Immigrant Lives, American Futures: Linking Asset Building and Immigrant Integration

Manuel Pastor, Rhonda Ortiz, & Magaly N. López
Date of Publication: 
May, 2018
Source Organization: 

Immigrant Lives, American Futures: Linking Asset Building and Immigrant Integration seeks to create common cause and greater alignment among funders interested in immigrant integration and those interested in asset-building. Often, the horizon for action is different for both, i.e. more short-term and crisis oriented for integration funders, and more long-term and life cycle focused among asset-building funders. To bridge this difference will require a change in perspective on the part of both types of funders.

The report also takes a broad view of asset-building, calling attention to those assets often overlooked by traditional funders, including language skills, immigration status, and cultural capital. The paper includes a useful chart showing how immigration status interacts with specific asset-building tools, products, and opportunities, and urges asset-building funders to expand their grant portfolios to target the growing immigrant population in the U.S. Successful grant-making in this area will require funders to be more culturally sensitive and to recognize that building assets and wealth is not a "culturally neutral endeavor." Drawing on both the literature in the field, as well as interviews with funders and experts, the report describes promising practices at the intersection of immigrant integration and asset-building.

Finally, the report offers a series of recommendations for funders interested in bridging the two fields, including ways to build knowledge of emerging communities and grant-making strategies of proven effectiveness, such as investments in immigrant entrepreneurship and policy advocacy leading to systemic change. This report was commissioned by The Asset Funders Network and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees. (American Immigrant Policy Portal)


Download now or view online


Pastor, M., Ortiz, R., & López, M. N. (2018). Immigrant Lives, American Futures: Linking Asset Building and Immigrant Integration. Retrieved from