Immigrants and Refugees

NCHE Resources

Supporting the Education of Immigrant and Refugee Students Experiencing Homelessness

This NCHE brief 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. Determining homelessness among immigrant families, and strategies for supporting the integration of immigrant students into U.S. schools are discussed. Information presented is geared towards assisting local homeless education liaisons and other school personnel in identifying and serving immigrant students experiencing homelessness.
Download Supporting the Education of Immigrant Students Experiencing Homelessness.

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 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.

Immigrant Services Directory: Public Resource for Intake Referrals

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: Public Resource for Intake Referrals.

Immigration Legal Service Providers Directory

This webpage from the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration provides contact information for free or low-cost legal services for immigrants and refugees in local communities across the United States.
Visit the Immigration Legal Services Providers Directory webpage.

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.

Newcomer Tool Kit

This tool kit from the U.S. Department of Education is designed to help elementary and secondary teachers, principals, and other school staff members support the education of immigrant students. It provides (1) discussion of topics relevant to understanding, supporting, and engaging newcomer students and their families; (2) tools, strategies, and examples of classroom and school wide practices in action, along with chapter-specific professional learning activities for use in staff meetings or professional learning communities; and (3) selected resources for further information and assistance, most of which are available online at no cost.
Download the Newcomer Tool Kit.

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.

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.

U.S. Department of Education/U.S. Department of Justice Dear Colleague Letter on Educating Undocumented Students

This May 2014 letter from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) 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 ED/DOJ Dear Colleague letter.
Download the accompanying ED/DOJ fact sheet.
Download the accompanying ED/DOJ question and answer document.