The National Immigration Forum (NIF) was established in 1982 to advocate for immigrants in the United States. The organization advocates for granting legal status to most illegal immigrants already in the United States and staunchly opposes border enforcement policies. The organization also promotes naturalization and learning English.
Rick Swartz, a lawyer that directed an immigrants’ rights project at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, co-founded the National Immigration Forum in 1982.  He is now president of the Washington-based Strategic Solutions. 
Phyllis Eisen initially served as vice president and co-founder of NIF. She is now president of the Eisen Group, a consulting firm. 
The NIF website states four goals for the organization: Immigration reform to meet the needs of the workforce; boosting integration and citizenship; “fiscally responsible and humane” policies for borders and interior enforcement; and promoting immigration as only a federal responsibility. 
The board of directors includes people from the business community, labor unions, religious organizations, and nonprofits. 
Eddie Aldrete, the chairman of the board, is part of the International Bank of Commerce. Rebecca Tallent of Dropbox is the vice chair. Other board members include the former Ambassador of Mexico to the United States in the administration of Felipe Calderon, Uber Technologies’ director of federal affairs, a Service Employees International Union executive vice president, and the president of the American Federation of Teachers’ Texas affiliate. 
The executive director and face of the organization is Ali Noorani, who regularly makes TV appearances and writes op-eds. According to NIF’s 2015 tax records, Noorani earned $136,151. The deputy director, Mark Falzone, earned $115,418. 
Other top officials in the organization are Don Lyster, the chief of staff; Dawn Byrne, director of finance and operations; Jacinta Ma, director of policy and advocacy; and Cathleen Farrell, director of communications. 
In February 2019, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced a $100,000 grant to the organization to help immigrants going through the process of becoming citizens. The taxpayer dollars will specifically go to the NIF’s New American Workforce project, which is supposed to help with the cost of naturalization filing fees, English language classes and immigration attorneys. The mayor’s office asserted, “this grant represents the largest such government fund in the nation.” 
The Open Society Foundations, the private philanthropic entities of liberal billionaire George Soros, are reportedly the group’s largest contributor.  Noorani said in 2013 that Soros had funded about 10 percent of the NIF’s budget, but added as the organization began to engage with both Republicans and Democrats, support from Soros had declined. 
Other notable supporters of NIF include the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the corporate foundation of Walmart, the Knight Foundation, and the Ford Foundation, all of which have given six-to-seven-figure contributions to NIF in recent years. 
In the summer of 2016, a life-sized nude statue of then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump was auctioned off at a cost estimated between $10,000 and $20,000 to benefit the NIF. The name of the statue was “The Emperor Has No Balls.” 
Noorani wrote an open letter to all Republican 2012 presidential primary candidates, talking about an NIF report that stated how, “The United States could save as much as $2.6 billion per year by implementing common-sense enforcement reforms that focus on real threats to the nation.” Citing cost concerns, the report said the Department of Homeland Security should only detain or deport illegal immigrants who had committed violent crimes. 
In late 2012, the NIF established the “Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform” network. The initiative aimed for a network of conservative Christian leaders, law enforcement and business to push Republicans in Congress to vote for granting legal status to illegal immigrants.  The 2013 legislation failed.
During the first year of President Barack Obama’s second term, Katherine Vargas left her job as an NIF spokeswoman to be the Director of Hispanic Media for the Obama White House. 
After the 2016 election, Noorani asserted: “The Donald Trump version of immigration reform as far as we have seen is mass deportation and building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. … I think [Senate Minority Leader Charles] Schumer, Democrats, and a number of Republicans will have the opportunity to stand in the way of what could be some pretty harmful legislative proposals. But a lot of what Trump wants to do he can do without legislation.” 
The organization strongly opposes additional construction of a wall along the southern border, and Trump’s emergency declaration in February 2019 to get funding for a barrier.
Noorani dismissed the wall as a “symbol.” 
The organization, in 2017, outlined its “Immigration 2020” plan to: “Ensure America can thrive by advocating for policy change that helps new Americans gain the opportunities, skills and status they need to realize their full potential.” 
The five key points if Immigration 2020 are: 
- For Congress and the administration to “build a 21st-century immigration system that advances the social and economic interests of all Americans.”
- To ensure everyone in the labor force has “access to the appropriate knowledge and skills.”
- To establish that learning English is important to increase productivity.
- To promote naturalization.
- To seek public-private partnerships to help “unleash this unrealized capital of new Americans.”