NIIC 2017 will feature the following Tracks – key issue focus areas in the field of immigrant and refugee integration. The Tracks comprise a core of the programming at NIIC and are developed by teams of experts in each subject area. Each Track will include several sessions, which may vary in format (workshop, panel, etc.) Track sessions are open to all NIIC attendees and no advance sign-up is required. The 2017 cohort is our largest and most broad-reaching in NIIC’s history. View Track Co-Leads here. Track sessions will take place at the Phoenix Convention Center, West Building. 


Immigrants and refugees make up an increasingly large share of the U.S. workforce yet have limited access to adult education and workforce training services that could propel them into family-wage jobs, career advancement, and full economic integration. Despite political challenges on multiple fronts, there are many opportunities to scale up promising practices and partnerships to improve immigrant and refugee communities’ access to these critical services. The sessions in this track will provide both large-scale context for the barriers immigrants and refugees face and practical examples of innovations on the state and local levels that facilitate their success.

Creating More Responsive State and Local Policies for Adult Learners and Workers

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 4:00PM-5:15PM – ROOM 213 B

State and local adult education systems should promote access for immigrant and refugee populations and respond to their diverse needs and goals. Adult education policies vary widely across states, resulting in different challenges and avenues for success. This session will offer perspectives on state and local action from individuals who are leading the way in promoting more and better program options for adult learners and workers. Drawing from their experiences with a workforce development board, city government, and state and federal policy, panelists will discuss strategies for providing leadership in policy and program design and for working in restrictive political environments.

Promoting Adult Education, Workforce Skills, and Civic Engagement through Digital Learning

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2:15PM-3:30PM – ROOM 106 B

Mobile and other digital technologies make possible anytime, anywhere learning to extend education to previously underserved immigrants and refugees and to expand learning beyond classroom walls. Technology can also accelerate outcomes through personalized instruction and practice. This panel will highlight emerging best practices and innovative program models for offering distance and blended basic skills and career education opportunities for immigrants and refugees at all skill levels.  Organizations from across the nation will share and discuss the range of supports they provide learners to recruit, retain, tutor, and coach learners for educational success, career mobility, and increased civic engagement.

Sustainability and Replicability of Programs for High-Skilled Immigrants

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1:15PM-2:30PM – ROOM 213 A

Are the needs of foreign-educated immigrants being addressed and how can the efforts to reduce barriers to their employment be sustained? Leaders working in advocacy, workforce, adult ed, and immigrant services from around the country will share strategies to engage partners, policy-makers and funders to create, develop and fund programs to serve this population while addressing local skills shortages. Learn about the first competency-based apprenticeship program for work-authorized immigrants in healthcare, how a local workforce board began drawing Title I WIOA funds into a program dedicated to supporting immigrant professionals, and the story of a community college program that is putting Arizona on the map!


In this challenging political climate, the business community has an important role to play in making the economic case for inclusive immigration policies at the federal, state and local levels. The Business & Economy track will explore ways in which employers, chambers of commerce and other stakeholders can adapt to the changing immigration policy landscape and take leadership through driving an immigration narrative that highlights the the economic contributions of immigrants, supporting local immigrant integration efforts, and advocating for much-needed immigration reforms.

Mobilizing Business on State Immigration Policy

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 4:00PM-5:15PM – ROOM 213 A

From SB 1070 in Arizona to SB 4 in Texas, restrictive state-level immigration policies are shown to adversely affect the business climate in those states. The business community—along with advocates, faith and other stakeholders—has played a crucial role in articulating the economic impact of restrictive legislation. At the same time, states like Illinois and California are pioneering some of the most inclusive immigration legislation in the country, due in great part to partnerships with the business community. Panelists will speak to both state perspectives.

