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.

More ways to engage:
- Add your organization's content to this collection.
- Send us content recommendations.
- Easily share this collection on your website or app.

"Immigration"" by Paul_the_Seeker is licensed under CC 2.0

Search this collection

Clear all

24 results found

reorder grid_view

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.

An Oversight Agenda for Customs and Border Protection: America’s Largest, Least Accountable Law Enforcement Agency

October 12, 2021

The nation's largest law enforcement agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), is also its least transparent and accountable. The need for oversight and reform is pressing: Along the border, there have been numerous examples of CBP encounters leading to civilian deaths.This report proposes a bottom-up, good governance approach to reforms, and identifies six discrete needs for oversight which have in common a focus on changing CBP culture. It steers clear of border-policy debates by focusing on increased professionalism and transparency, as well as on improved processes for addressing misconduct. These oversight topics address a culture of impunity that must be — or at least must become — unacceptable to every CBP leader, officer, and agent among the many who do serve honorably.

Smart Borders or a Humane World?

October 6, 2021

On January 20, 2021, his first day in office, President Biden issued an executive order pausing the remaining construction of the southern border wall initiated during the Trump administration. Soon after, the White House sent a bill to Congress, the US Citizenship Act of 2021, calling for the deployment of "smart technology" to "manage and secure the southern border."This report delves into the rhetoric of "smart borders" to explore their ties to a broad regime of border policing and exclusion that greatly harms migrants and refugees who either seek or already make their home in the United States. Investment in an approach centered on border and immigrant policing, it argues, is incompatible with the realization of a just and humane world.The report concludes by arguing that we must move beyond a narrow debate limited to "hard" versus "smart" borders toward a discussion of how we can move toward a world where all people have the support needed to lead healthy, secure, and vibrant lives. A just border policy would ask questions such as: How do we help create conditions that allow people to stay in the places they call home, and to thrive wherever they reside? When people do have to move, how can we ensure they are able to do so safely? When we take these questions as our starting point, we realize that it is not enough to fix a "broken" system. Rather, we need to reimagine the system entirely.

Ensuring Equal and Enduring Access to Asylum: Why ‘Gender’ Must be a Protected Ground

September 9, 2021

To ensure equal and enduring access to asylum for survivors of gender-based violence, the U.S. must join other countries in adding a gender as an independent basis for asylum. This report by Tahirih lays out six arguments for why gender must be a protected ground.

Human Rights Travesty: Biden Administration Embrace of Trump Asylum Expulsion Policy Endangers Lives, Wreaks Havoc

August 24, 2021

More than seven months since President Biden took office, the U.S. government continues to turn awayand block people seeking protection at U.S. ports of entry along the southern border and to expel manyasylum seekers to growing danger in Mexico. For this report, Human Rights First researchers conducted in person and remote interviews with migrantsand asylum seekers, government officials in the United States and Mexico, attorneys, academicresearchers, humanitarian staff, and other legal monitors. Researchers spoke with 65 migrants andasylum seekers in person in the Mexican cities of Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, Piedras Negras, and CiudadAcuña in August 2021 and more than 50 additional interviews with migrants and asylum seekers inMexico were carried out by telephone between July and August 2021. Interviews were conductedprimarily in Spanish with a limited number in English. The report draws on data from an electronic surveyof asylum seekers in Mexico conducted by Al Otro Lado between June and August 2021, as well asinformation from U.S. and Mexican government data, media sources, and other human rights reports.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

A Brief History of U.S. Immigration Policy from the Colonial Period to the Present Day

August 3, 2021

More than 86 million people have legally immigrated to the United States between 1783 and 2019. The legal regime under which they immigrated has changed radically over that time; the politics surrounding those changes have remained contentious, and past immigration policies inform the current political debate. Conflicting visions and piecemeal legislation have left the United States with an archaic and barely coherent immigration system with outdated policy objectives that is primarily controlled by the executive branch of government. We review the history of U.S. immigration policy, including the legal controversies that empowered Congress with its immigration plenary power and the historical policy decisions that still guide the U.S. immigration system, in order to contextualize the current political debate over immigration at the beginning of the Biden administration.

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.

The Survivors: Stories of People Released from ICE Detention During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 11, 2021

By examining client stories and key facts uncovered from the 40+ lawsuits the American Civil Liberties Union filed against Immigration and Customs Enforcement since March of 2020, this report provides a window into the conditions of immigration detention from the perspective of people who survived and gained freedom from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report also highlights some of the most egregious ways in which ICE and its contractors failed to protect detained people and, in some cases, sought to obscure the truth. It also makes recommendations to the administration and highlights the stories of 19 people who were detained during the pandemic and released as a result of litigation. 

Tracking the Biden Agenda on Legal Immigration in the First 100 Days

April 29, 2021

President Biden assumed office after making considerable commitments to implement changes to legal immigration in the United States, both to reverse harmful changes by former President Trump, but also in reforming and updating the system more broadly. Trump executed prolonged attacks on many categories of immigrants in thinly veiled attempts to limit the number of noncitizens entering the United States temporarily and permanently. These changes created a series of often duplicative barriers impacting the same populations and limiting the ability of many noncitizens to obtain or maintain immigration status in the United States. While the Biden administration has made significant progress in meeting many of its commitments in restoring and reforming legal immigration in the United States, significant barriers to access remain that will need to be addressed for the system to function in a meaningful manner.This special report analyzes some of the most significant changes to immigration policy made by the Trump administration, as well as the subsequent commitments and accomplishments made by the Biden administration on these issues during its first 100 days. The report also provides recommendations for action throughout the remainder of the Biden presidency to foster a fair and efficient system of legal immigration.

A Chance to Come Home: A Roadmap To Bring Home The Unjustly Deported

April 28, 2021

For decades, the U.S. immigration system has deported hundreds of thousands of individuals, permanently separating them from their families and destabilizing communities. In some cases, people were deported despite having strong legal grounds for remaining in the United States. In other cases, the U.S. government has repeatedly abused its considerable discretion to decide whether, and when, to order deportation. These deportations have disproportionately harmed Black and Brown immigrant communities. The government must begin the work of redressing these injustices.The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) issues this white paper in support of the growing call among communities in the United States and abroad for the Biden administration to establish a meaningful opportunity to return home for those who have been unjustly deported. NIJC provides concrete proposals for a centralized mechanism to consider post-deportation requests in an efficient yet individualized manner. Most importantly, the white paper underscores the urgency of these proposals for those long separated from their loved ones, longing to come home.

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.