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MPI’s Transatlantic Council Series on Immigration Policymaking in Volatile Political Landscape Concludes with Vision to Reclaim Lost Middle Ground
Press Release
Thursday, November 15, 2018

MPI’s Transatlantic Council Series on Immigration Policymaking in Volatile Political Landscape Concludes with Vision to Reclaim Lost Middle Ground

WASHINGTON — In many corners of Europe and the United States, a wave of support for politicians touting populist and nativist platforms has rocked the foundations of mainstream politics. These populists have tapped into a deep sense of grievance among voters who feel they have lost out amid globalization, labor-market volatility and rapid social change.

While many discussions of nativist populism have focused on electoral victories and losses, this lens may be too narrow. These actors’ influence on policy and public narratives—particularly in the area of immigration—runs much deeper.

A Council Statement from the Migration Policy Institute’s Transatlantic Council on Migration explores the social and political factors that have bolstered support for populism, how these forces are reshaping immigration policy from within and outside government, and how other political actors are responding. It caps MPI’s series on immigration policymaking in a volatile political landscape, laying out recommendations for how to reclaim a lost political middle ground and fashion a new consensus around immigration.

“If mainstream actors are to restore public trust in immigration policy,” authors Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Kate Hooper conclude, “they will need to acknowledge the uneven distribution of the benefits and costs of immigration and globalization writ large and demonstrate that they are taking concrete steps to redress this inequality.”

These steps should include creating new channels to engage members of the public in policy decisions, redouble efforts to communicate complex policy issue without either overpromising or stoking fears, and investing in communities that have been hit hard by economic and fiscal crises.

Read the report here: www.migrationpolicy.org/research/migration-policy-volatile-political-landscape.

The Council Statement concludes a Transatlantic Council series focusing on the future of migration policy in an era of growing skepticism about immigration and rising populism. The series, including a new report out this week on effectively communicating accurate information about immigration in an era of dueling facts and misinformation gone viral, can be accessed here: www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/transatlantic-council-migration/volatile-political-landscape.

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The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at local, national and international levels. MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration is a unique deliberative body that examines vital policy issues and informs migration policymaking processes across the Atlantic community.