Building Partnerships for Local Impact: The Chamber Role in Immigrant Integration

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2:15PM-3:30PM – ROOM 212 A

Chambers of commerce across the country are increasingly seeing immigrant integration as a strategy to promote economic growth and attract talent. This panel will feature chamber leaders discussing efforts to make their communities more welcoming to immigrants and refugees while also being vocal advocates for immigration reforms locally, statewide, and nationally.

DREAMers in Business

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 10:30AM-11:45AM – ROOM 106 B

While variations of the DREAM Act are being debated in Washington, the uncertainty caused by the end of the DACA program has real consequences for DACA-mented employees and employers alike. This panel will explore how businesses big and small are responding to this issue internally, and are using their experiences to advocate for a legislative solution for DREAMers in Congress.


President Trump, just months after taking office, issued three Executive Orders; Muslim Ban; Increase Interior Enforcement and Border Enforcement. All of these actions are dehumanizing and labeling immigrants "criminals" and "national security threats." This has resulted in 211,06 deportations during the first fiscal year, tripled the arrest of immigrants not convicted of any offense, and 43% more arrests of immigrants.  Furthermore, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has declared war on cities and states, "Sanctuary Cities," who are seeking to protect immigrant communities. 

Organizations across the nation are fighting back from the ground up and at the local and state level. This track seeks to provide an overview of models that are 'resisting' the deportation machine through advocacy, organizing and communications. Experts from across the nation would share their efforts to fight deportations at the state and local level, present best practices to protect immigrant workers in both urban and rural settings, and lastly, would present on the intersectionality between police reform, criminal justice, and immigrant rights. This tracks will bring organizers, policy advocates, media experts to provide a holistic approach in the efforts to protect immigrant families from deportations. 

Local and State Resistance to Deportation Machine in a Trump Era

MONDAY DEC 11 — 2:15PM-3:30PM – ROOM 211 B

Interior enforcement has increased under both Republican and Democratic Administrations. This session seeks to provide a current landscape of interior enforcement, share best practices from local and state perspective to protect immigrant from deportation from ICE from post-conviction relief to limit ICE and local collaboration, and lessons learned from successful models.

Worker Rights, Retaliation & Workplace Immigration Enforcement 

MONDAY DEC 11 — 4:00PM-5:15PM – ROOM 213 A

Immigrant worker's right experts from organized labor to organizers in rural areas would discuss unique challenges of immigrant workers and differences between urban and rural settings. This session seeks to provide with tools and best practices to protect immigrant workers from retaliation and immigration enforcement.

The Industry Behind Immigration Enforcement and Over Policing

TUESDAY DEC 12 — 10:30AM-11:45AM – ROOM 213 B

Communities of color are currently being over policed both by local law enforcement and ICE agents and both are being incarcerated in detention centers and prisons for profits. Experts would discuss models and strategies to bring more accountability and oversights for law enforcement agencies and immigration detention centers and include the intersectionality of these two areas, opportunities for collaboration, and challenges that prevent collaboration.


For undocumented youth and holders of temporary protected status (TPS), this year has meant being thrust back into the threat of deportation, after being stripped of previously granted protected immigration status. With the cancellation of DACA in September of this year, the termination of TPS for Sudan, Haiti, and Nicaragua, and the looming threat of future limits to protected status for immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, roughly 1,000,000 people could lose the fleeting sense of security granted by previous administrations. Organizations, immigrant leaders, institutions and stakeholders across the country are fighting for permanent solutions for undocumented youth and TPS holders. This NIIC Track will give NIIC participants the 'State of Play' in the campaigns for a clean DREAM Act and efforts to recognize long-term TPS holders as the permanent residents that they are. Speakers will share the possible implications of losing these protections and provide next steps for what organizations and stakeholders can do to contribute to legal, legislative and organizing efforts.


MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 10:45AM-12:00PM – ROOM 212 A

This Track Session will share the current State of Play for the campaigns to defend Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the United States. Advocates and organizers will share the root causes for migration for people with TPS, the current legislative and administrative strategies moving to defend TPS, and discuss the fight ahead.


