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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Featured

Broken Promises: Limits of Biden's Executive Order on Private Prisons

November 23, 2021

As a Presidential candidate, Joe Biden promised to end the use of private prisons in federal incarceration and immigration detention claiming "that the federal government should not use private facilities for any detention, including detention of undocumented immigrants." This report provides an overview of progress towards that unfulfilled promise and outlines the steps the administration must take to end the federal use of private prisons and phase out the use of immigration detention entirely.

Featured

English Learners in New Jersey: Exposing Inequities and Expanding Opportunities in the Wake of the Pandemic

November 16, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shift to virtual learning brought into sharp relief the inequities that English Learners (ELs) experience in New Jersey's public education system. Despite tremendous work on the part of educators, parents, and other caregivers to provide continuity of learning during this time, their efforts were hindered by school districts that fell short of meeting their obligations under New Jersey's Bilingual Education Code - the state regulations governing EL education - before and during the pandemic, and by a lack of sufficient guidance, support, and enforcement from the State, including shortcomings in the Code itself.The aim of this report is to identify EL-specific needs and rights within New Jersey's education system; understand whether schools are meeting these needs and respecting these rights; and, where they are not, make appropriate policy recommendations.

Children
Featured

Overcoming Barriers and Empowering Communities: The Immigrant Health Academy

October 20, 2021

Immigrants in Illinois are diverse in their ethnicities, cultures, immigration statuses, and economic standing. Unfortunately, themost vulnerable immigrants lack adequate, equitable access to healthcare due to barriers presented by the healthcare system,including limited healthcare coverage options for undocumented individuals. As healthcare becomes a national priority, heightened because of the COVID-19 pandemic, undocumented immigrants have often been excluded from policy solutions. ICIRR andits members have been advocating at the national, state and local levels for many years to ensure that immigrants are included, ifpossible, in all policy solutions. Despite these efforts, many individuals remain uninsured, including over 180,000 who are undocumented in Illinois and many more who are not aware of their health coverage options or their healthcare rights.With the goal of expanding health coverage and fulfilling one of our organizational goals of community empowerment, ICIRRalong with six key partners in the Chicago suburbs (Mujeres Latinas en Accion, Arab American Family Services, Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project, Mano a Mano Family Resource Center, Legal Council for Health Justice, and Shriver Center on PovertyLaw) are launching the Immigrant Health Academy. The Academy will focus on empowering immigrants by helping them understand their healthcare rights regardless of immigration status and how to navigate the complex healthcare system. The Academywill train immigrant leaders with a newly developed curriculum and evaluation process to measure clear metrics of organizing,leadership development, and empowerment. 

Featured

Stand Together: Cash Assistance Funds for Undocumented Immigrants in a Time of Crisis

October 1, 2021

Open Society Foundations and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees commissioned this report as part of a larger effort to make resources, knowledge, and infrastructure developed during the pandemic known to grantmakers responding to future economic disruptions. Stand Together describes Covid-19 direct relief funds for undocumented immigrants and records promising practices for crisis grantmaking in immigrant communities.

The psychological effects of forced family separation on asylum-seeking children and parents at the US-Mexico border: A qualitative analysis of medico-legal documents

November 24, 2021

The U.S. government forcibly separated more than 5,000 children from their parents between 2017 and 2018 through its "Zero Tolerance" policy. It is unknown how many of the children have since been reunited with their parents. As of August 1, 2021, however, at least 1,841 children are still separated from their parents. This study systematically examined narratives obtained as part of a medico-legal process by trained clinical experts who interviewed and evaluated parents and children who had been forcibly separated. The data analysis demonstrated that 1) parents and children shared similar pre-migration traumas and the event of forced family separation in the U.S.; 2) they reported signs and symptoms of trauma following reunification; 3) almost all individuals met criteria for DSM diagnoses, even after reunification; 4) evaluating clinicians consistently concluded that mental health treatment was indicated for both parents and children; and 5) signs of malingering were absent in all cases.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Are Immigrant-Heavy Metro Areas More Economically Resilient? Lessons from the Great Recession

