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Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees, Second Edition

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Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees, Second Edition

SKU# 9780826126689

Legal Issues, Clinical Skills, and Advocacy


  • Fernando Chang-Muy JD
  • Elaine Congress DSW
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Praise for the First Edition:

"This book is an optimal tool for instructors and students of graduate classes in social work and related disciplines."

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

"This book is a major contribution to social workers and their clients as it addresses advocacy on behalf of immigrants and refugees during a social, economic, and political period that restricts immigrants' rights and service access."

Dr. Diane Drachman, Associate Professor

University of Connecticut School of Social Work

"This text is a great tool toward raising awareness of the many issues immigrants face, and helping them find solutions."

Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America's Voice

The leading textbook on social work with immigrants and refugees, this is the only book to address the intersection of legal, policy, and advocacy issues, in addition to the clinical skills needed to help these populations. This second edition has been updated to reflect key policy changes at the state and federal levels affecting social work with immigrants and refugees. The authors have expanded their coverage of transnationalism, microaggressions, and public health and community issues, and each chapter features updated case studies on the most critical issues immigrants face today: legal processes, physical and mental health issues, employment difficulties, family conflicts, and more.

Key Features:

  • Completely updated to reflect the latest developments in immigration law and policy
  • Includes updated case studies, discussion questions, and abundant reference material
  • Provides the multidisciplinary perspective of lawyers, social workers, clinicians, administrators, and academics
  • A valuable asset for students and practitioners working in mental health, health care, education, and community settings
  • All-new appendix features sample questions asked at naturalization interviews

Product Details 

  • Publication Date October 08, 2015
  • Page Count 482
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826126689
  • EISBN 9780826126696

About The Author(s) 

Fernando Chang-Muy, JD, is the Thomas O’Boyle Lecturer in Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he teaches refugee law and policy. He also lectures on immigration and social work and on organizational effectiveness at the Graduate School of Social Policy & Practice, Executive Education Program, with a focus on strategic planning, board governance, and resource development.

Drawing on his experience in law, refugee camp administration, and philanthropy, Professor Chang-Muy also provides independent consulting, coaching, and training to government agencies, local and national philanthropic institutions, social service agencies, and cultural organizations. His specific areas of expertise that help to strengthen the effectiveness of organizations include strategic planning, board governance, resource development (with a focus on individual donor campaigns), human resource development, and meeting and process facilitation. Recent clients include the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Aging, and the City of Philadelphia’s Law Department and Health Department.

He has also served as director of the local chapter of Hispanics in Philanthropy, a $50-million nationwide philanthropic collaborative, increasing the net amount of dollars flowing to Latino nonprofits. He is a former program officer at the Philadelphia Foundation and past coordinator of the Emma Lazarus Collaborative, a funding collaborative that, through matching grants from the Open Society Institute, supported nonprofit organizations providing service and advocacy for immigrants and refugees. He has also served as start-up founding director of the Liberty Center for Survivors of Torture, a federally funded project that provides services and advocacy for survivors of torture. He is a former co-chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s International Human Rights Committee, and a former assistant dean and equal opportunity officer of Swarthmore College, where he also taught international human rights.

From 1988 to 1993, he served as legal officer with two UN agencies, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Health Organization (WHO), serving as the human rights officer for its Global Program on AIDS. Before joining the UN, he was a staff attorney at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, where he served as director of the Southeast Asian Refugee Project, managing the provision of free legal aid to low-income people in Philadelphia.

He is a graduate of Loyola (BA), Georgetown (MA), and Antioch (JD) Universities, and of the Harvard Law School’s Negotiation Program. His awards include the 1982–1983 Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship (Reggie), awarded by Congress through Howard University to law school graduates committed to civil rights; the 1990 21st Century Trust Fellowship from the United Kingdom; the 2001 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Social Justice Award from the Rutgers University School of Law; the 2002 Michael Greenberg GALLOP award for leadership, activism, and legal advocacy; the 2007 La Justicia Award from the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania; and the 2007 Delaware Valley’s Most Influential Latinos from El Concilio and the Multicultural Affairs Congress. In July 2008, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter appointed him to the board of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

p>Elaine P. Congress, DSW, is professor and associate dean at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. She is on the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) United Nations team and is a member of the executive committee of the NGO (nongovernmental organization) Committee on the United Nations International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. In addition, she serves as the North American representative on the IFSW’s Permanent Committee on Ethical Issues.

Dr. Congress chairs the Council on Publications for the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). She is a past president of the New York City (NYC) chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and a past member of the national NASW board of directors, where she was appointed and served on the NASW Presidential Diversity Initiative Committee on Immigration. Dr. Congress was co-principal investigator on a New York Community Trust–funded immigrant project that included all the NYC schools of social work as well as the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS).

Dr. Congress has written many publications on cultural diversity and ethics in social work. She is the author/editor of a number of books, including the first edition of Social Work With Immigrants and Refugees, and three editions of Multicultural Perspectives in Working With Families, published by Springer Publishing Company; Social Work Values and Ethics; and two editions of Teaching Social Work Values and Ethics: A Curriculum Resource. She has been the editor of a special issue on cultural diversity for the journal Crisis Intervention and Time-Limited Treatment.

Dr. Congress has authored many journal articles and book chapters on cultural diversity, immigrants, social work ethics, and education. Her recent publications on ethics have focused on comparative ethics in journal articles that compared the NASW Code of Ethics to social work codes in Australia and Korea. Other articles have looked at social work practice with immigrant families in health care settings and group work with immigrant children in urban schools. She has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, Journal of Cultural and Ethnic Diversity in Social Work, Journal of Social Work Education, Families in Society, and Social Work.

