One of the most important functions of government in immigrant-receiving
countries is to develop policies and programs designed to bring about the long-term integration of immigrants and their descendants.
The studies on this page look at this challenge in general terms, including ways to define key integration indicators and
to measure success over time. Integration challenges and opportunities in specific fields of practice are covered on other
Items arranged in order of publication date.
Scroll down for all entries. Selection does not necessarily imply endorsement of findings or research methodology by Diversity
Dynamics and its partner organizations. We regret that we may not be able to repair broken links promptly.
The Integration of Immigrants into American Society,
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine, September 2015, 458 pp.
Mary C. Waters &
Marisa Gerstein Pineau, Eds.
This volume reflects the work of a panel of experts appointed by the National Academies
to review the available research on the integration of immigrants and their children into American society. The panel focused
on a range of areas, including education, occupations, health, and language usage. Defining integration as "the process
by which members of immigrant groups and host societies come to resemble one another," the panel found that, with a few
notable exceptions, members of the 2nd and 3rd generations were "more like other native-born Americans that their parents
were." For example, second generation members of most immigrant groups met or exceeded the educational levels of typical
third- and later-generation native-born Americans. The authors also found that first-and second-generation immigrants "have
robust representation across the occupational spectrum," suggesting a welcoming attitude among employers and other workers.
By the 2nd generation, poverty rates are comparable to that of the general population. Integration, however, does not always
lead to positive outcomes for immigrants. Generally healthier and less prone to criminal behavior than native-born Americans,
immigrants and their progeny come to resemble other Americans over time.
White House Task Force on New Americans: One-Year Progress Report,
The White House, December, 2015, 36 pp.
In April of 2015, the White House Task
Force on New Americans published its strategic action plan to advance the civic, economic, and linguistic integration
of new Americans. At the time of the plan's release, the President requested the 16 executive departments, agencies, and White
House offices participating on the Task Force to report on their progress in implementing the 16 goals and 48 recommendations
in the plan by the end of the year. This report is the result of that review process. Among the accomplishments to date
have been: spearheading the development of the Building Welcoming Communities Campaign which now counts 48 cities and
counties as members; developing an AmeriCorps program deploying 150 volunteers to assist with refugee resettlement work around
the country; launching the Small Business Administration's "Made It In America" website and piloting entrepreneurship
training for immigrants and refugees; and launching a citizenship awareness and promotion campaign. Plans for 2016 include:
hosting a Credentialing Academy "to share current best practices and to develop tools and resources to address credentialing
and licensing issues" facing skilled immigrants; expanding and refining the Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's
Services (BRYCS) website -- the "nation's largest online collection of resources related to refugee and immigrant
children and families;" establishing a working group "to streamline and improve language access across federal agencies;"
investing in a new model of providing integrated English and civics education; and hosting regional immigrant integration
conferences throughout the U.S.
Strengthening Communities by Welcoming All Residents: A Federal Strategic Action Plan
on Immigrant & Refugee Integration,
The White House Task Force on New Americans, April, 2015, 64 pp.
In November 2015,
President Barack Obama created a formal interagency body, called the White House Task Force on New Americans, to develop a
plan of action to integrate immigrants into the civic, social, and economic life of the nation. Personnel from 18 federal
departments and agencies served on the task force. The Task Force sought public input to guide its deliberations, including
a National Call for Ideas, which generated approx. 350 submissions, online stakeholder listening sessions, and site visits
to local communities. The plan contains 48 recommendations in four broad areas: building welcoming communities, strengthening
pathways to naturalization and promoting civic engagement, supporting skill development and entrepreneurship and protecting
New American workers, and expanding opportunities for linguistic integration and education. Within each of these four
areas, the report reviews existing federal, state, and local efforts, and then outlines recommended actions to be taken by
relevant federal agencies. In December 2015, the task force is scheduled to submit a status report to the President on progress
made in implementing these recommendations. Although the report refrains from recommending the establishment of a separate
White House office to coordinate, monitor, and support integration efforts in the future, it does call for “strengthening
the underlying federal infrastructure” and creating “interagency working groups” to focus on key issues,
such as workforce development. The National Center on Immigrant Integration Pollicy of the Migration Policy Institute has
assembled on its website the recommendations submitted to the White House Task Force by a variety of national and local organizations.
Migration Policy Index IV,
The British Council and Migration Policy Group, 2015, 212 pp.
