That is what a new report from a group that studies higher education issues involving Asians in America is saying.
A startling 39 percent of U.S. Burmese are high school dropouts, so not surprisingly, 30 percent of this ethnic group lives below the poverty line, according to a new report.
Scheduled for release Wednesday, the report, titled “Invisible Newcomers,” explores the educational attainment, socioeconomic challenges, migration and settlement experiences of the Burmese and Bhutanese, who make up the two largest, recent refugee groups in this country. The report’s authors are Dr. Chia Youyee Vang, an associate professor of history and comparative ethnic studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Dr. Monica Mong Trieu, an assistant professor of sociology and Asian American studies at Purdue University. It was issued by the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) in collaboration with the Association for Asian American Studies.
Since 2004, more than 80,000 Burmese have arrived in the United States after fleeing political, religious and economic persecution. Bhutanese refugees began coming in 2008 to escape discriminatory social and political rule. The migration of both ethnic groups grew so rapidly that, in 2011, refugees from Burma, which is also known as Myanmar, made up 30 percent and those from Bhutan comprised 26 percent of people resettled in this country.
Calling such statistics “alarming,” Vang and Trieu say that intensive educational and social support should be provided to teens to improve the likelihood of high school completion. Furthermore, the dropout rate among Burmese Americans is almost twice that of the national dropout rate among non-Asians here. [More than black American teens?—-ed]
Gee, that sounds like another generation on welfare to me.
In a related story, the state of Kentucky is considering extending graduation time for refugee teens, here. Add that to the cost of refugee resettlement when your city’s politicians are “welcoming” more refugees and immigrants.