Experts & Staff
Brian Salant is a Research Assistant with the Migration Policy Institute’s International Program, where his research focuses on skilled labor mobility in the ASEAN region, qualifications recognition, and public attitudes toward migration.
Prior to joining MPI, Mr. Salant interned at the Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, where he coordinated youth outreach programs, and later at the Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C. designing exchange programs to nurture social entrepreneurship among youth leaders from around the world.
Mr. Salant holds a master’s degree in European and Russian studies from Yale University, a master’s in EU studies from the University of Ghent, and a bachelor of arts from the University of California, Los Angeles.
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The refugee and migration crisis in Europe thrust the issue of legal pathways to the top of European Union (EU) and national government agendas, but progress has so far suffered from a lack of strategic thinking on how legal channels can work together and how to overcome design and implementation challenges. This webinar offers insights from EU Member States on how existing, new, and untapped legal pathways—such as resettlement, community-based sponsorship, and family reunification—can interact with other humanitarian policies and fit into a larger protection strategy. The discussion also highlights two MPI Europe publications, Tracing the Channels Refugees Use to Seek Protection in Europe and Engaging Communities in Refugee Protection: The Potential of Private Sponsorship in Europe.
Development assistance may be a blunt tool for reshaping migration patterns—and indeed one that could increase flows over the short term. Shifting the focus away from increasing individuals’ skills and assets toward investments in the broader economic or governance structures that are a prerequisite for growth and stability may offer more alternatives to emigration in the long run.
Millions of displaced people were unable to return home in 2017, and countless others found themselves newly displaced. Targeted violence in Myanmar caused more than 624,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh, and conflict in South Sudan drove at least 668,000 abroad. Some first-asylum countries, such as Uganda and Turkey, were largely accommodating, while others, such as Jordan and Lebanon, pressured refugees to leave.
Governments on the receiving end of migrants and refugees reinforced their commitment to returns in 2017, sending or coercing migrants to move back to impoverished or violent homelands. The Dominican Republic pushed out some 70,000 Haitians and native born of Haitian descent, while more than 500,000 Afghans left Iran and Pakistan. Though many of these migrants chose to return, in practice the line between forced and voluntary returns is blurry.
Following the 2015–16 crisis that saw record numbers of refugees arrive in Europe, policymakers have shown interest in creating managed, legal alternatives to the dangerous, unauthorized journeys many asylum seekers make. While these discussions should be informed by an understanding of current pathways and protection channels, it is "nearly impossible" to know how protection seekers enter and what legal channels are available to them, as this MPI Europe report explains.
Cities have played a significant role in addressing Europe’s migration crisis, including by helping migrants and refugees integrate successfully into the local labor market. This report identifies concrete actions that could be taken to better leverage European Union soft law, funding, and knowledge exchange mechanisms to support cities’ activities in this area and to deliver more effective services.
This MPI Europe report examines the challenges that cities across the European Union are facing when helping new arrivals access education and training, including limited funding and need for better monitoring of program outcomes. It also highlights innovative ways municipalities support newly arrived migrants as they enter the education system and local labor force, including two-generation and co-located services as well as "whole-place" approaches.
As Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States work to facilitate the movement of professionals, the experiences of other countries hold promise for policymakers and licensing bodies in Southeast Asia as they deepen implementation of mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) that seek to establish a uniform and transparent way of recognizing the qualifications of foreign workers. This report offers key lessons.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States have approved Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) in the tourism sector and in six regulated occupations to ease the movement of professionals within the region. This report compares the approaches taken to facilitate mutual recognition of qualifications within the region, the factors that shaped each MRA approach, and their tradeoffs and policy implications.