Approximately 18 million children of immigrants live in the United States, comprising one quarter of the total child population and nearly 42 percent of all children of color. Children of immigrants face a unique combination of challenges: barriers related to their or their family members’ immigration status, policies and programs that fall short of addressing their needs, institutional racism, and xenophobia.
The following recommendations for philanthropy emerged from a 2017 roundtable session (“Advancing Opportunity for Children of Color in Immigrant Families: A Cross-Sector Approach”) hosted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants (GCIR) in partnership with Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce (GIST) and the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative (ECFC).
- Capacity Building
- Adapt and disseminate Know Your Rights and family preparedness training and materials, such as model guardianship agreements and powers of attorney in the event of detention or deportation.
- Policy Advocacy
- Identify and engage new allies, such as associations of education and medical professionals, mental health providers, social service agencies, and youth development and youth-led organizations, among many others.
- Document the impact of current policies and rhetoric on children in immigrant families through both qualitative and quantitative methods
- Narrative and Strategic Communications
- Provide communications training and related leadership development opportunities for immigrant youth as well as a wide range of organizations that serve and/or interface with children in immigrant families.
Read the full article about what philanthropy can do for immigrant families at Grantmakers Concerned With Immigrants and Refugees.
While there is philanthropic capacity in the areas of child development, education, family support, health, immigrant integration, and legal services, it is imperative that funders come together to address specific threats to children in immigrant families and to maximize their impact.