E.g., 06/04/2016
E.g., 06/04/2016

Refugee & Asylum Policy

Refugee & Asylum Policy

Tens of millions of people around the globe have been forcibly displaced by conflict, natural disaster, or persecution, seeking refuge either within or beyond the borders of their country. Humanitarian protection, whether for refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced persons (IDPs), represents a key policy area for many major immigrant-receiving countries as well as nations bordering locations where war, political upheaval, or natural disaster have disrupted daily life. The research offered here relates to the law and practice of protecting refugees and IDPs in areas of conflict as well as in industrialized nations, with a focus on secure solutions and effective institutional arrangements for comprehensive protection.

Recent Activity

Reports
October 2015
By Selcuk R. Sirin and Lauren Rogers-Sirin
Commentary
October 2015
By Kathleen Newland
Online Journal

Pages

Online Journal

An estimated 41.3 million immigrants lived in the United States in 2013, about 13 percent of the total U.S. population, constituting the world's largest foreign-born population. This Spotlight from MPI's Jie Zong and Jeanne Batalova offers the most current and sought-after data on immigrants in the United States—including origin, educational attainment, the unauthorized, deportations, and more—in one easy-to-use resource.

Online Journal
Normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States will have a significant impact on U.S. immigration policy and future Cuban migration to the United States. This Policy Beat explores the U.S.-Cuba migration relationship, as fear of changes to the "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy has spurred hundreds of new boat arrivals in recent months.
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
The number of people around the world forcibly displaced by conflict or persecution reached its highest total since World War II, with more than 51.2 million fleeing their country or displaced within it, the UN refugee agency reported in 2014. An estimated 13.6 million people have been displaced by conflicts in Syria and Iraq alone, constituting what the UN High Commissioner for Refugees dubbed a mega-crisis.
Online Journal
New migration patterns at the U.S. Southwest border, including a shift in border crossers from primarily Mexican men to Central American families, and from the California and Arizona borders to the Rio Grande Valley, have important implications for U.S. border policy and enforcement strategies, raising questions of what consequences might deter unauthorized Central Americans while still meeting international obligations to protect vulnerable migrants.

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Video, Audio
December 14, 2012
The event discussion, which touched on the intersection of race and immigration, focused on the demographics of Black immigrants (both African and Caribbean) in the United States and their children, their educational success, and the implications of the recently released volume’s findings for research and public policy.
Video, Audio
July 30, 2012
MPI is pleased to host a discussion with experts from both KIND and the Women’s Refugee Commission, focusing on the causes of the increase in unaccompanied minor migrants, the situation these minors face once detained or apprehended, and the challenges confronting both nongovernmental organizations trying to provide aid and the U.S. government agencies responsible for processing minors through the system. 
Video, Audio
May 15, 2012
This discussion on the current global challenges of protecting refugees with Volker Türk, who directs UNHCR’s Division of International Protection, and Kathleen Newland, Director of the Refugee Protection Program was organized around three main themes: protection gaps, burden-sharing, and reducing statelessness.
Video, Audio
April 19, 2012

The Migration Policy Institute celebrated its first decade as the authoritative, unimpeachable resource on immigration and immigrant integration analysis and policy design in the United States and internationally.

Video
April 26, 2011
The conference offered law and policy analysis and discussion on cutting-edge immigration issues. Featured panelists included high-ranking government officials, academics, advocates, and other immigration experts.

Pages

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.
Video, Audio
February 19, 2014
This discussion explores how the 2014 Greek Presidency of the European Union and the United States can work to address the challenges of managing migration while meeting humanitarian obligations and nurturing economic growth.
Video, Audio
February 7, 2014
This panel discussion offers perspectives on border policy management from leading officials in the Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. governments, and showcases the MPI book, "Managing Borders in an Increasingly Borderless World."
Video, Audio
November 22, 2013
UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees T. Alexander Aleinikoff joined Kathleen Newland for a discussion on the Syrian refugee and internally displaced population, now considered one of the biggest humanitarian emergencies in a generation.

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Recent Activity

Reports
May 2015

The limited knowledge base on migrants' decision-making and assessment of risk on the journey to Europe, as well as incomplete understanding of the organizational structures and political economies of smuggling networks, are hampering an effective response to unprecedented Mediterranean maritime crossings. This report, drawing from interviews with migrants, examines migrants’ decision-making processes, perceptions of risk, and access to information.

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.
Policy Briefs
May 2015

The majority of the 51 million people displaced in the world today are in protracted situations, forcing them to live in limbo for years. This policy brief by the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees argues for long-term development solutions and a new narrative that emphasizes refugees' potential to contribute to host and origin communities through their own human capital, transnational connections, and dedicated international assistance.

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.

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