The world is once again engaging in a mad scramble to close borders after emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. While the response bears the hallmarks of the initial response to COVID-19 and the Delta variant, with an uncoordinated and single-minded focus on travel restrictions alone, international cooperation and long-term planning are critical to a more equitable and sustainable system of global mobility and pandemic preparedness.
While there were more encounters of migrants seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization during fiscal 2021 than any prior year, this does not necessarily mean that more migrants were intercepted or illicitly entered the country than was the case 21 years ago, a new commentary explains.
The U.S. decision to lift border restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers represents the latest move by governments around the world to loosen COVID-19-era travel restrictions. Yet it underscores a major policy shift that has gone almost unnoticed: with vaccination moving from being a fast track to travel to becoming a required ticket. This raises significant equity and technical considerations, as this commentary explores.
There is no doubt that many Afghan citizens will need protection in the weeks and months ahead. What remains shrouded in uncertainty, however, is the magnitude of need and where to offer that protection. This commentary discusses how the international community can develop a coordinated strategy to protect those fleeing persecution and support host societies in Afghanistan's immediate neighborhood.
Jaime Rodriguez Sr./U.S. Customs and Border Protection
The Biden administration’s proposed asylum processing rule represents a fundamental retooling of the asylum system that preserves asylum as a bedrock element of the U.S. immigration system while also recognizing that a secure border and deterring unlawful crossings are legitimate and necessary attributes of an effective, credible immigration system, as this commentary explains.
More than 18 months since the first COVID-19-related travel restrictions were introduced, the pandemic’s effects on global mobility are still unfolding. With vaccination campaigns picking up speed in some places while only beginning in others, and new variants of the virus emerging, the timeline for restarting international migration and travel remains uncertain. This report explores how different policy choices could result in very different mobility realities.