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This report profiles 10 donors' diverse approaches and strategies to supporting refugees and asylum seekers, and offers key lessons gleaned from their experience. These profiles are designed to provide a roadmap for supporting refugees, asylum seekers, and unaccompanied children seeking protection in the United States and abroad.The grantmakers profiled in this report differ in their structure, size, and geographic priorities. Some are responding to global crises (like the Syrian civil war and the arrival of asylum seekers across Europe), while others are addressing the needs of refugees and asylum seekers in the United States (including unaccompanied children and families from Central America). Still others are advancing national strategies, ongoing work in specific states, or very local interventions. As a group, they support a range of approaches – from systems and narrative change to advocacy and organizing, from capacity building to legal and direct service delivery.These case studies feature donors with programs dedicated exclusively to refugees, asylum seekers, and/or unaccompanied children, and that address newcomer populations more generally. They also highlight donors who assist these populations through the prism of education, workforce, economic development, capacity development, or legal services.
With nearly 2 million college-educated immigrants and refugees in the United States unable to fully utilize their professional skills, better understanding of the elements of successful programs and policies that reduce the waste of advanced education and skills can benefit immigrants, their families, and the U.S. economy more generally. This report explores a range of frontline programs and policy reforms that are providing cutting-edge career navigation, relicensing, gap filling, and job search assistance for foreign-trained professionals in a wide range of occupations. It also examines different state policy and licensing contexts that affect these highly skilled individuals, with a focus on the dense thicket of state laws and regulations that slow or prevent qualified individuals from practicing in a wide range of occupations.
While the United States has long been a top destination for the world's best and brightest, it has fallen short when it comes to fully tapping the skills and training of these newcomers. As a result, nearly 2 million immigrants with college degrees in the United States—one out of every four—are relegated to low-skilled jobs or are unable to find work. This skill underutilization—often referred to as brain waste—comes at a significant cost to families and the U.S. economy: College-educated immigrants employed in low-skilled work miss out on more than $39 billion in wages. And as a result, federal, state, and local governments lose out on more than $10 billion in unrealized tax receipts, according to this study, which offers the first-ever estimates of the economic costs of brain waste.