E.g., 02/13/2016
E.g., 02/13/2016

Immigration Policy & Law

Immigration Policy & Law

Immigration legislative and administrative policies, legal statutes and court decisions, and regulations collectively shape nations' immigration systems—from visa allotments and immigrant-selection mechanisms to immigrant integration programs, border controls, and more. As international migration has increased in size and spread and as a number of nations are more flexibly adjusting their immigration systems, the research offered here examines the many permutations of immigration policy and law, often with a comparative lens.

Recent Activity

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Reports
March 2014
By Elizabeth Collett and Milica Petrovic
Reports
March 2014
By Sarah Hooker, Michael Fix, and Margie McHugh
Reports
January 2014
By Elizabeth Collett and Will Somerville
Reports
January 2014
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Will Somerville
Reports
September 2013
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Madeleine Sumption
Reports
September 2013
By Jeanne Batalova, Monisha Das Gupta, and Sue Patricia Haglund
Reports
May 2013
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Doris Meissner, and Eleanor Sohnen

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Policy Briefs
September 2005
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou
Policy Briefs
August 2005
By Betsy Cooper and Kevin O'Neil
Policy Briefs
June 2005
By Michael Fix, Doris Meissner, and Demetrios G. Papademetriou
Policy Briefs
June 2002
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Deborah W. Meyers

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Online Journal
In 2014 governments in Europe, North America, and Australia reacted to significant mixed flows of humanitarian, economic, and family-stream migrants with a range of new policies. These came as some migrants presented themselves to authorities for processing rather than trying to evade U.S. or European border controls, with the knowledge that backlogs and little political will for the removal of vulnerable populations might allow them to stay for extended periods.
Online Journal
Fears regarding the spread of the deadly Ebola virus following an outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone prompted governments around the world to regulate travel from and within West Africa. Travel bans, airport health screenings, closed borders, and traveler quarantines were among the policies implemented. International organizations argue such restrictions drive possibly symptomatic travelers to illegally bypass borders and encourage dishonesty in the exit screening process.
Online Journal
Mass cases of exploitation and abuse of migrant workers have drawn international scrutiny and criticism of the kafala system in Gulf Cooperation Council countries and private recruitment practices in Southeast Asia. With Qatar under scrutiny amid a frenzied construction boom in advance of the 2022 World Cup, international organizations and human-rights groups in 2014 stepped up their campaign for worker protection reforms.
Online Journal
Increasing numbers of Westerners heading to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist organizations like ISIS have governments concerned about possible attacks at home by returning fighters. Several thousand fighters from Europe and other Western countries are believed among the foreign nationals involved in conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Lawmakers scrambled in 2014 to respond with new policies, including seizing passports, stripping citizenship, and criminalizing travel to "no go" zones.
Online Journal
With a range of policies in 2014, China sought to address changing large-scale migration patterns within the country and beyond. This year included promises to reform the hukou registration system and thus enable an estimated 100 million internal migrants to access social services in the cities where they live, schemes to entice the return of emigrant professionals, and crackdowns on corrupt officials who send their families and money abroad.

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Video
August 13, 2014
MPI researchers and representatives from London and Detroit discuss the policies and strategies used—at national and local levels—to attract immigrants into local economies.
Video, Audio
June 24, 2014
This MPI panel discussion focuses on a toolkit by the Women's Refugee Commission to provide detained and deported immigrants as well as unauthorized immigrant mothers and fathers with crucial information to protect and maintain their parental rights and make well-informed decisions regarding the care and welfare of their children.
Video, Audio
April 29, 2014
This MPI panel discussion examines the U.S. deportation system with analysis on migrant apprehensions, removals, returns, and criminal prosecutions, and launches the report, "The Deportation Dilemma: Reconciling Tough and Humane Enforcement."
Video, Audio
March 12, 2014

This event with UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres features findings from UNHCR’s report, Children on the Run, which examines the increasing numbers of children from Central America and Mexico who head off alone to find refuge in the United States, fleeing violence, insecurity, and abuse.

