Faith Communities/Faith-Based Organizations

Faith Communities/Faith-Based Organizations

New from IMR: Responses to Migration Policies, Immigrant Employment Outcomes, and Family Dynamics across Borders

The Summer 2018 edition of the International Migration Review (IMR) is now available online and in print through paid or institutional subscription. This edition offers a focus on migration policies and responses to them, including a paper on spiritual citizenship and a paper analyzing the evolution of migration policies around the world. It also features papers on transnational family dynamics related to marriage and education and the factors shaping immigrant employment outcomes. This edition has four new book reviews which are open access and freely available.

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JMHS Special Collection | The US Refugee Protection System on the 35th Anniversary of the Refugee Act of 1980
The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) released, The US Refugee Protection System on the 35th Anniversary of the RefugeeAct of 1980: A Comprehensive Assessment of the System’s Strengths, Limitations,and Need for Reform, a special edition of CMS’s Journal on Migration and Human Security (JMHS). Authored by leading experts, the collection of 11 papers offers an exhaustive assessment and critique of the US refugee protection system, covering refugees, asylum seekers and refugee-like populations in need of protection. The series attempts to bring concentrated academic and policy attention to this pillar of US immigration and humanitarian programs and the broader international refugee protection system. The papers cover access to protection, refugee resettlement, political asylum, temporary protection, the stateless, migrants in crisis situations, unaccompanied minors, and other populations at risk.

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Venezuela in Crisis: the Plight of Venezuelan Refugees
While US public and media attention has been focused on  Central American families fleeing violence in the Northern Triangle states, a crisis of larger proportions has been unfolding farther south. Since 2015, more than 1.6 million Venezuelans have left their...

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The Role of Faith-Based Organizations in Immigrants’ Health and Entrepreneurship
This paper highlights the potential of faith-based organizations to improve the health and work outcomes of vulnerable migrants. First, the paper describes how faith-based organizations expand health care to underserved populations and play a vital role in building trust between healthcare providers and migrant communities. Next, the paper describes obstacles to migrant employment and explains how faith-based organizations are promoting migrant entrepreneurship through training, referrals, and targeted microloans, among other services. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of how the international community might support faith-based organizations’ efforts in these areas. In particular, the Global Compact on Migration should recognize faith-based organizations’ unique resources and credibility among vulnerable migrant populations. It should also emphasize the potential for productive cooperation between international organizations and faith-based organizations in the areas of migrant health care and entrepreneurship.

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Meeting the Needs of Women and Girl Migrants and Refugees in the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework: The Unique Role of Faith-Based Organizations
This paper illustrates the unique role of faith-based organizations (FBOs) in supporting vulnerable women and girl migrants and refugees and provides frameworks for FBOs in taking action. First, it outlines the major challenges that women and girl migrants and refugees face in their countries of origin as well as in transit, reception, and destination countries. Then, it argues that FBOs can play a unique and vital role in supporting vulnerable women and girl migrants and refugees due to their fluidity among stakeholders, their ability to distance themselves from the power dynamics of humanitarian aid, and their long-term and grounded presence. It provides the following approaches for FBOs in supporting vulnerable women and girl migrants and refugees: 1) addressing root causes through their presence in countries of origin, 2) opening the hearts and minds of people in host communities, 3) using the moral authority of faith leadership to subvert gender paradigms and make women and girls leaders and teachers.

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The US Refugee Resettlement Program — A Return to First Principles: How Refugees Help to Define, Strengthen, and Revitalize the United States

This paper examines the integration, achievements and contributions of 1.1 million refugees resettled in the United States from 1987 to 2016. It does so in three ways. First, it compares the household, demographic, and economic characteristics of refugees that arrived between 1987 and 2016, to comparable data for non-refugees, the foreign-born, and the total US population. Second, it compares the characteristics of refugees by period of entry, as well as to the foreign-born and total US population. Third, it examines the characteristics of refugees that arrived from the former Soviet Union between 1987 and 1999, measured in 2000 and again in 2016. By all three measures, it finds that refugees successfully integrate over time and contribute immensely to their new communities. Perhaps most dramatically, the paper shows that refugees that arrived between 1987 and 1996 exceed the total US population, which consists mostly of native-born citizens, in personal income, homeownership, college education, labor force participation, self-employment, health insurance coverage, and access to a computer and the internet. The paper also explores the successful public/private partnerships — with a particular focus on Catholic agencies — that facilitate refugee well-being and integration, and that leverage substantial private support for refugees. Overall, the paper argues that the United States should expand and strengthen its refugee resettlement program. The program has advanced US standing in the world, saved countless lives, and put millions on a path to work, self-sufficiency, and integration.

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