Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Study on Immigrant Integration Compares and Ranks the United States, Canada, and Europe


A news release from the Immigration Policy Center...I just played with it for a bit and the site is really worth a visit...

New Study on Immigrant Integration Compares and Ranks the United States,
Canada, and Europe 
US Ranked in Top 10 Among 31 Countries 

February 28, 2011

Washington D.C. - In cooperation with the Immigration Policy Center, the British Council and the Migration Policy Group release a new study today which reviews and ranks U.S. immigrant integration policies against other countries. The Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX: www.mipex.eu) contrasts and compares integration policies for legal immigrants across countries in Europe and North America. The United States is ranked ninth among 31 countries. This is the first year the United States has been part of the study, and IPC is pleased to be chosen as the U.S. partner for this important study.

The MIPEX compares and ranks countries across 148 policy indicators, providing objective and comparable data presented in a reference guide and an interactive online tool to help policymakers, advocates and researchers assess and compare integration policies around the globe. The policy indicators are divided into seven categories: employment opportunities, family reunion, education, political participation, long-term residence, access to citizenship and anti-discrimination. Countries include all 27 EU member states, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, and the USA.

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, 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.

MIPEX also highlights the fact that several U.S. states are taking the lead on immigrant integration.  States including Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington state, as well as major cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco have offices dedicated to welcoming newcomers.

"As the United States continues to struggle with its own immigration policies, the MIPEX index offers policymakers and the public a framework for analyzing our best and worst practices on immigrant integration compared to other countries in the world. We have much to learn from other countries as well, but perhaps the greatest lesson that comes from MIPEX is that the very things that distinguish the United States are worth preserving as we move forward into the next decade of the 21st century," said Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center.

"As the UK's international cultural relations organization, the British Council fosters the networks, cooperation and dialogue needed to build trust between people worldwide. We hope the third phase of MIPEX research will encourage dialogue and debate on best practice and enable better future policies," said Sharon Memis, Director of the British Council North America.
  • For more about MIPEX and to access the online tool, visit www.mipex.eu.
MIPEX has been co-financed by the European Community under the European Integration Fund. 

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For more information contact:  
Mary Giovagnoli, Immigration Policy Center, mgiovagnoli@immcouncil.org or 202-507-7511.
 Samantha Yale, British Council, Samantha.yale@britishcouncil.org or 202-588-7838

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), established in 2003, is the policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

About the British Council: The British Council is the United Kingdom's international non-profit organization for cultural relations and education opportunities. Working in over 100 countries, we build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people worldwide. In the US, we cultivate long-term links between the UK and US, re-energizing the strategic transatlantic relationship through the arts, education and young leadership networks. To learn more, please visit www.britishcouncil.org.

About the Migration Policy Group: The Migration Policy Group is an independent non-profit European think-tank committed to contributing to lasting and positive change resulting in open and inclusive societies. To learn more, please visit www.migpolgroup.org.

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