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 10:30AM-11:45AM – ROOM 211 A

This Track Session will cover the current State of Play for the fight for a Clean Dream Act and permanent solutions to protect undocumented youth and their families. Organizers and advocates will share the legislation and policy strategies moving today, the organizing being led by undocumented youth, and discuss the path forward to victory.


It is impossible to separate economic justice from immigrant rights. Immigrants have been on the frontlines of countless struggles to expand workers’ rights and to challenge income inequality. At the same time, immigrant communities are under a constant state of siege from the Trump administration’s far right wing economic agenda and erosion of worker protections hand in hand with the demonizing of immigrants and direct assaults on immigrant rights. The Economic Justice track will examine the threats and opportunities of the current political moment, bringing together innovative perspectives on policy and organizing strategies, and the voices of immigrant workers, union leaders, community organizers, and legal experts. Throughout the three sessions, we will also examine the intersection of race, class and gender.

Threats and Opportunities in the Age of Trump

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 10:45AM-12:00PM – ROOM 212 B

This session will examine the challenges we’re up against – reflecting on some of the root causes of injustice as well as the specific threats we face in the Trump era. We will discuss the Trump administration’s impact on institutions critical for defending immigrant workers from systematic abuse (organized labor, the Department of Labor, etc.). We will also hear from campaigns seeking to take on corporations’ financial ties to private prisons, immigration detention centers, and Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. But we won’t let you get too depressed! The second half of this session will be dedicated to the opportunities of the Trump era – the possibilities for deeply grounded resistance, true people’s power, and building a world where all communities have the freedom to thrive.

Defending and Expanding the Rights of Immigrant Workers under Increased Immigration Enforcement

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 4:00PM-5:15PM – ROOM 106 B

Immigrant workers are under attack by increased immigration enforcement hand in hand with an erosion of worker protections. Policy experts and worker organizers will discuss a number of innovative approaches to protect the rights of immigrant workers in this challenging climate. Panelists will talk about anti-discrimination laws in the workplace and how they impact immigrants, innovations in policy and administrative practice to protect immigrant workers, forced arbitration, innovative collective bargaining, and other organizing strategies to defend immigrant workers.

Innovative Organizing to Win Economic Justice

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1:15PM-2:30PM – ROOM 212 B

After many years of inaction at the federal level, immigrant communities all over the country have organized campaigns to advance economic justice at the state and local level. Some of the approaches and organizing models that we will look at in this session include: ballot initiatives as a way to win progressive policy, particularly in red states; recent victories in the fight for $15; organizing airport workers and supporting the travel ban protests; and domestic workers bill of rights campaigns and efforts to establish higher standards through online hiring platforms. Our hope is that participants in this session will leave inspired by the innovative organizing happening around the country and armed with new strategies and organizing tools.


All kids deserve the opportunity to succeed!  The current political climate concurrent with the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act shine a spotlight on the importance of advocating for and protecting the rights of immigrant, refugee, and English learner students across the education spectrum from early childhood through graduation.  The education track will focus on practical solutions and steps to better understand and leverage relevant laws, protect the rights of students, and hold schools accountable for serving immigrant students well.  Attendees of the sessions will learn about stakeholder engagement strategies, the fundamentals of English Learner education, and policies and practices that can create safe spaces in schools for unauthorized and DACA youth.

Immigrant Advocates Engaged in Education Policy-Making

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 4:00PM-5:15PM – ROOM 212 C

Stakeholder engagement, as well as parent and community outreach, was emphasized throughout the development of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the most recent version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. After a year of contributing to ESSA state plans, immigrant and refugee advocates are playing an unprecedented role in shaping state education policy. This session will provide key mobilizers the opportunity to reflect on their contributions and to discuss what their role will be in monitoring the implementation of these plans. This session will also look to the future, with organizations sharing how they are working with local education agencies (LEAs) to seek input from parents and community organizations when addressing low-performing schools, and speakers providing technical assistance materials.

