SheKnows: Bilingual parenting matters — even if the White House says it doesn’t

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Originally published in SheKnows on August 21, 2018

Late last year, the White House has stated its intent to create an immigration system favoring refugees who can “successfully assimilate.” A senior White House official confirmed this in a January briefing: “A properly functioning immigration system promotes assimilation in all its forms,” he said.

For much of U.S. history, the country has helped immigrants escaping persecution — so putting the immigration focus on assimilation instead would be a brand-new and troubling way of deciding whether someone can legally live here as a refugee. And it may well spell doom for bilingual parenting — and for foreign languages in the U.S. on a larger scale.

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Kveller: On finding the perfect name for my Russian-American-Jewish son

This essay was originally published by Kveller on August 4, 2016.

I’d known what I’d call my future daughter since I was a teenager.

But things got tricky with my son. I hoped to parcel out his Russian-American-Jewish heritage into one word, ensuring it’s pronounceable by Russian relatives without making him a laughingstock of his American peers.

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