Spring 2020 - 58210 - PA 680PB - Policy Research Project
Welcoming Communities and Immigration Incorporation
In 2017, Dallas became one of the two dozen US cities that have established “welcoming communities” as part of immigration incorporation initiatives. The Dallas Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs (WCIA) has a multi-faceted program, Welcoming Plan, to promote the successful inclusion of immigrants into the social and economic fabric of the Dallas community. Immigrants play a crucial role in the vitality of the city - 42% of Dallas households speak a language other than English, and 31.6% of the labor force in the Dallas metro area are immigrants. Dallas WCIA aspires to be a bridge connecting Dallas' diverse immigrant community with existing Dallas residents so that common ground and shared leadership can be realized.
As a new and multi-faceted program, there are several policy research areas in which the LBJ School PRP can make meaningful contributions.
The Foundational Material
PRP participants will prepare by reading Welcoming New Americans? Local Governments and Immigration Incorporation, by Abigail Fisher Williamson (2018), “Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview and Trends,” by Ruth Ellen Wasem (2014), and “Welfare and Public Benefits,” by Ruth Ellen Wasem (2014). They will familiarized themselves with the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at the University of Southern California [ https://dornsife.usc.edu/csii/ ] and the Migration Policy Institute’s Research Initiative on Immigrant Integration [ https://www.migrationpolicy.org/topics/immigrant-integration ]. They will also review the older immigrant incorporation programs such as the state of New York’s Office of New Americans [ https://www.newamericans.ny.gov/ ] and Michigan’s Welcoming Communities [ https://welcomingmichigan.org/ ].
We will assess the utility of the New American Economy (NAE) Cities Index that systematically evaluates immigrant integration by measuring local policies and socioeconomic outcomes across the 100 largest cities in the United States. The Index tracks where each city stands in its integration efforts in order to provide insight on how local communities can maximize the potential of their immigrant populations for the well-being of all residents. https://www.newamericaneconomy.org/cities-index/
Although the scope is yet to be determined, the project will likely center on methods to measure the equitable delivery of city services to immigrant and refugee residents and the how Dallas scores on indices based on the measures.