English Learner (EL) Policy 101: Promoting EL Success

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2:15PM-3:30PM – ROOM 212 C

This panel will help immigrant and refugee advocates and service providers understand the fundamentals of English Learner (EL) education, including relevant civil rights statutes, the role of the federal government, how EL students are identified, and what effective instruction looks like. Particular emphasis will be placed on understanding issues most in the news in recent years, including policies and practices around the enrollment of undocumented students and how the Every Student Succeeds Act creates new opportunities regarding school climate, context, and outcomes. Speakers will also highlight high-level, engaging projects that aim to address the frequent marginalization of ELs and immigrant and refugee students, including how these initiatives are designed for ELs and how they impact students’ abilities to transition to college and career.

Responding to the Current Political Climate: Creating Safe Spaces in Schools and Promoting Opportunity for Unauthorized and DACA Youth

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 4:00PM-5:15PM – ROOM 106 A

The current political climate has sparked discussion among community and education leaders alike about the unique positionality of schools within the immigration debate. This panel will provide a brief history of schools in the Sanctuary Movement, highlighting policies that K-12 and higher education institutions can enact, as well as practical approaches school leaders in CA and NY have implemented to build alliances with their local communities to combat threats against students. Speakers will also discuss the issue in the classroom context, exploring lesson plans, tools, flyers, and other materials that educators and schools can use to respond to the fears and concerns of immigrant and refugee students and their families. Finally, speakers will explore educational opportunities for unauthorized and DACA youth, including GED access, community college, and university study, and will highlight best practices for programs working to increase access to different levels of education for these youth.


Far-right social movements are on the rise in today’s political environment. White nationalist, nativist and anti-Muslim groups are targeting vulnerable communities and influencing each other’s rhetoric and actions. It is no surprise then that our communities are facing greater threats to their bodies, livelihoods and rights. Join us for the Fighting Hate Track which will explore the landscape and impact of organized oppositional movements and how communities are pushing back. This track will have three sessions: one on contemporary white nationalist movements, one on nativism, and one on organized Islamophobia targeting Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South Asian communities.

For each session (1.5 hours each), we will focus on these themes: (1) landscape and definitions of oppositional movements; (2) the impact and conditions created by these movements; (3) a case study of resistance; and (4) tactics/strategies for the audience.

Organized Hate and Contemporary White Nationalism

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 10:45AM-12:00PM – ROOM 211 A

The once fringe idea of a white-only ethno state is now driving political, cultural and social debate across the United States. Driven by its successful appeal to racial anxiety, misogyny and xenophobia during the 2016 presidential campaign, the white nationalist social movement seeks to consolidate its new base of support and expand its influence over the Republican Party and society at large. Whether by ballot box bigotry or the movement’s commitment to violence and terror, the threat posed by this social movement is apparent. This session will provide an overview of the factors driving white nationalism, how the movement functions within contemporary politics and how communities across the United States are organizing to isolate it.

Session goals: This session will provide participants with an understanding of the white nationalist movement both historically and in the present, and equip participants with strategies and narratives to play leadership and ally roles in addressing organized hate targeting communities of color.

Organized Hate Targeting Muslim, Refugee, Arab and South Asian Communities

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 4:00PM-5:15PM – ROOM 211 A

Since 9/11, Muslim, Arab, Refugee, and South Asian communities have experienced the impact of a well-funded Islamophobia industry that includes individual spokespersons and organizations. This network of people and groups is responsible for fomenting anti-Muslim sentiment, narratives, and policies in a range of ways, from placing bus and subway advertisements denouncing Islam to backing campaigns against mosque construction to supporting anti-Sharia laws at the state level and anti-Sharia marches around the country. What are the conditions created by the Islamophobia industry? How is it operating in today’s climate, from contributing to an environment of hatred and bigotry to pushing forward policies such as anti-Sharia laws and national security initiatives? And how are communities organizing in the face of such vitriol?

