Skip to content

A Selection of Policy Papers and Reports on Refugees and Immigrants

The Faltering U.S. Refugee Protection System

Policies don’t form in a vacuum. They are shaped by social, political, and economic norms and values, which ultimately decide who gets what and whether the government takes action on an issue. The negative impact of government policies on refugees and asylees, especially since 9/11, are detailed in this 2011 report by the Migration Policy Institute.

More than a Wall: the Rise and Fall of US Asylum and Refugee Policy

How refugees and immigrants are constructed is a key component of how refugee and immigration policies are written, interpreted, supported, and contested. In More than a Wall: The Rise and Fall of US Asylum and Refugee Policy, Wasem (2020) analyzes historical sources to examine U.S. refugee and asylum policy. The article states that “current refugees lack the domestic political constituencies in the United States that comprise a key component of support for refugee policy and that restoration of generous humanitarian policies requires robust civic engagement and steadfast legislative efforts.”

Unfulfilled Promises, Future Possibilities: The Refugee Resettlement System in the United States

Resettlement policies that focus on early employment push refugees to accept low paying jobs as a means to economic self-sufficiency. While this policy may help with short-term employment, it fails to address the long-term economic success of refugees. The article highlights ideas and suggests reforms for the US domestic resettlement system.

Immigration Policies and Group Identity: How Immigrant Laws Affect Linked Fate among U.S. Latino Populations

The article explores the relationship between the rise of punitive immigration laws and the group identity of the Latino population expressed through linked fate.

The Integration Outcomes of U.S. Refugees: Successes and Challenges

This report was designed to inform public debates about the United States refugee resettlement and long-term integration outcomes.

Rebuilding the U.S. Refugee Program for the 21st Century

This report offers policymakers and stakeholders concrete ideas to re-imagine the refugee program and provides policy recommendations at the federal, state, and local levels to help rebuild the system.

U.S. Immigration Policy and Immigrant Children’s Well-Being: The Impact of Policy Shifts

The article examines the immigration policy and anti-immigrant sentiment that negatively affect the vulnerable population of immigrant families, including their children. By discussing the implications for social policy reform, such as decriminalization, we can build a better future.

Creating the exclusionist society: from the War on Poverty to the war on immigrants

The article explores the forces of exclusion and repression that the U.S. has successively unleashed in the name of the nation’s putative wars. The result has been the creation of an unprecedentedly harsh reception for first and second generation Latino immigrants in the United States today.

Counting a Diverse Nation: Disaggregating Data on Race and Ethnicity to Advance a Culture of Health

From 2007-2013, the Refugee and Immigrant Legislative Day advocated for the disaggregation of data. This report examines the impact of aggregated data on the health outcomes of invisible communities, such as Americans of Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander backgrounds, individual American Indian nations, refugees from a Middle Eastern country, and immigrants from nations in Central America or Africa. When these groups seek to be counted and have their life circumstances documented, theirs is a call for visibility and full inclusion.

Creating Refugees: Displacement Caused by the United States’ Post-9/11 Wars

The article evaluates the human cost of wars, including displacement, deaths and injuries. Displacement needs to be central to any future consideration of the use of military force by the U.S. or other countries. Ultimately, the wars since 9/11 have displaced 37 million people, and perhaps as many as 59 million, raising the question of who bears responsibility for repairing the damage inflicted on those displaced.

The Arab Spring, U.S. Foreign Policy, and the Question of Democracy in the Middle East

A discussion of U.S. policy towards the Middle East.

Immigration Policies and Group Identity: How Immigrant Laws affect Linked Fate among U.S. Latino Populations

The article explores the relationship between the rise of punitive immigration laws and the group identity of registered Latino voters.

Policy Analysis: Terrorists by Immigration Status and Nationality: A Risk Analysis, 1975-2017

This policy analysis quantifies the risks of foreign-born and native-born terrorists on U.S. soil by evaluating how many people they murdered and injured in attacks, their ideologies, the visas foreign-born terrorists entered on, and their countries of origin. It also examines the costs of terrorism on U.S. soil, foreign-born terrorism, and proposed policy solutions, particularly the immigration moratorium in the United States.

“Saving” Muslim Women: Feminism, U.S. Policy and the War on Terror

The author suggests the powerful media portrayal of the oppressed Muslim woman, as signified by her veiled body and her refusal or presumed inability to speak for herself, has long been a tool by which violence is justified in the name of her salvation. Citing American policy in Afghanistan, the article discusses the past thirty years as a cogent example to examine the ways in which women’s rights are co-opted and politicized to morally justify violent intervention.

Refugee Integration: Research and Policy

The article explores how policies shape refugee identities, stereotypes, and interactions in ways that affect community welcome. It also discusses the importance of policies and initiatives that challenge our attitudes and beliefs about refugees as these can be an impediment to successful integration.

More Lessons from Vietnam: Comparing Refugee Policy in the Cold War and the War on Terror

The author compares the United States’ historical refugee policy in the Indochinese refugee crisis with its policy in the ongoing refugee crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. The article discusses the differences and similarities in U.S. policy between the two cases and offers policy recommendations for future administrations that will improve U.S. refugee policy by increasing effective implementation of U.S. foreign policy goals and addressing ongoing humanitarian crises.