Discussion Papers


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by Ed Kissam
A review of the evidence for undercount of Mexican immigrant-headed households in past censuses (more than 6 times the most-commonly reported Census Bureau estimate of Hispanic undercount). Published in The Statistical Journal of the IAOS (the International Association for Official Statistics), 33 (2017) 797–816, the paper discusses the causes of undercount, and suggests approaches to address this chronic problem in Census 2020 (pdf, 20 pages) August 29, 2017

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The accuracy of census-derived data is crucial for allocation of almost $600 billion per year in federal funding for health, education, nutrition, and community development programs as well as for political reapportionment(note there was a typo in the publication – it’s billion, not ‘million’). Yet the decennial census has a chronic problem in accurately enumerating low-income minority and immigrant households. This paper shows that the undercount of Mexican immigrant-headed households is six times higher than the Census Bureau’s 2010 estimate for undercount of “Hispanics”). The analysis shows that historically one-third to one-half of undercount in this population is due to families living in low-visibility “unusual” housing accommodations not in the Census Bureau’s Master Address File. The paper also looks at other factors affecting undercount and suggests strategies for Census 2020.


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by Ed Kissam
A summary review of the causes of Census undercount and strategies to address the issue. (pdf, 14 pages) August 1, 2017

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This paper describes an innovative strategy for California to improve the systematic undercount of minority and immigrant households. This is a crucial social justice issue—because census undercount attenuates minorities’ political voice and decreases support for programs where funding is driven by census data. A statewide investment of about $2 million to support local government (cities and counties) in partnering local with community-based organizations to identify low-visibility, "unusual" housing accommodations where low-income families live and adding them to to the Census Bureau’s Master Address File as part of the 2018 national process of Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) would result in more than a $1 billion increase in federal support for health, education, housing, and job training programs for Californians during the decade from 2021-2030. The paper was prepared to build funders', local governments', community organizations’ awareness of the minority undercount problem and the importance of taking a bold step forward in 2017-2018 toward overcoming it.


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by Ed Kissam
A Summary Review of Research Relevant to Housing Units Missing from the Census Bureau’s Master Address File (MAF), written and disseminated to inform stakeholders in Census 2020. (pdf, 15 pages) October 3, 2016

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This summary review of research on differential undercount in the decennial census focuses on a specific cause of undercount—the undercount that results when the place where individuals or a family live has not been identified and included in the Census Bureau’s Master Address File (MAF), its list of census addresses.


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by Ed Kissam
This paper describes a more cost-effective and flexible way to balance the needs of both agricultural employers and current U.S. farmworkers and, at the same time, decrease abuses of newly-admitted foreign workers. It advocates a new immigration program to replace H-2A and H-2B. (pdf, 18 pages) September 6, 2016

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This short paper describes a new immigration program – the North American Agricultural Worker Visa (NAAV) program to replace the antiquated provisions of the H-2A and H-2B guestworker programs. H=2A and H-2B would be combined into a program allowing capped annual admissions of foreign-born workers. Our analysis and proposed policy approach takes into account the impact a CIR-based legalization program would have on the agricultural labor market—on agricultural employers, current agricultural workers, and newly-admitted workers from Mexico and Central America. This paper builds on an earlier analysis by David Runsten in February 2013, also posted on this site.


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by Ed Kissam
This paper is a companion piece to the strategy paper. It details the analysis of level of impact for Ca. from Census-driven funding achieved through improving Census master address files (MAF). (pdf, 14 pages) October 10, 2016

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The paper presents a bird’s-eye view of the most obvious and direct financial benefits to California and Californians from MAF improvement. The level of impact on Census-driven funding is analyzed in terms of 2 models – one which focuses on population characteristics and the other which focuses on housing characteristics. The specific research and findings from earlier Census undercount studies are reviewed in terms of what they imply for the value of the proposed effort.