Session goals: This session will provide participants with an understanding of the landscape of the Islamophobia industry both historically and in the present, and equip participants with strategies and narratives to play leadership and ally roles in addressing organized hate targeting Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities.

Organized Nativism targeting immigrant communities

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 10:30AM-11:45AM – ROOM 212 A

Nativism, often defined as a racist ideology targeting immigrants and those thought to be foreign to the dominant culture, is not a new phenomenon, especially in the United States, and indeed has taken many different forms over the centuries. Today there exists a contemporary nativist movement in the United States comprised of a network of organized, well-funded organizations driving anti-immigrant policy and rhetoric. Curtailing immigration and making lives miserable for immigrant and refugee communities is all part of these groups goal of preserving a white majority and ensuring cultural dominance. These groups, once marginalized to the political fringe, now find themselves closer than ever to policy makers, including the commander-in-chief and his administration. From attacking DACA to opposing sanctuary programs to attempting to empowering immigration enforcement officers, these groups and their legislative allies remain committed as ever to pushing their xenophobic agenda at both the state and federal level.

Session goals: This session will give an overview of the organized nativist movement and how it is operating in wake of the 2016 election. With powerful allies within the Trump administration, anti-immigrant groups have gained nearly unprecedented access to the federal government. Knowing they have the ear of policymakers in Washington, D.C., these groups see a once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance their draconian anti-immigrant agenda nationally. Participants will gain an understanding of this movement, its leadership, and the dangerous policies they are working to implement.


More than 12 million US households are unbanked and approximately 20 million households are considered underbanked with little contact and productive use of the mainstream financial system. Unbanked and underbanked households rely upon cash and high-cost financial service providers for basic transactions such as accessing paychecks, paying bills, and meeting small credit needs. The concentration of immigrant households outside the banking system is far greater than native-born population resulting in increased incidences of crime and billions of dollars spent each year in non-productive high cost financial services.  In this track, we will explore successful strategies and approaches to connecting immigrant communities to productive banking relationships and opportunities to move toward building wealth and assets.  


MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 10:45AM-12:00PM – ROOM 212 C

This session will highlight recent research on the financial experiences of immigrant and refugee communities and how learning from them can promote financial capability and inclusion. Speakers will illustrate the potential to use early interventions to incorporate financial products into financial capability work to accelerate improvements in financial security for immigrants, as well as the use of behavioral science to strengthen financial capability for immigrant communities.

Integrating Financial Capability into Service Delivery in Immigrant Communities

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 4:00PM-5:15PM – ROOM 213 B

This session will focus on how financial capability services can be delivered effectively by embedding them into existing support service delivery channels. The session will explore strategies to improve outcomes in both financial capability and economic resilience of targeted populations. Speakers will share innovative approaches to integrating financial capability into service streams for immigrants including consular services, citizenship instruction, and financial product offerings.


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 10:30AM-11:45AM – ROOM 212 C

This session will feature programs and culturally competent strategies to build wealth in immigrant communities. Speakers will discuss innovative programming and approaches to asset building, including fostering homeownership and entrepreneurship.


Now, more than ever, immigrants and their allies must be active in our democracy – by naturalizing, registering, voting, and becoming candidates. Merely voting is not enough! The Full Citizenship track will focus on the state of current efforts at naturalization, voter mobilization, and candidacies, the best practices that should be shared, and what to expect during the 2018 elections. Attendees of the sessions will learn how to partner with key stakeholders and utilize technology and field to get to scale, and look ahead to 2020 and beyond to ensure that new Americans, their children, Latinos, Asians, and our communities continue on the civic engagement path to political respect.  

The Naturalization Wave: Citizenship Campaigns in the Current Environment

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 4:00PM-5:15PM – ROOM 211 A

Understanding the current wave of naturalizations, the growing backlogs, and the use of strategic tactics to help push naturalization forward.

