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.

What It Means To Be Asian in America: The lived experiences and perspectives of Asian Americans in their own words

August 2, 2022

No single experience defines what it means to be Asian in the United States today. Instead, Asian Americans' lived experiences are in part shaped by where they were born, how connected they are to their family's ethnic origins, and how others – both Asians and non-Asians – see and engage with them in their daily lives. Yet despite diverse experiences, backgrounds and origins, shared experiences and common themes emerged when we asked: "What does it mean to be Asian in America?"In the fall of 2021, Pew Research Center undertook the largest focus group study it had ever conducted – 66 focus groups with 264 total participants – to hear Asian Americans talk about their lived experiences in America. The focus groups were organized into 18 distinct Asian ethnic origin groups, fielded in 18 languages and moderated by members of their own ethnic groups. Because of the pandemic, the focus groups were conducted virtually, allowing us to recruit participants from all parts of the United States. This approach allowed us to hear a diverse set of voices – especially from less populous Asian ethnic groups whose views, attitudes and opinions are seldom presented in traditional polling. The approach also allowed us to explore the reasons behind people's opinions and choices about what it means to belong in America, beyond the preset response options of a traditional survey.

Supporting Health Equity and Affordable Health Coverage for Immigrant Populations: CHIP Coverage Option for Pregnant Immigrants and their Children

January 10, 2022

Access to affordable health coverage and healthcare is critical for pregnant individuals and translates to better outcomes for their children. Immigrants who are subject to Medicaid's five-year bar or who are undocumented are less likely than U.S. citizens or those with a legal status to have health coverage, including adequate prenatal care, in part due to more limited interactions with the healthcare system as a result of previous public charge and other exclusionary immigration policies. Healthcare for all immigrants is imperative to advancing health equity and reducing disparities between immigrant and U.S. born individuals.Under federal regulations, states may provide pregnancy-related care through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) state plan to targeted low-income children from conception to birth (the so called "unborn child" option). This option–referred to in this brief as the CHIP coverage option for pregnant immigrants and their children–enables states to provide prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum services to pregnant individuals, regardless of immigration status. As of January 2021, approximately one-third of states had pursued this coverage mechanism, meaning many more states could still elect to draw down available federal funding to strengthen access to care for their pregnant residents and prioritize the health of children who will become U.S. citizens at birth. This issue brief–the second in a series, "Supporting Health Equity and Affordable Health Coverage for Immigrant Populations"–offers considerations for policymakers around the CHIP coverage option for pregnant immigrants and their children, regardless of immigration status.

Supporting Health Equity and Affordable Health Coverage for Immigrant Populations: State-Funded Affordable Coverage Programs for Immigrants

October 21, 2021

This issue brief—the first in a series "Supporting Health Equity and Affordable Health Coverage for Immigrant Populations"—provides an overview of the national immigrant health coverage landscape and offers considerations for policymakers related to state-funded affordable coverage programs for low-income individuals who do not qualify for subsidized health insurance under the ACA or other public programs due to immigration status.

Three in 10 Adults in California Immigrant Families with Low Incomes Avoided Safety Net Programs in 2020

July 29, 2021

Many immigrant families have avoided safety net and pandemic relief programs in recent years over concerns that their participation would have adverse immigration consequences. These chilling effects on program participation occurred in the context of a restrictive immigration policy environment under the Trump administration, including the expansion of the "public charge" rule. Though the Biden administration has reverted to prior guidance on the public charge rule and reversed many other immigration policy changes, chilling effects may continue to deter adults in immigrant families from seeking safety net supports for which they or their children are eligible.This study draws on Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey data collected in December 2020 and interviews conducted with adults in immigrant families and people who work at organizations that connect immigrant families to health, nutrition, and other support programs in California. The interviews were conducted between March and May 2021, in the early months of the Biden administration, offering unique insights as policy priorities were shifting.