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Immigration & Education
Transcript of Immigration & Education
Did you know?
Impact on Education
What Can Teachers Do?
Teachers should know that every student has a different family situation and background. It is important to be culturally accepting of all students to ensure that your classroom is open to diversity. It is also important to explore and know all of the demographics that make up your classroom. This can include knowing your students' background, cultures, and traditions. Remember to learn about any support resources that may be available at your school or within your community.
Another way to support your diverse students is to get in touch with their past teachers. These teachers may be able to give you insight into what your student needs to ensure that maximum learning for your student is taking place. Translators are another great source for help. If translators are not available, use technology in order to be consistent with parent contact (ie. Google Translator). If the student has older brothers or sisters, they may also assist you.
Remember the importance of using research-based differentiation techniques that will support students of all backgrounds. Do not let language barriers create alienation. The most important thing is to be open to differences and to not let personal bias and stereotypes affect your expectations and thoughts.
Jaclyn Davies, Nicole Garza, Mackenzie Hull, & Starlet Taylor
Nearly 80% of children that are first-generation immigrants from Mexico speak English "well" or "very well." Second generation immigrants continue to speak English better, and most are bilingual. Third generation immigrants, as a whole group, begin to speak English only (Grantmakers).
Laws of the Past
Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996
Calls for mandatory deportation of illegal immigrants, can prevent residency status for any person that does not provide true identification or false information on immigration forms, and calls for required incarcerations for crimes of illegal immigrants.
The United States currently uses the INA (the Immigration and Naturalization Act) . The INA provides an annual worldwide limit of 675,000 permanent immigrants. Our Congress and President can decide on a separate number of refugees to come into the country, as well.
In Process Laws
Recently, President Obama initiated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This initiative states that the government would not deport certain immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. They would request temporary relief called “deferred action.” Listed below is a link that will give you more information about this act.
Effect on Children & Education
Children who are immigrants may have trouble adjusting to their new environment at school. This includes making new friends and being social in class. Another way it effects education is the amount of immigrants who leave and/or come during the school year. It makes it extremely hard for this group of students to learn because they are already at a disadvantaged.
Many schools in recent years have found that they are unable to meet the needs of the immigrant children that are enrolled (Cortez, 2007). Large populations of immigrant students are found in urban areas. Many teachers and administrators are reported to be lacking skills that are needed to best help immigrant students be successful (Cortez, 2007).
Almost half of limited English proficient adults have nine or less years of education. 64% of LEP adults did not achieve a high school education (Grantmakers). This lack of education on the part of parents or other important adults in the lives of students may make certain aspects of education more difficult. One example of this is helping children with their school work. The more advanced schoolwork becomes, it may potentially cause issues with assistance and guidance at home.
Immigration positively impacts the classroom because of the diversity different students bring to schools and individual classrooms. The experiences that students of different ethnicities and backgrounds bring to their classrooms are invaluable for the students. It allows students to learn about other cultures, learn lessons of acceptance, and draw connections between ideas and people that may seem different on the surface.
There have been a huge number of studies discovering the adaptation of immigrant children in the classroom. According to Suarez-Orozco, "immigrant children today fit a tri-model pattern of school adaptation: some immigrant children do quite well in school, surpassing U.S.-born children in grades, standardized test scores, and attitudes toward education; other immigrant children tend to overlap with U.S.- born children, and yet others tend to achieve below their U.S.-born peers." Statistics suggest that there is a pattern among immigrants today, length of residence in the U.S. is closely related with declining health, school achievement, and aspirations.
Immigration Act of 1990
4 Family-sponsored preferences for US visas:
- Unmarried children of US citizens
- Spouses, children, and unmarried children of permanent residents
- Married children of citizens
- Siblings of citizens
5 Employment-based preferences for US visas:
- People of exceptional ability, such as professors and researchers
- Workers with advanced academic degrees
- Skilled workers
- Special immigrants, such as ministers
- Employment-generating immigrants
Legal Information Center. (Sept 2008). United States Immigration Laws. http://public.getlegal.com/legal-info-center/united-states-immigration-laws
An Interview with an Immigrant Student
This interview was conducted by group member Nicole Garza, who is bilingual and has translated the student's responses for this project.
Background Notes, provided by Nicole:
The student is a 9 year old boy who has just arrived to the United States for the very first time in his life. He has arrived from Jalisco, Mexico. He speaks very little to no English, and understands very little English as well. His father is fluent in English, and his mother is not. His father has been in America for about 3 years working. It took approximately 3 years for his father to be able to get his son (the interviewee) and his wife a visa. Since my interviewee and his mother had knowledge about their relocation to America, they began to prepare for their new lifestyle. The student took English classes, which is very rare, because most immigrant families do not do this. Still, like I mentioned above, he knows very little to no English.
How do you feel about moving to your new school?
It is fine, but I can't really talk to the students (other).
Observations: Student does not play with other students who can not speak Spanish, due to their language barrier, however, he does speak to the other students who can speak his native language (Spanish).
Do you miss your old school and home?
Yes, but it is okay here. It is just hard to make friends.
Why do you say it is hard to make friends?
They're (other students) are just different.
Observation: Student is still adjusting to his transition to a new country.
Why did your family move to America?
My dad moved to work for us (his family).
Does your family plan on staying in America, or do you think you guys will move back?
I don't know, only if my dad has work. If he does not, we will move back with my grandma.
Interview, Part II
Does your dad help you with your school work?
Yes. Only my dad, my mom doesn't understand.
(The mother can not speak, write, or read English)
How does your dad help you?
He reads to me and helps me with all my work.
Do you speak English at home?
How do you study English?
I read all the time with my dad. He helps me with all my work. Sometimes I practice English on the computer.
Do you want to learn English?
Why do you want to learn English?
So I can learn more at school. I want to make more friends.
Interview, Part III
Does your mom want to learn how to speak English?
I don't think so. She only watches Spanish T.V.
Do you have family here in America?
No. All my family is in Mexico.
Does your family have friends here?
Who are your friends? How do you know them?
My dad works with them.
Do you want to stay here in America?
I like it, things
are better here. Some things we have here, we do not have at my other school
(his school in Mexico).
This interview shows that immigrant families have difficulty adjusting. They are sometimes unsure, and their stays are sometimes temporary. They are temporary, based on the availability of work most times. They have extended families, because most of their family still lives in their native countries. They are optimistic, but nothing is certain.
Studies Show ...
Spouses of U.S. citizens
Unmarried minor children
Parents of U.S. citizens
These are no limits on visas for immediate family members, however they must meet the above requirements. Children must be 21 or younger.
This includes both temporary visas and permanent immigration.
Refugees & Asylees
Refugees apply for admission to the United States from another country. The President determines the amount for admissions. For example, in 2010 President Obama allowed up to 80,000 refugees.
Asylees must petition within their first year in the U.S.
Both refugees and Asylees can live permanently and become LPRs (Lawful Permanent Residents).
Other Forms of Relief
Temporary Protected Status
Deferred Enforced Departure
The Diversity Visa Lottery
United States Citizenship
How the United States Immigration System Works: A Fact Sheet (2010). http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/how-united-states-immigration-system-works-fact-sheet
Cortez, J. (2007). Intercultural Development Research Association. Educating America’s Immigrant Children. http://www.idra.org/IDRA_Newsletter/November_-_December_2007_Enlightened_Public_Policy/Educating_America%E2%80%99s_Immigrant_Children/
Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees. Education. http://www.gcir.org/immigration/facts/education
Marcelo Suárez-Orozco. Globalization, Immigration, and Education: The Research Agenda.