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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Building the Welcome Corps, an Alternative Pathway for Refugees: A Conversation with Craig Damian Smith

June 20, 2023

In early 2023, the Joe Biden administration announced a new program allowing for private refugee sponsorship called the Welcome Corps. The administration is calling it the "boldest innovation in refugee resettlement in four decades," as it aims to mobilize at least 10,000 Americans to act as private sponsors to at least 5,000 refugees from around the world in the program's first year.This brief outlines a conversation with Craig Damian Smith, who has worked in the Canadian context of private refugee sponsorship and is the co-founder and executive director of Pairity — a data-driven platform that facilitates global refugee resettlement and community sponsorship and evaluates outcomes around refugee integration and social cohesion within receiving communities. Pairity is currently partnering with the U.S. government and other actors to establish the Welcome Corps.

Bridging Language and Work: Solutions to Invest in Immigrant and Refugee Talent

February 8, 2022

Finding, retaining, and developing talent is a top priority for business leaders today. Refugees represent an incredible pool of talent that can fill worker shortages and enhance diversity. Yet, many employers overlook refugee candidates due to perceptions that workers cannot succeed in a role if they have limited proficiency in the local language. Bridging Language and Work: Solutions to Invest in Immigrant and Refugee Talent outlines how companies can implement solutions to overcome language barriers to help local language learners – including refugees – get into jobs faster as they work towards proficiency. The guide provides key information for employers, including:A framework for companies on the ways in which they can invest in local language learners beyond expanding access to language trainingSpecific solutions that can be implemented across the talent management cycle to help local language learners succeedThe business benefits of hiring refugees and other local language learnersA list of resources that companies can tap into to support local language learnersThis guide is a collaboration between the Tent Partnership for Refugees and JFF (Jobs for the Future), a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the U.S. workforce and education systems. This guide was developed as part of JFF's Corporate Action Platform, which helps uncover and share talent solutions that enable companies to address both business and social needs.

Dismantling Detention: International Alternatives to Detaining Immigrants

November 3, 2021

As the harmful effects of immigration detention become more widely known and the appropriateness of detaining migrants is increasingly questioned, governments are looking at alternatives to detention as more humane and rights-respecting approaches to addressing the management of migrants and asylum seekers with unsettled legal status. This report examines alternatives to immigration detention in six countries: Bulgaria, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States to highlight viable, successful alternatives that countries should implement before resorting to detention. While the report provides an analysis of specific alternatives to detention (often referred to as ATDs) in each country, it is not intended to provide a comprehensive overview of all alternative programs available.Each country featured in this report has taken a different approach to alternatives to detention. Some focus more heavily on surveillance and others on a more person-centered, holistic approach. Ultimately, this report finds alternatives that place the basic needs and dignity of migrants at the forefront of policy, such as community-based case management programs, offer a rights-respecting alternative to detention while simultaneously furthering governments' legitimate immigration enforcement aims.

Immigration Systems in Transition: Lessons for U.S. Immigration Reform from Australia and Canada

September 29, 2020

The history of both the Australian and Canadian immigration systems covers three distinct periods in which the countries maintained race-based models between the 1920s and 1960s-70s, implemented points-based systems after ending their race-based programs, and revised the points-based systems over time to improve their ability to select migrants and eliminate backlogs.Australia and Canada's successful implementation and revision of their immigration systems depended on governmental decisions, political and bureaucratic institutions, and data gathering operations to provide objective bases for revisions to the systems. The Australian and Canadian cases show that the United States may need to make investments in the agencies that oversee the immigration system and gather data about its outcomes. The adoption of SkillSelect and Express Entry also show that the United States may need to make dramatic revisions of the system to address backlogs and other residual components of the past system during the transition process. The effective selection of migrants and management of migration necessitates institutions that allow governments to make sometimes dramatic changes to their migration programs with public support based on actionable data. U.S. policymakers must understand these factors – and answer the questions in this report – to create an immigration system that represents the best elements of the U.S. political system and the country's immigration heritage.

Research & Evaluation

The Role of Migrant Care Workers in Ageing Societies: Report on Research Findings in the U.K., Ireland, Canada and the U.S.

July 25, 2011

Migrants play an increasingly significant role in caring for the elderly due to a growing number of older people and declining domestic labour supplies, according to this report in the IOM Migration Research Series. It examines the demand for migrant care workers; compares the experiences of migrants, employers and older people; and presents recommendations for addressing the increasing significance of elder care and its implications for migrant labour.

Attracting the Best and the Brightest: The Promise and Pitfalls of a Skill-Based Immigration Policy

December 5, 2006

One question that recently received heightened attention from lawmakers is whether or not immigrants should be admitted to the United States less on the basis of family ties and more on the basis of the skills they can contribute to the U.S. economy. Today, the most common way permanent immigrants enter the United States legally is through sponsorship by a family member already in the country. By contrast, nations such as Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom admit immigrants primarily for employment reasons, based on a point system. Points are assigned on the basis of educational level, professional skills, proficiency in the host country's language, and other qualities that increase immigrants' likelihood of integrating into the host country's labor market. Policymakers should investigate how a similar policy might work in the United States. Although some of the practices associated with a point-based immigration system might benefit the U.S. economy, policymakers should be careful not to assume that such a system would be a panacea for the widespread dysfunction of U.S. immigration policies. Among the findings of this report: Today, the government allocates 480,000 visas each year to family-sponsored immigrants and 140,000 visas to immigrants entering to work. Approximately 86 percent of permanent employment visas are reserved for immigrants who are highly skilled or hold advanced degrees. Given the realities of immigration to the United States today, the government would face several challenges to implementing a system that selects most immigrants based on their skills, because a point system would multiply the paperwork and bureaucracy. The waiting times for immigrants wanting to join family would grow even longer as consideration of their applications was delayed in favor of immigrants with skills the nation desires. A point system favoring high-skilled workers would not meet the demand for less-skilled workers in industries such as agriculture, construction, and services, especially as more native-born workers earn college degrees, and as the U.S. population ages and the pool of native workers shrinks. U.S. businesses might suffer under a skill-based point system that reduces the flexibility of the labor market. Instead of employers directly recruiting the immigrants they need, the government would take on the responsibility of filling labor gaps and determining the skills of immigrants entering the labor force. The danger in this is that shortterm labor shortages could take priority over building longer-term economic stability and growth. Canada's experimentation with its immigration system provides a valuable lesson for U.S. policymakers in considering if and how such a system could be implemented in the United States. Its experience indicates that any point system should not replace other systems, but rather serve as a complement to them.

Fencing in Failure: Effective Border Control is Not Achieved by Building More Fences

April 1, 2005

New proposals for more fencing and Border Patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border may only perpetuate an unsuccessful and counterproductive policy that does not effectively enhance national security or control undocumented immigration.