Full Text PA-95-036

RESEARCH ON U.S. IMMIGRATION

NIH GUIDE, Volume 24, Number 7, February 24, 1995

PA NUMBER:  PA-95-036

P.T. 34

Keywords: 
  Demography 
  Sociology 


National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

PURPOSE

The Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch (DBSB), Center for
Population Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development (NICHD) invites qualified researchers to submit
applications for research on immigration to the United States.  For
the purposes of this program announcement (PA), an immigrant refers
to a foreign-born person who enters the United States without U.S.
citizenship.  The large number of immigrants in the past two decades
may have already had a major impact on the social and economic
structure of the United States.  American immigration policies have
been shaped by a duality of economic and humanitarian concerns.
Humanitarian concerns are reflected in the preferential treatment of
refugees as well as the importance of family reunification as a
selection criterion for immigrant status.  Especially in recent
times, public policy and scientific debates about immigration have
focused on the estimation methods used to count the numbers of
immigrants and emigrants, and the effectiveness of public policies in
dealing with the impact of immigrants, particularly their
contributions and costs to society.

The purpose of this PA is to encourage:  (1) development of
methodological research tools for measurement and analysis of
immigration and emigration; (2) descriptive and analytical study of
immigrant populations, particularly immigrant children and families;
(3) maximum use of existing data on immigrants or the foreign born
for analyses, and the linking of such data to administrative records
on, for example, program and welfare use to obtain a more accurate
profile of immigrant experiences; and (4) the collection of new
longitudinal and panel data to examine issues such as the health,
socioeconomic status, and resilience of immigrants, as well as
intergenerational transmission of skills and resources.

The potential contribution of demographic research and methods to
understanding individual and social outcomes extends broadly across
the spheres of health, human development, family, and material
well-being.  The research area emphasized in this program
announcement is part of the broader DBSB program that supports
research on the processes that determine population size, growth,
composition and distribution, and on the determinants and
consequences of population processes.  DBSB-supported research on
migration and immigration includes topics such as urbanization,
assimilation of migrants, spatial distribution, density and crowding
of human population groups; population composition and differentials;
social mobility; relationship of the environment to population
change; population policy; forecasting fertility and mortality
trends; models of population growth with respect to social and
economic factors; simulation studies, life table and life cycle
analyses; hazard models of population processes; development of new
concepts and measures of population phenomena.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"
a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This PA,
Research on U.S. Immigration, is related to the priority areas of
maternal and infant health, surveillance and data systems, and
objectives for specific populations, including people in minority
groups.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People
2000" (Full Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0 or Summary Report:
Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of Documents,
Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone
202-783-3238).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications for research grants may be made by domestic and foreign,
public and private, for-profit and non-profit organizations, such as
universities, colleges, hospitals, and laboratories, units of State
and local governments, and eligible agencies of the Federal
government.  Minorities, women, and disabled principal investigators
are encouraged to participate.  Foreign institutions are not eligible
for First Independent Research Support and Transition (FIRST) (R29)
awards.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Applicants funded under this program announcement will be supported
through the individual research project grant (R01) and FIRST (R29)
awards.  Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of
the proposed project will be solely that of the applicant.  The total
project period for applications submitted in response to the present
PA may not exceed five years.  Total project periods of up to five
years are acceptable for R01 applications while R29 applications must
request a five year project period.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The bulk of population research on immigration has focused on the
socioeconomic characteristics of adult (usually male) immigrants,
particularly the impact of immigrants on native workers' earnings,
and the fiscal costs of support for new entrants.  In contrast, much
less research has addressed issues related to children and families
of immigrants. Family considerations often play an important role in
stimulating immigration.  A few studies have suggested that viewing
the family as the decision-making unit explains important empirical
regularities in internal migration flows.  The assumption that the
family's migration behavior maximizes household welfare leads to the
possibility that some members of the family move (or stay) even
though it may not be individually optimal for them to do so.

