How Policy Changes Affect Local Immigrant Learners
Posted by Jennifer Vecchiarelli on June 26, 2019 in categoryFacts & ResearchcategoryAdvocacy

Immigrants being affected by policy change

It’s time for another article from the new ProLiteracy research journal, Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy. Get up-to-date research and information on adult basic and secondary education, best practices in adult literacy and numeracy, resourceful information for English as a second language education, and more. You can find the full journal here.

In her journal article, Susan Finn Miller covers the impact of recent immigration policies and the impact these policies have on individuals in her local community.

Here is an excerpt from the article. To read the full article, click here.

I’ve met many refugees and immigrants who have been traumatized by violence, poverty, and natural disasters, and yet the enormous stamina and resilience most of them demonstrate is a testament to human potential and strength. I know foreign-trained physicians from Haiti, Cuba, and Iraq who are now providing much needed health care here in the U.S. A brilliant former student from Iran received an award for the highest score on the GED and is now attending college pursuing a career in health care. There are many refugees, for example, from Nepal and Myanmar, who volunteer their time in our public schools because they want to give back. There are untold numbers of hardworking immigrants who have started their own successful businesses.

In our community, we’ve heard of raids in workplaces, and immigrants being deported. We worry that raids might even happen in our classrooms. Learners who had TPS status for many years are concerned about their families being turned upside down if they are forced to leave. How do families who have children who were born here and are U.S. citizens handle such chaotic disruption? What of the rights of natural born citizens? Also heartbreaking are stories we hear from those who dreamed they would one day have the opportunity to be reunited with family members by sponsoring them to come to the U.S. Those dreams have been shattered.

Unfortunately, those making immigration policy are blind to the many powerful ways immigrants contribute to our communities. These new immigration policies, in addition to the overwhelming stress experienced by those with uncertain status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the horrific treatment of families seeking asylum at the border where children, including even infants, have been separated from their parents, are transforming the United States from a country that has long reflected the words etched on our beloved Statue of Liberty to one that cowers in fear and lashes out cruelly to those who are different.

Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy



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