Dr. Congress has received numerous awards, including the American Public Health Association (APHA) Insley-Evans Public Health Social Worker of the Year Award; the Leadership Award from the Latino Social Work Task Force; the Social Work Educator of the Year Award from the New York State Social Work Education Association; and the Mental Health Advocacy Award from the Association of Hispanic Mental Health Professionals.

Dr. Congress developed the culturagram, a family assessment tool used to help practitioners individualize clients and families from immigrant backgrounds. This instrument has been used to promote understanding of immigrants in diverse settings. The culturagram grew out of her early career experiences as a direct practitioner, a supervisor, and then administrator in an NYC community mental health clinic, where she worked with Latino immigrants from Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Dr. Congress earned a BA magna cum laude from Brown University, with high honors in American Civilization, where she was named an Elisha Benjamin Andrews scholar. She also has an MAT from Yale University and an MA in psychology from the New School for Social Research. In the social work field, she received an MSSW from Columbia University and a DSW from the City University of New York.

Table of Contents 



Foreword Diane Drachman

Foreword Frank Sharry




1. Introduction: Legal and Social Work Issues With Immigrants

Elaine P. Congress

Current Issues in U.S. Immigration

Reasons for Migration

History of Immigration in the United States

Implications for Social Work Practice and Education

2. Legal Classifications of Immigrants

Fernando Chang-Muy

Entering the United States Temporarily as a Nonimmigrant

Entering or Remaining in the United States Permanently

Exclusion From Entering the United States

Deportation After Entering the United States

U.S. Citizenship

Case Studies


3. Culturally Competent Social Work Practice With Immigrant Populations

Carmen Ortiz Hendricks & Elaine P. Congress

Immigration Patterns in the United States

Defining Culturally Competent Social Work Practice

Cultural Competency in Agency Practice

Recommendations for Successful CCSWP With Immigrant Populations

Case Studies

4. Theory and Social Work Practice With Immigrant Populations

Betty Garcia

The Role of Theory and Concepts in Guiding Practice

Conceptual and Theoretical Resources for Practice With Immigrant Populations

Empowerment Theory

Cultural Competence

Strength-Based Practice

Ecosystems Theory

Family Systems Theory

Oppression Concepts

Practitioner Self-Awareness


Case Studies

5. Social Work and Physical Health Issues of Immigrants

Sarah Blair Smith

Federal Legislation Affecting Immigrant Health Care

Health Care Available for Immigrants

Barriers to Health Care for Immigrants

Immigration and Public Health Issues

Special Populations

Implications for Social Work Practice

Case Studies

6. Mental Health Issues in Immigrant Communities

Denise Ziya Berte

Cultural Definitions of Mental Health

Resiliency in Immigrant Populations

Phases of Immigrant Adjustment

Immigrants and Trauma

Psychosocial Assessment of New Immigrant Individuals

Individual Intervention Strategies With New Immigrants

Culturally Competent Mental Health Services

Family or Community Intervention

Immigrant Children and Mental Health

Case Study

7. Crimes and Immigration: Civil Advocacy for Noncitizens at the Intersection of Criminal and Immigration Law

Abel Rodríguez

8. Immigrants and Employment

Marielena Hincapié, Susan Lopez, & Joshua Stehlik

An Overview of Immigrant Workers and Their Contributions

Contributions of Immigrant Workers

Are Immigrant Workers Protected by U.S. Laws?

What Barriers Prevent Immigrant Workers From Exercising Their Workplace Rights?


Case Studies


9. Immigrant Children and Education

Len Rieser

Expectations Concerning School and Education

Education Law and Policy in the United States

Types of Schools

Roles and Responsibilities of Parents

Language Access

School Age

Enrollment and School Placement

Course Placement and Instruction

Student Rights in School

School Records and the Right to Information

Parental Involvement in School Activities

Higher Education


Case Study

10. Women, Gender-Based Violence, and Immigration

Sujata Warrier & Jennifer Rose

Violence Against Women in Immigrant and Refugee Communities

Dynamics, Risk Factors, and Consequences of Violence Against Immigrant Women

Implications for Social Workers and Social Service Agencies

Case Studies

11. Working With Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Immigrants

Rachel B. Tiven & Victoria Neilson (Updated by Aaron C. Morris)

Historical Background

Immigration Based on Family Reunification

Immigration Based on Political Asylum

Special Issues Relating to Transgender Immigrants

Challenges Facing LGBT Newcomers

Challenges Facing the Practitioner in a Social Service Setting

Recommendations for Working With Transgender Clients

Case Studies

12. Older Adult Immigrants in the United States: Issues and Services

Patricia Brownell, Robin Creswick Fenley, & Jung H. Kim

Sociodemographics of Older Adult Immigrants in the United States

Socioeconomic Characteristics of Older Adult Immigrants in the United States

Issues Related to Older Adult Immigrants in the United States

Special Elderly Immigrant Populations

Assessment Instruments for Older Adult Immigrants and Mental Health

Interventions for Older Adult Immigrants in the United States


Case Studies


13. Overview of Immigrant Eligibility for Federal Programs

Avideh Moussavian

Restrictions on Immigrant Eligibility for Benefits

Beyond Eligibility: Overview of Barriers That Impede Access to Benefits for Immigrants

Developing a Longer Term Strategy for Change

14. Social Workers and Immigrant Advocacy

Jasmeet Kaur Sidhu

The Importance of Immigrant Advocacy

Individual Advocacy for Immigrant Clients

Macro Advocacy for Social Change

Creating an Effective Advocacy Strategy

Planning an Effective Advocacy Campaign

Types of Advocacy Organizations

Partisan Election-Related Activities



Case Studies

Immigrant Advocacy Success Stories


Elaine P. Congress and Fernando Chang-Muy


Climate Change


Immigration Policy

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D