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Malden nonprofit teams with college to research immigrants

Posted by Matt Byrne  April 12, 2012 10:04 AM

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A Malden nonprofit has announced a research partnership with a Washington, D.C. university to study immigrants' contributions to American society.

The partnership, between the Immigrant Learning Center and George Mason University, is slated to map the social, economic, and higher education landscapes. 

The new effort, called the Institute for Immigrant Research, is to be located at the university's D.C. campus, and will incorporate research across disciplines.

"With all of the heated rhetoric about immigration these days, academically rigorous research results are needed to cool the discussion with objective information," said research director James Witte, a professor of sociology and director of the Center for Social Science Research.

"The Institute for Immigration Research will fill that void," he said.

While the Immigrant Learning Center has conducted research about immigrant contributions in Massachusetts and New England, the partnership will grow the group's purview, said Diane Portnoy, learning center president and CEO.

"Since 2003, The [ILC's] Public Education Institute has educated the public and published research about immigrants' contributions as entrepreneurs, workers and consumers," Portnoy said. "It is time to expand the focus nationwide, and I'm thrilled to have such a competent and well-respected partner as George Mason University."

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