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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Crossing the Border: How Disability Civil Rights Protections Can Include Disabled Asylum-Seekers

August 24, 2022

This report provides an overview of the impacts of the U.S. asylum system on disabled children and adults; explores legal issues at the intersection of immigration and disability; and offers recommendations for applying existing disability civil rights protections, such as the ADA, to assist disabled asylum-seekers through the process of gaining permanent legal status.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Immigrants and Asylum-Seekers Deserve Humane Alternatives To Detention

July 13, 2022

Each year, hundreds of thousands of individuals fleeing persecution arrive in the United States and begin the process of claiming asylum, while other undocumented immigrants in the United States encounter Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Although many of these individuals end up in ICE detention, a large subset of them are released and enrolled in the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program as they await a decision on their case or deportation. As opposed to remaining in a physical detention center, those enrolled in the ATD program are electronically monitored through ankle monitors, telephone calls, and smartphone applications.As the Biden administration has worked to reform an immigration system impeded by Trump-era policies that criminalized undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers and expanded immigration detention, the ATD program has rapidly grown. In fact, as of June 2022, a record number of almost 280,000 undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers have been enrolled in ATD, and the Biden administration plans to double this number by the end of 2023.This is an important step toward reducing the country's costly reliance on immigration detention, which severely harms immigrants and asylum-seekers by separating them from their families, communities, and critical services as they fight their legal cases to remain in the country.However, the expansion of the ATD program raises a new set of privacy and civil liberty concerns. Namely, there is growing concern that enrolled immigrants and asylum-seekers may experience the program as "e-carceration," or a different form of detention, due to its invasive surveillance measures and mobility restrictions.To address this, the Biden administration must reconsider how it implements the ATD program as it works to build a more fair, humane, and functional immigration system that respects due process and the dignity of immigrants and asylum-seekers. Specifically, less restrictive, community-based approaches to administering the ATD program hold the most promise for providing immigrants and asylum-seekers with support, while also promoting voluntary compliance with immigration authorities. Instead of relying on electronic monitoring, which has become synonymous with the ATD program, the alternatives detailed in this report operate using case management models that offer wraparound social and legal support to immigrants and asylum-seekers as they resolve their cases.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

The Urgency of Designating Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status

March 3, 2022

Cameroon is grappling with multiple humanitarian crises—including an armed conflict—that have increased insecurity, destabilized the nation, and caused its people immense suffering. Under existing immigration law, the U.S. secretary of homeland security is authorized to designate a country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) if it meets certain conditions that temporarily preclude its nationals from returning safely. Deteriorating conditions in Cameroon along with ongoing humanitarian crises exacerbated by the pandemic make return dangerous and warrant immediate humanitarian protection for Cameroonians residing in the United States. Reports indicate that current U.S. asylum policies have failed to provide Cameroonians with due process when seeking asylum. As a result, many Cameroonians have suffered ill treatment and abuse in immigration detention, where they have faced discrimination because of their race, forcing many to return to a country where they may face grave harm and persecution.The Center for American Progress estimates that there are up to 40,000 noncitizen Cameroonians living in the United States—32,700 adults and 7,300 children—who could be made eligible for protection by a TPS designation. Given the worsening crisis in Cameroon, various Black immigrants' rights advocacy organizations such as Cameroon Advocacy Network, Haitian Bridge Alliance, and UndocuBlack Network—along with members of Congress—have been advocating to temporarily protect them from deportation. It is urgent that the U.S. government do so now and provide protection and stability for Cameroonian nationals living in the United States.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

What the European Union and United States Need to Do to Address the Migration Crisis in Ukraine

March 1, 2022

As the United States and other countries formulate military and diplomatic responses to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, they should also be focusing on how to protect the growing number of people who are being forcibly displaced because of the conflict. Since the invasion began, more than 500,000 people have fled Ukraine into nearby EU member states, including Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania. That number will undoubtedly continue to rise.The number of people in Ukraine who are vulnerable to displacement ranges widely—from 1 million to 5 million—and could be the largest forcible displacement in Europe in the 21st century. This article provides recommendations for how the European Union and the United States can respond to this migration crisis.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Why Immigration Relief Matters

February 1, 2022

Undocumented immigrants make significant economic contributions and are integral members of communities across the United States; immigration relief is necessary to continue growing the economy and strengthening communities nationwide, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Temporary Protected Status Is Critical To Tackling the Root Causes of Migration in the Americas

October 28, 2021

This policy brief examines the impact that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) would have on alleviating the root cuases of migration in the Americas, specifically issues such as gang violence, food insecurity, political instability, and natural disasters. The author explores the ways remittances from TPS holders could improve the lives of families abroad.

Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants Would Boost U.S. Economic Growth

June 14, 2021

Today, 10.2 million undocumented immigrants are living and working in communities across the United States. On average, they have lived in this country for 16 years and are parents, grandparents, and siblings to another 10.2 million family members. At the same time, it has been nearly 40 years since Congress has meaningfully reformed the U.S. immigration system, leaving a generation of individuals and their families vulnerable. Poll after poll has illustrated that the vast majority of Americans support putting undocumented immigrants on a pathway to citizenship. And as the nation emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and looks toward the future, legalization is a key component of a just, equitable, and robust recovery.As the Biden administration and Congress craft their recovery legislation and consider how best to move the nation's policies toward a more fair, humane, and workable immigration system, the Center for American Progress and the University of California, Davis's Global Migration Center modeled the economic impacts of several proposals that are currently before Congress. Using an aggregate macro-growth simulation, the model illustrates the benefits to the whole nation from putting undocumented immigrants on a pathway to citizenship. Such legislation would increase productivity and wages—not just for those eligible for legalization, but for all American workers—create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and increase tax revenue.

The Economics of Immigration Reform

August 3, 2010

Now more than ever, Americans are seeking real solutions to our nationas problems, and there is no better place to start than protecting our workers, raising wages, and getting our economy moving again. Part of this massive effort must include workable answers to our critically important immigration problems.