Nearly a quarter of schoolchildren in the United States are immigrants or the children of immigrants. A substantial percentage of these children, especially those from Latin America, are falling behind in school and as a result, face a bleak economic future.
On April 20, The Future of Children, a joint project of Princeton University and the Brookings Institution, hosted an event to release the latest issue of its journal. The issue is devoted entirely to several aspects of the status and well-being of immigrant children. An accompanying policy brief reviews the problem of low educational attainment among immigrant children and proposes a set of policy recommendations that could improve their attainment, including expanding preschool programs, improved English Language Learner instruction, and congressional passage of the DREAM Act to allow undocumented students to attend college.
The event began with an overview of the journal and the policy brief by the editors, Marta Tienda of Princeton and Ron Haskins of Brookings. Following the overview, a panel of experts presented arguments for and against the DREAM ACT and commented on how the educational achievement of immigrant children can be improved.
After the program, the speakers took questions from the audience.