Exploring the Potential of Two-Generation Strategies in Refugee Integration
Mark Greenberg, Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute
Julia Gelatt, Senior Policy Analyst, MPI
Jessica Bolter, Research Assistant, MPI
Asha Parekh, Director, Refugee Services Office, Utah Department of Workforce Services
Kit Taintor, State Refugee Coordinator, Refugee Services Program, Colorado Department of Human Services
The U.S. refugee resettlement program is facing an extraordinary set of pressures and challenges. Following the Trump administration’s decision to sharply reduce refugee admissions, the number plunged in fiscal 2018 to an unprecedented low of 22,491 since the program’s formal creation in 1980. This has in turn caused drastic funding cuts for resettlement programs and uncertainty about the future—threatening the network’s sustainability and capacity for larger-scale refugee resettlement in the future. These challenges make this an important time to consider how programs can better serve the full spectrum of refugee integration needs, and how to strengthen partnerships with local governments and nongovernmental actors.
Traditionally the refugee resettlement system has concentrated on helping adults find employment quickly, with limited resources focused on children or nonworking family members. However, research and experience point to the benefits of adopting strategies that address the needs of the whole family. Strong and supportive families promote better outcomes for children. Grounded in that knowledge, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) released a study on how a two-generation approach could strengthen refugee integration in the United States.
On this webinar, MPI researchers explore promising practices to better serve refugee families, including innovative efforts to secure better jobs for adult refugees over time. In a conversation with state refugee coordinators, study authors discuss the potential for implementing and supporting two-generation approaches to refugee integration at a time when the system’s funding and capacity are in peril.