upon their arrival are unique and require specialized interventions." The manual describes LGBT
refugees as being "doubly marginalized," as they are often shunned and discriminated against by members of their
own ethnic groups. The first chapter of the manual offers a primer on sexual orientation and gender identity as influenced
by the myriad of cultures from which refugees and asylees spring. The next chapter discusses how to make resettlement agencies
a "safe space" for LGBT refugees. Additional chapters examine the specific services, including employment, vocational,
housing, health, legal, mental health and substance abuse, that are vital to the successful resettlement of LGBT refugees.
The manual is the product of the feedback and insights gained from a series of regional training workshops conducted by Heartland
Alliance around the country. Heartland Alliance developed the manual with the financial support of the Administration for
Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Building a Wall around the Welfare State, Instead of the Country
Cato Institute, July 25, 2013, 22 pp.
Authors: Alex Nowrasteh & Sophie Cole
In order to build stronger
public support for, and maximize the fiscal benefits from, immigration reform, the authors of this policy analysis argue for
a major narrowing of immigrant eligibility for means-tested programs, including Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), food
stamps, SSI, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, and other programs. As a conservative think tank promoting immigration reform,
the leaders of the Cato Institute (publishers of the report) believe that immigration benefits the American economy in a myriad
of ways, but that these benefits can be broadened "by building a wall around the Welfare State." The authors
project that "preventing noncitizens from accessing means-tested welfare programs will immediately save taxpayers more
than $29 billion for the five programs under discussion." Moreover, the "high cost of naturalization would likely
dampen, although not eliminate, any rush to naturalize that would occur if the strict welfare restrictions were enacted."
The Cato writers are sanguine about the impact of their proposal on the immigrant population. "The success of second
generation immigrants in the United States in terms of education, income, home ownership rates, civic assimilation, and poverty
rate convergence with natives is evidence that welfare is not needed to promote intergenerational mobility
or immigrant assimilation. By reducing the small amount of immigrant welfare dependency that exists, the pace of intergenerational
mobility could actually increase."
Race, Legality, and the Social Policy Consequences of Anti-Immigrant Mobilization,
American Sociological Review, 2013, 25 pp.
Author: Hana E. Brown
This article explores how
racial depictions of Hispanics influence welfare policy. Previous research has shown that Black racial stereotypes have
long emboldened get-tough welfare campaigns. Is similar imagery for Hispanics fueling roll-backs of benefits? Through case
studies of California and Arizona in the 1990s, the author finds that two different "racial frames" seem to produce
diverging results. The first frame, predominant in California, demonizes illegal Hispanic immigrants but contrasts them with
virtuous and hard-working legal Hispanic immigrants. The second frame, common in Arizona and more explicitly racist, attributes
moral worth to White citizens and derides all Hispanics as undeserving. By conducting a content analysis of 500 randomly sampled
news stories about welfare reform in each state, along with follow-up interviews with key leaders of welfare reform efforts,
the author found that the "cultural discourse" in California shifted welfare policy in a more "lenient"
direction, whereas in Arizona, it led to the "passage of harsh reforms." Thus, the "legality frame"
seems to more productive of progressive social policy "because it incorporates multiple groups (including native-born
and foreign-born, in-status Hispanics) under the umbrella of legal immigrants"
A Local Official's Guide to Language Access Laws,Taking Action against Violence and Discrimination Affecting Migrant Women and Girls,
Hastings College of the Law, University of California, 2013, 37 pp.
David Jung, Noemi Gallardo & Ryan Harris
Although written primarily for a California audience, this publication
also offers useful information for general readers. The report reviews federal laws and regulations requiring language access
services, and includes a description of the "four factor test" to determine whether such services must be provided,
and the "safe harbor provision" to determine whether vital documents must be translated into foreign languages.
California-specific sections of the report discuss the provision in the state constitution declaring English to be the official
language and whether this provision places limitations on the use of non-English languages in local governance. The report
also reviews two California laws requiring local agencies to provide language accommodations: the California Civil Right Act
and the Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act. Finally, the report concludes with a description of how cities in California
and around the country (Oakland, San Francisco, Monterey Park, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle) are proactively
addressing language access issues.
International Organization for Migration (IOM), 2013, 7 pp.
report suggests that violence against women is rampant throughout the migration process. Risk factors include
legal status, age, class, culture, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. Domestic
violence may occur in migrant families as male partners physically and sexually abuse women or children in order to maintain
traditional gender roles in the new country. Women may also encounter physical abuse from law enforcement, employers,
or local civilians during migration. Sexual exploitation is common in exchange for transportation, food, or accommodation.
