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

Renewing America, Revamping Immigration

December 7, 2022

Because immigration to the U.S. is low by international standards, increasing immigration is a policy that could have positive economic, cultural, humanitarian, and geopolitical impacts. This proposal suggests improvements to immigration policy that balance different objectives while considering social science theory and empirical findings, ethical issues, public opinion, and associated political constraints. 

Featured

Promoting Health Care Access for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) Farmworkers

December 1, 2022

This issue brief discusses the unique challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ farmworkers and the importance of health centers recognizing and addressing these challenges in order to provide high-quality care.There is a common misconception that few or no lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and all sexually and gender diverse (LGBTQIA+) people exist within the farmworker community. As a result, the health care needs of LGBTQIA+ farmworkers are often overlooked. It is important for health centers to recognize and address the unique challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ farmworkers in order to provide high-quality care to this marginalized population.

Migrant Workers
Featured

Key Tensions in Refugee Education

November 16, 2022

Globally, education is in crisis, with steep inequities, low learning outcomes, irrelevant content, and ineffective learning and teaching strategies in many settings. The global education crisis is also a global refugee education crisis, as far too many refugee students must contend with barriers to access, low quality, and limited relevance in their learning opportunities. Refugee education continues to be under-supported in policy dialogue and funding. As advocacy efforts push for global and national commitments to equitable, high-quality education for all, this paper is intended to help ensure refugee education is part of the education transformation agenda.This paper is intended for refugee education donors, policymakers, and implementers and aims to inform policy dialogue by answering the following three questions:Why is refugee education more urgent than ever?What are the key tensions in refugee education and how might they be addressed?How does centering refugee voices and engagement in education policy and programming advance the sector?

Refugees & Asylum Seekers
Featured

Cultivating Contact: A Guide to Building Bridges and Meaningful Connections Between Groups

September 27, 2022

The United States is in the process of reckoning with many forms of social division, but it is also facing a moment of immense possibility. With deepening divides occurring and being fomented across racial, religious, socioeconomic, partisan, and geographic lines, trust in others has declined and members of distinct groups are more isolated from each other than ever. Many forces seek to exploit these vulnerabilities and stoke fear and anxiety about group differences. Yet our nation's history shows us that, even in the midst of these challenges, Americans from all walks of life have found ways to come together across lines of difference to solve critical community problems.How we choose to respond to group differences is ultimately up to us. We can take steps either to build walls or build bridges in the face of these differences. When we feel insecure, unsafe, or threatened, our initial instinct is to build walls, in an effort to protect ourselves and our groups. This instinctual response can help us to feel more secure and protected in the short term; but one long-term consequence is that we may grow more distrustful and fearful of people who are not like "us" and whom we don't personally know. Worse still, challenging social and economic conditions can exacerbate these tendencies, such that we start to develop competitive narratives that pit "us" against "them" and further deepen existing divisions between groups.Instead, when we build bridges, we take steps to engage with people across lines of difference. Engaging with one another in meaningful and authentic ways often requires us to step outside of our comfort zone, as we begin to share our life stories and experiences openly while attending deeply and respectfully to those shared by others. From interacting with others with this spirit of openness and attentiveness, we invite others into our worlds, just as they invite us into theirs. By doing so, we not only develop greater mutual understanding, but we are also likely to become more invested in each other's lives and to care more about each other's groups—and this emotional investment and caring is what compels us to work toward improving our communities and social institutions to ensure that everyone feels like they belong.In this guide, we describe how to set the stage for people from different backgrounds to engage with each other in ways that foster trust and belonging, while also drawing on their similarities and differences to solve community problems. We review a number of strategies that encourage people from different groups to work together as equals, so that they can share ideas and perspectives, and co-create new initiatives in collaboration and across group divides. We also provide materials that can help organizations begin to envision how they might assess the effectiveness of their contact programs.

