American Immigrant Policy Portal
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In This Issue

Research to Inform Policy and Practice   
on Migration-Related Issues
Policy-related reports, studies, and information about the challenge and promise of immigrant integration. Materials organized by collection topic.
FeatureResearchFeatured Research

The National Academies publishes proceedings of a workshop devoted to improving health communication with immigrant and refugee populations

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017, unpaginated
Rapporteur:  Joe Alper

The goal of this workshop was to identify approaches that will enable health care organizations to serve immigrant and refugee populations "in a manner that allows all members of these communities to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and the services needed to make appropriate health and personal decisions." This publication summarizes the workshop's presentations and discussions, and highlights important lessons, practical strategies, and opportunities for using the principles of health literacy to facilitate communication with newcomer populations. In accordance with the policies of the National Academies, the workshop did not attempt to reach any conclusions or make any recommendations about needs and future directions. Rather, it simply highlights the issues identified by speakers and workshop participants and calls attention to programs and initiatives that show some promise of success.  One important concern of participants was to earn the trust of immigrant communities by responding to the climate of fear that surrounds immigrants today and to ensure that personal information, if collected at all, is safeguarded. One model program is the "You are safe here" campaign of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Another approach is to probe more deeply into the experience of migrants, many of whom have been tortured or have suffered other forms of trauma. As one participant said, "perhaps the most important thing a clinician can do is to be curious and ask people about their experiences." The workshop gave examples of efforts to address the social determinants of health, such as the work of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative.  Workshop participants also learned about efforts on the part of health care organizations to partner with community-based organizations, such as the Casa de Salud in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Finally, innovative programs to improve communication with newcomer populations, such as the Let's Talk About Medicines project of Wisconsin Health Literacy, were described.

Vera Institute publishes an evaluation of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, which provides legal representation to immigrants in deportation proceedings

Vera Institute of Justice, November, 2017, 68 pp.
Authors: Jennifer Stave et al

The right to be represented by legal counsel is a fundamental right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, but not for immigrants in deportation proceedings. Two-thirds of detained immigrants face such proceedings without an attorney, and pay a price as a result. Unrepresented immigrants at the Varick Street Immigration Court in New York, for example, stand only a four percent chance of remaining in the country. Aware of this situation, the New York City Council began the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) to provide universal representation to immigrants in deportation proceedings who are below 200 percent of the federal poverty line. This study examines the NYIFUP from 2013 to 2016 using data from interviews, NYIFUP program records, and other sources including the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review to compare NYIFUP case outcomes to similar cases in other cities. According to the report, NYIFUP won 48 percent of detained immigrants' cases (allowing immigrants to remain in the U.S), representing a 1,100 percent increase in successful outcomes over unrepresented cases. NYIFUP also nearly doubled the rate at which immigrants could be released from detention on bond from 25 percent to 49 percent. Even if the case is ultimately unsuccessful, release on bond allows immigrants to care for their families, work and contribute to tax revenue while their cases are adjudicated. As a result, NYIFUP was able to preserve family unity for many of its clients. The authors conclude that ensuring due process so "everyone is entitled to the same opportunity to access the law" through universal representation is a powerful achievement of the NYIFUP. ( Yuki Wiland for The Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

NewResearchNew Public Policy Research and Reports
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Education (Pre-K to 12)

Law Enforcement

National Perspectives/Immigration Policy

Global Perspectives

lcLatest Commentary
A selection of recent OpEds from immigration researchers and major opinion leaders

December 21, 2017
Trump's "soft" ethnic cleansing: Immigrants as human garbage
Chauncey Devega, Salon

December 14, 2017
Congress must act on the 'dreamers'
Tim Cook & Charles Koch, The Washington Post

December 7, 2017
The Dream Act could bring the rule of law back to immigration policy
Hiroshi Motomura, Los Angeles Times

December 6, 2017
The fraudulent case for 'Kate's wall'
Steve Chapmen, Chicago Tribune

December 3, 2017
A Guide For Future Immigrant Entrepreneurs
Stuart Anderson, Forbes

November 24, 2017
Immigration reform won't stop ISIS
Robert A. Pape, The Boston Globe 

November 22, 2017
DACA recipients saw their mental health improve. Now, advocates fear its end will have the opposite effect
Tiziana Rinaldi, PRI
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The Portal is a project of Diversity Dynamics, LLC, in association with the Center for International Social Work, School of Social Work, Rutgers University, and the Immigrant Learning Center, Inc., Public Education Institute, Malden, MA. Please send content suggestions for the Portal, including events of interest, to: No endorsements implied for research, opinions, resources or events featured on the Portal.