"Systematic disempowerment" occurs as women experience difficulties accessing the labor market and public services.
Moreover, migrant women are more likely to be employed in domestic, factory, agriculture, or entertainment which may lead
to poor working conditions, low wages, and/or sexual exploitation. Victims are unlikely to report incidents of violence
or workplace abuses for fear of losing their legal status or facing repercussions. IOM recommends ratifying, implementing,
and enforcing existing human rights policies through coordinated multi-sectoral approaches in order to effectively address
violence against migrant women and girls. (Lorin Mordecai)
Poor Immigrants Use Public Benefits at a Lower Rate than Poor Native-Born Citizens,
Cato Institute, March 4, 2013, 8 pp.
Contrary to the myth that immigrants
in the U.S. are a drain on the social welfare system, this report suggests that low-income immigrants actually access public
benefits at a lower rate than their native-born counterparts. When immigrant children and adults do receive assistance, the
average benefits value per recipient is almost always lower for immigrants than for the native-born. Using data from the 2012
Current Population Survey and available medical records, the study found lower utilization rates and lower average benefits
for non-citizens in four programs: Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, cash assistance and Supplemental
Security Income. In the Medicaid program, for example, "if there are 100 native-born adults, the annual cost of benefits
would be about $98,400, while for the same number of non-citizen adults the annual cost would be approximately $57,200. The
benefits cost of non-citizens is 42 percent below the cost of the native-born adults." The findings are consistent with
other recent reports, e.g. the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (2013), which found that Latinos use less than their
fair share of government benefits, and the Russell Sage Foundation, whose research "provides little indication of welfare
abuse or dependency among new immigrants." The report also attempts to correct methodological flaws in a study (2011)
of immigrant benefit utilization by the Center for Immigrant Studies.(Denzil Mohammed)
Protecting Migrants During Times of Crisis: Immediate Responses and Sustainable Strategies,
International Organization for Migration (IOM), 2012, 30 pp.
of the serious dilemma facing many immigrants during Libya's 2011 civil war and revolution, the IOM decided to devote the
2012 International Dialogue on Migration to the plight of migrant people during natural and man-made disasters -- a
problem it calls largely "invisible and underreported." Held in Geneva, Switzerland, in September of 2012,
the conference drew 300 participants from government, international and non-governmental organizations, research institutions
and others. The publication opens with a chair's summary, followed by a more detailed report on conference deliberations
and recommendations. A seven-page paper prepared for conference attendees is included in the appendices. The
report suggests that the intersection of migration and humanitarian assistance will gain greater importance in the years to
come. In addition to their exposure to the same risks as native-born populations, migrants have "specific vulnerabilities"
related to legal status; difficulties in accessing supports, such as language barriers and lack of information about available
services; employer restrictions on migrants' freedom of movement; and in some cases a climate of discrimination and xenophobia.
Attention to migrant concerns needs to be woven into emergency planning both "before" , "during" and "after"
a crisis. In addition, different actors have different responsibilities in addressing these issues, including countries of
origin, transit and destination, as well as recruiters and employers.
Falling Through the Cracks, The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Children Caught Up in the
Child Welfare System,
Immigration Policy Center and
First Focus, December, 2012, 10 pp.
This paper reviews recent research on the effects of immigration enforcement
on children. Between July 1, 2010, and September 30, 2012, 204,810 parents of U.S.-citizen children were removed from the
U.S. The precise number and circumstances of children left behind are not known. However, according to the authors, the risks
to these children are great, including: disruption to the family unit, social and economic stress, poor educational outcomes,
and weakened economic security caused by the loss of income from the deported parent. In 2011, the Applied Research Center
estimated that ca. 5,100 children with a detained or deported parent were in the public child welfare system; these numbers
are expected to grow in future years if the current pace of deportations continues. The authors point out that local immigration
and child welfare agencies rarely collaborate, and policies are not in place to promote family reunification. Immigration
may transfer parents to detention centers outside their home communities; parents may not be able to participate meaningfully
in family court proceedings; and federal guidelines mandate termination of parental rights when a child has been in foster
care for 15 of the previous 22 months. The paper proposes a number of solutions to ameliorate this situation, including
the passage of laws similar to those passed in California in October, 2012 (the Call for Kids Act and the Reuniting Immigrant
Caught in the Housing Bubble: Immigrants' housing outcomes in traditional gateways and newly emerging
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, Univ. of Southern California, November,
2012, 26 pp.
