NASW Research Library: Immigration

collage of immigration photos with Ellis Island in 1800s and Mexican border today

Below is a sample of the many resources you’ll find in the Research Library on the topic of immigration. 

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Example Resources


Undocumented Immigrants and Policy Advocacy: Reasserting the Activist Roots of Social Work

Authors: Tatum Stewart
Source: Columbia Social Work Review, pp 33-42, 2014
The social work profession is positioned to play a critical role in redefining policies surrounding historically marginalized immigrants in the United States. This paper makes two specific recommendations. First, national social work organizations should emphasize the history of social activism in social work. Second, social workers should develop skills to assert political views that embrace policy goals and advance social justice. By enhancing their capacity for policy change, social workers will realign with the profession’s activist roots.


Sanctuary and Social Work: Navigating Moral and Legal Contradictions

Authors: Scott, Jennifer; Caceres, Alejandro
Source: Social Work & Christianity, Winter 2018, Vol. 45 Issue 4, p61-82
Values expressed in the theology of Christianity and professional ethos of social work include acceptance and inclusion of immigrants. Yet U.S. immigration law classifies "harboring" undocumented immigrants as a crime. We explore how sanctuary, focusing on the congregational practice of providing refuge to immigrants, navigates this tension. We first discuss the concept of sanctuary, its claim to scriptural authority and the boundaries of its legality in terms of U.S. immigration law. Then we describe a history and practice of the new sanctuary movement. We conclude by discussing the role of social work in sanctuary and its process of continued re-imagination.


Significance of After-School Programming for Immigrant Children During Middle Childhood: Opportunities for School Social Work

Authors: Greenberg, Joy Pastan
Source: Social Work. July 2014, Vol. 59 Issue 3, p243-251
The purpose of this article is to discuss ways in which school social workers can increase enrollment in after-school programming among immigrant children, six to 12 years of age, by becoming both advocates for children and families and leaders in developing and maintaining these services. School social workers are poised to play a number of roles related to practice, administration, research, and policy.


Creating a Continuing Education Pathway for Newly Arrived Immigrants and Refugee Communities

Authors: Tecle, Aster S.; Thi Ha, An; Hunter, Rosemarie
Source: Journal of Teaching in Social Work, v37 n2 p171-184, 2017
With the increase in the number of displaced peoples, the demand for skilled social workers from diverse backgrounds to serve them is critical. This article calls for the profession to explore how continuing education pathways can bridge service gaps, contribute to the knowledge base of social work, and meet current labor market demands.

Emancipating and Empowering De-Valued Skilled Immigrants: What Hope Does Anti-Oppressive Social Work Practice Offer?
Author: Ransford Danso

Source: The British Journal of Social Work. 39(3):539-555; Oxford University Press, 2009
This paper argues that anti-oppressive practice is an effective social work practice tool for gaining a better understanding of the oppression, marginalization and exclusion of skilled immigrants of color in Western societies.


Service Needs among Latino Immigrant Families: Implications for Social Work Practice

Author: Ayón, Cecilia
Source: Social Work. Jan. 2014, Vol. 59 Issue 1, p13-23
This study sought to learn from Latino immigrant families what services they need to promote their families' well-being within a context of stringent anti-immigrant legislation.


A Critical Examination of Immigrant Acculturation: Toward an Anti-Oppressive Social Work Model with Immigrant Adults in a Pluralistic Society

Author: Izumi Sakamoto
Source: The British Journal of Social Work. 37(3):515-535; Oxford University Press
The article seeks to deal with the acculturation problems faced by immigrants, records its findings and suggests ways to address the deficiencies in social service provision for immigrants.

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