“In my second career as an educator in an urban, highly diverse public high school, I encountered students and parents from around the world and from every socio-economic status on a daily basis. Some of my students were undocumented immigrants. In sixteen years of teaching, I developed a more nuanced understanding of the immigrant predicament, an appreciation for their struggles to be Americans and a clearer view of our broken immigration system.” — Mary Brandt, former teacher
“The interaction of disparate cultures, the vehemence of the ideals that led the immigrants here, the opportunity offered by a new life, all gave America a flavor and a character that make it as unmistakable and as remarkable to people today as it was to Alexis de Tocqueville,” Sen. John F. Kennedy wrote in 1958. With greater levels of diversity than ever, America is building on that history as it also nears President Ronald Reagan’s 1989 vision of a Shining City on a Hill, “teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace.” With the opportunities that arise from the contributions of aspiring Americans come 21st century challenges facing our public and private institutions.
Whether they are school systems engaging immigrant parents, local governments sparking immigrant entrepreneurship, or education institutions providing training and facilitating accreditation, our national interest is bound up in the unrealized capital of new Americans. Public-private policies, programs and partnerships that unleash this capital will serve our national interests for generations to come.
Read our latest paper, “Opportunities in the Hands of New Americans Striving for the American Dream.”