GCIR 2024 Public Policy Agenda

GCIR envisions a society in which everyone thrives no matter where they born. Through our work with foundations across the country, we seek to mobilize philanthropic resources to promote the protection, wellbeing, and inclusion of immigrant and refugee communities by liberating philanthropic capital, amplifying the leadership of immigrants and refugees, addressing the conditions driving displacement, and supporting a robust immigrant and power-building ecosystem. We recognize the tremendous work being done by movement organizations every day to advance policy reforms at the local, state, and federal levels, and our 2024 policy agenda echoes these priorities. 

Promote the protection and safety of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers

Anti-immigrant rhetoric frequently ramps up during election years, leading to a rise in hate speech and attacks on immigrant communities and the organizations working with them. Throughout the country, xenophobic forces push policies that limit or diminish outright the immigrant and refugee community’s right to live and thrive in the United States. Meanwhile, asylum seekers who have experienced trauma in their countries of origin or while in transit to the United States are particularly in need of protection, yet they face an increasingly restrictive system designed to reduce pathways to safety.

To this end, GCIR holds the following positions:

  • Oppose policies that short-circuit due process and introduce new restrictions on the ability for individuals to seek asylum
  • Oppose local and state law enforcement of federal immigration laws, including 287(g) and other local-federal agreements that encoutage individual data-sharing, such as in Ventura County, California
  • Support a legislative solution that would protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, humanitarian parolees, and other individuals lacking a formal status, from removal and allow them to naturalize
  • Oppose state practices of handing individuals over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody after they had already completed sentences within the state’s carceral system, such as in California
  • Oppose any state-level policies that criminalize unauthorized entry through Mexico (a federal immigration issue), such as in Texas

Advance the health and well-being of immigrants and refugees 

All people deserve access to basic health, housing, and safe working conditions. Yet, new immigrants are unfairly restricted from participating in a variety of health insurance and nutrition programs. Many work in dangerous industries such as agriculture, construction, and meat packing where conditions leave them vulnerable to illness, injury, extreme weather, and exploitation.

To this end, GCIR holds the following positions:

  • Support proposals to eliminate the 5-year bar to an immigrant’s ability to access federal health programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Support expanding access to the federal Affordable Care Act marketplace to individuals lacking formal immigration status
  • Support allowing states to extend access to Medicaid and CHIP to those without formal immigration status
  • Oppose efforts to loosen child labor laws like those proposed in Florida, which would allow youth to work more hours per day and per week, including overnight shifts during school days. Such policies are likely to drive immigrant and BIPOC youth from limited-income families to forego school in order to earn income for their families

Foster a sense of belonging and facilitate participation of immigrants and refugees in society

The Covid pandemic exposed how much of immigrant labor is considered “essential work” in the eyes of the American public, and yet government policies remain actively hostile toward the immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers who are behind that work. This dichotomy highlights the importance of reforms that not only allow for the dignity and physical presence of immigrants in the United States, but actually celebrate, welcome, and facilitate their full inclusion and participation in society.

To this end, GCIR holds the following positions:

  • Support efforts to grant access to driver’s licenses to state residents who meet requirements regardless of immigration status, such as in Michigan
  • Support campaigns throughout the country that restore municipal voting rights to immigrants of various statuses who otherwise would satisfy voting requirements, such as in Santa Ana, California

Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash

Last Updated 5.21.24