November 18, 2021

Are metropolitan areas with larger immigrant populations more sensitive to economic downturns? And, if so, how quickly are these immigrant-heavy regions able to recover?While it is too soon to draw conclusions from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Great Recession of 2008 offers important lessons on how well local economies recover. As past research suggests, immigrant workers often have complementary labor force characteristics — meaning they possess different skills and work in different industries than U.S.-born workers — yet they are also often disproportionately affected by economic downturns. Given that immigrants make up significant shares of the workforce in key industries, such as technology, construction, accommodation, food services, and agriculture, the ability of immigrants — and, by extension, immigrant-dense local economies — to bounce back will have significant impact on the overall recovery of the U.S. economy. As such, examining how immigrant-dense metro areas fared during and after the Great Recession compared to less-immigrant-dense communities could help policymakers better anticipate and recover from a Covid-19 recession.To this end, we first analyze data from the American Community Survey to assess how employment rates fluctuated during and after the Great Recession in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. After factoring for differences in industry and the workforce in each, we then determine whether and how immigrant density contributes to the economic resilience of metro areas. Lastly, we divide our analysis into two periods: the recession (2008-2012), to determine how sensitive metro areas with different immigrant densities were to economic shocks; and the recovery (2012-2015), to determine how quickly employment rates rebounded in metro areas with different immigrant densities.

Understanding The Impact of COVID-19 in Diverse Populations: Georgia-data analysis by LCF Georgia based on a national initiative led by New American Economy

November 12, 2021

In 2020 the New American Economy (NAE), wanted to better understand why COVID-19 had such disproportionately severe economic and health impacts on BIPOC and immigrant communities in 5 cities. LCF Georgia and the Atlanta Mayor's Office of Immigrants Affairs expanded the scope of the data collection from a city to a state-wide effort and incorporated translations and outreach to communities that spoke languages other than English and Spanish with particular emphasis on Portuguese and Mayan languages.The Georgia-specific analysis centers on comparing different ways in which the crisis was experienced by immigrants, children of immigrants, non-immigrants, and Metro vs. Outside Metro Atlanta.

Asylum Grant Rates Climb Under Biden

November 10, 2021

Under the new Biden administration asylum seekers are seeing greater success rates in securing asylum. While asylum denial rates had grown ever higher during the Trump years to a peak of 71 percent in FY 2020, they fell to 63 percent in FY 2021. Expressed another way, success rates grew from 29 percent to 37 percent under President Biden.

What’s happening at the U.S.-Mexico border in 7 charts

November 9, 2021

The U.S. Border Patrol reported more than 1.6 million encounters with migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border in the 2021 fiscal year, more than quadruple the number of the prior fiscal year and the highest annual total on record.This report provides a closer look at the shifting dynamics at the southwest border, based on recent U.S. Customs and Border Protection CBP statistics. Most of these statistics refer to federal fiscal years, which run from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, as opposed to calendar years. It's also important to note that encounters refer to events, not people, and that some migrants are encountered more than once.

Latinx and Asian Immigrants Have Negative Perceptions of the Immigrant Experience in California

November 8, 2021

Evidence indicates that there are disparities in immigrants' access to health care and health status compared to U.S.-born residents, in part due to immigration policies that determine access to public benefits or shape lives. This fact sheet examines data from the Research on Immigrant Health and State Policy Study (RIGHTS) on the perceptions of Latinx and Asian immigrants in California. RIGHTS is a follow-up survey of the 2018 and 2019 California Health Interview Surveys (CHIS). Respondents reported their perceptions of immigrants' experiences at the workplace, accessing health care, encountering law or immigration enforcement, and using public benefits.

Latinx and Asian Immigrants Across California Regions have Different Experiences with Law and Immigration Enforcement

November 8, 2021

Latinx and Asian immigrants, California's two largest immigrant groups, face barriers to health care and experience worse health outcomes compared to U.S.-born Californians. This is in part due in part to restrictive immigration policies that permit local law enforcement (e.g., police, sheriffs) to collaborate with immigration enforcement authorities in the surveillance, policing, and deportation of noncitizens.Authors used data from the Research on Immigrant Health and State Policy Study (RIGHTS) to examine Latinx and Asian immigrants' experiences with local law and federal immigration enforcement policies and practices in three California regions, Bay Area (n=305), Los Angeles and Southern California (n=989), and the San Joaquin Valley (n=141). The survey is a follow-up to the 2018 and 2019 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). Respondents were asked if they had ever experienced any of six different encounters with surveillance, policing, or deportation by law enforcement, including local police, sheriffs, or immigration enforcement authorities.

Working Together/Trabajando Juntos: What Can Be Learned from a Coalition of Georgia Latinx-serving Organizations in 2020

November 1, 2021

This study examines how a group of LCF Georgia member organizations fared both on their own and as a coalition to respond to the needs of vulnerable Latinx Georgians in the wake of the shutdown and economic disruption. The study documents how these organizations worked together, and it also documents how they provided assistance to each other in supporting their efforts.