This report looks at housing trends for immigrants and the native-born population since the
onset of the great recession. Using data from the American Community Survey, researchers studied homeownership, household
formations (captured through a study of "headships," i.e. the ratio of household heads to adults), and residential
mobility (moves within the previous year). Housing outcomes were looked at across three types of metropolitan areas:
established immigrant gateways, emerging gateways, and small metros. In general, immigrants fared better than their native-born
counterparts. While native-born homeownership, for example, decreased nationally from 67.3 percent in 2000 to 66 percent
in 2009, immigrant homeownership increased from 45.2 percent to 49.1 percent. During this period, native-born families
showed declines in headship, while immigrant families showed slight increases. Immigrant mobility also declined in established
gateway from 39 percent to 32 percent and in emerging gateways from 49 percent to 40 percent. In the future, researchers
hope to look at the impact of specific changes in the job market on location choices and housing outcomes among immigrants.
Unintended and Unavoidable: The Failure to Protect Rule and its Consequences for Undocumented Parents
and Their Children,
Albany Law School, August 13, 2012, 24 pp.
Exploring the intersection of
child-welfare systems and immigration policy, this paper examines how allegations of child abuse and neglect can negatively
influence judicial outcomes in immigration proceeding and, conversely, how immigration status often unduly influences the
outcome of child-custody determinations. Drawing on several case examples, the author Sarah Hill Rogerson shows how the shortsighted
application of state Failure to Protect Laws are often used to level neglect charges against immigrant mothers, many of whom
are victims of intimate partner violence. Such actions fail to take into account the precarious situation created by immigration
law and policies that make it difficult for the undocumented to report abuse. Immigration enforcement campaigns, such as "Secure
Communities," that give local police the authority to enforce federal immigration law, create disincentives for victims
to work with officials. This situation can often result in the elevation of an accusation, or minor infraction, into a deportable
offense. The author discusses several cases in which immigrant women were persuaded to plead "no contest" to Failure
to Protect, unaware that doing so would have negative consequences for both immigration and custody proceedings. The paper
concludes with several policy recommendations aimed at aligning immigration law with family law concepts of parental rights
and the best interest of the child. The author also offers suggestions for practitioners advising the undocumented, including
the need to develop a safety plan for child custody in the event of parental detention or deportation. She also calls attention
to the knowledge gaps in child welfare caseworkers and immigration officials and calls for more comprehensive and holistic
training for both groups. (Dan McNulty)
Access Denied: The Unfulfilled Promise of the D.C. Language Access Act,
American University & DC Language Access Coalition, April, 2012, 44 pp.
This report examines the effectiveness of the District of Columbia Language Access Act of 2004, a comprehensive
law that requires "covered entities" (those with substantial public contact) to provide oral language interpretation
services for limited English proficient individuals and to translate "vital documents" into high demand languages.
Despite robust internal monitoring mechanisms built into the Act, the evaluation found "substantial deficiencies"
in agency compliance with the Act. Researchers used a variety of methods to test compliance, including "18 in-person
tests at government agencies, 27 tests of agency websites to assess language accessibility and the availability of vital documents,
and 40 tests of agency interactions by telephone." Researchers also surveyed 258 limited or non-English speaking individuals
and filed 15 Freedom of Information Act requests to gain insight into agency compliance, training and outreach procedures.
Through these various means, the investigators distill 10 recommendations relating to internal agency operations, 5
recommendations relating to agency oversight and accountability, and 4 recommendations relating to enforcement.
Promising Practices for language Access in Federal Administrative Hearings and Proceedings,
U.S. Dept. of Justice and Administrative Conference of the United States, February
3, 2012, 25 pp.
This is a report from a conference held in Washington, DC, on September 22, 2011. Representatives
of the Social Security Administration and the Executive Office of Immigration Review (Dept. of Justice) discussed language
access efforts within their respective agencies. Another speaker reviewed services available through the National Virtual
Translation Center, an interagency office established in 2003 for the purpose of providing quality translations for the intelligence
community and other federal agencies. Finally, the manager of GobiernoUSA.gov, the official Spanish language web portal of
the U.S. government, discussed the "top 10 best practices for multilingual websites."
The Flow of Unaccompanied Children Through the Immigration System: A Resource for Practitioners, Policy
Makers, and Researchers,
Vera Institute of Justice, March, 2012, 35 pp.
