What Works: Innovative Approaches to Improving Refugee Integration

Silva Mathema
Date of Publication: 
February, 2018
Source Organization: 
Center for American Progress

The Trump administration has proposed funding cuts to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), which will destabilize the current infrastructure for resettling and integrating refugees. This infrastructure, based on a partnership between the federal government and nonprofit organizations, has enabled the United States to successfully integrate millions of refugees into American life. What Works: Innovative Approaches to Improving Refugee Integration from the Center for American Progress attempts to document the specific strategies and programs that have produced these impressive results, as well as to suggest approaches that can be used to weather the hostile atmosphere created by the current administration. The author used a "snowball" sampling technique to identify 24 model programs providing services in four areas: employment and entrepreneurship, education, social integration, and specialized services such as health care.  In each of these areas, the author tries to explain "why these programs work."  For example, strong and lasting relationships with employers seem to be crucial in the employment area.  In the educational area, some programs have experimented with home-based instruction for hard-to-reach refugee women and families with young children. The author makes a number of recommendations to help the resettlement sector survive this challenging period, including advising cities to create umbrella organizations dedicated to refugee integration, encouraging organizations to seek diverse sources of funding, creating opportunities for sharing among resettlement organizations, expanding services to the wider community, and continuing to recruit and invest in volunteers.  (The Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

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Mathema, S. (2018). What Works: Innovative Approaches to Improving Refugee Integration. Washington, D.C.: Center for American Progress. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/reports/2018/02/28/447283/what-works/