Category: Featured, News

Title: New Blog: On Research and Scorecards by Elizabeth Ferris

Date Published: September 23, 2020

While much of the work of the faculty of the Institute for the Study of Migration (ISIM) is devoted to research on migration or displaced people in different countries, occasionally we are able to use our research expertise to support those involved in advocacy on behalf of refugees and migrants in the U.  Earlier this year I was approached by a brand-new organization – Voice for Refuge – which is the first 501(c)4 organization established to advance pro-refugee policies at the national. state and local level and to hold elected leaders accountable to upholding the US legacy of welcoming refugees to the country.  Voice for Refuge was interested in creating a tool to assess the actions of members of Congress on behalf of refugees by examining their sponsorship and co-sponsorship of refugee-related legislation and their participation in joint letters on refugee issues.  ISIM has always been committed to producing research and evidence to inform policy-makers’ actions, particularly on refugee and immigration policies.  We were actually quite surprised that comparative data on congressional action on refugees was not already readily available as it is on many other policy issues, such as gun violence and environmental issues.  The development of the Refugee Scorecard was led by SFS undergraduate student, Kate Fin under my supervision with Professor Donato offering advice on methodology.  The Scorecard is the first of its kind to allow refugee advocates, citizens and researchers to compare congressional leaders’ stands on refugees.  We hope that Voice for Refuge will build on and expand this initiative to look at the actions taken at the state level which affect the lives of refugees.  We’re proud of the work we’ve done to support this initiative and particularly proud of Kate Fin’s contribution to the initiative.  It’s one more example of the many ways that our students are involved in producing research that can lead to better policies.