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Newcomers, Immigrants, Refugees, & International Ed LibGuide: Home

Welcome Message from Dr. Ritu Raju, President of Gateway Technical College

Technical colleges such as Gateway, from their beginning, have provided instruction to immigrants and their children to learn English, train them for careers with family-sustaining salaries and have worked hard to meet them where they are at in life and career. Shortly after Gateway first opened in 1911 – as the Racine Continuation School – 500 students took English and citizenship classes. By 1913, the Kenosha Continuation School was printing its night course in English, Polish and Italian. 

Providing these skills helps non-English speakers and immigrants to assimilate into the American culture, gain employment and provide for themselves and their family.

That welcoming spirit has continued to this day. Gateway is as much a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds as America itself, and we are proud of that fact. Please know that you are part of the Red Hawk family now.

I encourage you to visit Gateway and the LibGuide to explore the many educational and information sections to learn more about the college and all that it has to offer you.

Message from Dr. Tammi Summers, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Greetings and Welcome to the Newcomer LibGuide:


We make life-changing educational opportunities a reality is our vision statement at Gateway Technical College. Creating a learning environment that uplifts and provides inclusive access is critical and we strive for all students to have the opportunity to learn and grow.

Gateway's tri-county area continues to see a record number of Newcomers, Immigrants, Refugees, and international students choosing a new life in southeastern Wisconsin. As an agent for transformational change we embrace the opportunity to support and impact the lives of newcomers who are seeking an educational restart.

Welcome to Gateway Technical College where we are focused on student success and supporting you during your academic journey.

  • Gateway students and employees represent over 30 countries

  • Gateway students have visited over 20 countries through the Global Scholars and Global Enrichments Study Abroad Programs in International Education

Interactive Map Navigation Instructions:

In order to navigate this interactive map, press the side navigation button in the top left corner of the map for the drop down menu.  Or, open the map in FULL SCREEN view by clicking the frame button in the upper right corner of the map.

You can select to view or hide these these different map layers. 

  • Upcoming Global Cultures Program Locations

  • Upcoming Global Scholars Program Locations

  • Previous Trips

  • Where are YOU from

Where are YOU from?

Currently, over 30 countries are represented among the student body and staff at Gateway including: Guatemala, Ecuador, India, Honduras, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Peru, El Salvador, Korea, Japan, China, Ukraine, Poland, Mexico, Puerto Rico (not a sovereign nation or a U.S. state), Brazil, Russia, Trinidad, Congo, Venezuela, Turkmenistan, Colombia, fHaiti, Mogolia, Spain, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, Uganda, Australia, Palestine, Macedonia, Algeria, Philippines, and Vietnam.

Click HERE to access the google form and let us know where you are from. We will add your confidential responses to the map.




Immigration is about immigrants, and immigrants are a certain kind of people based on their action of migrating. The term migrant can be understood as “any person who lives temporarily or permanently in a country where he or she was not born, and has acquired some significant social ties to this country.” For some, this definition may be too narrow when considering that, according to some states’ policies, a person can be considered as a migrant even when she/he is born in the country. When migrants arrive at the border with the intent to enter another country, they are immigrants. An immigrant is a person who enters a country with the intent to reside indefinitely or permanently in that state in which he or she is not a citizen. Persons who come as tourists or for short visits or limited work assignments are not immigrants. They can, however, change their intent after entering and become immigrants whether legally or illegally. Immigrants are either “documented,” also called “legal immigrants,” or are without lawful and documented authorization and are thus not lawful immigrants, commonly called “undocumented” or “illegal immigrants.” This latter term should not be used, because no person can be called illegal, which implies a criminal act or criminalization of a person. Being in the U.S. without legal status may or may not be the result of a criminal act. The exclusion or removal of aliens from the U.S. is a civil administrative matter and not a criminal matter.
Migrants are people who make choices about when to leave and where to go, even though these choices are sometimes extremely limited or even coerced.
The definition of migrant in international law is broad. This broad definition of migrants reflects the current difficulty in distinguishing between migrants who leave their countries because of political persecution, conflicts, economic problems, environmental degradation, or a combination of these reasons, and those who do so in search of conditions of survival or well-being that does not exist in their place of origin. The definition also attempts to define migrant population in a way that takes new situations into consideration.

Migrant Worker

The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Migrants defines a migrant worker as a “person who is to be engaged, is engaged, or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a State of which he or she is not a national.”
America has many migrant workers. The need for laws applicable to them is obvious.
Globally, the issue of migrant workers has become so serious that the international community has adopted a human rights treaty seeking to protect their rights.


It is important not to confuse the terms immigrants, aliens, migrants, and refugees. They are not the same. In United States law, a refugee is defined as “any person who is outside any country of such person's nationality, or in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion … .” This is similar to the international definition found in the 1951 Refugee Convention, below:

[a person who] owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.

A person who meets those criteria is known as a convention refugee, as opposed to a non-convention refugee, such as a person fleeing a civil war. Most persons one sees on television reports are not convention refugees, especially if they are fleeing generalized violence. They may still need legal protection but not under the refugee/asylum legal framework.
In a non-legal sense, a refugee is a person who flees from his country to another, seeking safety and protection from the things from which he fled (persecution, civil war, poverty). A person is seeking refuge from harm. For the conventional refugee, the harm is the violation of his or her human rights by his or her own government that is supposed to be protecting and respecting the human rights of its citizens.
Most often, refugee is used in the United States to describe someone who is seeking asylum in the United States. Asylum is legal protection offered by one country to someone who fled from another country because of persecution, and who meets all the criteria of the status of refugee. Refugee in this sense is a legal status. In order to receive asylum in the United States, a person first has to meet the criteria of being a refugee under U.S. law.


"Definitions." Encyclopedia of Human Rights in the United States, H. Victor Conde, Grey House Publishing, 3rd edition, 2017. Credo Reference, Accessed 17 Mar. 2023.

Legal Statement

This LibGuide is not being met to offer legal advice or services, but it is a reference for educational and informational purposes only.  Individuals seeking legal advice and services should consult with a reputable and appropriately credentialed legal counsel. 

"Welcome Newcomers" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by Elizabeth Kennedy and Gateway Technical College Libraries.