Immigration

International immigration report finds U.S. can do a better job to help migrants integrate into society

International immigration report finds U.S. can do a better job to help migrants integrate into society

LatinaLista -- The Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) is an annual international effort published by the British Council and the Belgium-based Migration Policy Group that measures how easy or hard it is for immigrants with legal residency to feel a part of an adopted country. This year, the Immigration Policy Center was chosen to be a U.S. partner for the Index.

migrant.jpg

One hundred forty-eight policy indicators are examined separated into seven categories: employment opportunities, family reunion, education, political participation, long-term residence, access to citizenship and anti-discrimination. Participating countries include all 27 European Union member states, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, and for the first time the United States.

The objective of the index is to compare countries to see what immigration policies are working and which are just bad practices.

For a beginner, the USA didn't fare too badly. It ranked in the top ten (#9) among 31 countries.

Overall the U.S. ranked ninth in terms of integration policies, and first in terms of its strong anti-discrimination laws and protections. The U.S. also ranked high on the access to citizenship scale because it encourages newcomers to become citizens in order to fully participate in American public life. Compared with other countries, legal immigrants in the U.S. enjoy employment opportunities, educational opportunities, and the opportunity to reunite with close family members.

However, the researchers did note that far from it being a walk in the park, current U.S. immigration policies have built-in roadblocks that prove a challenge to immigrants from quickly and legally becoming contributing members of US society.

MIPEX also acknowledges that the U.S.'s complex immigration laws, limited visa ability, high fees, and long backlogs may make it challenging for immigrants to integrate into the fabric of American life.

These are some of the very issues that spur illegal immigration and which underscore the fact that current immigration policy needs to be reformed by increasing the amount of visas, making fees affordable and quickly handling immigration requests.

One element that researchers commended the United States was how individual states and cities have created special departments devoted to immigrant integration. Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington state, as well as major cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, all have created departments that accomplish this goal.

From providing resources where English as a Second Language classes are taught to making it clear what is acceptable and legal behavior in the United States to how to become civically involved, these departments are doing more than just distributing welcome packets -- they are grooming the next wave of business leaders, local politicians and concerned citizens.

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Immigration

More in Immigration

2_127_ad3d2940-7dd4-4c78-9b2a-30be10e53278

China, India overtake Mexico as top source of immigrants to the U.S.

Latina ListaMay 22, 2015
JLBPHOTO_Immigration_013

HBO’s Vice takes in-depth look at Alabama after harsh 2011 anti-immigrant bill

Latina ListaApril 24, 2015
imrs

Breaking News: White House says today’s court ruling doesn’t affect current DACA program

Latina ListaFebruary 17, 2015
Eloisa_Mata,_left,_and_Maria_Calixto,_right,_work_on_DACA_cases

New bilingual online platform helps DREAMers and other immigrants navigate, complete and file immigration paperwork

Latina ListaFebruary 10, 2015
2014_US_immigration_presser_plus_0

Deporting parents of US citizen children provides window to shaky national future

Latina ListaJanuary 12, 2015
Immigrants Rally To Thank Obama

Separate polls show Obama’s base approve his Executive Action, leaving critics red

Latina ListaNovember 24, 2014
2014-06-27-ImmigrationreformrallyinLosAngeles_5_1

New Pew report shows decline of undocumented immigration in 14 states, while 7 saw a rise

Latina ListaNovember 18, 2014
facingrace-BALTIMORE-thumb-640xauto-5126

DREAMer activist on path to lead the way in overcoming injustice

Latina ListaNovember 17, 2014
Undocumented-Illegal-Immigrant

New Pew study finds undocumented population no longer growing, but settling in as Americans

Latina ListaSeptember 3, 2014