This report provides an in-depth
exploration of the "complex web of policies and practices" that unaccompanied children face in navigating the U.S.
immigration system. The report traces the sequence of steps from initial apprehension to case closure, which can result in
removal to home country, voluntary return, or placement with a sponsor and possible relief from deportation. Beginning with
a brief overview of the rights and responsibilities of custodial bodies, legal classification schemes, and the evolution of
federal policy and legislation, the report goes on to detail the agencies and facilities children encounter in their journey
across the "disjointed and labyrinthine" immigration and justice systems. Additionally, the report provides a description
of the rights and recourse available to unaccompanied minors, along with the legal services and advocacy options available
through the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Concluding with a look at case outcomes, the authors note
the need for empirical research in order to improve the experiences children undergo as they are processed through, and after
they exit, the system. Since 2005, the Vera Institute of Justice has administered the Unaccompanied Children Program
funded by ORR, which seeks to improve access to legal services for unaccompanied children. In 2010, there were 8,207 children
admitted to ORR custody after referral by the Department of Homeland Security, an increase of 35 percent over the previous
year. (Daniel McNulty)
The Impact of Migration on Family Left Behind,
Institute for the Study of Labor, February, 2012, 33 pp.
Written by Francisca Antman of
the University of Colorado, this paper discusses the impact of migration on family members, i.e. non-migrant children, spouses,
and parents, left behind in sending countries. The author reviews the limited research available on this topic and discusses
some of the methodological problems encountered in doing research in this area. In her review of non-migrating children's
educational outcomes, she finds both positive and negative effects, sometimes correlated with the gender of the migrating
parent. She also notes a "detrimental impact of migration on time contributions and health outcomes for elderly
parents," suggesting that governments and local institutions in sending countries should be sensitive to the possible
weakening of traditional support structures for the elderly. N.B. Institute discussion papers often represent preliminary
work and are circulated to encourage discussion of particular issues.
Language Access Laws and Legal Issues: A Local Official's Guide,Limited English Proficient Individuals in the United States: Number, Share, Growth, and Linguistic
Institute for Local Government, 2011, 35 pp.
Although developed primarily for a California audience,
this guide may prove useful for public officials in other parts of the country. The guide summarizes federal laws requiring
language access services, with particular attention to the Justice Department's "Four Factor" analysis. The document
also discusses the extent to which official language or English-only laws passed by state or local jurisdictions might weaken
or undermine federal requirements for language access. The guide also reviews California's separate and robust requirements
for language access under the California Civil Rights Act and the Bilingual Services Act. Finally, the guide summarizes notable
features of local language policies in the following cities: Oakland, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Monterey Park,
New York, and Seattle, and provides links to useful resources in a concluding section.
Migration Policy Institute, December, 2011, 12 pp.
Data Brief analyzes the 25.2 million individuals in the United States over the age of 5 who are limited English proficient
(LEP). Representing 8.7 % of the total U.S. population, these individuals are concentrated in 13 states. The four states
with the highest percentages are: California (19.8 percent), Texas (14.4 percent), New York (13.5 percent), and New Jersey
(12.5 percent). While Spanish-speakers accounted for 65.8% of the total US LEP population in 2010, the proportion of
Spanish-speakers varies by region, state, and locality. Texas at 87.4 percent had the highest percentage while Montana and
North Dakota at 20.8 percent had the lowest. Other top languages nationally in 2010 were: Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean,
and Tagalog. Links to detailed companion charts may be found in endnote 5 of the brief.
Shattered Families: the Perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare
Race Forward (formerly the Applied Research Center),
November, 2011, 65 pp.
Increasingly, measures to detain and deport undocumented immigrants in the U.S. have
resulted in the forced separation of families, despite child welfare policies that make family preservation a
priority. There are at least 5,100 children in foster care today due to parental detention or deportation. This study examines
the impact of immigration enforcement on the child welfare system, using interviews, focus groups and analysis of qualitative
data. The study suggests several factors that have contributed to family separation and sometimes permanent termination of
parental rights: once children are taken into custody, ICE procedures, which lack due process, make it virtually impossible
for parents to comply with Child Protective Service guidelines for reunification; prejudice, poverty, lack of social services,
"unverifiable employment," inability to obtain driver's licenses, barriers faced by undocumented relatives in assuming
kin-care, and limited knowledge of immigration law on the part of officials and social service workers, contribute to
obstructing parent-child reunification. Findings also suggest that that the Secure Communities program enables local law enforcement
to subjectively and erroneously enforce federal immigration policy, despite policy directives to focus enforcement efforts
solely on criminal threats. The study concludes with a number of policy recommendations for state and federal lawmakers. (Dan
Media and Immigration: An International Dialogue Organized by the French-American Foundation
- United States,
June, 2011, 25 pp.