In September 1992, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on
National Statistics and the Committee on Population, with support
from NICHD, convened a workshop to suggest possible improvements in
data collection and analysis on immigration in the United States.
Meeting participants strongly recommended that systematic attention
be given to family and social networks as an important factor before,
during, and after immigration.  The large gap in the research
literature on immigrant children and families was further highlighted
by the National Academy of Sciences Board on Children and Families at
a workshop held in September 1994.  In its 1994 interim report, the
U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform echoed the concerns expressed
at the Academy meetings by emphasizing the need for detailed local
and specific studies, as well as overall studies of immigration to
the United States in order to disentangle the various impacts,
particularly because immigration varies in volume and type by
communities and regions.  The Commission further emphasized the real
need for better data and methods to measure the net fiscal impact of
illegal immigration and the experiences of legal and unauthorized
immigrants after entry, as well as better estimates of emigration
from the United States (U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, U.S.
Immigration Policy:  Restoring Credibility, 1994 Report to Congress,
September, 1994).

This program announcement seeks to encourage the use of a variety of
approaches found in the social and behavioral sciences to address
immigration issues in the United States.  These approaches may
include, for example, descriptive studies on immigrant subpopulations
(e.g., undocumented immigrants, refugees, border populations);
empirical tests that systematically test the validity of competing
theories of international migration; the use of formal demography in
the development of methodological research tools for measurement and
analysis of immigration and emigration flows, as well as mortality
and fertility differentials among immigrant groups; simulation
modelling and other approaches for the development of a scientific
body of knowledge to assess how variation in immigration policy and
procedure impinges on the immigrant population or on society at
large; causal modelling to examine the determinants and consequences
of immigration for individuals, the family, and/or society;
epidemiological studies to explore patterns and incidence of health
conditions among immigrant populations.

Maximum use should be made of existing data on immigrants or the
foreign born for analyses (e.g., INS data; 1990 Census; the Current
Population Survey (CPS) which, as of January 1994, routinely includes
nativity and immigration status indicators; the National Health
Interview Survey (NHIS) which has gathered information about
birthplace of persons 18 years of age and over since 1985).  Use of
data that links individual records with contextual data (e.g.,
community and school level variables, state and local policies, local
labor markets) is also encouraged.  Information on legal status and
type of immigrant, as well as length of stay, are often crucial in
order to isolate the impacts of diverse immigrant groups.  Within the
constraints of privacy limitations, the linking of INS administrative
records to, for example, program and welfare use data is therefore
encouraged.  The collection of new longitudinal and panel data (both
prospective and retrospective; in both sending and receiving
countries) may be needed to examine issues such as the selectivity of
immigrants in terms of health, socioeconomic status, and resilience,
as well as intergenerational transmission of skills and resources,
with clear knowledge of the generation of immigrant (i.e., immigrant,
children of immigrants, etc.).  On a conceptual level, it will be
important to distinguish issues that are common to all immigrants
from those that may be particularly salient for specific subgroups.

Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to,
the following:

o  Higher levels of international migration are having a pronounced
impact on population growth rates and age distributions, especially
in the context of lower U.S.-born fertility levels.  Shifts in the
country of origin of immigrants have also altered the racial and
ethnic composition of many (receiving) countries.  Most population
projections do not incorporate immigration in an appropriate manner,
nor do they distinguish between ethnic and racial groups.  Further
development of projections that account for different demographic
assumptions about immigrants and their racial and/or ethnic
attributes is needed.

o  It has become increasingly evident that the foreign-born tend to
be healthier than native born persons at any age, perhaps because of
protective cultural factors and selective migration.  The physical
and mental health status and medical care utilization of immigrants
reflect their diverse experiences in both their countries of birth
and in the United States.  Immigrants with different durations of
residence in the United States might be expected to have different
health status and health care utilization, either because there have
been historical differences in the health of immigrant cohorts or
because duration of residence in the United States has an effect on
health.  Little is known about the selectivity of immigrants relative
to the population characteristics of the sending country.  The
compilation of life histories can provide insights into health
outcome differences, particularly if consideration is given to
cumulative exposure to relative advantage or relative adversity and
the physiological consequences of psychosocial and behavioral
attributes.  Why do the children or subsequent generations of some
immigrant groups fare more poorly in terms of educational attainment
and health outcomes?  Do differences between and within immigrant
cohorts reflect differences in socioeconomic status?

