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International Program

International Program

Travelers arrive at a U.S. airport wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic
Glenn Fawcett/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Around the world, governments are grappling with how to combat the COVID-19 pandemic while also managing the economic fallout of policies put in place to stop the virus’ spread. Global migration has dropped sharply amid border closures and travel restrictions. This reflection takes stock of policy responses to the pandemic thus far, and of the challenges (and some opportunities) on the horizon for migration systems, labor markets, and integration of newcomers.

Syrian refugees receive COVID-19 tests from IOM before resettlement to Europe
Muse Mohammed/IOM

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a range of (im)mobility challenges that the international community has few tools to address. This policy brief examines the valuable guidance offered by the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration on short-term emergency response and the longer-term reopening of international migration. It also considers how the pandemic is affecting the relationship between migration and development.

Venezuelan migrants and refugees at the border between Colombia and Ecuador
Angela Wells/IOM

More than 4 million Venezuelans have moved to other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, raising concerns about how these arrivals are affecting receiving communities. Some politicians and pundits have asserted that migration is leading to an increase in crime—a claim this issue brief finds misplaced based on examination of official data from Chile, Colombia, and Peru.

Venezuelans waiting at the Peru border for their documents to be processed
Muse Mohammed/IOM

As Latin American and Caribbean countries face a dual challenge—managing large-scale Venezuelan arrivals alongside the COVID-19 pandemic—reliable data on the characteristics of newcomers are essential to policymaking. This MPI-IOM fact sheet offers a profile of refugees and migrants in 11 countries in the region, including their demographics, labor market participation, remittance sending, access to health care, trip details, and intention to return to Venezuela.

Falk Lademann

Most EU Member States closed their borders to travel from neighboring countries in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. While internal borders in the Schengen zone largely reopened in time for summer holidays, there is a lingering sense they could snap shut anew. Though the reflexive introduction of border controls speaks to an inherent lack of trust between states, the 2015-16 migration crisis offers lessons on how to begin to rebuild trust, as this commentary explores.

Jens-Olaf Walter

COVID-19 has chilled many forms of human movement, from travel to temporary and permanent migration, refugee resettlement, and returns, among them. While a safe restart of travel is a precondition for a return to economic and societal normalcy, restarting mobility will not be like flicking a switch, particularly amid disagreements over the costs societies can and should absorb in the name of protecting public health, as this commentary explains.

Recent Activity

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Reports
May 2014
By  Patrick Simon and Elsa Steichen
Policy Briefs
May 2014
By  Imelda Nicolas and Dovelyn Rannveig Mendoza
Reports
April 2014
By  Pieter Bevelander and Nahikari Irastorza
Reports
March 2014
By  Elizabeth Collett and Milica Petrovic
Reports
March 2014
By  Núria Rodríguez-Planas and Natalia Nollenberger
Policy Briefs
March 2014
By  Rabab Fatima, Anita Jawadurovna Wadud and Sabira Coelho

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Audio
October 24, 2012

How the anti-immigrant political movement and rancorous debates surrounding immigration will impact countries’ ability to build strong economies and vibrant, diverse societies is yet to be determined. This discussion focuses on the factors and players that contribute to this environment, an analysis on the current situation in both Europe and the United States, and a discussion on its implications for community cohesion and national identity in European countries and the United States.

Video, Audio
May 23, 2012

A discussion with Rosario Farmhouse, Alejandro Mayorkas, Jasenko Selimovic, Peter Sylvester, and Demetrios G. Papademetriou, MPI President.

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, Audio
February 27, 2012

This event marks MPI Europe's official launch in Brussels. To inaugurate the new office, MPI Europe will host a panel discussion to explore what is driving societal discontent in Europe, the role immigration plays in this, and why there is a growing perception that immigrant integration efforts are failing.

Video, Audio
April 22, 2010

'Securing Human Mobility' book release discussion with Susan Ginsburg, Michael German, Luis Rubio, and Donald M. Kerwin.

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