In November 2009 and in May 2010, the French-American Foundation convened two international symposia as part of
its Media Coverage of Immigration (MCI) program. Held in Paris and Miami, the two symposia attracted media professionals and
immigration experts from 18 countries and focused on improvements to the quality and depth of immigration reporting. As
a "highly complex and emotional issue, defined by important economic, social and political forces," immigration
poses both a challenge and an opportunity to reporters. There were four general recommendations developed at the
symposia: first, continue efforts to diversify the newsroom; second, find ways to give a voice to the ordinary immigrant,
as opposed to "the most vocal and visible ones;" third, reimagine the audience for immigration-related news
stories; and fourth, "think outside the box" by recognizing that "immigration forces society to reflect upon
its ideals, freedoms and institutions, and journalists too, should reflect on these larger questions as part of their work."
Housing the City of Immigrants,
Society, March, 2011, 19 pp
One of the major conclusions of this report is that housing conditions vary widely
among immigrant groups, even when one controls for household income. The researchers examined the degree of "housing
stress" among specific immigrant communities using data from the 2008 New York City Housing and Vacancy survey. Housing
stress is a composite of three factors: unaffordable rent burdens, poor apartment conditions, and crowding. Different immigrant
communities experience these stressors in different ways. For example, immigrants from the former Soviet Union have the highest
rent burdens, Mexicans are the most overcrowded, and Dominicans occupy the highest percentage of apartments with violations.
These patterns, according to the authors, lead to an important conclusion: "that housing stressors don't just affect
individual households; they affect communities" and that advocacy groups must adjust their housing-related agendas to
fit the particular circumstances of these communities.
Guidance for Integrating Culturally Diverse Communities into Planning for and Responding to
Emergencies: A Toolkit,
Panel on Emergency Preparedness and Cultural Diversity, Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
February, 2011, 40 pp.
The Toolkit is a "user-friendly reference guide, with
succinct summaries of key principles, practices, and strategies for appropriately working with diverse communities,"
including those consisting of immigrants and other limited English proficient individuals. The Toolkit is divided into two
main sections. Section I presents the National Consensus Statement on Emergency
Preparedness and Cultural Diversity originally released on June 11, 2008 - "a
historic moment in the life of the nation's emergency preparedness efforts." The preamble to the statement notes
"that racial and ethnic minorities experience higher rates of injury, disease, traumatic stress, death and loss due to
public health emergencies as compared with non-minority populations." Section II identifies eight guiding principles
that agencies, organizations, and providers should consider to improve their effectiveness in reaching diverse communities,
along with suggested strategies and practices consistent with each principle. An "underlying tenet" of the Toolkit
is that "effective preparedness and response requires the ongoing and active engagement of diverse communities."
The Toolkit also features links to useful resources.
Communication More for Less: Using Translation and Interpretation Technology to Serve
Limited English Proficient Individuals,
Migration Policy Institute (MPI), January, 2011, 25 pp.
This manual describes new forms
of technology that are lowering the cost of providing interpreting and translating services and expanding the range of language
options available to government agencies and human service organizations. Beyond Language Line, or telephone-based interpreting,
the author covers more recent innovations, such as video interpreting, interpreter network technology, and multiple listener
technology. The manual also reviews the pros and cons of technologies that dispense with third-parties altogether, including
automated interpreting and machine translation. Finally, the report discusses specialized software designed to manage interpretation
and translation projects within organizations. As the field is evolving quickly, MPI intends to update this "catalogue
of possibilities" on a regular basis.
Entering the Mainstream: Making Children Matter in Immigration Law,
Fordham Urban Law Journal, 2010, 23 pp.
Author: David B. Thronson
This article proposes "three
simple reforms" to American immigration law to bring it into line with "mainstream values" on the treatment
of children: first, broaden the construct of family beyond the traditional nuclear family (recognizing, for example, the important
role that Latino grandparents play in children's lives); exclude children from grounds of inadmissibility or bars against
adjustment of status; and allow children to become "generators of immigrant rights" for their parents by at
least reverting to pre-1996 "extreme hardship" standard to avoid deportation, rather than the current standard of
"exceptional and extremely unusual hardship." The author concludes that "the misalignment of U.S. immigration
law with underlying legal and societal values related to children and families has contributed to the growth of the unauthorized
population in the United States," and that this misalignment must be addressed in any broad reform of the nation's immigration
Caught Between Systems: The Intersection of Immigration and Child Welfare Policies,
First Focus and the Migration and Child Welfare National Network, 2010
than 5 million children living in the United States today have at least one parent who is an undocumented immigrant. This
publication is a collection of three policy briefs examining the plight of these children as they come into contact with the
child welfare system. Each brief offers recommendations for policy changes and system reforms.
