Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Adult Education is a vital partner in immigrant integration

FYI - the link to call your senator doesn't work, but here's the info you need:
Barbara Boxer 
(202) 224-3553
Contact: www.boxer.senate.gov/en/contact/

Dianne Feinstein

(202) 224-3841
Contact: www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me

From the National Coalition for Literacy's Advocacy Team:

The Senate is currently considering The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744), which provides a path to citizenship for currently undocumented immigrants. The underlying bill requires applicants who wish to adjust from a newly-created Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status to demonstrate that they have learned English or are “satisfactorily pursuing a course of study...to achieve an understanding of English and knowledge and understanding of the history and Government of the United States.” S.744 was developed through extensive bipartisan negotiations by the “Gang of Eight” in the Senate.

This week, Sen. Rubio (R-FL) introduced an amendment that would eliminate the option of showing a good-faith effort by enrolling in a course of study and would require full proficiency before immigrants could begin their path to citizenship.The National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) opposes this amendment, which would delay the path to citizenship for immigrants and which fails to allow for additional resources to the adult education/English language services necessary to assist immigrants in complying with these requirements.
Please call your Senator TODAY (Click HERE for the phone number).  Tell them:

Vote NO on the Rubio amendment to S.744. This proposed amendment contains no additional resources for adult education/English language services, but increases the stringency of the language requirements, intensifying the urgency for these types of services to help immigrants gain proficiency quickly. According to a recent analysis from the Migration Policy Institute, 70 percent of undocumented immigrants are not yet proficient in English.
Without the additional resources needed by the existing adult education system, immigrants will not be able to fulfill their English language requirements. At present, adult education and English language services in the U.S. suffer from extremely limited capacity. Current funding for FY13 is only $560 million and the latest data show that the program serves only 1.8 million adult learners (730,000 in English language services)—about 6 percent of the population that could benefit from these services. These programs also have waitlists in 49 states, with some potential students waiting longer than one year for space in the classroom.
Adult Education is a vital partner in immigrant integration. Adult education offers the classrooms, delivery systems, and time‐tested curriculum to help adults learn English and literacy skills that will help them integrate into society. Immigration reform should assist these immigrants in getting appropriate and quality services, building a key role for the adult education system.

Thank you!  NCL's Advocacy Team

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