Produced by a consortium of 37 national-level organizations led by the British Council and
Migrant Policy Group, the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) measures policies to integrate immigrants in 38 countries
in Europe, North America, and Oceania. It uses 167 policy indicators to create a multi-dimensional picture of immigrants'
opportunities to participate in receiving societies. MIPEX covers eight policy areas which shape an immigrant's journey to
full citizenship, including labor market mobility, family reunion, education, long-term residence, political participation,
access to nationality, and anti-discrimination. First published in 2005, this is the fourth edition of the Index. The United
States ranked 9th among the 38 nations in the effectiveness of its integration policies. Sweden, Portugal,
and New Zealand had the highest scores.
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)
The Future of Immigrant Integration in Europe: Mainstreaming approaches for Inclusion,
Migration Policy Institute, March, 2014, 36 pp.
Authors: Elizabeth Collett & Milica Petrovic
This report examines "the next generation of immigrant integration policymaking"
and defines "mainstreaming" as "the effort to reach people with a migration background through social programming
and policies that also target the general population." In place of, or in addition to, stand-alone integration
programs, mainstreaming involves the effort to "embed" immigrant integration into programs that serve the general
population. The report is based on ten months of research including an extensive literature review, detailed country case
studies, in-depth interviews, and study visits to four countries: Denmark, France, Germany, and the U.K (MPI Europe will be
publishing separate reports on integration efforts in each of the four countries over the course of the coming year). According
to the authors, the idea of mainstreaming immigrant integration has emerged only recently, and little research has been produced
on the subject, largely because of its complexity. The impulse to mainstream services stems from the fact that European
societies are becoming more diverse, with growing numbers of second-and third-generation immigrants, who may face barriers
not fully addressed in traditional integration programs. In addition, there is a widespread perception that there has been
only "glacial progress in narrowing educational and employment gaps between native and immigrant populations" and
that "some populations are becoming ever more segregated from mainstream society." The report argues that a successful
mainstreaming strategy needs to address three critical elements: discourse, governance, and policy. Each of these elements
can be "deliberate" or "de facto or organic." An example of a deliberate discourse strategy would be Germany's
National Action Plan on Integration. An example of a de facto discourse strategy would be the social inclusion and ‘big
society" plans in the U.K. The report is replete with examples of mainstreaming approaches in the four countries. Although
the authors note that it is too soon to identify best practices, especially as evaluation and assessment of new policies and
practices are lacking, the authors conclude by recommending "a number of elements that policymakers should take into
account," including setting clear goals, building political will, and creating regular coordinating and reporting mechanisms.
European Modules on Migrant Integration
European Commission, February, 2014, 19 pp.
Developed with input from migration experts in the European Union, the European Commission has published the final version
of its Modules on Migrant Integration. The purpose of this project "is to provide a common language and a reference framework
regarding integration." According to the authors, modules should go beyond simply the collection of good practices.
"Modules should take knowledge exchange to the next level by providing Member States with negotiated recommendations
on how to improve their integration policies and practices, based on the best existing evidence of what works." The Modules
cover three main areas: language and acclimation courses, receiving society commitments, and immigrant civic participation.
The receiving society area is broken down into four sub-sections: preventing discrimination, ensuring equal access to public
services, ensuring equal access to the labor market, and improving the public perception of migration and migrants. The civic
participation area encompasses political participation, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, and participation in civil
sector organizations. The Modules include side bars discussing the evidence base (rated as low, medium, or high) for recommended
Conundrum of an Immigrant: Assimilation versus Cultural Preservation
Journal of Identity and Migration Studies, 2012, 18 pp.
Author: Joanna Diane Caytas
Noting that "the
discourse about the cost and benefits of cultural diversity is intense" both in Europe and North America, this paper
reviews the different approaches to diversity, including the traditional model of assimilation, multiculturalism in all its
variations, hybrid models, and structuralism. The author also examines the role of religion in identity formation, as
well as the effects of intermarriage. Although elements of traditional culture may serve as a tool of adaptation, e.g.
the emphasis on education in many Asian cultures, Caytas posits that assimilation wins out in the end. "No genuine and
pure cultural preservation remains possible whenever a group faces assimilation. What appears to be an expression of determined
cultural preservation is, in fact, merely another expression of assimilation actually occurring." Although the
policy implications of her analysis are not entirely clear, the author does observe that "vigorous efforts to preserve
a culture alien to the place and country people inhabit may ultimately have an effect opposite to the one intended."