The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Child Welfare (12 pp) provides an overview of immigrant enforcement activities and the “unintended consequences for children
and families.” Public Benefits and Child Welfare Financing (9 pp) highlights the difficulties that immigrant parents, caretakers, and relatives face when their immigration status prevents
them from accessing critical public resources, court-mandated reunification services, or permanency options. Language, Culture and Immigrant Relief Options (10 pp) observes that child welfare policies and practices often do not reflect
the current demographics of the child population, creating risks for children of immigrants within the system.
Incorporating a "Best Interest of the Child" Approach into Immigration Law and Procedure
Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, Spring, 2009, 57 pp.
Author: Bridgette A. Carr
examines how the U.S. fails to protect both foreign-born and U.S. citizen children who are directly affected by immigration
proceedings. The absence of a "best interest of the child" approach disregards a standard method of protecting children
that is common in both domestic and international law. The author discusses the nature and evolution of this approach
in U.S. child welfare case law. She also points out that this approach is enshrined in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of
the Child, the most universally adopted of all human rights charters ratified by all but two countries in the world. The article
gives detailed examples of how the "invisibility" of children in immigration proceedings can lead to outcomes injurious
to their welfare and safety. The author then contrasts the U.S. practice with that of Canada, which requires the designation
of a representative for children in immigration proceedings, and argues for the adoption of the Canadian model in the U.S.
She also addresses the most common objections to this approach, i.e. the additional resources required to implement
the plan, and the fear that such an approach would "open... the floodgates to immigrants by allowing children to be a
source of immigration relief for parents." With regard to the latter argument, the author states that many "best
interest of the child" determinations may result in the child voluntarily departing with the parent or legal guardian.New Americans Initiative: 6-year Report,
State of Illinois, Department of Human Services,
2009, 65 pp.
In 2003, the Department of Human Services (DHS) of the State of Illinois, the largest agency providing
and funding human services in Illinois, with a budget of over $5 billion, launched a coordinated and systematic effort to
make its services accessible to limited English proficient individuals. In 2005, DHS contracted with a team of consultants
from the Shriver National Center on Poverty Law to interview executives and managers in each of DHS' six program divisions,
examine current agency practices, evaluating them against national "best practice" standards, and produce a report
and set of recommendations that became the basis of the agency's subsequent efforts to improve service accessibility.
When the governor of Illinois in 2005 decided to expand this work to other departments and agencies of state government, DHS
became the model for the rest of state government. This report summarizes the work that was accomplished by DHS over the course
of the six years. The report includes a number of useful appendices, including copies of departmental policy memoranda governing
the provision of interpreting services and the payment of a 5% salary differential for bilingual state employees, as well
as a sample customer service plan for limited English proficient persons.
Language Use in the United States: 2007,
U.S. Census Bureau, April, 2010, 16 pp.
Twenty percent of the American
people speak a language other than English at home. Based on data from the 2007 American Community Survey, this report examines
the preponderance of various languages, patterns of language change since 1980, the English-speaking ability of various language
communities, and language concentrations in the 50 states. A particularly useful table estimates the number of limited English
proficient people in each state.
Eliminating Language Barriers for LEP Individuals: Promising Practices from the Public
Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees,
Summer, 2009, 37 pp.
Authored by Ted Wang, this report draws on input from the Language Access Practitioners
Network, a group of state and municipal officials managing or overseeing language access programs. The Network was created
by the Annie E. Case Foundation in 2006. The report analyzes language access legislation passed in the states of California,
Minnesota, Maryland, Hawaii and Illinois, as well as local ordinances in seven U.S. cities. The report features a helpful
discussion of some of the institutional barriers and political forces working against the introduction of effective language
access policies and procedures. Wang also provides guidance in determining which governmental entities should be assigned
responsibility for language assistance oversight and technical assistance.
A Social Worker's Tool Kit for Working with Immigrant Families: Healing the Damage: Trauma and
Immigrant Families in the Child Welfare System
The Center on Immigration and Child Welfare, September, 2010 (Updated February, 2015), 35 pp.
This resource was developed in response to the growing recognition that the child welfare field faces many
new issues of practice, policy and research arising from the rapid growth in the population of children in immigrant families.
Established in 2006 and with an advisory committee of national experts in the field, The Center on Immigration and Child Welfare
has sponsored several national conferences and produced a series of publications related to the challenge of working with
vulnerable immigrant children. A full listing of these resources may be found on the website of the Network.