Are Immigrants a Threat? Most Americans Don’t Think So, but Those Receptive to the “Threat” Narrative Are Predictably More Anti-immigrant

January 17, 2023

As politicians struggle with how to address immigration issues, Americans' views on immigration have become increasingly polarized, with Republicans becoming significantly more anti-immigrant in their attitudes over the past few years. Republicans have continually attacked the Biden administration's handling of immigration, claiming that his policies will increase the flow of immigrants over the southern border and calling for U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to resign. These criticisms are expected to increase now that Republicans have regained control of the House of Representatives.Though the Trump-era narrative still resonates among certain portions of the American public, this report reveals that majorities of Americans do not view immigrants as a threat. But people who are more likely to think of immigrants as a threat — including those who most trust conservative media sources and Fox News — they are considerably more anti-immigrant and less supportive of open immigration policies.

10 Years of Delivering for Immigrants: Evaluation of the Delivering on the Dream Project

January 17, 2023

Launched in 2012 in response to the opportunity presented under the Obama administration for hundreds of thousands of young people to qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), GCIR's Delivering on the Dream (DOTD) network has proven to be a powerful example of philanthropic collaboration in pursuit of immigrant justice. Through a unique partnership model that leverages national matching funds, state and local funders engage in coordinated grantmaking to strengthen the immigrant rights and service infrastructure in diverse locales. Since its inception, the DOTD network has included 27 collaboratives in 21 states, with more than 160 local, state, and national funders supporting over 700 grantees working in multiple areas, including immigration legal services, education and outreach, and crisis response.Though DOTD in its current form will be sunsetting in 2023, many of the regional collaboratives will continue to convene, providing opportunities for local grantmakers to collaborate and respond to the needs of immigrants in their communities. This brand-new report synthesizes lessons learned from the DOTD network over the past ten years and provides recommendations for future philanthropic collaboration.

Expanding Inclusion in the Social Safety Net: Impacts of New York’s Excluded Workers Fund

January 10, 2023

Response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recession spurred a wave of policy innovation around the country. Although federal efforts typically carved out undocumented immigrants, many states and localities around the country tried to bring immigrants and others who were excluded back in. New York's Excluded Worker Fund (EWF) was the largest of these efforts. The $2.1 billion program allowed 130,000 immigrants without work authorization, and some others who fell between the gaps of federal aid, to get unemployment compensation if they lost work during the pandemic recession.To better understand the successes and shortcomings of the program, the Urban Institute and Immigration Research Initiative surveyed individuals in the population targeted for aid by this fund.Findings from this survey are intended to help inform advocacy efforts and future legislation, as New York advocates urge inclusion in the 2023 budget and states and localities across the nation consider the implementation of permanent unemployment benefit programs for excluded workers.

In Their Own Words: Asian Immigrants’ Experiences Navigating Language Barriers in the United States

December 19, 2022

New immigrant arrivals to the United States face many challenges and obstacles when navigating their daily lives. For Asian immigrants, these include language and cultural obstacles that impact those who arrive with little to no proficiency in English. But navigating life in America also impacts English-speaking immigrants as they adjust to life in a new country with its own unique linguistic and cultural quirks.In 2021, Pew Research Center conducted 49 focus groups with Asian immigrants to understand the challenges they faced, if any, after arriving in the country. The focus groups consisted of 18 distinct Asian origins and were conducted in 17 Asian languages.This report explores three broad themes from the focus group discussions: the challenges Asian immigrants have faced in navigating daily life and communicating in English; tools and strategies they used to learn the language; and types of help they received from others in adapting to English-speaking settings. The experiences discussed may not resonate with all Asian U.S. immigrants, but the study sought to capture a wide range of views by including participants of different languages, immigration or refugee experiences, educational backgrounds and income levels.

A more equitable distribution of the positive fiscal benefits of immigration

December 7, 2022

Immigration is good for the US economy and for the fiscal picture at the federal level, but some local areasexperience adverse fiscal impacts when new immigrants arrive. Edelberg and Watson propose a transparentsystem for redistributing resources from the federal government to these localities. Local areas wouldreceive $2,500 annually for each adult immigrant who arrived to the US within the past five years withouta college degree—those more likely to generate negative fiscal flows at the subnational level. The fundswould take the form of unrestricted transfers to local educational agencies through the existing Impact Aidprogram and to Federally Qualified Health Centers. This support would help to offset educational, health,and other costs to local areas associated with immigrant inflows, and more equitably share the overall fiscaland economic benefits of immigration. 