Measuring Immigrant Assimilation in Post-Recession America,
Manhattan Institute, March, 2013, 20 pp.
Author: Jacob L. Vigdor
Less noticeable economic and cultural differences between the foreign-born
and native-born in the U.S. suggest a level of successful immigrant integration never before seen in U.S. history. This report
from the Manhattan Institute finds a remarkable "near-disappearance of newly arrived, un-assimilated immigrants from
American soil." The fourth in a series of reports gauging immigrant integration, Measuring Immigrant Assimilation
in Post-Recession America uses an "assimilation index" comprising economic, cultural and civic factors
to measure the degree of similarity or difference between the foreign- and native-born populations in the U.S. Relying on
2010 and 2011 American Community Survey data, it notes a stunning reversal in the traditional pattern where more recently
arrived immigrants tend to be less assimilated than long-term immigrants. Since the 2007 onset of the recession, the report
finds that post-recession immigrants were more assimilated than those who arrived prior to it. It also notes that not only
has immigration from Mexico, the largest immigrant supply country, dropped significantly but it is now on par with immigrants
from Asia, a significant proportion of whom speak English and are high-skilled. Now that comprehensive immigration reform
is back on the table, important shifts in U.S. immigration such as these must be considered in crafting relevant, realistic
and "forward-looking" policies. The report includes detailed charts showing assimilation indexes for metropolitan
areas in the U.S., as well as for immigrants from particular countries of origin. (Denzil Mohammed)
Second-Generation Americans: A Portrait of the Adult Children of Immigrants,
Pew Research Center, February 7, 2013, 130 pp.
Second-Generation Americans analyzes U.S. Census Bureau data to show that
the 20 million adult U.S.-born children of immigrants are substantially better off than immigrants themselves. On key measures
of socioeconomic attainment such as income, homeownership, educational levels, and poverty rates, adult children of immigrants
outpace their parents and reach levels comparable to those of native-born Americans. As
the current second generation also includes the children of earlier immigrants now deceased, one cannot use these findings
to demonstrate upward mobility between recent immigrant parents and their children. However, by disaggregating Hispanics and
Asian-Americans from the broader second generation population, one can make useful comparisons between the two generations.
Hispanics and Asian Americans make up about seven-in-10 of adult immigrants and about half of the adult second generation. The
report finds that the second generations of both groups are much more likely than the immigrants to speak English (about 90
percent are proficient English-speakers); to have friends and spouses outside their ethnic or racial group, to say their group
gets along well with others (52 percent of Latinos and 65 percent of Asian Americans), and to think of themselves as a "typical
American." The surveys also find that second-generation Hispanics and Asian Americans place more importance than does
the general public on hard work and career success. They are more inclined to call themselves liberal and less likely to identify
as Republicans. And for the most part they are more likely to say their standard of living is higher than that of their parents
at the same stage of life. Given current immigration trends and birth rates, virtually all (93%) of the growth of the nation's
working-age population between now and 2050 will be accounted for by immigrants and their U.S.-born children. By then, the
nation's "immigrant stock" could grow from 76 million now to more than 160 million, at which point it would comprise
a record share (37%) of the U.S. population. (Denzil Mohammed)
Institute for Public Policy
Research, October, 2012, 20 pp.
In this brief, Myriam Cherti
& Clare McNeil challenge the two most widely held assumptions in the debate on European immigrant integration policy,
finding shortcomings in both the assimilative approach which focuses on the forging of a shared, national identity, and the
multicultural, group-rights approach. The authors contend that both models are flawed because they start from the premise
that communities and cultural identities are fixed units, and, as such, focus attention on the "grand level of citizenship
and national identity." Rather, building from the work of Brubaker and others, the authors view culture as a collection
of complex and shifting patterns that continually negotiate the boundaries of identity and, therefore, research on assimilation
must instead focus on the everyday experiences of individuals and groups in order to develop effective integration policy.
