Resources for Elected Leaders

State-based and federal refugee resettlement protections are a crucial part of the integration process for refugees and migrants. These resettlement protections provide refugees with several resources such as economic and medical assistance, education, and job opportunities that will help them excel in their new home. Through these protections, refugees and migrants are better equipped to become thriving members of society by contributing their skills and knowledge to the workforce and economy. 



States with driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants
19 states and the District of Columbia have laws that allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses
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States with Office of New Americans
There are 13 current member states and 4 participating states in the Office of New Americans (ONA) State Network
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States with professional licensure reform
At least 21 states have recently advanced proposals to remove barriers to professional licenses, including medical and teacher licenses, for people who are immigrants
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States with in-state tuition for refugees, TPS holders, and others
Out of the 11 states, 6 have passed legislation allowing refugees access to in-state tuition in all of the state's public colleges and universities upon arrival, regardless of residency status
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Around the country, refugee, immigrant, and elected leaders of color are charting a new course in state legislative history. These elected leaders are working towards creating legislation that will empower refugees and immigrants as they rebuild their lives in a new country. With the goal of creating a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment, it is crucial for elected leaders from all states to come together and learn from each other as they create and reform legislation. Through teamwork, we are a step closer to ensuring the protection of the human rights of refugees and immigrants in the United States.

Model Legislation From Around the Country

House Bill 1050 (2022) – International Medical Graduate Integrate Health-care Workforce

  • Lessens the barriers of entry into Colorado’s health-care workforce for international medical graduates
  • Led by VFR endorsed candidates Naquetta Ricks and Janet Buckner

House Bill 333 (2023) – Motor vehicles; issuance of driving cards to noncitizen residents who are ineligible for a driver’s license, temporary permit, or identification card

  • Issues driving cards to noncitizen residents who are ineligible for a driver’s license
  • Led by VFR endorsed candidate Dr. Michelle Au

House Bill 640/Senate Bill 264 (2023) – Education; noncitizen students with certain status are classified as in-state for tuition; provisions

  • Offers in-state tuition to noncitizen students with certain refugee, special immigrant, or humanitarian parolee status

Legislative Document 149 (2021) – An Act to Facilitate Licensure for Credentialed Individuals from Other Jurisdictions 

  • Eases barriers of entry into professional fields for individuals with foreign licenses 

Drive SAFE (2023) (Safety, Access, Freedom, and Economy) House Bills 4410, 4411, and 4412 and Senate Bills 0265, 0266, and 0267

  • Will allow residents who are unable to show proof of U.S. citizenship or immigration status to obtain a Michigan driver’s license and state ID card

Senate Bill 272 (2023) – Relating to tuition equity; and declaring an emergency

  • Provides in-state tuition qualifications for refugee students attending Oregon Health and Science University

Senate Bill 778 (2021) – Relating to the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement; and declaring an emergency 

  • Provides $1.3 million in funding to establish the  Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement to operate statewide immigrant and refugee integration strategy

House Bill 302 (2022) – Educational Language Services Amendments

  • Enacts provisions relating to services for students learning English and their parents

Senate Bill 43 (2022) – Occupational and Professional Licensing Modifications

  • Reduces barriers for international individuals to obtain an occupational license based on previous experience and/or education

House Bill 2211 (2021) – Graduates of foreign nursing education programs; licensure requirements 

  • Allows graduates of foreign nursing programs to be eligible for professional nursing licensure in Virginia provided their credentials can be verified and they can pass an English proficiency exam 

Senate Bill 156 (2022) – Public Schools; English Language Learners

  • Requires state funding to be provided to support the ratio of English learner students in average daily membership to full-time equivalent teaching positions 
  • Provides 22 full-time equivalent instructional positions for each 1,000 students identified as having limited English proficiency

Committed Legislators for Welcome​​​

Voice for Refuge invites legislators to commit to supporting policies that protect and uplift refugee and immigrant communities in their state. Our goal with the Legislators for Welcome initiative is to open the door to new relationships and provide a way to celebrate the work being done around the country. New members joining daily!

Want to Join Our Growing Community of Pro-Welcome Legislators and Local Leaders?