IIL Banner 2013

Issue 2.1    
In this Issue:
Federal Integration Agenda


Lessons from the Former Great White North: LIving, Loving and Immigrating in the New Toronto

Lygia Navarro
April  2013 
One Nation Indivisible
U.S. Businesses Help Immigrants Obtain Citizenship
Associated Press
August 3, 2013
Fox News Latino


Miami, November 18th-19th, 2013

Hosted by National Partnership for New Americans, the Florida Immigrant Coalition & the Knight Foundation



Educator Workshop Expands to 23 states in 2013
July 24, 2013
The Immigrant Learning Center
Immigrant Integration: Here and There
September 6,2013
Boston College News



CommentaryWelcome! We hope to connect practitioners and researchers with the contribution of academics working across multiple disciplines - our focus being the role social policy and social work can play in promoting immigrant integration.


The Research and Books column is a bulletin board, meant to encourage scholarship, use of evidence-based research and to foster dialogue.


The Senate made history WITHIN their immigration reform bill by including Title II of S744, a section on immigrant integration. It is about time we acknowledged the need of 40 million people who have immigrated and not just obsess on the border/ admission issues.


The House has yet to act (and many fear no action on immigrant integration). It is due and needed.


One different direction the House might take would be to place this enlarged agenda in the federal Department of Education rather than the Department of Homeland Security. While immigrant integration does lead to a more cohesive and therefore secure homeland, this is not like the Coast Guard or Border Patrol or even the naturalization application processing. Becoming Americans is a lifetime educational venture. It begins with orientation, is expressed in preparation for Green Cards and Naturalization and most importantly takes place in our public schools, our literacy and ESOL classes and in programs designed to prepare workers for the market place in forms that range from community colleges to recertification of foreign trained professionals.


The Department of Education is acting on this potential with the second opportunity for immigrant integration funded projects through the Office of Vocational and Adult Education. They have funded World Ed and its partners to develop technical assistance for model program development over the next three years. Identifying and developing replicable models is a valuable contribution in the US where integration has been a spontaneous venture of local entities and had little if no theory or promising practice models.


OVAE is positioned to do more. It is time to develop workplace and vocational education in partnership with the business community. Innovative education will give the country the continued competitive edge and labor force needed in the global economy. Immigrant entrepreneurs have traditionally led our economic development from soap to search engines but the support and education behind these entrepreneurs has lagged significantly and not adjusted to greater diversity and educational gaps in today's newcomers.


The volume of new arrivals is unabated through five presidents and different Congresses, so we can project reasonably that it will continue, and with even greater diversity since Mexico has been usurpt by Asia as the primary source of new arrivals.  Language education must be a primary deliverable of the federal government and at all levels of education. In Europe it is required in countries like the Netherlands that one starts with language classes provided by the government. Yet in the US. classes are often full, not available at all or offered in conflict with work hours. One DC leader said recently "our ability to create opportunities for our labor force to learn multiple languages and be multi-cultural is an imperative not only for the workforce opportunities, but for our global competitiveness."  DoE is the entity to empower for significant expansion and making English classes available to all.


Most of the workforce training opportunities, including innovative programs like the  Immigrant Bridge Loan Program require that an individual have legal status in the U.S.  DHS and Congress have this responsibility but the provision of a robust set of tools to foster economic contribution by immigrants to the tax base, social security system and economy is work for a White House level coordination across the departments with groups like OVAE playing a primary role. Economic literacy is needed by a percentage of arrivals but this is balanced by understanding that most arrivals have mastered multiple currencies, economies, transfer systems and benefit systems and need only to be grounded in maximizing their utilization of the US system for their upward mobility.


Civic integration is a critical outcome. It requires civic education in public schools (it has gone missing), requires appealing naturalization preparation courses and social orientation as part of welcoming services.Education is our most promising delivery system, proven and rich in potential.  A new agenda, an expanded role, the empowerment by Congress and the boost from the White House would be the elements that might move the US from its current laizze faire polices to immigrant integration with theory, practice and delivery system all working concurrently for benefit of the nation's future. 



Westy Egmont, Director 

BCGSSW Immigrant Integration Lab


Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE)


The programs and grants managed by the OVAE support a wide range of activities that help prepare young people and adults for further education and successful careers. The OVAE  allocates $1.9 billion annually  to adult education and literacy, career and technical education and to our community colleges. In FY 2013 over $70 million nationwide has been allocated to English Literacy/Civics educations services to immigrants and other limited English proficient populations. Full integration is multifaceted for the OVAE which works within a framework of linguistic, civic, and economic integration. As a nation our ability to build opportunities for our labor force to learn multiple language and be multi-cultural  are imperative to maintaining global competitiveness.


Through the leadership of Brenda Dann-Messier, Johan Uvin and George Smith,  the OVAE has developed federal strategies to meet the various needs of immigrants in the United States. The office has supported innovative programs such as the Immigrant Bridge Loan Program, helping college educated unemployed or underemployed immigrants to transition to 'gateway jobs' in their fields, and a national initiative lead by World Education to provide technical assistance to five immigrant integration networks. 


  Read more about OVAE > > 


The Political and Community Context of Immigrant Naturalization in the United States

John R. Logan, Sookhee Oh, Jennifer Darrah

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Volume 38, Issue 4 (April 2012)

Naturalization is an important component of immigrant integration in the United States. However, the decision to become a citizen is impacted by a range of implicit and explicit elements. There is the personal competent, in which factors such as education, age and residency impact an individual's desire and ability to naturalize. These factors are compounded by the social and political context of the individual. Drawing upon census data, this article argues that the individual context greatly impacts the likelihood of naturalization. Special attention is paid to individual identity, social environment and the political reception of immigrant groups. 

