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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"Immigration"" by Paul_the_Seeker is licensed under CC 2.0

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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.

Temporary Protected Status is critically important immigration relief for TPS holders and the U.S. economy

April 13, 2022

New FWD.us statistical analysis shows that longtime holders of Temporary Protected Status (TPS)—a designation granted by the Department of Homeland Security offering work authorization and deportation protections for individuals in the U.S. who cannot safely return to their home countries—are able to contribute significantly to the U.S. economy.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Retaining U.S. International Student Graduates Could Help the U.S. Win the Global Talent Race

February 3, 2022

The United States could increase its competitiveness in the global race for talent with a straightforward process for the 100,000 international students projected to graduate from U.S. colleges and universities each year who want to stay and work permanently in the country. According to FWD.us estimates, allowing such graduates to secure a green card upon graduation could add up to $233 billion in wages to the U.S. economy this decade, including $65 billion in combined federal, state, and local taxes. Such a policy could also reduce our STEM-related talent shortages by a quarter this decade.

New York needs pro-immigrant policies to bolster its population and economy

January 19, 2022

New York State has been a major destination for immigrants coming to the U.S. for decades. However, a new FWD.us analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data finds that the state's immigrant, or foreign-born, population largely stopped growing during the previous decade, with serious implications for its economy. In 2019, just before the pandemic, immigrants in New York State numbered approximately 4.35 million and made up about 22% of the state's population—about the same share of the population as in 2010. Now that number is plateauing, and more immigrants are leaving the state than entering. To grow its population and its economy in the decades ahead, New York must make the state a more attractive destination for immigrants as well as offer more opportunities for immigrants already living there.

Pushing Back Protection: How Offshoring And Externalization Imperil The Right To Asylum

August 3, 2021

The 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Refugee Protocol created the framework for asylum law at a global level. Key to this framework is the principle of non-refoulement, which prevents countries from returning asylum seekers to places where they may face persecution or torture. Most nations, including affluent countries such as the United States, Australia, and European Union Member States, ratified these treaties, incorporating the core principle of non-refoulement into their domestic laws. However, in recent decades, with the goal of preventing asylum seekers and migrants from reaching their borders, these nations have chipped away at the principle, claiming compliance with legal obligations while in practice rendering safety elusive for refugees fleeing harm.These nations turned to two mechanisms to achieve their goals: offshoring or transferring asylum seekers to other nations for processing or detention under tenuous bilateral agreements; and/or externalization or interfering with the journey of asylum seekers and seeking to halt their arrival through pushbacks by public or private proxy entities.This report traces restrictions on the ability of vulnerable people to seek asylum across three continents in recent history and describes the deadly impact these policies have had on people seeking protection around the world. The U.S.-based authors of the report conclude with recommendations for the United States government to draw from these global lessons.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Pathways to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants

June 14, 2021

FWD.us estimates that nearly all undocumented immigrants belong to groups that most Americans say should be provided a pathway to citizenship. These groups include essential workers, Dreamers who came to the U.S. as children, undocumented individuals living in the U.S. for many years, those with U.S. citizen family members, or those who currently have temporary protection from deportation.Multiple pieces of commonsense legislation providing a pathway to citizenship for many of these groups have bipartisan support in Congress, but Congress has failed to pass this kind of legislation for decades. It's well past time for Congress to provide the certainty that undocumented immigrants need as they work essential jobs, go to school, support their families, and help rebuild the American economy.

Projections Show Increasing Future Immigration Grows the U.S. Competitive Advantage

April 7, 2021

The U.S. needs to increase the number of immigrants entering our country each year substantially to grow its competitive advantage and expand our future workforce, according to immigration scenarios prepared by researchers at George Mason University in a study commissioned by FWD.us. Without boosting legal immigration significantly now, the U.S. will sacrifice its position as the world's largest economy by 2030 and leave the reserves of vital programs—like Social Security— depleted by 2034.

Immigrant Essential Workers are Crucial to America’s COVID-19 Recovery

December 16, 2020

New estimates from FWD.us show that immigrants represent a substantial, and thus critical, part of America's essential COVID-19 workforce combating the pandemic. Numbering nearly 23 million people, these medical, agricultural, food service, and other immigrant essential workers make up nearly 1 in 5 individuals in the total U.S. essential workforce.