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This report sheds light on why many immigrant families are forgoing vital assistance from federal nutrition and food programs and lifts up recommendations aimed at ensuring that all families and individuals, regardless of immigration status, are nourished and healthy.While the findings of this report are informed by a series of focus groups conducted from November 2019 to January 2020 (prior to the onset of COVID-19), the need to connect immigrant families to nutrition programs is arguably of even greater importance given how COVID-19 is fueling unprecedented food insecurity and ravaging communities of color and immigrant communities at disproportionately high rates due to unique barriers faced by families that include noncitizens.
Since the four pillars were articulated in 2007, the immigrant rights movement has expanded in a number of significant ways. It has built stronger partnerships, both with other progressive groups, and with moderate and conservative allies. It has taken on a more state-level focus, as the continued failure to achieve comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level has led to a proliferation of state-level laws and initiatives. And new voices and leaders have emerged within the movement, most notably the "DREAMers," young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who would benefit from the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship and other benefits for those in their specific situation.The net result of these changes has been a movement that is more adaptable, more localized, and more diverse -- but not necessarily more effective, when judged by the national-level metric of achieving comprehensive immigration reform. And it is debatable to what extent advances at the state level have been the result of state-level, ground-up organizing vs. coordinated action from national organizations.The pilot project that is the subject of this evaluation gets at these very issues. It addresses the possibility of pro-immigrant advocacy at the state level, and tests a model of national-local collaboration to advance this goal.