Who is voting, who is not, and getting them to the polls

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 10:45AM-12:00PM – ROOM 211 B

As 2020 nears, this session will look at whether new Americans are voting, what the voting potential is, and how we can start to engage our communities for census and redistricting.


MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2:15PM-3:30PM – ROOM 211 A

Reaching the 8.8 million permanent residents eligible to naturalize. Participants will learn how they can utilize technology and reach other key stakeholders who can also champion citizenship.

Growing Immigrant, New American Candidates

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 10:30AM-11:45AM – ROOM 211 B

To grow the new American voice in government it is important to train and support candidates at all levels of government.

Tech tools for Immigrant Integration

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1:15PM-2:30PM – ROOM 211 A

Technology-based tools have the potential to improve the quality, efficiency, and scale of critical information and services immigrants and service providers need. In this session, participants will learn about tools that can transform the way they deliver essential services and reach more immigrants.


We are living in a moment when national-level policies around the world are increasingly focused on deterring migration, in a framework that fails to protect migrants’ rights and contributes to the rising tide of xenophobia and racism. This track will explore trends in global migration, including the rise of nativism in Europe, growing displacement related to climate change, and the proposed UN Compacts on Migration and Refugees. In each session, participants will explore lessons learned and opportunities for collaboration across borders. One of the sessions will take a deeper dive into creative local responses to nativism and xenophobia in different national contexts.

From resistance to resilience – Transformative national and global strategies in a time of national backlash

SUN DEC 10 — 4:00PM-5:15PM – ROOM 212 B

The rise of nativism in the new era is affecting responses to integration policies by far-right national governments and politicians. What to expect & how to respond. This panel will explore:

  • Shifting Immigration and Refugee Policies and Approaches in the US and Europe
  • Global migration governance- including the UN-driven Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees processes.
  • How can this discouraging context be transformed into new partnerships and fresh narratives about immigrants and refugees.
  • How can researchers reshape the nativist narrative rather than feeding the beast and reclaim public opinion

Climate Change Collides with People on the Move

MON DEC 11 — 10:45AM-12:00PM – ROOM 106 A

As recent weather events in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central American countries and the US demonstrate, climate change is already altering human mobility patterns. The arrival of people displaced by climate related disasters comes at a time when migration is being criminalized, doors are closing to refugees, and anti-migrant sentiment is driving national policy.  This workshop will provide an introduction to the issue, as well as an interactive brainstorming session to explore participants’ experiences with climate displacement that is already happening.  Where are people moving and how are localities responding? How can cities and municipalities can act responsibly to integrate newcomers as climate displacement increases?  We will also explore the ways in which immigrants rights and refugee groups can work more effectively with climate justice advocates.

Global Cities and the Rise of Nativism: Lessons Across Borders

MON DEC 11 — 2:15PM-3:30PM – ROOM 212 B

This will be a workshop-style conversation.  Speakers will kick off the conversation with short interventions about how cities and states are responding in innovative ways to the rise of nativism and the criminalization of integration.   The session will then move into group discussions about strategies for resistance at the city, state, and municipal levels. Come prepared to share your strategies and learn from others!



The current political and social climate is affecting the health of immigrant communities. There are heightened barriers to accessing health care on top of negative emotional and mental impacts. However, the work continues to ensure that immigrants can lead healthy lives. This track focuses on the health impact of immigrant enforcement and strategies and resources to overcoming challenges and servicing immigrant communities. It will also include a conversation on defending and expanding healthcare coverage for immigrants.

Health Coverage For Immigrants: what coverage is available now and where do we expand?

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 4:00-5:15 PM – ROOM 212 A

Every person ages and will get sick in their lifetimes. Immigrants are of course no exception. And yet throughout our country there is a patchwork of various health insurance coverage options for immigrants, depending on which state they live in. Two major sources of federal health insurance coverage in our country are Medicaid subsidized private health insurance plans purchased through marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act--and yet both leave out undocumented individuals. This panel explores what coverage options there are for various categories of immigration statuses and shows which states are trying to make head roads in expanding coverage for immigrants. Health leaders' efforts from Illinois, Oregon, Arizona and other states will be highlighted.