Video, Audio
February 27, 2014
This panel discussion on unaccompanied minors focuses on a report by Kids in Need of Defense and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at UC Hastings College of the Law, whose primary conclusion is that children face a U.S. immigration system created for adults that is not required to consider the child’s best interests.

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Audio
September 4, 2014
Estimates of unauthorized immigrant populations that could receive relief from deportation under potential executive action scenarios to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, extend deferred action to other populations, or refine immigration enforcement priorities are discussed during this webinar.
Audio
August 6, 2014
This webinar covers key findings from MPI's report about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative and eligible populations two years after its implementation, and also introduces MPI's data tool that provides national and state-level estimates of the current and potentially eligible DACA populations, as well as detailed profiles for the U.S. and 25 states.
Audio
June 25, 2014
The flow of unaccompanied children from Central America and Mexico to the United States has surged 90 percent since last year, with government officials predicting that it might reach 90,000 by the end of the fiscal year in September—and perhaps 130,000 next year. This telebriefing discusses factors behind the flows as well as short- and longer-term policy options for improving how the U.S. immigration system interacts with this population with distinct needs.
Video, Audio
June 24, 2014
This MPI panel discussion focuses on a toolkit by the Women's Refugee Commission to provide detained and deported immigrants as well as unauthorized immigrant mothers and fathers with crucial information to protect and maintain their parental rights and make well-informed decisions regarding the care and welfare of their children.
Audio
June 18, 2014

This webinar exploring findings from MPI's report, Critical Choices in Post-Recession California: Investing in the Educational and Career Success of Immigrant Youth, which focuses on the implications of California's public education system reforms

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Recent Activity

Reports
May 2015
There has been growing international recognition that continued movement and migration often play an important role in shaping refugees' lives after their initial flight. This report considers the extent to which labor migration is being used—or could be used in the future—to strengthen the international refugee protection regime and facilitate durable solutions for more refugees, many of whom have been displaced for many years.
Reports
May 2015
Today's refugee protection regime, established in the aftermath of World War II, is ill-equipped to meet the protection needs of contemporary displacement situations. This report explores the main sources of strain on the existing system of protection, and examines the two most promising avenues for strengthening the system: development- and mobility-focused approaches.
Video, Audio
May 4, 2015

A discussion on the situation of Syrian refugees, recent developments in the region, and the U.S. humanitarian response, along with reports from recent fact-finding missions to the region by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Refugee Council USA. Speakers from both organizations, as well as a leading official in the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, discuss conditions for refugees in camps and urban settings, as well as U.S. policy regarding the Syrian crisis. 

Reports
April 2015
More than 1.7 million Syrian refugees lived in Turkey as of mid-March 2015, making this the world's largest community of Syrians displaced by the conflict in their country. This report provides an overview of Turkey's changing migration landscape and the position of Syrian refugees in Turkey today, along with policy recommendations given the likelihood of long-term or permanent displacement for Syrians.
Video, Audio
April 17, 2015

A discussion with the Director of The White House Domestic Policy Council on the content of the new National Integration Plan delivered to the President by the recently created White House Task Force on New Americans, along with the plan for implementation.

Reports
April 2015

Policymakers, the public, and the media were seemingly caught off-guard in spring 2014 when a surge of child migrants from Central America reached the U.S.-Mexico border in unprecedented numbers. Yet the uptick began in 2011. This report examines the causes of this surge and recommends policy solutions to advance both critical protection and enforcement goals in situations of complex, mixed flows.

Video, Audio, Webinars
March 31, 2015

A webinar examining the shifting pattern of Central American child and family migration between 2011 and 2014 and expectations for 2015, the policy challenges presented by the rising inflow, and how states, localities, the U.S. government, and other countries in the region are responding to this recent trend.

Commentary
March 2015

Much attention has focused recently on the possibility of the European Union establishing processing centers in North Africa or elsewhere to manage asylum seekers and migrants traveling to Europe, despite the fact no policy proposal is formally on the table. This commentary examines the opportunities and drawbacks of extraterritorial processing, and suggests the need for a well-informed discussion.

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