Immigrant Services

Research and up-to-date information on topics relevant to immigrant service providers.

Woman on bluetooth working on computer (“The Ultimate Bluetooth Help Guide” © 2008 by

Access & Use of Technology

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

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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!

“Citibank Chinatown” © 2005 by Uris

Access & Use of Financial Services

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


Notario Fraud

It would surprise many immigrants to learn that a “notary public,” or a “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 as well as current and future demands for affordable legal representation for non-citizens. Successful methods have been identified for combatting notario fraud, including public education, legal sector training, and regulatory action. Go to microsite


Driver's Licenses 

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