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Immigrants and Refugees

For information specifically about unaccompanied immigrant children who have recently crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, see Educational Services for Immigrant Children and Those Recently Arrived to the United States and Unaccompanied Immigrant Children: Education and Homelessness below.

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NCHE Resources

Immigrant and Homeless: Information for Local Liaisons
This brief, part of NCHE's Best Practices in Homeless Education series, explains the challenges many immigrant and refugee families encounter in adjusting to life in the United States, including integrating into the U.S. public school system. Methods for determining homelessness among immigrant and refugee families and strategies for supporting the integration of immigrant and refugee children into the U.S. schools are discussed. Information presented is geared towards assisting local homeless education liaisons in serving immigrant and refugee students experiencing homelessness.
Download Immigrant and Homeless: Information for Local Liaisons.

Immigrant and Homeless: Information for School District Title III Programs and Community Agencies
This brief, part of NCHE's Best Practices in Homeless Education series, explains the challenges many immigrant and refugee families encounter in adjusting to life in the United States, including integrating into the U.S. public school system. Methods for determining homelessness among immigrant and refugee families and strategies for supporting the integration of immigrant and refugee children into the U.S. schools are discussed. Information presented is geared towards assisting Title III programs and community agencies in serving immigrant and refugee students experiencing homelessness.
Download Immigrant and Homeless: Information for School District Title III Programs and Community Agencies.


Other Resources

Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS)
BRYCS is the Office of Refugee Resettlement's national technical assistance provider on refugee child welfare. BRYCS assists service providers from refugee resettlement agencies; mainstream service agencies, such as child welfare and schools; and ethnic community based organizations. The following list includes a sampling of BRYCS' resources that are particularly useful for schools.
Visit the BRYCS website.
Download Growing Up in a New Country: A Positive Youth Development Toolkit for Working with Refugees and Immigrants.
Visit Involving Refugee Parents in their Children's Education.
Visit Multilingual School-Related Resources for Refugee Families.
Download Refugee Child Welfare: Guidance for Schools.
Download Refugee Children in U.S. Schools: A Toolkit for Teachers and School Personnel.

Children in Immigrant Families - The U.S. and 50 States: National Origins, Language, and Early Education
This webpage from the Foundation for Child Development discusses the demographics and experience of immigrant children in the United States and explains how young children in immigrant families would benefit from quality early education programs to further their integration into American society.
Visit Children in Immigrant Families - The U.S. and 50 States: National Origins, Language, and Early Education.

Educational Services for Immigrant Children and Those Recently Arrived to the United States
In response to inquiries regarding educational services for unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America who have recently crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, this U.S. Department of Education fact sheet provides information to help education leaders better understand the responsibilities of states and local educational agencies (LEAs) in connection with such students, and the existing resources available to help educate all immigrant students, including children who recently arrived in the United States.
Visit the Educational Services for Immigrant Children and Those Recently Arrived to the United States webpage.

Immigrant Services Directory: A National Guide of Service Providers
This directory from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) includes over 400 organizations providing a variety of legal services to immigrants across all fifty states. The guide is organized geographically, followed by an alphabetical index of organizations by name. Information about each organization is displayed in a standard one-page format with various fields indicating the services provided, the area and detention facilities served, non-English language services available, and other relevant information.
Download Immigrant Services Directory: A National Guide of Service Providers.

Immigration and Schools: Supporting Success for Undocumented Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
Attending school and securing lawful status in the United States are two keys to safety and security for undocumented unaccompanied homeless youth. This publication, co-authored by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) and Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), is designed for young people, immigration attorneys and advocates, McKinney-Vento liaisons, and other educators. It provides information about federal laws that provide the means for undocumented unaccompanied youth who are homeless to attend school and address their immigration status.
Download Immigration and Schools: Supporting Success for Undocumented Unaccompanied Homeless Youth.

Opening the Door to the American Dream: Increasing Higher Education Access and Success for Immigrants
This report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy highlights the barriers that legal immigrants face as they attempt to enroll in college and complete a degree. Certain barriers have a greater impact on immigrants with the most obvious being limited English proficiency and difficulties integrating into American society. Offering accessible and affordable programs to help immigrants learn English and become familiar with their new country would open the doors to higher education for many immigrants.
Download Opening the Door to the American Dream: Increasing Higher Education Access and Success for Immigrants.

Preparing Staff to Work with Immigrant Youth
This report from the National Collaboration for Youth provides the context of the immigrant youth experience and practical tips for hiring, developing and retaining staff to work with this population. Youth organizations have both an opportunity and a responsibility to encourage and support the healthy development of the growing numbers of immigrant youth. This publication is based on hands-on experience by national and local youth organizations who do this work effectively.
Download Preparing Staff to Work with Immigrant Youth.

Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Students
This U.S. Department of Education guide seeks to help educators support the academic success of undocumented youth, debunk misconceptions by clarifying the legal rights of undocumented students, share helpful information about financial aid options open to undocumented students, and support youth in applying for DACA consideration or renewal. It includes an overview of the rights of undocumented students, tips for educators on how to support undocumented youth in high school and college. key information on non-citizen access to federal financial aid, a list of private scholarships for which undocumented youth might be eligible, information on federally-funded adult education programs at the local level, and guidance for migrant students in accessing their education records for DACA (Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals).
Download Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Students.

Tool Kits for Working with Immigrant Families
These toolkits, from American Humane, provide social workers and other service providers with tips specific to working with immigrant children involved in the U.S. child welfare system.
Visit Tool Kits for Working with Immigrant Families.

Unaccompanied Immigrant Children: Education and Homelessness
This brief and companion flowchart from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) aim to assist McKinney-Vento and other education staff in determining the McKinney-Vento eligibility of unaccompanied immigrant children who may be arriving in their communities and providing these children with appropriate services.
Download the Unaccompanied Immigrant Children: Education and Homelessness brief.
Download the companion Unaccompanied Immigrant Children and the McKinney-Vento Act: Overall Process from Apprehension through Placement flowchart.

Undocumented Immigrant Youth: Guide for Advocates and Service Providers
Undocumented foreign-born children face many of the same issues as their peers; but there are unique challenges to protecting and supporting these young people, including ensuring adequate representation in immigration and justice proceedings. This brief from the National Human Services Assembly provides juvenile justice advocates, immigration advocates, and youth-serving agencies with important background information on the complex issues and risks facing these youth, and best practices for collaborating.
Download Undocumented Immigrant Youth: Guide for Advocates and Service Providers.

U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice: Dear Colleague Letter on Education for Undocumented Students
This May 2014 letter from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice reiterate the federal government's commitment to ensuring that all children and youth are provided with access to a free, appropriate public education, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. The letter provides examples of acceptable and unacceptable enrollment practices for school districts to employ.
Download the USED/USDOJ Dear Colleague letter.
Download the accompanying USED/USDOJ fact sheet.
Download the accompanying USED/USDOJ question and answer document.

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The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. NCHE is housed at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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