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by Ed Kissam
This paper presents a strategy to improve the 2020 California Census by reducing undercount among California’s poor and immigrant residents. (pdf, 12 pages) September 2, 2016

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An accurate decennial census is of critical importance to California, to assure fair political representation and equitable receipt of federal funds. Very large amounts of federal funding, more than $550 billion each year, are now distributed using formulas driven by census data. With 12% of the U.S. population, California’s "fair share" of federal census-driven funding is at least $66 billion per year currently and should increase to about $83 billion in 2021. This paper presents two models for improving the Master Address File the Census uses as the basis for the count through the Census LUCA process.


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by Ed Kissam
A PowerPoint presentation in a webinar for Farmworker Justice, 26 May 2016, “Farmworker Housing: Implications for Health Providers”. (pdf, 18 pgs.) May 2016

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This presentation includes both slides and bibliography on the ways in which housing factors interact with work and social environment to have cascading effects on health.


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by Ed Kissam
A summary document submitted to OMB regarding the Participant Data and Reporting Formats. Comments identify specific shortcomings for making use of the data collected and reporting provided to track and improve services to priority participant subgroups receiving workforce development and skills training. (pdf. 16 pgs) May 2016

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Having tracked federal employment training policy, adult education, and vocational rehabilitation research and program evaluation for several decades, the comments reflect deep concern about the national workforce skills development system’s very limited success in effectively responding to the workforce skills development needs of the more than 5 million work-authorized WIOA-eligible immigrant workers in the U.S. labor market who are limited in English and who have only an elementary-level or less than a high school education. Proposes specific changes to the reporting format and variables to enable adequate monitoring, program improvement and impact analysis. These comments were submitted to OMB, 23May2016.


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by Ed Kissam and JoAnn Intili
A position paper arguing for a ‘full scope’ implementation model to launch DACA and DAPA applicants through and beyond the process to fulfill its promise for them, their families, and their communities. (pdf, 12pgs) April 2016

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This paper starts from an optimistic presumption that the US Supreme Court will allow DACA and DAPA to proceed. Moving on from this, while we argue that continued assistance for application is required, our assessment is that it will be crucial in the course of planning for DAPA, as well as in any subsequent legalization program, to design an application assistance network which will also take advantage of this unique opportunity to launch applicants into a rapid and rewarding process of economic and civic integration. Providing “enhanced” DAPA application assistance, i.e. information, counseling, and advice about securing the full benefits of lawful presence and work authorization once an application is approved, is feasible—but only if legal service providers and immigrant advocacy acknowledge that they cannot go it alone and commit themselves to developing broad and diverse organizational partnerships to move forward.


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by Ed Kissam
A PowerPoint presentation highlighting the potential impact of DAPA and DACA, if the Supreme Court allows them to continue, for farmworkers, the agricultural workforce in general, the rural communities in which they live, and employers; and what employers need to do to leverage that impact. Presented at UC Davis Water, Labor and Immigration Conference, 15 April 2016 (pdf 20 slides) April 2016

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Information presented utilizes data from MPI, NAWs, and the Center for Migration Studies to estimate the size and nature of the impact of the DAPA and DACA Presidential initiatives on the farm labor workforce. The presentation goes onto discuss what will be required from employers to leverage the desired engagement with DAPA and DACA and ensuing benefits for the workers themselves and the communities in which they live.


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by Ed Kissam
A brief describing concretely the costs and benefits of applying for DACA authorization. Designed as part of a marketing packet and discussion (pdf 10pgs) February 2016

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The information presented aims to provide a concrete estimate of the benefits that a “typical” DACA applicants will get from applying and the “typical” costs. The paper is meant to be a tool for the applicant, him or herself, for thinking about their own individual situation and whether it’s worthwhile for you to apply. It’s always worthwhile to at least take the time to find out what the economic benefits and costs are—and this aims to inform a potential applicant about the payoff from their investment.


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by David Runsten, Policy Director, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Richard Mines, Ph.D., and Sandra Nichols, Ph.D
February 2013

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This is a draft position paper discussing strategies for meeting the need for manually-skilled immigrants. It reviews the adequacy of existing and envisioned guestworker programs and proposes an alternative approach - the North American Visa Program (NAVA). NAVA program elements, requirements and benefits are discussed and contrasted with current proposals included as part of immigration reform and attempts by agricultural producers to stabilize their workforce.


