Every day, organizations worldwide are engaged in a collective two steps forward, one step back march toward improved immigration services and policies. What hard-earned lessons are these nonprofits, and the foundations that support them, learning from their persistent efforts? This collection of evaluations, case studies, and lessons learned exposes and explores the nuances of effective collaboration, the value of coordinated messaging, the bedrock of ongoing advocacy efforts, and the vital importance of long-term and flexible funding.

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Who's Behind ICE: The Tech and Data Companies Fueling Deportations

October 23, 2018

Tech is transforming immigration enforcement. As advocates have known for some time, the immigration and criminal justice systems have powerful allies in Silicon Valley and Congress, with technology companies playing an increasingly central role in facilitating the expansion and acceleration of arrests, detentions, and deportations. What is less known outside of Silicon Valley is the long history of the technology industry's "revolving door" relationship with federal agencies, how the technology industry and its products and services are now actually circumventing city- and state-level protections for vulnerable communities, and what we can do to expose and hold these actors accountable.Mijente, the National Immigration Project, and the Immigrant Defense Project — immigration and Latinx-focused organizations working at the intersection of new technology, policing, and immigration — commissioned Empower LLC to undertake critical research about the multi-layered technology infrastructure behind the accelerated and expansive immigration enforcement we're seeing today, and the companies that are behind it. The report opens a window into the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) plans for immigration policing through a scheme of tech and database policing, the mass scale and scope of the tech-based systems, the contracts that support it, and the connections between Washington, D.C., and Silicon Valley. It surveys and investigates the key contracts that technology companies have with DHS, particularly within Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and their success in signing new contracts through intensive and expensive lobbying.

A Profile of Current DACA Recipients by Education, Industry, and Occupation

July 23, 2018

This fact sheet examines predicted DACA expirations, as well as offers estimates for the educational and workforce characteristics of the nearly 690,000 current DACA holders. Among the national and state-level estimates offered: school enrollment and educational attainment, labor force participation, and top industries and occupations of employment.

Tearing Down the Second Wall: Ending USCIS's Backlog of Citizenship Applications and Expanding Access to Naturalization for Immigrants (Third Addendum to Second Wall Report)

July 2, 2018

In the last year, over 925,000 people applied for citizenship in the United States. For many, this was years after coming to this country in search of a better life, becoming an integral part of communities across the nation, learning English, working hard, and contributing to their families and the economy. The right to naturalize is a right as old as the nation itself and was envisioned by its founders, created by the Constitution, and codified by federal law. It has also long contributed to the diversity, richness, and strength of the nation. Unfortunately, since the Trump administration took control of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the federal agency that processes citizenship applications, the backlog of pending naturalization applications has skyrocketed to 729,400, with processing rates reaching as high as 20 months. The newest data from USCIS represents an 87.59% increase above the backlog of 388,832 applications, on December 31, 2015, during the administration of President Obama. This backlog serves as a "second wall" that prevents eligible lawful permanent residents from becoming citizens and voters. NPNA is demanding that USCIS takes aggressive steps to reduce the backlog of citizenship applications and reduce the waiting time for applicants down to six months.

Incarcerated Immigrants in 2016: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin

June 4, 2018

This brief uses American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau to analyze incarcerated immigrants according to their citizenship and legal status for 2016. The data show that all immigrants—legal and illegal—are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans relative to their shares of the population.

Philanthropic Strategies to Support Refugees and Asylum Seekers

June 1, 2018

This report profiles 10 donors' diverse approaches and strategies to supporting refugees and asylum seekers, and offers key lessons gleaned from their experience. These profiles are designed to provide a roadmap for supporting refugees, asylum seekers, and unaccompanied children seeking protection in the United States and abroad.The grantmakers profiled in this report differ in their structure, size, and geographic priorities. Some are responding to global crises (like the Syrian civil war and the arrival of asylum seekers across Europe), while others are addressing the needs of refugees and asylum seekers in the United States (including unaccompanied children and families from Central America). Still others are advancing national strategies, ongoing work in specific states, or very local interventions. As a group, they support a range of approaches – from systems and narrative change to advocacy and organizing, from capacity building to legal and direct service delivery.These case studies feature donors with programs dedicated exclusively to refugees, asylum seekers, and/or unaccompanied children, and that address newcomer populations more generally. They also highlight donors who assist these populations through the prism of education, workforce, economic development, capacity development, or legal services.

Number of Foreign College Students Staying and Working in U.S. After Graduation Surges

May 10, 2018

This study presents findings based on ICE's data from the federal government's Optional Practical Training program. Between 2004 and 2016, nearly 1.5 million foreign graduates of U.S. colleges and universities obtained authorization to remain and work in the U.S. through this program. The data shows a 400% increase in foreign students graduating and working in STEM fields from 2008 to 2016.

Children

Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant and Native Use Rates and Benefit Levels for Means-Tested Welfare and Entitlement Programs

May 10, 2018

Overall, immigrants are less likely to consume welfare benefits and, when they do, they generally consume a lower dollar value of benefits than native-born Americans. This appears contrary to the study conducted by the CIS (Publication 3), but Cato claims its work is more accurate because it examines individuals with immigration status, while CIS measures welfare use by households headed by immigrants (which often contain multiple native-born Americans).

Better Educated, but Not Better Off: A Look at the Education Level and Socioeconomic Success of Recent Immigrants, 2007 to 2017

April 17, 2018

This analysis confirms other recent research showing a dramatic increase in the education level of newly arrived immigrants over the last decade. However, our findings show that this increase has not resulted in a significant improvement in labor force attachment, income, poverty, or welfare use for new arrivals. This is true in both absolute terms and relative to the native-born, whose education has not increased as dramatically. In short, new immigrants are starting out as far behind in 2017 as they did in 2007 despite a dramatic increase in their education. Though more research is needed, we explore several possible explanations for this finding.

Children

Do Immigration Enforcement Programs Reduce Crime? Evidence from the 287(g) Program in North Carolina

April 11, 2018

This paper examines 287(g)'s implementation across multiple counties in North Carolina and identifies its impact on local crime rates and police clearance rates by exploiting time variation in regional immigration enforcement trends. The 287(g) program did not affect the crime rate in North Carolina or police clearance rates but it did boost the number of assaults against police officers.

Connecting the Dots: Emerging Migration Trends and Policy Questions in North and Central America

March 7, 2018

North America and the Central American countries of the Northern Triangle—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—represent one of the world's most dynamic migration corridors, with millions traveling from, through, or to these countries in recent decades. The United States has the world's largest immigrant population; Canada has one of the highest immigration rates per capita; and Mexico and Central America have significant shares of their nationals abroad, primarily in the United States. However, policies and public perceptions around immigration, especially in the United States, are not keeping up with emerging shifts in the region's migration.

Criminal Immigrants in Texas: Illegal Immigrant Conviction and Arrest Rates for Homicide, Sexual Assault, Larceny, and Other Crimes

February 26, 2018

This brief uses Texas Department of Public Safety data to measure the conviction and arrest rates of illegal immigrants by crime. In Texas in 2015, the criminal conviction and arrest rates for immigrants were well below those of native-born Americans. Moreover, the conviction and arrest rates for illegal immigrants were lower than those for native-born Americans. This result holds for most crimes.

Police, Jails, and Immigrants: How Do Immigrants and the Immigration Enforcement System Interact with Local Law Enforcement?

February 23, 2018

The Bipartisan Policy Center's review of law enforcement agencies in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Denver, and Los Angeles shows that the actual operation of local law enforcement agencies and their work with immigration enforcement agencies is more complex and nuanced than is often reported in the public debate.