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This article presents a comparative overview of education law and policy addressing the linguistic and cultural needs of migrant children in two destination countries of immigration. The author relies on the experience of the United States and France as two important immigrant host countries in the industrialized west, or Global North. Part I documents the legal instruments, i.e. the major legislative acts, administrative regulations and judicial decisions, adopted in both countries. Part II compares and critiques the policies promoted by the law in these two countries. Both France and the U.S. have instituted educational programs designed to meet the special needs of the children of immigrant workers and to aid host schools in absorbing large numbers of students from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. While the French and American experiences are shaped by different political, demographic, cultural and educational factors, there are lessons of significance to be learned from the ways legislators, judges and other policy-makers in each country have dealt with this phenomenon.

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