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by Rachel Unruh and Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, National Skills Coalition
January 2015, funded in part by WKFamilyFund.

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The paper briefly discusses what is necessary to realize the economic and social benefits from immigration reform; and the need for policy makers to address the infrastructure and investments necessary to support job-driven training leading to middle-skill credentials - crucial skills which are in short supply in the U.S. (18 pages)
For more information on the National Skills Coalition, click here.


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by Ed Kissam & Jo Ann Intili
Describes the status of the Werner-Kohnstamm Family Fund, as of December 2014.

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Describes the status of the Werner-Kohnstamm Family Fund, as of December 2014 (1 page)


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by Ed Kissam & Jo Ann Intili
Description of a planning tool for crafting effective and efficient delivery strategies for implementing DACA and DAPA assistance.

Click here for a PowerPoint abstract of the tool, and how to use it.

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Description of a planning tool for crafting effective and efficient delivery strategies for implementing DACA and DAPA assistance. The planning tool - the "DAPA/DACA Service Difficulty Index" (D-SDI) –is meant as a contribution to help shift discussion from its current focus on average "cost per case" toward development of a broad menu of service models and business plans where more attention is given to who needs what level of service, and who might be left out if a single "cookie cutter" strategy is adopted.(24 pages), December 29, 2014.


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by Ed Kissam
This is a short report with the number of undocumented farmworkers in in the United States likely to be eligible for deferred action under the DACA and DAPA programs, December 12, 2014.

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This is a short report with the number of undocumented farmworkers in in the United States likely to be eligible for deferred action under the DACA and DAPA programs announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014 as part of his Executive Action to fix our broken immigration system. The report also provides a summary profile of methodology used for the analysis in an appendix. The report also includes an estimate of the state-by-state distribution of the DAPA and DACA eligible farmworkers.


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by Ed Kissam
Powerpoint Presentation to the 2014 Western Forum for Migrant and Community Health; Seattle, Washington, February 26, 2014.

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Presentation of analyses of impacts of the ACA on farmworkers access to affordable health care, based on recent regulatory developments as of February 15, 2014. (22 slides)


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This is the first of three reports on the lives of 12 immigrant households: mostly farmworker, mostly indigenous, families in Fresno County. It is based on 2 years of ethnographic research by CBDIO's field researchers, Anna Garcia and Jorge San Juan,(44 pages) September, 2013.

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This is the first of three reports on the lives of immigrant, mostly farmworker, mostly indigenous, families in Fresno County based on 2 years of ethnographic research by CBDIO's field researchers, Anna Garcia and Jorge San Juan. The report focuses on the ways in which current immigration laws affect families' lives and their prospects after immigration reform. Our hope has been that the finding from the study will deepen and broaden program planners' and policymakers' understanding of the real-world day-to-day lives of rural immigrants. Accompanying the report are Ed's comments on our rationale for supporting this research and several key implications. There is also a link to the Univision coverage of CBDIO's community meeting/press release.


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by Ed Kissam
These are Ed Kissam's comments on our rationale for supporting this research and several key implications for current policy delivered at a community meeting/press release, September, 2013, at Sierra Vista Clinic, Fresno California . On the panel also were Rick Mines and Hugo Morales. Also please see the link to the Univision coverage of CBDIO's community meeting/press release.

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This is the first of three reports on the lives of immigrant, mostly farmworker, mostly indigenous, families in Fresno County based on 2 years of ethnographic research by CBDIO's field researchers, Anna Garcia and Jorge San Juan. The report focuses on the ways in which current immigration laws affect families' lives and their prospects after immigration reform. Our hope has been that the finding from the study will deepen and broaden program planners' and policymakers' understanding of the real-world day-to-day lives of rural immigrants. Accompanying the report are Ed's comments on our rationale for supporting this research and several key implications.


