WES Mariam Assefa Fund Grantee Partners

New American Economy

Hem Rai poses for a portrait in his restaurant Nepali Kitchen, an ethnic restaurant that serves mostly South Asian food in Akron, OH on April 20, 2016. Photo courtesy of New American Economy.

Category: Data and Research

Amount: USD$75,000

Term: May 2020 - April 2021

Focus: Provide research, data, and insights on the contributions of immigrant workers in different sectors and states, and the potential economic and health impacts of COVID-19 on immigrants and refugees

About New American Economy

New American Economy (NAE) is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization that fights for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy. Its research educates, empowers, and supports cultural leaders and policy makers who believe immigration has a positive effect on our communities and the economy. NAE has built an active network across the country spanning both sides of the political aisle. The NAE State and Local team oversees several key initiatives reaching more than 85 local communities and 20 states, including the Global Talent Chamber Network, which provides tools, research, advocacy, and technical aid to more than 50 chambers of commerce across the country. The State and Local team also co-convenes the state Office of New Americans Network with World Education Services’ Global Talent Bridge program.  

What type of work will the grant enable?

From the moment that COVID-19 began spreading across the United States, NAE provided rapiresponse data and insights on the contributions of immigrant workers in different sectors and states, and the potential economic and health impacts of the crisis. A grant from the WES Mariam Assefa Fund is now building upon that work. The grant enables NAE to dive deeper into critical sectors, occupations, and geographies to better understand how they enable greater protection of immigrant communities and ensure that immigrants and refugees have access to the right information and resources. NAE’s research team is gathering and analyzing information about how immigrants in states and local communities are being directly and disproportionately affected by the current pandemic. NAE then passes that information on to states and localities, so they can understand how to prepare for and respond to crises in inclusive ways. 

Why is this work important?

NAE uses research as a tool to advocate the development of inclusive policies that recognize the needs of the immigrant community. In light of COVID-19, immigrants and refugees need protection and access to timely information and resources. NAE is leveraging its unique capabilities as a research organization and convener to support equitable COVID-19 response efforts for state and local governments. At this moment, our economy and labor market are changing rapidly. It is critical that decision-makers have the most up-to-date information on COVID-19‘s impact on immigrant workers and the skills they can contribute to response and recovery moving forward. Eventually, the information NAE gathers can help inform effective, representative policies and shine a light on the positive impact that immigration has on our society and economy.