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Buy custom Academic Challenges Facing Children from Immigrant Families essay

Immigration has been, for a while, one of the most crucial aspects of demography with no signs of slowing down any time soon. Immigration raises the question of integrating the newcomers into the American society. Education has been and is a key player in the integration process for children. The question, therefore, is whether or not the American government should provide assistance to the new coming immigrants. To date, little emphasis has been placed to integrate immigrants into immigrant education. What happens to newcomers once they arrive in America has not been looked at. Educational integration is an important precondition for the economic assimilation of immigrants in the host societies. Analyses of international student assessment studies cause concern about the integration of immigrant children in schools. Should the American government find a solution to the academic challenges facing children of newly immigrant families?

Education is a basic human right. It is not just a right but an empowering right. It gives people a voice and a channel to seek other human rights. Education has always been a pathway to social and economic integration for every generation of immigrants and their U.S-born descendants. The United States must dedicate itself to ensure that all students, including those from an immigrant background, have access to a high-quality education that will prepare them for success in today’s knowledge-based economy. Educating immigrants and their children is vital to enable the American society remain strong and prosperous. Immigrant parents often have limited English skills, minimal knowledge of the U.S. education systems, and less access to crucial services. The combination of these factors means that children of immigrants often must overcome multiple barriers to succeed in school.

It should be noted that the nature of immigrants varies because of their backgrounds. Emphatically, educating immigrant children has always been a daunting task for American schools. This is because of the psycho-social and economic differences possessed by the immigrants. This puts pressure on the urgency of addressing this issue. Although there are debates on this issue, most arguments are centered on the definition of who can be most adequately defined as an American and why.

It has been found out that immigrants enjoy little opportunities in the American educational system. Based on the educational performance of immigrants from different regions, it has been discovered that those from Indo-China and a number of African countries have higher rates of success. Those from South America perform less admirably. There are various factors to this discrepancy. Some studies have been carried out to investigate the achievement gaps of immigrants and non-immigrants in the American society in more detail. A study by Chiswick and DebBurman found out that the achievement gaps between migrants and non-migrants vary substantially across the country. He attributed this to the socio-economic background of the immigrants and its in%uFB02uence on achievement. What is the role of the American educational system, how should schooling be organized to further the integration of children with foreign background?

According to a survey by Holt on whether immigrants should be granted citizenship or even allowed to apply for citizenship after living in the U.S. for a number of years, 72% of the members agreed to the proposition of allowing green card applications and granting citizenship to immigrants. Over three-quarters of children of immigrants are born in the United States and have the same rights and access to government services as other citizens (Martinez & Ted 78). However, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, most immigrants (85 percent) live in families with at least one noncitizen parent, and an estimated three million live in households headed by at least one undocumented adult. Immigrant parents often have limited English skills, minimal knowledge of the U.S. education systems, and less access to crucial services. The combination of these factors means that children of immigrants often must overcome multiple barriers to succeed in school.

According to Cunningham and Burt, the government of America is under no circumstances obligated to offer services to immigrants apart from a few “emergency” benefits; and their children can attend public schools with states conferring different benefit. In Kansas, there is tuition breaks in state universities and colleges for new coming immigrants. The fact that the children’s chances of receiving quality education is dependent on the parent’s earning power is not taken into account. According to Hanushek and Luque, twenty-one percent of children in immigrant families live in poverty compared with 14 percent of non-immigrants. About a third of children of immigrants live with at least one parent who has less than a high school education. This fact, combined with limited literacy skills in both English and their first language and limited parental involvement in education, can affect the development of children in immigrant families. The American education system is one of the most important systems of integrating immigrants and their children into the American society. Few other institutions play such an enormous role on the lives of immigrants. Therefore, the government should offer aid in the education of immigrants. This is not primarily for the immigrants themselves but also for the wholesome development of the American society.

U.S. schools have been the most important social institution for absorbing newcomers; few public institutions have been as directly affected by high levels of immigration as the nation’s schools. However, the task of integrating new groups of people into U.S. society has become increasingly challenging. For instance, several states have sued the federal government, alleging inadequate funding as well as challenging its authority to impose certain requirements on local schools. The problem of funding has a negative impact on immigrants.  In addition, there are various groups of people opposing the attempts of integrating immigrants into the American society because of the high cost of funding incurred. The main sources of federal education funding have been the bilingual education and the emergency immigrant education programs. Nowadays, American economy is has been performing poorly and thus attention has been moved to other sectors such as creation of employment rather than education. In fact, the government has reduced the education budget on city colleges and universities. Consequently, the colleges and universities are unable to cater for the increasing number of students especially the immigrants.

Apart from the bias of the education system itself, there is the question of the shifting immigration laws and policies. To address the discrepancy in access to education by the immigrants and the natives and also between the immigrants themselves, a lot needs be done. For one thing, new policies have to be formulated. Policies aimed at reforming the system of education are crucial for the whole American society. Most of the immigrants bid for making ends meet and educating themselves daily. As a consequence, the burden of paying fees and college tuition can be really enormous on them. Therefore, offering mentoring programs and financial counseling to the immigrants and their children is a start; this will surely go a long way in addressing the educational discrepancy. Although there is considerable discussion about Hispanic students being particularly reluctant to incur debt, the evidence is weak; and it is likely that having better information and counseling about student monetary assistance will certainly go a mile towards changing attitudes and making Hispanic students more likely to take out loans. Undocumented immigrants are barred against education and employment opportunities by legal barriers. Doing away with these legal barriers for undocumented immigrants, we should understand that it is rather a political than a conceptual problem.  Similarly, offering adequate funding through a combination of low tuition is as straightforward as it is easy to accomplish.

In conclusion, policies of improving elementary and secondary school experiences of all children are the most important components of a strategy to improve the postsecondary success of immigrant children. There is no doubt that immigrants comprise the majority of this population; therefore, coming up with policies to address this disproportion is imperative. In doing so, we are not only ‘living the American dream' but also contributing to the Nation's well being.  

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