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COMING
SOON
by Ed Kissam
Presentation by Ed Kissam to the 2013 Migrant Education National Forum of Migrant Recruiters, October 2013. PowerPoint

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This is a PowerPoint presentation by Ed to the 2013 Migrant Education national forum of migrant recruiters held in Tampa, FL Oct. 1-3, 2013. The presentation examines why Migrant Education programs should get involved in helping potential DACA applicants qualify and why the program is an excellent launching pad for migrant students' continuing education and career advancement. It includes summary information on the Central Valley DACA Collaborative's work and insights re "best practices".


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by Ed Kissam
Preliminary technical notes presented to Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) to stimulate discussion of funding strategies, at a meeting in October, 2013.

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Not all immigrants will need assistance to legalize if immigration reform legislation is passed and implemented. However some sub-populations immigrants will need more assistance. This is a short technical note on a proposal to take service difficulty into account in allocating funding cost-effectively, given the daunting challenge of helping about 2.9 million currently undocumented immigrants in California achieve legal status.


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by Ed Kissam and JoAnn Intili, June 2, 2013

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This paper reviews the current situation of DREAMers pursuing health-related careers and discusses strategic approaches to assure that the benefits of positive changes in federal immigration policy accrue not simply to individuals, but also to communities and the fabric of American society at large. 6 pages.


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by Rick Mines and Ed Kissam, February 22, 2013
In English and Spanish on the New America Media website

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This commentary on the push by agribusiness to have Congress include a guest worker program as part of any comprehensive immigration reform bill, is based on analyses of 20 years of national survey data which provides the best empirical basis for understanding the extent to which farmworkers legalized in 1986 under IRCA remained in or left agriculture and, thus, for assessing the impact of current immigration reform on agriculture. 3 pages.


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by Edward Kissam
Published online in Proceedings of the Conference on Survey Methods for Hard-to-Reach Populations, American Statistical Association, December 2012

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This study of 2010 decennial census efforts to accurately enumerate rural immigrants is relevant to planning for a broad spectrum of social programs –because the American Community Survey (ACS), the source of detailed demographic and socioeconomic data on population and housing, relies on core survey methodology, management, and operational procedures similar to those utilized in the decennial census. This paper reports the results of a study of rural undercount in hard-to-enumerate census tracts in 10 California counties. 13 pages.


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by Ed Kissam, June 2012

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The federal government, recognizing language access as an important facet of civil rights, recently outlined its expectations of agencies receiving federal funds in a webinar co-hosted by the Migration Policy Institute and the U.S. Department of Justice (May 8, 2012).

Based on consultation with leading researchers and practicioners, this paper proposes a practical approach to develop and demonstrate "best practices" to achieve this objective in rural communities–a pilot project to prepare young Mexican and Guatemalan indigenous immigrants to move into careers as interpreters and translators. 7 pages.


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by Edward Kissam, 2012

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Making Good on the Promise: There are more than 300,000 out-of-school immigrant youth and young adults who are potentially eligible for DACA (President Obama's program of immigration relief for unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children). This paper explores the problems they face in accessing the adult learning classes they need to enroll in so as to qualify and argues that it will be strategically important to work community-wide, particularly in rural areas with concentrations of farmworkers, to build adult education service capacity which contracted by more than 50% during the 2008-2011 recession. 14 pages.

See also the commentary published in EdSource : Transforming 'deferred action' for young immigrants into true opportunities: http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/transforming-deferred-action-for-young-immigrants-into-true-opportunities/26694#.UcCLStfn85s


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by Edward Kissam and David Griffith, August 1, 2006
Aguirre Division, JBS International 555 Airport Blvd. - Suite 400, Burlingame, CA 94010

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The "New Pluralism" project, initiated in 2001 immediately after the traumatic events of 9/11, looked at the ways immigration is transforming rural communities throughout the United States. This summary report describes what immigrants' experiences settling in the U.S. have been and how communities have responded to the challenges of social, cultural, and civic transformation. This multi-year research in 6 communities across the US contributes to overall understanding of rural community development, immigrant integration policy and highlights effective practices. 22 pages.