The Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy has published an additional four research papers for their “Young Children in Black Immigrant Families” series. In their study of this rapidly growing segment of the black population in the U.S., MPI looks at the demographics, home lives, education level, and health of black immigrant children.
MPI is a Washington, D.C.-based think-tank that looks at immigration trends and policies in the U.S. and the world. Researchers examine where people immigrate to and how they integrate into their work places, communities, and classrooms. Recent reports from MPI have covered the demographic profile of those eligible for in-state tuition under the DREAM act, how immigrants are integrating into American society, the economic value of citizenship in the U.S., and a guide to finding the most accurate data on immigration.
Although there are 1.3 black immigrant families in the U.S., most with parents from Africa and the Carribean, few studies have examined the children in these families.
“This is a very under-researched area,” said Michael Fix, the co-director of the National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy. A multitude of research has been done on black immigrant adolescents, Fix said, but not on young children, whose health and well-being are the focus of these 11 reports.
One of the goals of the series is to both commission new research in the field of black immigrants but also to build a network of researchers who study these trends. Although they were proportionally the fastest growing immigrant population in the U.S. in the last decade, “we don’t know a lot of how they are doing,” said Fix.
MPI was also “interested in distinguishing children of immigrants and children of [African-American] parents,” Fix said. It was important for them to be as inclusive as they could be in the study, which includes black immigrants from Africa as well as the Caribbean.
Core support for the project comes from the Foundation for Child Development, a national, private philanthropy that seeks to understand children, particularly the disadvantaged.
In future studies, MPI “will do more comparative work” like “[looking] at how children of black immigrants fare in other countries, how smooth their integration is,” in countries like Spain and France, Fix said. The institute also plans to compare the black immigrant population with the African-American population in the U.S.
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