o  It is important to think about how the foreign-born fit under the
three domains of immigration law: legal, humanitarian, and
undocumented.  Legal status at time of entry has important short-run
and long-run effects on economic well-being.  Each domain generates
different public investments; regularly-admitted legal immigrants are
barred from most public assistance programs for three years while
refugees admitted for humanitarian reasons with no screening for
skills are eligible for many public assistance programs immediately
upon entry.  Are rates of return different for these immigrant
groups, and specifically for their children?  Do differentials change
over time?

o  Although federal and state policies related to children (e.g.,
access to public schools, language training, benefits to pregnant
women, citizenship for children born in the United States to
immigrants) are usually detached from labor force policy, their
outcomes can influence practically every economic experience of adult
workers throughout their entire working lives.  How do immigration
policies and procedures, and state level variations, impact on
children and families? On fertility patterns?  On emigration?  On
labor participation?

o  During the past decade a substantial body of research on
international migration has drawn attention to the important role
that social networks play in the migration and selection process.
Qualitative studies can further understanding of the context in which
decisions to immigrate are made.  Linked origin/destination studies
are thought to be especially promising in examining issues of
selectivity of both entry and exit, particularly in understanding the
importance of family and social context.

o  Community level variables such as the availability of health and
social services, housing density and quality, levels of poverty,
receipt of assistance, crime and violence have all been hypothesized
to affect health.  In some urban areas, the climate of intense
competition among disadvantaged groups can make children the primary
victims of increasing violence or discrimination.  Do immigrant
families cope differently with such community influences than
U.S.-born families living in the same environment? What makes
children of some immigrant groups rise above such influences while
others seem trapped by a cycle of poverty and crime?

o  How does the process of settlement and assimilation influence the
way in which immigrants, particularly the undocumented and their
families, cope with and react to the changing dynamics of their work
environments and, more generally, the changing structure of economic
opportunities?  Although earnings growth is thought to be higher for
first versus second generation immigrants, returns to schooling are
much higher for second generation.  Do these relationships hold for
all immigrant groups and at different times?  Much of what we know
about labor market behavior and the effects of immigration may turn
out to be period-dependent.

o  Developing estimates of expenditures for and revenues from
undocumented aliens, as well as assessing how economic costs and
contributions are distributed across local, state and federal
government entities, largely depends on having accurate estimates of
the number of undocumented aliens in each state or locality.
Innovative methods are needed to estimate the number, movements, and
net fiscal impact of undocumented alien immigrants, the latter taking
into account, for example, the impact of undocumented aliens on the
states's economies as workers, consumers, and/or business owners.

o  Although there has been attention to some aspects of racial
segregation at local levels (overlapping to some extent with
immigrants), and interstate and intermetropolitan movements, research
on the spatial distribution of immigrants has been lacking.  Areas of
interest include initial settlement, subsequent internal movement of
immigrants, and the relationship between the foreign-born population
distribution to that of native-born residents.

o  The economic and labor impact of immigration on the nation's
U.S.-born minorities has become a subject of growing interest in
recent years.  Among immigrants of working age who reported an
occupation, about 17 percent were professionals or executives in
fiscal year 1993.  About 10 percent belonged to the occupation group
that includes operators, fabricators and laborers.  What is the
impact on the labor market and on U.S.-born minorities from the
continued influx of large numbers of foreign-born professionals (for
example foreign-born scientists and engineers) and/or low-skilled
entrants?  In what ways are immigrants subject to selectivity on
social psychological dimensions, such as propensity for risk taking,
entrepreneurial orientation, willingness to make sacrifices for the
future or future generations?

o  Children of immigrants often have an early responsibility for
brokering relationships and navigating conflicts between their
foreign-born parents and the "outside" world.  How this brokering
role promotes or undermines longer-term adaptation, intergenerational
relations and family wellbeing remains to be seen.  From a policy
perspective, however, it carries significant implications, for
example, for policies that address relations between schools and
families and for parental consent laws.  What is the family's role in
immigrant children's adjustment processes and eventual success in
school and beyond?  For a given child, does it make a difference
whether one, both or neither parent is foreign-born?  Does it matter
which parent is an immigrant?

o  Migration of populations can provide a natural experiment for
comparing populations in different contexts, for while the genetic
characteristics remain relatively unchanged, the new environment
differs from the place of origin in many physical, biological, and
social ways. Aspects of early life exposure and culture can have
profound protective influences upon the development of later life
morbidities and mortality.  Research therefore needs to focus on
children and young adults to determine current levels of risk factors
for major chronic diseases to identify high and low risk groups.