Mental Health Challenges in the Current Landscape: Understanding the Public Health Issues Affecting Immigrant Children and Identifying Practices for Serving this Population

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2:15-3:30 PM – ROOM 213 A

The recent increase in immigration enforcement has resulted in a larger number of patients, particularly children, reporting increased stress, anxiety, and fear. This conversation will discuss the increase in mental health concerns among immigrant communities stemming from the current immigration enforcement and its development of a public health crisis. This section will provide resources on how to better understand and respond to this growing public health concerns, as well as resources that immigrant advocates can share with the affected community.

conversations around the health Impact of Immigration Enforcement and Strategies for Overcoming Challenges

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1:15-2:30 PM – ROOM 212 A

Roundtable discussions on the impact of current immigration rhetoric and policies on the access to health care services of immigrant communities. Many immigrants are dropping doctor appointments, dis-enrolling from public assistance and do not feel safe to leave their house. Participants in this workshop, led by experts, will discuss the policies that are causing these effects, what rights everyone needs to know about, and how communities can work to make sure impacted populations have the information they need.


This year, anti-refugee, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant sentiment reached a fervor that has led to a series of attacks on the refugee resettlement program, on refugee and immigrant communities, and on policies that welcome them. In response, a diversity of allies, impacted leaders, and advocates mobilized to stop anti-refugee proposals and start advancing a positive agenda. This track examines the latest efforts at the national, state, and local levels that impact refugees in the United States, as well as ways in which we can strengthen policies, practices, and programs to have a positive impact on people’s lives. Panels will include refugee leaders, service providers, and advocates to share their perspectives and identify opportunities for collaboration in 2018.

Innovative Programming

Monday, December 11 10:45am-12:00pm

This segment will highlight the various ways that refugee serving agencies have broadened their scope of services from “traditional” post-arrival resettlement services to include longer term empowerment programs such as financial literacy and trauma informed care to name a few. We will focus on best practices, such as group work and efforts on ending isolation. This session will be unique in that, though program specific, it overlaps with the greater immigrant community.  We invite impacted immigrant and refugee leaders to participate in this session.

building Community and Welcoming refugees

Monday, December 11 4:00-5:15pm

Community partnerships are key to the success of immigrants and refugees. This section will review private, congregational, and local government relationship development and engagement on relevant issues such as language access, job preparedness, and faith support. Successful community organizing strategies often call upon these key community pillars, and this workshop would be an opportunity to give voice to the immigrant and refugee leaders who have received training in organizing and telling their stories to affect change. This session will also highlight the role employers, including refugee entrepreneurs, play in supporting refugee integration, amplifying positive economic impacts, and opposing the detrimental initiatives and false narratives promoted by the administration.

State & Local Advocacy

Tuesday, December 12 1:15-2:30pm

This workshop session focuses on state and local policies that impact refugees and immigrants, as well as advocacy to advance positive proposals and to stop negative proposals. Participants will learn about and share recent trends in policies, best practices in advocacy, and identify positive, proactive proposals to put forth during the 2018 legislative sessions across the country to have a positive impact on people’s lives. Refugee and immigrant leaders who have engaged in advocacy, and legislative champions, especially at the state and local levels, will be invited as speakers.


This past year, state and municipal governments have been standing up to the national threats and actions against immigrants and refugees. Through innovative policies, programs and partnerships, states and municipalities are more active than ever protecting immigrant families and welcoming New Americans. This track features state and municipal leaders discussing the work that's happening to defend immigrant communities, integrate immigrants, and build coalitions to advocate and advance local policy.

