Launched in 2007, the California Immigrant Integration Initiative (CIII) seeks to advance the civic and economic integration of immigrants by strengthening the immigrant integration infrastructure in communities across California. Through quarterly meetings and other ongoing programming, CIII facilitates funder engagement, peer-to-peer learning, and member-led initiatives that allow foundations to drill deep on specific issues and strategies—and target their work geographically. CIII also creates opportunities for funders to leverage the collective impact of their funding—and their leadership—to advance their institutional goals and energize the immigrant funding field.
Implemented on August 15, 2012, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a policy directive that provides temporary relief from deportation—among other benefits—to qualifying immigrant youth and young adults. In response to this development, GCIR launched Delivering on the Dream, an initiative aimed at coordinating national, state, and local funding to maximize the number of potentially eligible individuals—among an estimated 2.1 million nationally—who will benefit from this critical form of immigration relief.
DACA represents a timely and strategic opportunity for funders to leverage the impact of their investments, meet pressing community needs, and achieve a lasting impact through diverse grantmaking priorities. The immediate and long-term benefits of DACA are considerable—for example, the directive’s educational requirements are expected to improve academic outcomes for young immigrants, and access to work authorization will help beneficiaries gain an economic foothold in our society.
Launched in 2011, GCIR’s National Citizenship Initiative seeks to engage foundations across the country to invest in programs, services, and innovations to help eligible immigrants attain U.S. citizenship. We help national, regional, state, and local foundations coordinate and align their funding; identify partnership and leverage opportunities; and facilitate information sharing and peer-learning. In so doing, we create economies of scale, deepen the impact of citizenship funding, and promote sustainability.
GCIR’s current strategic plan charges us to promote economic justice and expand economic opportunityfor low-wage immigrants and refugees. Through our work, we hone in on best practices in the areas of worker organizing; cross-sector and cross-community alliance building; and workforce and asset development.
We provide our members and other funders with the opportunity to delve more deeply into these issues through a diverse slate of programming, including our biennial national convening, as well as various information resources. And as part of our National Citizenship Initiative, GCIR has collected information on asset-building strategies and approaches to helping immigrants finance the naturalization process. GCIR is also exploring the intersection of immigrant and worker rights efforts and facilitating funder collaboration and information sharing in this space.
Posted July 30, 2013 • Revised May 31, 2016