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Michelle Mittelstadt

Experts & Staff

Michelle Mittelstadt

Director of Communications and Public Affairs, MPI

Director of Communications, MPI Europe

(202) 266-1910 | +44 20 8123 6265

Michelle Mittelstadt is MPI’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs and is responsible for developing and implementing the Institute’s strategic communications, coordinating public and media outreach and events, managing the editing and publishing process, and overseeing the Institute’s websites, social media platforms, and publication of its online journal, the Migration Information Source. She also oversees communications strategy and manages the editing and publications process for MPI's Brussels-based sister organization, MPI Europe.

A veteran journalist, she joined MPI after covering immigration policy, Congress, and border-related issues in the Washington bureaus of The Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News, and the Houston Chronicle. She has written hundreds of articles examining U.S. immigration policy, border and interior enforcement, and the post-9/11 legislative and executive branch changes that have altered the immigration landscape. She also covered the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

Prior to coming to Washington, Ms. Mittelstadt was an editor with The Associated Press in Dallas and managing editor of The Courier Herald in Dublin, Ga.

She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism with a concentration in global studies from the University of Georgia.

Bio Page Tabs

March 2018
By Jeanne Batalova, Andriy Shymonyak, and Michelle Mittelstadt
Fact Sheets
October 2017
By Jeanne Batalova, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, and Michelle Mittelstadt
Fact Sheets
August 2011
By Michelle Mittelstadt, Burke Speaker, Doris Meissner, and Muzaffar Chishti
September 2009
By Michael Fix, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Jeanne Batalova, Aaron Terrazas, Serena Yi-Ying Lin, and Michelle Mittelstadt
October 2008
By Jeanne Batalova, Michelle Mittelstadt, Mark Mather, and Marlene Lee

2018 proved a banner year for far-right populist movements in Europe and the Americas. They claimed the presidency of Brazil, sparked the collapse of the Belgian government, and—whether in or out of office—put a harder-edged stamp on migration and asylum policies in Austria, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, and beyond.

U.S. Marine secures barbed-wire fencing at the California-Mexico border.

The Trump administration took sweeping action in 2018 to slow legal immigration, make life harder for some immigrants already in the United States, rebuff would-be asylum seekers, and reduce refugee resettlement. Shaping a narrative of crisis at the border, the administration significantly changed the U.S. asylum system, deployed troops and tear gas, and separated families—yet Central American migrants continued to arrive.

Hardline migration and asylum policies in the United States and Australia in 2018 hit turbulence when their effects on the most vulnerable—young children—provoked widespread public revulsion and prompted a retreat, at least temporarily. Still, public outcry over the treatment of child migrants and asylum seekers often runs up against the intractability of the problems facing governments and the lack of good solutions.

Sign left by No More Deaths activists in Arizona

As industrialized countries are adopting harder-edge immigration and asylum policies to deal with real and perceived crises, humanitarian actors have sought to blunt the effects of those policies by launching rescue missions at sea, rendering direct aid to migrants in need, and offering legal assistance. A concerted pushback to this resistance emerged in 2018, with governments using legislative, legal, and other tools to fight back.

Faced with absorbing vast numbers of asylum seekers who headed to Europe during the 2015-16 migration crisis and the ongoing arrival of much smaller, but steady flows of Central Americans at the U.S.-Mexico border, EU Member States and the United States in 2018 took or explored significant steps to narrow asylum and harden policies.

City view in Marrakech

The world’s first international agreement on migration was approved by 164 countries in December 2018, but not without turbulence. U.S. withdrawal from the nonbinding Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, on grounds it could impinge on sovereignty, triggered similar actions by others, particularly in Eastern Europe. Amid ongoing political ripple effects, attention now turns to implementation of the deal's goals.

November 2016
By Muzaffar Chishti and Michelle Mittelstadt
Video, Audio
August 7, 2013
MPI experts participate in a video chat shortly after the Migration Policy Institute released an analysis comparing the major provisions of the Senate bill to those of the individual House bills considered to date in House committees. 

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