The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute, a university research center born of the digital age has produced the USC Media Curator, an online publishing platform designed to bring together innovative research from across the University of Southern California and beyond. TRPI has used the USC Media Curator to publish content on a variety of topic areas.
Research and up-to-date information on topics relevant to immigrant service providers.
Ten states including California, plus the District of Columbia, have passed legislation to grant driving privileges to undocumented immigrants. This digital publication serves as a repository of knowledge for California and other states in the implementation process. The publication focuses on similarities and differences between legislation and how they fit within the confines of federal law, particularly the REAL ID Act. From an examination of past efforts and the vast numbers of those eligible through California’s law, it is clear that a successful campaign to implement a driver’s license law will require a concerted and coordinated effort. Go to microsite
It would surprise many immigrants to learn that a “notary public” or “notario publico” performs a completely different role in the United States than in their country of origin. This linguistic ambiguity has created an opportunity for unqualified individuals to victimize immigrants who need legal services. The negative effects of notario fraud can range from loss of funds, to worst-case scenarios in which clients unnecessarily face deportation. This digital publication gives an overview of the history of the problem and estimates of the demand for affordable legal representation for non-citizens. Methods have been identified for combatting notario fraud, including public education, legal sector training, and regulatory action. Go to microsite
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can play a significant role in determining an individual’s civic, academic, and professional success, and each of those outcomes can contribute to successful naturalization. This digital publication examines disparities in access and use of technology among the foreign-born population. Recent studies show a narrowing of the digital divide between native and foreign-born populations as a whole, but also show considerable differences in levels of access across foreign-born groups. For example, noncitizen immigrants tend to have lower rates of access when compared to naturalized citizens. Go to microsite
Linked with economic prosperity, access to financial services plays an important role in an immigrant’s ability to integrate into American society. Furthermore, existing research suggests that lack of access to financial services can impede naturalization for immigrants. This digital publication examines the broader issue of how underserved communities participate in mainstream financial processes, policy implications of increasing access for immigrants, structural and cultural barriers to access, and potential solutions to assist immigrant communities in moving past these barriers. Go to microsite
Language & Civics Instruction
Language and civics instruction play an integral role in successful naturalization and many candidates require additional civics and language knowledge prior to taking the citizenship exam. This digital publication reviews the current landscape of service provision, including estimates of demand for language and civics instruction, models for state provider systems, and cost of providing services. Through a review of research, innovative methods are identified in (1) pedagogy and practice— instructional philosophies and (2) the use of technology to increase the level of student and classroom engagement. Updated site coming soon!
Latinos & the Criminal Justice System
The following digital publications, were supported by Californians for Safety and Justice, a nonprofit working with Californians from all walks of life to replace prison and justice system waste with common sense solutions that create safe neighborhoods and save public dollars.
Latinos—and particularly young Latinos—face disproportionate risks of experiencing violent crime. Latinos under 30 are almost three times as likely to be homicide victims as white people the same age. Latinos are more likely than average to be threatened or attacked with a gun. And when Latinos report crimes, the report is less likely to lead to an arrest. This digital publication summarizes research about Latinos as victims of crime in California and nationwide, examining victimization rates and treatment of Latino victims by the criminal justice system. Go to microsite
Do racial and ethnic minorities receive the same treatment as whites in the criminal justice system? Researchers have attempted to identify and measure such disparities for more than half a century, and the research findings have in turn prompted policy debates that remain contentious and unresolved to this day. This digital publication analyzes research and data to provide a comprehensive review of the racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system, examining key findings on disparities in pretrial detainment, sentencing, and recidivism. Go to microsite
In public opinion surveys Latinos display varied opinions on criminal justice issues, including paradoxes specific to their experiences with the justice system. They feel aggrieved about perceived mistreatment, but also seek protection from the criminal justice system. Hispanics hold police responsible for controlling crime in their neighborhoods but at the same time regard law enforcement with a degree of suspicion. This digital publication explores the paradoxes inherent in Latino attitudes on crime and the criminal justice system, by examining a variety of public opinion surveys and research publications. Go to microsite
The following digital publications were curated by the U.S.-Mexico Network of the University of Southern California. The network’s Imagining 2024 project is designed to provide readers a quick overview of key issues in US-Mexico relations – the background of the issue, its current state, where we ought to be by 2024, and how to get there.
Sharing a 1,951-mile border that is crossed by 350 million people each year, and connected in their struggle for homeland security, Mexico and the United States are inextricably linked in their efforts to address public health issues. This project curates essays and other resources that examine the cooperation in public health and the exchange of health services that have occurred between the United States and Mexico in recent years, exploring whether or not both countries will eventually achieve expected levels of integration in terms of health policy. Go to microsite
In a bilateral relationship characterized by dozens of issues that merit policy attention, energy stands out. In the United States and Mexico, energy issues were the subject of a host of policy proposals and debates during the 2012 presidential elections. This digital publication curates essays and other resources that specifically examine the impacts and opportunities of two particular energy issues—the development of unconventional energy resources and cross border electronic connections. Go to microsite
Tied together by both an accident of geographic proximity and through the deliberate integration institutionalized in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the United States and Mexico are economic allies. The U.S.-Mexico economic partnership has the potential to play a key role in strengthening the competiveness of regional exports to the rest of the world, which would accelerate the pace of the U.S. recovery and reduce its current account deficit. This digital publication curates essays and other resources that examine the unique nature of U.S.-Mexico trade and the potential of economic cooperation between the two countries. Go to microsite
Other topics related to demographic diversity
Too frequently, the media and politicians cast Mexican immigrants as a threat to American society. Given America’s increasing ethnic diversity and the large size of the Mexican-origin population, an investigation of how Mexican immigrants and their descendants achieve upward mobility and enter the middle class is long overdue. Inspired by Jody Aguis Vallejo’s Barrios to Burbs: The Making of the Mexican American Middle Class (Stanford University Press), this digital publication brings together resources that examine the Mexican-American experience, the pathways that result in upward social mobility and the experiences of Mexican Americans once they join the middle class. Go to microsite
With the largest population of Latinos and Latinas in the nation—from undocumented to descendants of the first Mexican settlers—California is fast becoming a Latinized state. Addressing Latino Outcomes at California’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions, a joint digital publication of USC’s Center for Urban Education and Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, makes clear that it is in the best interest of all Californians that more Latinos earn a bachelor’s degree, that more of those who meet the admissions requirements for the University of California actually enroll, and that a larger share of the thousands of Latinos in community colleges transfer to four-year colleges. Go to microsite