Downtown Dayton

Immigration and Refugees


Long-term obstacles and challenges to the full integration of immigrants and refugees in the Dayton area

Much research has been done on obstacles to integration, but generally they have been focused on newer arrivals. By contrast, this study examines obstacles to integration still being encountered by immigrants and refugees who have been in the U.S. a minimum of five years. Research has shown that by that time most immigrants and refugees have acquired a functional use of English, even if many are not fully fluent. Our research explores the remaining challenges to successful integration after most have achieved adequate housing and steady employment. The focus will be both on the institutional level and interpersonal acceptance which includes acquaintances, interactions and friendships with those outside their particular community.  For example, what is the extent to which the newcomers have been accepted by their U.S.-born neighbors, work colleagues and the like? What is the subjective impression immigrants and refugees have? How much do they participate in non-ethnic organizations, such as neighborhood associations, block clubs, faith-based groups, etc.?

The impact of the Trump Administration’s policies and actions on their situations and perceptions of acceptance

In addition, the larger political context can affect feelings of being welcomed and accepted by the larger community and society. This study will explore how immigrants and refugees perceive the impact of the Trump Administration’s actions on the security and well-being of their communities.


Integration into their new communities is a key component of immigrant and refugee success. It impacts outcomes not only for them but also for their children, the 2nd (and 1.5) generation. This study is meant to facilitate the integration of immigrants and refugees by describing obstacles and challenges still being experienced and disseminating the results to local organizations and leaders who can help affect institutional and other changes locally.


Faculty Research Fellows:
  • Theo Majka, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work 
  • Miranda Hallett, Human Rights Center Faculty Research Fellow
Student Researchers:
  • Mayra Baeza, Human Rights Studies and Sociology
  • Chloe Massie-Costales, Sociology; Human Rights Center Student Intern
  • BreAnn Porter-Hill, Sociology; co-recipient of the 2017 Linda C. Majka Human Rights Research Award
  • Emily McAleese, Sociology; co-recipient of the 2017 Linda C. Majka Human Rights Research Award
  • Greta Gultice, MBA Program


On campus:
Off campus:


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Human Rights Center

Keller Hall 455 
300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2790