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Video: Immigrant Integration Lab

Dr. Westy Egmont

Dr. Westy Egmont introduces the Immigrant Integration Lab. He addresses the implications of 38 million immigrants living in the U.S. today and proposes that social workers are the front line of interactivity with this newcomer population.  Watch video »

Webinar: Faith Based Immigrant Integration

Dr. Westy Egmont introduces the Immigrant Learning Center Webinar

Dr. Egmont introduces "Faith-Based Immigrant Integration: Models and Practices," a webinar hosted by The Immigrant Learning Center. The webinar is part of the "Talking to America About Immigrants and Integration" workshop on faith perspectives. Watch video »

Helping Immigrants Succeed

BC Social Work Magazine 2013

The BC Social Work Magazine 2013 issue highlights the Immigrant Integration Lab's pioneering effort to ensure that newcomers succeed.  Read the article »

News & Events

Back to the Immigrant Integration Lab home page »

Egmont Curates Immigration Exhibit at Prudential Observatory
Immigration Exhibit

MARCH 13, 2015

Did you know that one in every four Bostonians was born overseas, or that Boston has the sixth highest concentration of immigrants of any city in the United States?

A new multimedia installation on the 50th floor of one of the city's tallest skyscrapers explores the richness of these realities, while bringing to life the diverse experiences of the thousands of immigrants who have made Boston their home over the past 400 years. Called Dreams of Freedom: Boston's Immigrant Experience, the exhibit was conceived under the direction of curator and BCSSW Professor Westy Egmont.  More about Egmont Curates Immigration Exhibit on the Blog »

Border Visit Illuminates BC Social Work Immigration Course
Professor Westy Egmont and students at Arizona/Mexico border

FEBRUARY 6, 2015

Once again, the United States is at a crossroads on the issue of immigration. In the wake of President Obama’s recent executive order allowing some five million undocumented persons to stay in the U.S. at least temporarily, community leaders across the country are faced with the challenge of building new systems to better integrate immigrants into American life.

An innovative course at the Boston College School of Social Work is addressing this challenge head-on, and offering a unique field-based experience for a next generation of social workers devoted to shaping immigration policy. Services to Migrants: A Border Perspective is co-taught by BCSSW Associate Professor of Macro Practice Westy Egmont, director of the BC Immigrant Integration Lab, and part-time faculty member Maryanne Loughry, RSM, associate director of Jesuit Refugee Service Australia and an advisor to the Australian government on migration and refugee matters. More about Border Visit »

Westy Egmont on CNN to Discuss Obama's Immigration Executive Order
Professor Westy Egmont on CNN

NOVEMBER 21, 2014

Following Barack Obama's announcement that he would use executive authority on immigration policy, BC Social Work Professor Westy Egmont went on CNN to discuss what the order means for the millions of immigrants affected by the president's decision.

"I'm sure that tonight, there's a lot of weeping and joy in millions of homes across the United States," Egmont told CNN International anchor Errol Barnett. "This is a profound opportunity for people to come out of the shadows…It means for some people the ability to go to work legally. It means for many people the ability to stay with their children who have already been given under DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] the opportunity to stay in the country. It certainly is going to mean an emotional opportunity to breathe deeper, to feel cohesively a part of the community in which in they live, and to take hope for the future."  More about Westy Egmont on CNN »

BC Social Work Students Visit Italy to Study Immigrant Integration
Professor Westy Egmont and BC Social Work students in Italy.

SEPTEMBER 22, 2014

Over the past few years, Italy has surpassed Greece as the principal gateway for undocumented immigration into the European Union. In fact, a recent report from EU border agency Frontex found that during the first quarter of 2014, half of the entire continent's detected illegal border crossings came through the Italian seacoast.

It's no accident, then, that this July, Boston College School of Social Work Associate Professor Westy Egmont convened a cohort of 13 BC Social Work graduate students in four Italian cities, as part of a course designed to tackle the challenges of immigrant integration. "Italy is the Texas/Arizona of Europe, in that it bears a disproportionate level of responsibility for the continent's undocumented," explains Egmont. "Currently, the country is host to 13 migrant camps, and large flows of irregular migrants from Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. There are, of course, a variety of agencies serving these populations, and we were fortunate to learn from several of them during our time in Italy."  More about the students' visit to Italy to study immigrant integration »

Fellowship Highlights Immigrant Integration Lab's First Year
Lyndsey McMahan, Immigrant Integration Lab Fellow.

JANUARY 21, 2014

Officially launched during the 2012-2013 academic year, the Graduate School of Social Work’s Immigrant Integration Lab (IIL) — which provides resources, studies and leadership for efforts on immigrant integration — has enjoyed a productive first year.

A major IIL initiative saw the awarding of the first Immigrant Integration Lab Fellowship to Lyndsey McMahan MSW ’14.  More about the Fellowship »

Immigrant Integration: Here and There


Westy Egmont, Research Professor and Director of the Immigrant Integration Lab, led twelve students from the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work through England, Belgium, and France to study immigrant integration in the European Union (EU) this summer. The course, EU and U.S. Immigrant Integration: a Comparison of Social Policy, positioned students to actively research the issue of immigrant integration through a comparative analysis of policies and practices in the EU and the U.S.  More about Immigrant Integration: Here and There »

IIL Co-Hosts Seminar on Supporting Immigrant Students

MAY 17, 2013

The Immigrant Integration Lab in the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work and the Center for Optimized Student Support in the Boston College Lynch School of Education co-hosted an event on May 10, 2013, that brought together experts from the fields of education and immigration. Panelists spoke on the obstacles and opportunities facing immigrant children in the world of education.  More about the Seminar on Supporting Immigrant Students »

Governor Deval Patrick Speaks to BC Social Work Community
Governor Deval Patrick

APRIL 2, 2013

Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts, spoke to the Boston College Social Work community on April 2, 2013, about the politics and policies of inclusion.

"Welcoming new Americans reminds us of our ideals," said Governor Patrick. "The American dream is more than the stuff of legend or folklore. It's real … and it's especially real in the lives of immigrants and those of us who work to make it real, and make it last."  More about Governor Patrick's Address »

Graduate School of Social Work Hosts Naturalization Ceremony
New U.S. citizens at the Naturalization Ceremony hosted by Boston College Graduate School of Social Work

MARCH 26, 2013

Boston College welcomed 94 new American citizens at a Naturalization Ceremony hosted by Boston College Graduate School of Social Work on March 21, 2013.

"Social work is all about inclusion and empowerment," said GSSW Dean Alberto Godenzi. "There is something unique about experiencing this moment, when people from all walks of life collectively embrace the values of the nation. We wanted to bring this ceremony to BC to be witnessed by the students, faculty, and staff of Boston College."  More about Naturalization Ceremony »

Immigrant Integration Lab Launched

JANUARY 15, 2013

The Immigrant Integration Lab launched with a colloquium on the role of social workers in immigrant integration. Demetrios Papademetriou, President and Founder of Migration Policy Institute, was the keynote speaker.  More about the colloquium and video of the keynote »

Immigrant Integration Lab Fellowship Award

OCTOBER 31, 2012

A $10,000 Fellowship has been awarded to Lyndsey McMahan, MSW '14, to research the provision of basic needs to asylees in the U.S. being released from detention centers.  More about the Fellowship »

Back to the Immigrant Integration Lab home page »