IIH in the News

Gonzales to the New York Times: DACA is "the most successful immigration policy in recent decade”

June 18, 2020

(New York Times)

Roberto G. Gonzales, a Harvard professor who has been studying DACA since it went into effect in 2012, calls it “the most successful immigration policy in recent decades.”

Gonzales explains: “Within a year, DACA beneficiaries were already taking giant steps. They found new jobs. They increased their earnings. They acquired driver’s licenses. And they began to build credit through opening bank accounts and...

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Announcing the Immigration Initiative at Harvard

September 18, 2019

New university-wide effort, launched with support from HGSE, aims to spur research, policy, and action on immigration.

"The Immigration Initiative at Harvard (IIH) — a new university-wide effort launched today — will bring together Harvard students, researchers, and policy leaders to advance innovative research about immigration. Led by Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor Roberto Gonzales,...
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Harvard EdCast: Understanding Immigration with Roberto Gonzales

September 18, 2019

Harvards EdCast interviews IIH Director Roberto Gonzales

Harvard Professor Roberto Gonzales thinks we need to better understand its implications and how it affects everyday life — not just for immigrant communities but for the country as a whole. In this episode, Gonzales discusses the immigration crisis in America and his new effort, the Immigration Initiative at Harvard, that connects researchers, policymakers, and immigrant communities...

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Telling the Untold Stories with Ariana Aparicio Aguilar, IIH Staff Member

June 2, 2019

Telling the untold stories: IIH staff member Ariana Aparicio Aguilar spoke with the Harvard Gazette on an event about the experiences of deportees and returnees.

"The panel — people who have researched the topic, worked in the field, or been personally affected — said that the experiences of returning from extended stays in the U.S. vary widely, with some finding fulfilling career and educational opportunities and others struggling to overcome significant cultural differences and even discrimination. They reflected that the experience for both the returnees and the families they left behind is difficult, but it does get easier."

“They could tell that I didn’t grow up there. My accent was different. My mannerisms were different. … I think that was the hardest part, realizing that I was not Mexican enough and not American because I lack this piece of paper.” - Ariana Aparicio Aguilar

Read more at the Harvard Gazette

Roberto Gonzales: Mentors Make the Difference

May 15, 2019

IIH Director Roberto Gonzales spoke with the Harvard Gazette on how high-achieving DACA recipients had help along the way from families and communities

“I found that the difference was, the high achievers could name three or more mentors,” Gonzales said at a community lecture and discussion at the Harvard Ed Portal in Allston. “Mentors who were there for them at crucial times in their lives.”

He encouraged audience members to think about what they can do, directly or indirectly, to help create a supportive environment for undocumented children and adolescents.

“If immigration reform is not going to happen this year, and people have urgent needs, who will it be to meet those needs?” he said. “We [community members] have the opportunity to pitch in.”

Read more at the Harvard Gazette

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Roberto Gonzales: I’m a Researcher. Here’s What Happened When I Traded Activism for Social Science

January 15, 2019

IIH Director Roberto Gonzales writes in Education Week:

"Finding my voice as a public scholar didn't happen overnight"

"I am now at the stage of my career where I am comfortable being a public scholar. I have been very fortunate to find diverse outlets for my work, and my research has provided me an evidence base that is sought after by a varied group of national and local actors—policymakers, community and school leaders, and practitioners. But in my early years in academia I struggled to find my voice as a public scholar."

"Prior to my academic career, I was a youth organizer in an immigrant community in Chicago. In that role, I lived in the neighborhood, and I was embedded in community life. That experience fundamentally shaped my political orientation."

Read more from Roberto Gonzales in Education Week.