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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The psychological effects of forced family separation on asylum-seeking children and parents at the US-Mexico border: A qualitative analysis of medico-legal documents

November 24, 2021

The U.S. government forcibly separated more than 5,000 children from their parents between 2017 and 2018 through its "Zero Tolerance" policy. It is unknown how many of the children have since been reunited with their parents. As of August 1, 2021, however, at least 1,841 children are still separated from their parents. This study systematically examined narratives obtained as part of a medico-legal process by trained clinical experts who interviewed and evaluated parents and children who had been forcibly separated. The data analysis demonstrated that 1) parents and children shared similar pre-migration traumas and the event of forced family separation in the U.S.; 2) they reported signs and symptoms of trauma following reunification; 3) almost all individuals met criteria for DSM diagnoses, even after reunification; 4) evaluating clinicians consistently concluded that mental health treatment was indicated for both parents and children; and 5) signs of malingering were absent in all cases.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Essential and Excluded: How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Impacting Immigrant Families

February 23, 2021

Between April and November 2020, organizers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and North Carolina had in-depth conversations with over 900 primarily Latinx immigrants—including nearly 400 undocumented community members. While capturing different moments of the pandemic, important issues facing immigrant communities were surfaced across the surveys.

Living in an Immigrant Family in America: How Fear and Toxic Stress are Affecting Daily Life, Well-Being, & Health

December 13, 2017

Immigration policy has been and continues to be a controversial topic in the U.S. Over the course of the election and since taking office, President Trump has intensified national debate about immigration as he has implemented policies to enhance immigration enforcement and restrict the entry of immigrants from selected countries the Administration believes may pose a threat to the country. The climate surrounding these policies and this debate potentially affect 23 million noncitizens in the U.S., including both lawfully present and undocumented immigrants, many of whom came to the U.S. seeking safety and improved opportunities for their families.They also have implications for the over 12 million children who live with a noncitizen parent who are predominantly U.S-born citizen children. We conducted focus groups with 100 parents from 15 countries and 13 interviews with pediatricians to gain insight into how the current environment is affecting the daily lives, well-being, and health of immigrant families, including their children.

Supporting English Language Acquisition: Opportunities for Foundations to Strengthen Immigrant Families

August 15, 2005

By investing strategically in English acquisition programs, foundations can make an important contribution to improve social and economic outcomes for working-poor immigrant families. To help funders gain a better understanding of the issues, this briefing paper provides an overview of characteristics of the LEP immigrant population in the United States and discusses the impact of limited English skills on newcomer families. It highlights proven and promising language acquisition programs and strategies that help improve immigrant families' social, educational, and economic well-being. Finally, the paper offers a set of recommendations for investing in effective language acquisition programs that can help immigrants maintain strong family relationships, improve their long-term economic security, and become full, participating members of our community.

Children; Field Building