Much of international migration research in the United States has
been centered in Mexico.  More attention needs to be devoted to other
prominent sending countries, such as the Philippines, the Dominican
Republic, Jamaica, Colombia, El Salvador, Korea and China.
Comparative research on the impact of immigration on children and
families in other countries is encouraged to test the
generalizability of U.S.-based findings.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN
SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups
and their subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported
biomedical and behavioral research projects involving human subjects,
unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is provided
that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the
subjects or the purpose of the research.  This new policy results
from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law
103-43) and supersedes and strengthens the previous policies
(Concerning the Inclusion of Women in Study Populations, and
Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study Populations), which
have been in effect since 1990.  The new policy contains some
provisions that are substantially different from the 1990 policies.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should
read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as
Subjects in Clinical Research," which have been published in the
Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 14508-14513) and reprinted
in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23, Number 11,
March 18, 1994.

Investigators also may obtain copies of the policy from the program
staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide
additional relevant information concerning the policy.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS
398 (rev. 9/91) and will be accepted at the standard application
deadlines as indicated in the application kit.  Application kits are
available at most institutional offices of sponsored research and may
be obtained from the Office of Grants Information, Division of
Research Grants, National Institutes of Health, Westwood Building,
Room 449, Bethesda, MD 20892, telephone 301-435-0714.  The title and
number of this program announcement must be typed in Section 2a on
the face page of the application.  FIRST (R29) award applications
must include at least three sealed letters of reference attached to
the face page of the original application.  FIRST (R29) award
applications submitted without the required number of reference
letters will be considered incomplete and will be returned without
review.

The completed original application and five legible copies must be
sent or delivered to:

Division of Research Grants
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive-MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express mail)

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS
referral guidelines.  Applications will be reviewed for scientific
and technical merit by study sections of the Division of Research
Grants, NIH, in accordance with the standard NIH peer review
procedures.  Following scientific-technical review, the applications
will receive a second-level review by the appropriate national
advisory council.

Applications that are complete and responsive to the program
announcement will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by
an appropriate peer review group convened in accordance with the
standard NIH peer review procedures.  As part of the initial merit
review, all applications will receive a written critique and undergo
a process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest
scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under
review, will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a
second level review by the appropriate national advisory council or
board.

Review Criteria

o  scientific, technical, or medical significance and originality of
proposed research;

o  appropriateness and adequacy of the experimental approach and
methodology proposed to carry out the research;

o  qualifications and research experience of the Principal
Investigator and staff, particularly, but not exclusively, in the
area of the proposed research;

o  availability of the resources necessary to perform the research;

o  appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to
the proposed research;

o  Adequacy of plans to include both genders and minorities and their
subgroups as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research.
Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be
evaluated.

The initial review group will also examine the provisions for the
protection of human and animal subjects and the safety of the
research environment.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved
applications.  The following will be considered in making funding
decisions:

o  Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review,
specifically the significance and originality of research goals and
approaches, the feasibility of research and adequacy of the
experimental design; and the research experience and competence of
the investigator(s) to conduct the project;

o  Program balance among research areas of the program announcement
with a view toward encouraging a diversity of research designs and
subjects;

o  Availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or
questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Rose Maria Li, M.B.A., Ph.D.
Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8B13
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-1174
FAX:  (301) 496-0962
Email:  LiR@hd01.nichd.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Melinda B. Nelson
Office of Grants and Contracts
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8A17
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-5481
FAX:  (301) 402-0915
Email:  NelsonM@hd01.nichd.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.864 and No. 93.866.  Awards are made under
authorization of the Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A
(Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public Health Law 99-158, 42 USC
241 and 285) and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal
Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This program is not
subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive
Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.
This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and advance the
physical and mental health of the American people.

.

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