The authors probe "the process of everyday integration" by surveying literature from four key areas where identities
are often constructed and reconstructed: childcare arrangements, patterns of shopping and consumption, leisure activities,
and "supplementary education," such as that provided by madrassas in the U.K. Examining their hypothesis
that policy can be better shaped through a) understanding the way that identity formation occurs; b) identifying the problems
for social integration and group identity formation; c) and proposing ways in which they can be amended to ease tensions between
groups as they emerge in each of these settings, Cherti & McNeil conclude that further ethnographic research in these
everyday areas would aid policymakers in crafting a more effective approach to immigrant integration. (Daniel
Multiculturalism: Success, Failure, and the Future,
on Migration (Migration Policy Institute), March 2012, 32 pp.
Written by Will Kymlicka, of Queens University
in Canada, this paper disputes "four powerful myths about multiculturalism." The first is that multiculturalism
represents the "uncritical celebration of diversity." Instead, he sees multiculturalism "as the pursuit
of new relations of democratic citizenship, inspired and constrained by human-rights ideals." The second myth is that
multiculturalism is in "wholesale retreat." Instead, he marshals evidence to show that multiculturalism policies
"have persisted, even strengthened, over the past ten years." The third myth is that multiculturalism has failed
as a social policy; instead he offers evidence that multicultural policies have been successful. And the fourth myth is "that
the spread of civic integration policies has displaced multiculturalism or rendered it obsolete." Instead, he argues
that multiculturalism is fully consistent with progressive forms of civic integration policies. Finally, the paper discusses
the conditions that would permit "multiculturalism-as-citizenization" to flourish as a social policy. In this discussion,
the author acknowledges that "desecuritization" (minorities from potential enemy nations), lack of border control,
the homogeneity of immigrants (most immigrants from a single source country), lack of economic integration and excessive use
of the welfare system by immigrants, could lead to a rejection of multiculturalism policies. Nonetheless, even under these
circumstances, he sees such a rejection as a "high-risk move. It is precisely when immigrants are perceived as illegitimate,
illiberal, and burdensome that multiculturalism may be most needed."
The Domestic Face of Globalization: Law's Role in the Integration
of Immigrants in the United States,
Maurer School of Law, Indiana University, October, 2011, 31 pp.
This article examines the role that law plays in either facilitating
or impeding immigrant integration in the United States. By taking "a domestic perspective on globalization"
as well as looking at globalization's effect on local and national processes, three main themes are explored: legal protections
against discrimination, the intersection of national and local legislation, and basic rights to social security. The authors
briefly review the history of immigration law and discuss current legislative debates, finding that both political and economic
pressures have contributed to fragmented and inconsistent policies. The article discusses the plenary powers held by Congress
to enact immigration and naturalization legislation and the possible unconstitutionality of state and federal measures that
discriminate against immigrants. In addition, the authors explore lawmakers' tendency to "favor...markets over rights"
as a response to globalization, often ignoring the inseparability of global capital flow, outsourcing, labor mobility, and
transnational migration. The authors highlight the need to recognize the impact of these fluid processes, as well as the importance
of safeguarding civil liberties in order to strengthen social cohesion for immigrants and non-immigrants alike. The paper
concludes with a call for the use of information and communication technologies to supplement integration efforts, increase
media and cultural plurality, and build mobilization capacity within immigrant communities. (Dan
Assimilation Tomorrow: How America's Immigrants Will Integrate by 2030,
for American Progress, November, 2011, 33 pp.
This report, prepared by demographers Dowell Myers and John Pitkin,
is the second part of a project on immigrant incorporation conducted by the University of Southern California in conjunction
with the Center for American Progress and underwritten by the MacArthur Foundation. Five indicators of immigrant progress
(English proficiency, homeownership, education, living above the poverty line, better earnings, and naturalization rates)
are tracked for four different cohorts of immigrants (arrivals in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s). The report notes "a
remarkable consistency in the rates of advancement observed across decades for different waves of immigrants..."
The "core assumption" of the report is that the gains of early cohorts are predictive of results in 2030 for the
large 1990s cohort, even with adjustments made for the setback of the Great Recession. According to these researchers, homeownership
rates will rise to 72 percent, English fluency to 70.3 percent, and living outside of poverty to 86.6%. The authors also make
separate projections for Hispanic immigrants, as well as immigrant youth who arrived before reaching 20 years of age. The
researchers also note that the projected gains for Hispanic immigrants in educational and economic attainment are constrained
by the large numbers who lack legal status.
The Debate Over Multiculturalism: Philosophy,
Politics, and Policy,
Migration Policy Institute, September 22, 2011, 7 pp.
