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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Return and Reintegration of Unaccompanied Migrant Children

August 10, 2022

KIND created the Child Migrant Return and Reintegration Program to ensure that returning children have the support and resources they need for safe return and successful reintegration back into their communities. This infographic explains the existing return process and describes how KIND's program interventions can support children at each step.

Children

A Time of Transformation: 2021 Annual Report

August 4, 2022

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is the preeminent U.S.-based nongovernmental organization devoted to the protection of unaccompanied and separated children. KIND envisions a world in which every unaccompanied child on the move has access to legal counsel and has their rights and well-being protected as they migrate alone in search of safety.

Children

Learning from Youth: Envisioning Freedom for Unaccompanied Children

June 30, 2022

Hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied children and youth from around the world have arrived in the United States over the past decade seeking protection from violence, persecution, war, and insecurity. Yet, their reception into the country has often led them into an immigration system characterized by systematic criminalization, a lack of transparency, and separation from their families. The reception system for children arriving to the United States needs to be reformed to demonstrate respect for their basic human dignity. In interviews and group discussions, Vera engaged with 32 young adults who were detained as unaccompanied minors by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). They shared their stories about navigating the complex U.S. immigration system. Drawing from their lived experience and expertise, they developed 10 proposals to reform the reception system for unaccompanied children and youth in a way that centers their freedom, safety, and family unity.

Children

Affective Cartographies: Migrant, Displaced, And Refugee Girls And Adolescent Girls In Latin America And The Caribbean

June 20, 2022

Being a girl or an adolescent girl is no simple task in a time of multiple socialization demands to access the adult world. But being a migrant, displaced, or refugee girl or adolescent girl is even more complex, not only due to the difficulties stemming from sociocultural and economic standards, but also due to the uprooting that girls and adolescent girls are subjected to when they are forced to leave their country of origin. This report produced jointly by HIAS and UNICEF highlights the main needs and challenges for girls and adolescent girls, including forms of violence they experience during their processes of migration and forced displacement.

Children; Refugees & Asylum Seekers

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.

From Trauma to Development: A Policy Agenda for an Equitable Future for Young Children of Immigrants

May 19, 2022

By 2025, children of immigrants will make up nearly one-third of the U.S. child population. More than 94 percent of children of immigrants under the age of six are U.S. citizens, symbolizing a shift in the face of the nation. The ability of young children to learn, grow, and succeed defines what our nation will become, and yet, children of immigrants often lack the necessary resources to grow to their full potential. Additionally, due to a host of factors including their parents' journeys to the United States, socioeconomic status, citizenship status, language fluency, and the disruptions and destabilizations of the COVID-19 pandemic, the children of immigrants are also coping with trauma that, without proper resources and care, could leave them struggling throughout their whole lives. Relying on interviews with immigrant parents, experts, and advocates in the immigrant and child advocacy spaces, as well as a growing body of early education research, this report summarizes the barriers to learning, growth, and development for young children of immigrants and the policy solutions--like access to early education tailored to their families' particular needs--that could help them to overcome not only the social, educational, and economic barriers they face, but also to heal from trauma and live happy, healthy lives in the United States.

Children

Educating English Learners During the Pandemic: Insights from Experts, Advocates, and Practitioners

April 13, 2022

There is a growing body of evidence about the disproportionate impact the pandemic had on English learners (ELs). We sought to capture the complexity of learning conditions for this student population during the COVID-19 pandemic by interviewing 20 EL education leaders. These experts' experiences revealed that while remote learning posed significant challenges to EL education and services, educators improvised, collaborated, and continued to innovate throughout the pandemic. To help EL students moving forward, education leaders on all levels must acknowledge both the struggle and perseverance that shaped their educational experiences during the pandemic.

Children

Strategic Communications for Unaccompanied Children: Principles and Strategies

April 1, 2022

The past five years have seen numerous communications challenges for unaccompanied children's providers and advocates, along with substantial threats to the well-being of unaccompanied children (UC) themselves. In 2018, under the Trump Administration, shelters were targeted as sites of protest during the height of the Family Separation policy. More recently, 2021 and into 2022 have seen attacks on UC care providers from state governors who want to end the care of unaccompanied children in their states.This brief provides two key principles for strategic communications around the UC system, and five communications strategies for putting those principles into practice. Advocates and shelter care providers know the importance of providing care for unaccompanied children. To continue to provide that care, the program needs support from Congress, the Administration, members of the public, and state government officials. It is in the children's best interest to be able to effectively communicate and advocate on their behalf.

Children

Note on Unaccompanied Children Fleeing from Ukraine

March 23, 2022

It is evident that the scale and pace, and potentially long lasting nature, of the situation leads to huge difficulties in organising comprehensive responses from a legal, policy and practical perspective. Clearly, lack of shared information, and lack of connection between the different actors, could cause additional problems and place already vulnerable children at further risk.This joint report, by Child Circle and KIND, aims to serve the efforts of the many stakeholders who are working together under a common EU framework of measures, by providing an overview of key issues to consider in particular from the perspective of procedural safeguards and access to protection and safety.

Children; Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Falling Short on Follow-Through: Assessing and Alleviating Implementation Gaps in U.S. Trafficking Policy for Foreign National Child and Youth Trafficking Survivors

January 31, 2022

This policy paper identifies four areas where policy does not reach child trafficking survivors, and provides recommendations on how the U.S. government can amend policies and practices to ensure it does not fall short on protecting foreign national child survivors of human trafficking.

Children

Representation Matters: No Child Should Appear in Immigration Proceedings Alone

December 23, 2021

Each year, thousands of immigrant children are placed into court proceedings in which government prosecutors seek to deport them unless those children can prove they have a right to stay in the United States. Many face these immigration proceedings alone. Many children have legal options that establish their ability to remain in the United States, but these options are nearly impossible to access without the assistance of trained attorneys. Unfortunately, although the right to be represented by legal counsel is recognized in immigration proceedings, the right to appointed counsel is not. Children who are unable to find free counsel or afford private counsel must navigate the immigration system alone. This fact sheet outlines why universal, publicly funded representation for children in immigration proceedings is urgently needed.

Children

Strengthening Border Families: Frontline Practitioner Perspectives on Service Access for Immigrant Families with Young Children in Doña Ana County, NM

December 22, 2021

In recent years, federal immigration and public benefits policies with implications for immigrant families in the U.S. have been extraordinarily restrictive and punitive. These policies have exacerbated a climate of fear and vulnerability for immigrant families, while also creating significant barriers to service access and eligibility for immigrant families, particularly those services that are important for child health and wellbeing. The borderlands of New Mexico are one of the most impoverished areas of the country, where the day-to-day experiences of immigrant children and families are impacted by complex border policies and dynamics that restrict access to needed supports.