 Read More Here > >


The Politics of Immigrant Policy in the 50 US States, 2005-2011
James E. Monogan III
Journal of Public Policy, Volume 33, Issue 1 (April 2013)
Monogan uses data analysis to explore the development of American immigration policy at the state level between 2005 and 2011. The author employs a Bayesian spatial conditionally autoregressive model to analyze state laws regarding immigration over a period of 6 years. From this data, Monogan argues that policy makers are greatly affected by their own legislative professionalism (i.e. their desire to stay in office, often by means of currying favor with changing electorates) as well as electoral ideology. State wealth proved to be a great indicator, with politicians in poorer states fearful of appearing to distribute scares funds to immigrant communities. Likewise, Monogan's data also indicates changes in the size of the foreign-born population can be predicative of proposed immigration legislation. 

Race, Legality, and the Social Policy Consequences of Anti-Immigration Mobilization
Hana E. Brown
American Sociological Review, Volume 78, Issue 2 (April 2013)
This article discusses the development and conceptualization of the welfare state through long standing racial biases. An analysis of welfare reforms in both Arizona and California are used to exemplify how prevailing attitudes toward Hispanics have begun to effect the welfare debate. In this analysis, the author argues that two frameworks, legality and race, are used to mobilize anti-Hispanic sentiment. Each frame acts as a binary, dividing Hispanics into either 'illegal' or 'legal' immigrants and lauding the moral White citizen over the immoral Hispanic. The use of these two frames create opportunities for both advocates and opponents in welfare policy. This paper is a useful tool for understanding the connection between immigration, race and welfare in politics and policy. Read More Here > >

Social Citizenship integration and Collective Action: Immigrant Civic Engagement in the United States

Kim Ebert, Dina G. Okamoto

Social Forces, Volume 91, Issue 4 (June 2013)

The authors explore forms on collective action in immigrant communities within metropolitan areas. Using data from immigrant focused events throughout the country, the authors focus on factors which promote or deter immigrant civic engagement.  Initial results suggest that certain impact factors, such as opportunity or available resources, have varying effects. Similarly, the authors argue that institutional barriers, such as lack of English ability, deter collective action. The welcoming nature of a community is shown to effect the type of immigrant civic events held.  More welcoming communities saw a greater number of community improvement events. These events were often shown to result from significant outreach efforts. The data presented in this article is important for practitioners working to create more welcoming communities. Read More Here > >



Introduction: The Language of Inclusion and Exclusion in the context of Immigration and Integration
Marlou Schrover, WIllem Schinkel
Ethnic and Racial Studies, Volume 36, Issues 7 (July 2013)
This article provides introductory theory and vocabulary for the discursive analysis of citizenship. Specific attention is paid to the language used to discuss exclusion in the historical and political context. Schrover and Schinkel use this framework to explore forms of discursive problemization, in which outside parties attempt to create or define a problem subject and then claim that problem on their own. These aspects of problemization often lead these actors to legitimize their responses to the problem subject, often expanding and sensationalizing their views in the process. The authors argue that the process of problemization often ends in suggestion related to the causes and consequences of the problem subject. The problemization framework is used to analyze the discursive constructions 'legality' and 'illegality' as they relate to gender, class and immigrant integration. In doing so, Schrover and Schinkel argue that these definitions are complex, inconsistent and crucial to understanding exclusion in the nation state. Read More Here > >




Outsiders No More? Models of Immigrant Political Incorporation 

Hochschild, J., Chattopadhyay, J., Gay, C., & Jones-Correa, M. (Eds) (2013): Oxford University Press

"In this volume, experts on immigration in North America and Europe examine the very pressing and complicated issues of immigrant political incorporation. It explores what exactly the concept of political incorporation means; illustrates how patterns of incorporation are fundamentally shaped by the social economic, cultural, and political contexts in which immigration occurs; and provides frameworks that can be used to study political incorporation in various settings. For immigration scholars across disciplines, this book will become an indispensable resource."

-Deborah J. Schildkraut, Tufts University 


Transforming Politics, Transforming America: The Political and Civic Incorporation of Immigrants in the United States

Lee, T., Ramakrishnan, S. K., & Ramirez, R. (2006): University of Virgina Press

"Transforming Politics, Transforming America is very much on target in terms of its focus on immigrant political incorporation. The editors are among the very top young political scientists in the country working on immigration issues, and the volume's outstanding contributors have produced high-quality, important and readable chapters. In result, this book is extremely timely and worthwhile."

-Frank D. Bean, University of California, Irvine


Contesting Citizenship: Irregular Migrants and New Frontiers of the Policial

McNevin, A. (2011): Columbia University Press

"In a cosmopolitan age, the movement of displaced people, arguably an inherent part of the human condition from time immemorial, inspires much fear among the settled. Rich in empirical detail from the United States, Australia, and France, Anne McNevin's book views 'irregular immigrants' as more than victims. Instead, she argues they are agents of changing notions of political belonging and novel understandings of citizenship. In challenging the presumed stability of 'regular' sovereign power, they are defining a new 'frontier of the political' that has massive implications for the meaning of citizenship in the contemporary world."

-John Agnew, University of California, LA


EDITORS: E. Broderick, W. Egmont, and A. Young