In this policy brief, University of California, Berkeley, Professor Irene Bloemraad distinguishes between three
types of multiculturalism: "demographic multiculturalism," or the description of the pluralism that actually
exists in a particular society; "multiculturalism as political philosophy," which she defines as a "philosophy
centered on recognizing, accommodating, and supporting cultural pluralism'" and "multiculturalism as public policy,"
or the process of adapting to the cultural diversity of groups in a particular society. She notes that "social scientists
have only recently begun to evaluate multiculturalism as public policy." One useful tool is the "multiculturalism
policy index (MCP Index)" developed by two researchers in Canada, which measures the extent to which selected multicultural
policies appear in 21 nations over a period of three decades. With some notable exceptions (Netherlands and Italy), "actual
policy in many countries is slowly inching toward greater accommodation of pluralism, despite the political rhetoric around
the perceived problems of diversity." She further notes that opposition to multiculturalism as public policy on
the part of majority populations may stem from concerns over demographic multiculturalism.
Immigrants in the United States: How Well Are
They Integrating into Society?
Migration Policy Institute, May, 2011, 25 pp
This paper examines
recent research along four dimensions of immigrant integration in the United States: language acquisition, socioeconomic
attainment, political participation, and social integration. Written by Stanford sociologist Tomás Jiménez
and funded by the European Union, the paper finds that integration is "proceeding steadily, but unevenly." The author,
however, notes some troubling developments that may stall integration in the future. One is the lack of legal status for large
numbers of immigrants, which has adverse consequences not only for the immigrants themselves, but also for their American-born
children. Other concerns include the crisis in public education and the economic downturn. Tomás argues that strong
public schools and economic growth have facilitated the integration process, perhaps making up for the absence of European-style
integration initiatives in the United States. Without these supportive factors, the continuation of successful integration
outcomes in the U.S may be in jeopardy.
Immigrant Integration and Policy in the United States: A Loosely
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment,
University of California Berkeley, April 7, 2011, 37 pp.
This paper examines the most important policy domains
and initiatives supporting immigrant integration in the United States. Written by Irene Bloemraad (UC Berkeley) and Els de
Graauw (Baruch College), the paper argues that the "dominant laissez-faire outlook" toward integration
and the variation in local integration approaches around the country, some encouraging but others exclusionary, are cause
for some concern. Even academics in the United States, the authors note with some alarm, "envisage no major role for
government in immigrants' social inclusion." The authors then proceed to review current policies in such areas
as language, education, health care, and public benefits. Although there are some bright spots, "the overall image is
of gathering storm clouds threatening immigrants' successful integration."
Assimilation Today: New Evidence Shows the latest Immigrants to America are Following
our History's Footsteps,
Center for American Progress,
September, 2010, 43 pp.
Examining data from the 1990 and 2000
censuses, and the 2008 American Community Survey, University of Southern California researchers Dowell Myers and John Pitkin
see evidence that "assimilation is robust in the 21st century and follows the pattern of previous eras
of American history." The authors trace six social and economic indicators: citizenship, homeownership, English-language
proficiency, educational attainment, occupation, and income; and follow a primary cohort of immigrants who arrived in the
U.S. from 1985 to 1989, and who were 20 years of age or older in 1990. Three indicators, in particular, show "striking"
improvement: Homeownership (rising from 16% to 62% over 18 years), men with individual earnings greater than the poverty
threshold (rising from 35% to 66%) and speaking English well (rising from 56% to 64.1%). Three other indicators, however,
show relatively little change: high school completion, attainment of a B.A. degree, and movement into a professional or managerial
occupation. When English language ability was evaluated for two other cohorts: immigrants age 10-19 in 1990 and those age
0-9 in 1990, the improvements were quite dramatic - over 80% for the first group and roughly 95% for the second. The authors
find similar patterns emerging when they separately examine Mexican and other central American immigrants. The authors caution
against the "Peter Pan Fallacy," which assumes that immigrants are frozen in time, "never aging, never advancing
economically, and never assimilating," and which may be especially prevalent in states with recently arrived immigrant
populations, where the workings of assimilation have yet to be observed.
Reconfiguring Settlement and Integration: A Service Provider Strategy for Innovation
Settlement Sector Alliance/Alliance canadienne du secteur de l'établissement des immigrants, May 16, 2010, 72 pp.