English as a Second Language at California’s Community Colleges: An Early Examination of AB 705 Reforms

November 28, 2022

California's community colleges began implementing Assembly Bill 705 (AB 705) reforms for credit English as a Second Language (ESL) in fall 2021, two years after implementing similar reforms in English and math. With a broad goal of improving success and equity for students pursuing degrees and transfers to four-year colleges, AB 705 reforms are already making notable transformations to ESL placement policies and the ESL courses into which English Learners (ELs) are placed. Building on our previous research, this study reports on the progress colleges have made in implementing AB 705 in ESL across the community college system.

New Americans in Medina

October 31, 2022

This fact sheet highlights how immigrants fill crucial workforce gaps in addition to their financial contributions in the Medina, Ohio region, which included paying $105.1 million in federal taxes and $63.1 million in state and local taxes in 2019. Although immigrants made up 2.5% of the region's overall population in 2019, they represented 2.7% of its working-age population.Key findings include:Immigrants are bringing much-needed talent. In 2019, 40.6% of immigrants in the Medina region aged 25 and older held at least a bachelor's degree and 18.7% held an advanced degree (a master's, professional, or doctoral degree).Immigrants are filling critical workforce gaps. Although immigrants made up 2.5% of the region's overall population, they represented 7.3% of STEM workers, 3.6% of professional service workers, and 3.4% of all workers in the manufacturing industry in 2019.Immigrants foster an entrepreneurial spirit. In 2019, despite making up 2.5% of the Medina region's overall population, 3.3% of immigrants were entrepreneurs. In the region, immigrants were 33% more likely to be entrepreneurs than their U.S.-born counterparts.Immigrants help create or preserve local manufacturing jobs. In the Medina region, immigrants strengthened the local job market by allowing companies to keep jobs on U.S. soil, helping preserve or create 900 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere by 2019.

A Ripple, Not a Wave: Comparing the Last Decade of Foundation Funding for Migrant Communities and Movements

October 27, 2022

Since NCRP's first report describing the state of foundation funding for immigrant and refugee groups, the world has grown more dangerous for people on the move.Although COVID-19 slowed migration for a short time, climate disasters and deteriorating social, political, and economic conditions around the world have led more people to seek homes in new places. In the United States, right-wing politicians have continued their decades-long tactic of treating immigrants and refugees as political pawns. Former President Donald Trump used migrants as an easy scapegoat for division, effectively zeroing the country's refugee resettlement goals throughout his presidential term. In 2021, Customs and Border Protection officers on horseback were caught on camera using whips to drive Haitian asylum seekers away. Several Republican governors sent buses or planes misleading migrants north in a craven political stunt. And after 10 years of instability, the Supreme Court looks poised to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for good, meaning more than 600,000 people who have built their lives in the United States will become vulnerable to deportation. These attacks are unfair and harmful not only to people moving across borders, but to all of us.NCRP's new data shows that more funders participate in pro-immigrant and pro-refugee philanthropic spaces today than they did in the past. This is progress, but it's far from enough. NCRP also found that the pro-immigrant, pro-refugee movement's share of all foundation grants has shrunk 11% since DACA was first introduced, even as foundations themselves have grown richer. Too many foundations and major donors have ignored groups that are adept at advocating for their communities and holding political leaders accountable. Because of this, the migrant community – and our country – face more precarity today.In the last few years alone, pro-immigrant and pro-refugee groups have resettled refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine, advocated for the specific needs of queer migrants, organized Black-led groups in a model of mutual aid, strengthened safeguards for our democracy and focused attention on urgent climate emergencies, all while sounding a constant message of welcome. Migrant organizations, especially movement advocacy groups, have done this in the face of an increasingly hostile political environment with extremely limited resources because funders have fallen short.Now more than ever, foundations must move with intention and urgency to center, support and follow the lead of the pro-immigrant and pro-refugee movement.This isn't just the right thing to do. It's also necessary if funders hope to meet their racial justice commitments, support dignity for all and reach groups with underappreciated solutions for each of their "issue" portfolios.NCRP hopes this tool, informed by the deep wisdom of so many community and philanthropic leaders, will help move the philanthropic sector toward justice.