Is This Working? Assessment and Evaluation Methods Used to
Build and Assess Language Access Services in Social Service Agencies,
Migration Policy Institute, July,
2009, 28 pp.
This publication contains
a tool kit of solutions for public and private agencies interested in establishing and maintaining high quality language access
programs, and features descriptions of effective LEP data collection systems and program self-assessment tools.
The report is particularly useful in cataloguing the range of methods used to evaluate the language skills of new
and current employees. Detailed descriptions of innovative and promising practices in the states of California, Hawaii,
Iowa, Minneosta, Washington, and Wisconsin are highlighted. The "secret shopper" program in New York City
is also profiled.
Language Access Webinars,
Policy Institute, 2008-2009
Growing out of
an Annie E. Casey Foundation initiative to promote sharing and dialogue among public sector officials involved in developing
and managing language access services, MPI's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy launched a series of one-hour
webinars on language access in October of 2008. Each webinar features several presenters who discuss innovative practices
in various parts of the country. Among practices highlighted in the first three webinars are: Washington State's process for
certifying and compensating bilingual employees; New York City's 2008 Citywide Executive Order on language access; the Washington,
DC, Community Interpreter Bank; the Alaska Language Interpreter Center; the Office of Multi-Cultural Services (Hennepin County,
MN); and the Translation and Interpretation Unit of the New York City Dept. of Education.
Intimate Partner Violence in Immigrant and Refugee Communities: Challenges, Promising Practices
A Report by the Family Violence Prevention Fund for the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, March, 2009, 64 pp.
This report provides recommendations
for funders interested in addressing the special challenges and complexities associated with preventing and responding to
intimate partner violence in newcomer communities. The report discusses the tension that often exists between service provision
and prevention efforts, as well as the optimal framework for service provision, i.e. whether specialized in nature or housed
within a larger community-based organization offering a variety of services unrelated to domestic violence. The report features
a 30-page literature review by Mieko Yoshihama of the University of Michigan School of Social Work, as well as case studies
of 7 organizations doing exemplary work in the field, including the Arab-American Family Support Center in Brooklyn, NY, Manavi
in New Jersey, and Casa de Esperanza in St. Paul, MN.
Language Access Advocacy,
Management Information Exchange: An Exchange of Information for
Legal Services, Winter, 2008, 7 pp
This article discusses recent successful language
access advocacy campaigns organized by legal service entities, in partnership with immigrant community-based organizations
in Arizona, California, New York, and Pennsylvania. The article is divided into two sections: the first focusing on language
access in public benefits and health care, and the second, on language access in courts and law enforcement. The authors highlight
and explain effective advocacy strategies.
Top Tips from Responses to the Survey of Language Access Strategies Used by Federal Government
Federal Interagency Working Group on Limited English Proficiency,
September 3, 2008, 4 pp.
Updated periodically, this
document contains 25 recommendations in 10 categories, including strong language access coordination and accountability, meangingful
access to web-based information, and consistent enforcement of quality control standards.
Integrating Immigrant Families in Emergency Response, Relief and Rebuilding Efforts,
The Annie E. Casey Foundation and
Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, 2008, 22 pp.
This report provides a framework for local planning to ensure that vulnerable limited English proficient families
are not neglected and placed at risk before, during, and after disasters. More like a manual, the report contains step-by-step
suggestions for emergency responders and examples of effective immigrant outreach practices from communities around the country.
The report also features a listing of funding sources that could be tapped to support emergency outreach work to immigrant
Addressing the Needs of Immigrants and Limited
English Communities in Disaster Planning and Relief,
National Immigration Law Center, October 28, 2008, 11
pp. (Report no longer in the public domain)
on evidence of serious deficiencies in managing emergencies in localities with large numbers of immigrants, this report makes
a number of recommendations, including the formation of partnerships between government agencies, disaster relief organizations,
and immigrant-serving organizations; the avoidance of inquiries into immigrant status; the cessation of immigrant enforcement
activities for the duration of the emergency; the relaxation of documentation requirements in areas where a disaster has caused
the widespread destruction of documents; ensuring that disaster victims do not lose their preexisting immigration status due
to the death of a spouse or loved one; and greater attention to meaningful language assistance in the delivery of disaster-related
The Intersection of Immigration and Child Welfare: Emerging Issues and Implications,
Conference Proceedings, Second National
Forum, Migration and Child Welfare National Network, April 1-3, 2008,
Bringing together researchers and practitioners interested in the impact of migration on child welfare policy
and practice, this conference reviewed the status of key issues identified in an earlier 2006 conference on the same subject.
