Joe Cassidy (at right) with his capstone group.

While politicians in Washington are at loggerheads over immigration issues, including refugee resettlement, there is greater common ground and more creative thinking at the local level.

A research project connected to a class I taught at Yale’s Jackson Institute in the fall found shared goals and substantial cooperation among state and local administrators, law enforcement officers, social service providers, and educators. While not blind to the challenges, local actors are crafting promising initiatives that deserve to be replicated.

If the national debate continues its course, however, partisans will remain entrenched and irreconcilable. In an article published today by TheHill, I argue for refocusing the debate.

If we can define more specifically and measure more comprehensively what constitutes resettlement “success,” we might just restore the former national-level consensus that security and humanitarian goals are both worthy and mutually reinforcing.

A special shout-out to my awesome and inspiring Jackson Institute students.


Joe Cassidy is a lecturer at the Jackson Institute and an instructor of the capstone course, undertaken by senior global affairs majors each year. The capstone project he refers to is the “UN High Commission on Refugees,” in which students evaluated the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Read more about the capstone projects here.