Co-funded with the Carnegie Corporation
Over three million refugees have settled in the U.S. since the 1970s. Yet, refugees face many barriers to successful integration and are at risk for social isolation, poverty, and unemployment. The Department of State contracts with nine resettlement agencies to facilitate refugees’ adaptation once they arrive, but generally provides a maximum of 90 days of targeted assistance, and only tracks integration outcomes for this limited time period. Because of the unprecedented scale of today’s refugee crisis, resettlement agencies have looked for new ways to leverage volunteer support to help them better serve their clients. One such mechanism is co-sponsorship, or a commitment from a community group, typically a religious organization, to assist with the resettlement of a refugee individual or a family through an organized contribution of in-kind goods, services, and financial assistance.
Political scientists Jeremy Weinstein, Jens Hainmueller, Duncan Lawrence and Jeremy Ferwerda will examine how co-sponsorship impacts refugee integration and public support for U.S. resettlement policy. Refugee resettlement in the U.S. is increasingly contentious, yet we know little about the programs and policies to facilitate integration of this vulnerable population. To address this gap, the investigators will conduct the first randomized study on the impact of co-sponsorship on refugee integration outcomes by pairing randomized enrollment with rigorous data collection on a wide range of outcomes using diverse quantitative and qualitative methods.