The 2008 proceedings include a report from the "Promising Practices Committee," discussions of several case histories,
a summary of the work of the Immigrant Children's Advocacy Project in Chicago, and abstracts of research projects underway
in various parts of the country. In a presentation entitled "Beyond Cultural Competence," Jorge Cabrera of Casey Family Programs argues that practitioners working with immigrant children must
pay attention to "issues such as acculturation, the family's ‘story' of migration, the social, economic and political
circumstances that led to the migration experience, the struggles and hardships experienced by the family in their journey
and the levels of isolation and connection that they may be experiencing in their present community setting."
Library Services for Immigrants: A Report on Current Practices,
and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2007, 7 pp.
This report describes
promising approaches, along with recommendations, to strengthen library services to immigrants. Areas covered include:
community partnerships, development of collections, information services, special programming and events, outreach, and planning.
The report grew out of a working group of library and community representatives convened by the Office of Citizenship (USCIS).
Year Filled with Missed Communication,
Equity Monitoring Project for Immigrant and Refugee Education (EMPIRE), June 27, 2007, 25 pp. (Report no longer in the public domain)
In 2006, the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education adopted Regulation A-663 for the purpose
of providing translation and interpretation services to hundreds of thousands of parents with limited English skills. This
report, based on parent surveys, focus groups, and on-site visits, documents widespread noncompliance with the regulation
and contains recommendations, such as the establishment of an accountability system, professional development for administrative
staff, and parent education efforts, to improve the effectiveness of the regulation.
and Cultural Competence in Serving People with Limited English Proficiency in Illinois Department of Human Services Programs:
Findings and Recommendations Report,
January 30, 2006, 24 pp. (Report no
longer in the public domain)
With support from several local foundations, the Illinois Dept. of Human Services
undertook a comprehensive review of its track record in enabling limited English proficient individuals to access
its programs. An outside research team interviewed division staff members and analyzed documents and reports related
to issues of language and cultural competence. The team then produced a series of nine recommendations, constituting a
"strategic plan" for increasing the departments' effectiveness in serving LEP individuals.
Ethnocultural Issues in Disasters: A Overview of Research, Issues, and Directions
Psychiatric Clinics of North America,
27(2004), 18 pp.
Authors: Anthony J. Marsella & Michael A. Christopher
The authors argue that disasters often involve "a complex cultural encounter,"
and that responders need to be aware of the communication patterns and cultural resources of impacted communities so as to
provide effective assistance and promote "post-traumatic growth," not depression. The authors outline the scope
of cultural competence training for disaster workers and offer a series of recommendations designed to improve culturally
sensitive service delivery during disasters. Finally, they propose a research agenda, including the development of a "cultural
disaster research archives" and the study of cultural variations in loss, grief, and bereavement.
Mobility Information Needs of Limited English Proficiency Travelers in New Jersey,
New Jersey Institute of Technology, September, 2004,
Produced under contract with the New Jersey Department of Transportation, this comprehensive study explores
the public transit needs of limited English proficient (LEP) persons in New Jersey. Noting the high correlation between public
transit use and LEP status, the study reviews pertinent literature on language access, identifies best practices in LEP transit
access both nationally and internationally, reports on the results of a survey to 575 LEP people on transit issues, discusses
findings from 10 focus groups with LEP individuals, and outlines a series of cost-effective recommendations for improving
Denied at the Door: Language Barriers Block Immigrant Parents from
Advocates for Children
of New York and the New York Immigration Coalition, February 19, 2004, 55 pp.
Based on a survey of immigrant parents and students in the New York City School System, this
report documents widespread failure to communicate in native language with immigrant parents. Without parental involvement
in the education process, students will be deprived of parental support and schools will not have the full cooperation of
Statewide Language Survey and Implementation Plan Reports,
Bilingual Services Program, California
State Personnel Board, 2003-2011
compliance with California legislation mandating that state agencies employ a sufficient number of qualified bilingual staff
in public-contact positions and translate key documents into languages spoken by their clients, the Bilingual Services Program
(BSP) was established in June, 2000, with six staff positions. Perhaps the first comprehensive assessment of multi-lingual
communication capacity within state government, this series of four biennial reports summarizes the progress made by the state
in providing equitable services to limited English proficient individuals. The report points out major areas of deficiency,
as well as promising practices in particular departments/agencies. The advantages of a coordinated approach to language accessibility
are stressed throughout the reports.