Supporting Undocumented and Asylum-Seeking Children, L.A. Housing, Veterans: RAND Weekly Recap

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October 1, 2021

This week, we discuss what schools need to better support undocumented and asylum-seeking students; what leads Russia, Iran, and China to use their military forces abroad; renters' options as California's eviction moratorium ends; Americans' perspectives on veterans; measuring the compounding effects of racism; and the potential consequences of short-tenured leaders in Japan.

Elementary school children arrive at school by bus, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

Photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

Supporting Undocumented and Asylum-Seeking Students: What Schools Need

As of March 2020, there were an estimated 321,000 undocumented and asylum-seeking children from Mexico and the Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador) enrolled in U.S. K–12 public schools. That's according to a new RAND report, which provides critical data as recent surges in migration highlight the challenges schools face in supporting this vulnerable population.

“Many of these children bring extra challenges to the classroom,” says author Julia Kaufman. “Some have little formal education, are English-language learners, are in impoverished households, or have symptoms of psychological distress and trauma.”

The report offers several policy recommendations, including providing additional funding for schools experiencing immigration surges and providing professional development and high-quality resources to all teachers to support English-language learners.

Russian soldiers man a checkpoint near the Georgian village of Kekhvi in breakaway South Ossetia, August 21, 2008, photo by Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

Russian soldiers man a checkpoint near the Georgian village of Kekhvi in breakaway South Ossetia, August 21, 2008

Photo by Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

What Drives U.S. Adversaries to Use Military Forces Abroad?

A new series of RAND reports explores where, how, and how often Russia, Iran, and China have intervened militarily since 1946. Overall, the authors conclude that concern over future military interventions by these adversaries should be tempered—for now. However, China represents the greatest threat to U.S. interests. Beijing has significant capabilities and growing strategic interests. And there are many scenarios that could lead to increased Chinese military interventions.

Tenants and housing rights activists protest for a halting of rent payments and mortgage debt in Los Angeles, California, October 1, 2020, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Tenants and housing rights activists protest for a halting of rent payments and mortgage debt in Los Angeles, California, October 1, 2020

Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

California's Eviction Moratorium Is Over. Can Renters Still Get Help?

California's moratorium on evictions ended this week. This could lead to a new housing crisis, but it doesn't have to turn into a new homelessness crisis, says RAND's George Zuo. The state program can still make payments to eligible renters—but only if more people apply and their applications are processed quickly. The stakes are high: Evicted renters will struggle to secure housing for years to come. And for the broader community, the societal costs of homelessness are staggering.

Spectators hold signs supporting veterans along the 2018 Veterans Day Parade route in New York City, November 11, 2018, photo by EJ Hersom/Department of Defense

Spectators hold signs supporting veterans along the 2018 Veterans Day Parade route in New York City, November 11, 2018

Photo by EJ Hersom/Department of Defense

American Perspectives on Veterans

New RAND survey results highlight Americans' strong support for providing benefits and services to veterans. In fact, 87 percent of respondents support the need to do more for veterans. Respondents were also more likely to support a guarantee of benefits for veterans than for all Americans. For instance, 85 percent supported guaranteed free college for veterans, while 57 percent supported free college for all.

A young Black man holding his infant child, photo by NappyStock

Photo by NappyStock

Measuring the Compounding Effects of Racism

Systemic racial bias affects people of color throughout their lives—in education, employment, housing, and the criminal justice system. But many Americans remain skeptical about how bias leads to disparities between Black and white Americans. RAND researchers are creating a tool that shows how seemingly small differences can add up to significant inequality. In the final installment of a series of conversations with our president and CEO Michael Rich, the researchers discuss their efforts to shine a light on this pervasive problem.

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks to media after announcing his withdrawal from the party leadership race in Tokyo, Japan, September 3, 2021, photo by Kyodo/Reuters

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks to media after announcing his withdrawal from the party leadership race, Tokyo, September 3, 2021

Photo by Kyodo/Reuters

Is Japan Returning to 'Revolving-Door' Leadership?

Japan will soon have a new prime minister. Fumio Kishida is set to replace Yoshihide Suga, who is stepping down after less than a year on the job. RAND's Jeffrey Hornung says that this could signal a return to Japan's post–Cold War trend of “revolving-door prime ministers.” If this happens, then the implications for Japan and the U.S.-Japan alliance would be significant. “Japan is a consequential power,” he says, but “only as long as its leaders have the political stability to do consequential things.”

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