Coalition building & Cities’ coordinated advocacy efforts on immigration

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 4:00PM-5:15PM – ROOM 211 B

Cities for Action (C4A), a coalition of over 150 mayors and county executives that advocates for policies to welcome and embrace our foreign-born residents, proposes a panel to showcase how cities have responded to federal changes, and provide ideas for coordinated approaches. During the conference, C4A would host a panel to highlight the increase in pro-immigrant municipal policy implementation and advocacy efforts. This panel will call on stakeholders to coordinate and work with city governments, suggest methods for doing so, and solicit suggestions for how to improve these kinds of partnerships. C4A is a unique voice amongst the many NGOs, CBOs, and advocacy organizations in the immigration space in general, and that are expected to attend the NIIC in particular. C4A is also a relatively new coalition (founded in fall 2014) that has since the beginning of this presidential administration found itself adjusting to a new set of challenges. The hope is that this panel discussion will therefore have broad appeal to NIIC participants, and will be a productive conversation for all.

state & municipal strategies - Defending Immigrant Communities

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 4:00PM-5:15PM – ROOM 211 B

With the election of Donald Trump, the plight of immigrant communities has become even more dire. Within a week of taking office, the new President issued several executive orders making clear that his administration intends to detain and deport as many people as possible. One of the executive orders authorizes Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to triple its resources, and essentially eliminates the enforcement priorities, leaving an already rogue agency free to target virtually anyone. In this climate, the defense of immigrant communities has become an emergency, and one that must be addressed at the local level. This session will highlight how municipalities are standing up against the attacks through legal protection funds, sanctuary city policies and access to counsel projects.

State & Local Innovations in Immigrant Integration Strategy

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 10:30AM-11:45AM – ROOM 212 B

In the current national political environment, State and Local governments are innovating new approaches to support the economic, civic and linguistic integration of immigrants and refugees into the fabric of communities. Core to these strategies is a deep recognition of the assets that New Americans bring to their adopted homes and the work of national networks such as Cities for Citizenship. Join elected leaders, practitioners and community leaders in a discussion on strategies responsive to state and local needs.


Our country faces deep divisions today, fueled by cultural anxieties and bias related to race, economics and opportunity, and the rapid pace of demographic and technological change. In this increasingly polarized environment, how can we promote immigrant integration and build bridges across these divides without compromising our values, and create real understanding? Is there a place in our communities for a meaningful conversation and listening, rather than stereotyping and fighting? How can we work together to chart a path towards an inclusive and positive vision for our communities?  

The Welcoming Communities track will explore the cultural anxieties that are leading to acute polarization around the immigration issue, and how they are manifesting themselves in our communities and in our discourse. Examples of what practices and interventions show promise – based on lessons learned across the immigrant integration field and other movements – will be featured prominently.  

What Works in Bridging Divides

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 10:45AM-12:00PM – ROOM 106 B

This session will feature successful models that are bringing people together in new and innovative ways.  A series of small, table talk discussions will allow participants to share their promising practices with each other and consider how to modify their own approaches to achieve greater scale and impact. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about successful strategies across different geographies (urban, suburban, rural) as well as different mechanisms that can be used to build understanding (communications, cross-ethnic coalition building, dialogue, leadership engagement, and others).

Understanding Cultural Anxieties Today and the Intersections with Immigration

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 4:00PM-5:15PM – ROOM 212 A

This session will provide participants with some of the latest research and analysis of cultural anxiety, and will explore how these forces intersect with immigration, refugees, race, and class.  It will also delve into the impact of these anxieties on the growing hate movement in the U.S. and will help frame the types of responses that are needed to promote more unity and less fear.

Diving into Difficult Conversations

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 10:30AM-11:45AM – ROOM 213 A

This hands-on training session will provide participants with new constructive dialogue, empathy building, and conflict resolution skills. Come learn how to incorporate these strategies internally into your own organization and externally in your community work, and gain valuable insights and practice. Skills learned in this training will be applicable to people leading work on a variety of issues and/or in various settings.