Written by Meyer Burstein, co-founder and former executive of the International Metropolis Project, this report provides
an in-depth analysis of the Canadian immigrant and refugee service sector, based on "a series of workshops and focus
groups with representatives of service provider organizations and ethnic-specific agencies" in cities across Canada.
The report identifies "four strategic capacities" of the sector, including "an ability to comprehensively assess
client needs and to assemble a bundle of services to address those needs, cutting across program silos." The report
contains 15 recommendations "aimed at clarifying the sector's strategic directions and strengthening its strategic capacities."
One recommendation calls for "an internal study to map the areas in which (the sector) enjoys a comparative advantage
over mainstream and commercial service providers." Another recommendation calls for "a collaborative study
with ethnic-cultural groups to determine how best to strengthen the sector's connections" with these groups, in order
to "reinforce the sector's strategic advantages vis-à-vis mainstream agencies." Other recommendations are
designed to bolster the capacity of the sector to be analytic and innovative, thereby preventing the sector from being "relegated
to the role of passive observers and stoop labour, acting exclusively at government's behest." The report urges the development
of "a sector-led, pan-Canadian institution comprised of settlement agencies and university-based researchers that would
analyze and disseminate best practice information." The new body would be "part clearing house and part think
tank" and would be "wholly owned" by the settlement sector.
A Century Apart: New Measures of Well-Being for U.S. Racial
and Ethnic Groups,
American Human Development Project of the Social Science Research Council,
April, 2010, 22 pp.
Seeking to develop a more accurate
measure of "human development" than gross national product, the United National Development Programme began issuing
annual human development (HD) reports in 1990. This approach has now been applied to the United States. Using health,
educational, and family income data from the 2007 American Community Survey, the Council has produced state-level comparative
data for government recognized racial and ethnic groups in the U.S and has uncovered wide variations between and among groups.
Asian-Americans in New Jersey, for example, rank highest in human development among all population groups. Although significantly
below Asians in HD scores, Latinos in NJ rank number 1 compared to Latino populations in other states. No effort, however,
has been made to disaggregate the data to reveal significant differences among groups within larger pan-ethnic categories,
e.g. the many nationalities that are grouped together as "Asian" or "Latino."
Protection through Integration: The Mexican Government's Efforts
to Aid Migrants in the United States,
Institute, January, 2010, 39 pp.
This report traces the history
and describes the present work of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad (Institute de los Mexicanos en el Exterior or IME). Working
through 56 consular offices and approx 75 staff in the United States, the IME represents, according to the report, "one
of the most significant, if overlooked factors in US immigrant integration policy." Mexico has become a world leader
in "diaspora engagement," by recognizing that successful immigrant integration into host societies benefits both
sending and receiving countries. The report describes the various programs that have been established by the IME, including
consular health stations (Ventanillas de Salud), the Mexican Migrant Advisory Council, the Binational Migrant Education
Program, and an adult education community center program (Plazas Comunitarias) which in 2007 operated at
373 sites in 35 states. The report recommends that IME measure its results and outcomes in a more systematic manner so
that other countries might learn from its experience.
New Americans Initiative: 6-year Report,
State of Illinois, Department of Human Services, 2009, 65
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.
What Assimilation Means Today,
Public Square, Chicago, November 6, 2009
Leading scholars and
policy experts discuss the meaning of immigrant integration, including whether "assimilation is still a bad word."
Presenters include: Tamar Jacoby (ImmigrationWorks USA), Gary Gerstle (Vanderbilt University), Noah Pickus (Duke), Jose Luis
Guttierez (National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities) Richard Alba (CUNY), Dowell Myers (USC), and Peggy
Levitt (Wellesley College). Video recordings of the keynote speech and the two panel sessions, as well as a written summary
of all conference sessions, are available on the Zócalo website.
Learning from Each Other: The Integration of Immigrants and Minority Groups in the
United States and Europe,
Center for American Progress, April, 2009, 36 pp.
report compares and contrasts European and American approaches to immigrant integration. The report commends the
European Union for its effort to define a common framework and set of principles to guide integration efforts on the member
state level and its dedication of substantial resources for integration work. It urges the United States to follow
a similar approach. The United States, in turn, is commended for its strong antidiscrimination laws and its ability
to enforce regulations on the state and local level -- achievements worthy of emulation by European states. The report calls
for the creation of a "new National office of Integration in the White House," charged with reducing barriers to
integration for both new immigrants and minority groups.