History

The Institute for Immigration Research (IIR) was founded in 2012 through the generous donation from The Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) and Ms. Diane Portnoy, ILC founder, educator and philanthropist from Malden, Massachusetts.

Since its founding the ILC has continued its support for the IIR, and other gifts, most notably from the Shrivastava Family Foundation, have allowed the IIR to continue to grow. Growth has also come enabled through external grant funding, including two three-year research projects funded by AmeriCorps and a grant from Mason’s Office of Research Innovation and Economic Impact. In addition, the IIR has received strong support from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, underscoring the alignment of the IIR with the mission, vision, and goals of the College.

The IIR was conceived to focus on the economic contributions of immigrants and immigration to the United States. While maintaining its geographic focus on the United States, the IIR has grown to include a broad range of immigration related projects focused on: contributions and challenges; inclusion and investment; and policies and pathways. In looking to the future, the IIR will expand its work and renown within these focus areas while also situating U.S. immigration patterns and experiences within regional, global, and comparative contexts.