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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Home Visiting Services for Refugee, Immigrant, Migrant, and Dual Language Learner Families

September 6, 2022

Thousands of refugees and asylum seekers come to the United States each year to escape humanitarian crises in their home countries. Some face hurdles to accessing services, including language barriers, incomplete documentation, and ineligibility for public programs. Immigrant families often face similar barriers while also fearing deportation or other unintended consequences if they seek help. Home visiting services can support refugee and immigrant families in engaging with others, coping with trauma, and accessing community resources and services. Access to services, in turn, may help offset concerns such as food and housing insecurity and negative health and educational outcomes.This brief produced spotlights five home visiting programs using innovative, strengths-based practices to reach and serve refugee, immigrant, migrant, and dual language learner families.

DACA Decade: From students to careers and families

June 14, 2022

DACA has helped undocumented young people build careers and families in the United States. With the policy under immediate threat, it is long past time to provide certainty to recipients and their families with a pathway to citizenship.

The Economic Benefit of Proposition 308: Expanding In-State Tuition to Arizona Dreamers

June 14, 2022

New research from the American Immigration Council highlights the crucial role that new Americans play in Arizona's economy, including in some of the state's fastest-growing and most in-demand fields, like healthcare, education, and the skilled trades. Still, the state is facing critical workforce shortages across the skills and education spectrum. One meaningful way for Arizona to remain competitive and tackle these workforce shortages is by increasing access to higher education for Dreamers. By passing Proposition 308, Arizona would join more than 20 states that recognize the financial hardship that out-of-state tuition imposes on young Dreamers. Granting access to in-state tuition to all Arizona graduates is an important step toward meeting critical workforce needs and would greatly benefit the state's economy. 

Leveraging Nuanced Data to Inform Research and Policy for Immigrant Students and Families

June 9, 2022

More than a quarter of US children have at least one immigrant parent, but researchers and policymakers often do not have adequate data on these children's experiences in school. Information on the languages students speak at home can provide perspective on students' experiences and takes communities' unique strengths and challenges into account. States must report data on languages spoken at home to the federal government each year, yet district-level data are rarely published.Home language data have untapped value, with far-reaching implications for instruction, student support services, and policy. Better and more public data on student background can enhance our understanding of students' experiences and provide nuanced information to educators, researchers, and policymakers to better serve distinct student subgroups. Publishing district-level home language data could inform education policy decisions, providing much-needed nuance to public education data systems.

At Risk and in Need: Recommendations To Help The Most Vulnerable People Displaced From Ukraine

June 8, 2022

The war in Ukraine has led to the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, and one of the fastest large-scale displacements in history.The international community has provided an unprecedented level of support to people fleeing Ukraine, but despite this response, vulnerable populations are at risk.In this policy brief HIAS examines the serious protection risks that certain groups -- women and girls; unaccompanied and separated children; LGBTQ individuals; people with disabilities; and non-Ukrainian refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons -- are experiencing. HIAS recommends ways the EU, U.S., and UN agencies can address these gaps, including funding local civil society organizations and increasing efforts to combat trafficking, exploitation, and abuse.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

The Impact of Language on Health Care Accessibility

June 8, 2022

Language barriers can impact the ability of individuals to access vital services such as health care. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted many of the challenges faced by limited English proficient (LEP) individuals. Health centers and other federally-funded programs aim to ensure that patients' language does not impact their ability to access health care.This issue brief will inform service providers about policies to promote language access for LEP patients. After identifying and explaining the urgency of the challenges of LEP patients, this issue brief will provide practicable and accessible solutions that service providers can implement both immediately and in the long-term. We hope providers will create their own innovative solutions to meet the language needs of the communities they serve.

Migrant Workers

In Their Own Words: Learning from NYIFUP Clients about the Value of Representation

May 24, 2022

Immigrants are part of the fabric of New York--one in three children in the state has an immigrant parent, more than 280,000 immigrants own businesses, and immigrants make up more than one quarter of the state's civilian workforce. Universal representation programs like the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) are one crucial component of building an immigration system that promotes fairness and respect and welcomes our immigrant neighbors. This brief features firsthand accounts from NYIFUP clients who were detained and fought, or are continuing to fight, their cases in New York immigration courts. Vera interviewed nine clients to learn about their experiences working with their immigration defense teams as well as the challenges they faced.

Beyond the Hashtags and Slogans: The Role of AAPIs in Police Reform

May 6, 2022

This report explores the responsibility AAPI communities have to participate in meaningful police reform. Je Yon Jung, a civil rights attorney with an extensive background in police misconduct cases, authored the brief. It delves into the history of policing, its roots in slavery and how systemic discrimination impacts the criminal justice system, from what happens in courtrooms to police practices and oversized law enforcement budgets. Grounded in data, facts, and stories, Jung examines police shooting fatalities, demystifies the "defund the police" movement, and provides examples of how AAPIs are not immune to police violence.

Civic Engagement

The Climate Crisis and Its Impacts on Farmworkers

May 5, 2022

This Issue brief was prepared for Farmworker Justice's Environmental Justice Symposium (May 17 & 18th, 2022) addressing the impacts of the climate crisis on farmworkers in the areas of heat stress, pesticide exposure, food security, and water access.

Migrant Workers

Food Insecurity Among Undocumented Immigrants in California and Exclusion from Nutrition Assistance Programs

April 29, 2022

California is home to the largest economy in the United States–and our nation's highest rate of poverty. That experience of deep hardship in the face of great prosperity holds true for many California immigrants. An estimated 11 million immigrants–including approximately 2.3 million undocumented immigrants–contribute to the rich diversity of the Golden State.The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated hardship and driven inequitable outcomes for immigrants across California. But hardships such as poverty and food insecurity persisted well before this public health emergency. Exclusionary policies continue to perpetuate poverty and food insecurity, inflicting harm on California's immigrant communities and the state at large.This brief draws on quantitative data and community voices to provide a novel, state-specific analysis of food insecurity and poverty among undocumented immigrants in California. These findings are essential to advance evidence-based policies that can make California a more equitable, inclusive place for all who call it home.

Farmworker Justice: Health Policy Bulletin (Spring 2022)

April 27, 2022

This brief is a summary of policy developments that affect farmworker health and access to health care. This issue focuses on heat stress and heat-related illness.

Migrant Workers

Key facts about Title 42, the pandemic policy that has reshaped immigration enforcement at U.S.-Mexico border

April 27, 2022

The Biden administration is seeking to end the use of Title 42, a pandemic-era policy that has led the Border Patrol to turn away hundreds of thousands of migrants attempting to enter the United States at the U.S.-Mexico border over the past two years. The administration's move to end the Title 42 policy has been cheered in some corners and criticized in others, and opponents of the decision are challenging it in court and in Congress.As the debate over the use of Title 42 unfolds, here are answers to key questions about the policy, based primarily on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the agency that oversees the Border Patrol.