While smartphones and other technologies can assist decision-making, they do not always improve migrants’ journeys or lives. Forcibly displaced populations can face barriers in the form of limited internet access and low levels of digital literacy. Digital tools may also expose them to government surveillance and raise anxiety about social relations with loved ones. This article underscores refugees' complex relationships with technology.
Budgets for border security and interior immigration enforcement have been on the rise in places including the United States and the European Union. The spending is a result of the heightened focus on securitization by the Global North and has led to a ballooning private industry. This article explains the trend.
Historically a country of emigration, Spain rapidly transitioned to become one of Europe’s major immigration destinations in just a few years. Remarkably, this evolution occurred with minimal political backlash, even as the country suffered through a crippling economic and labor crisis. This country profile examines the trends and policies that led to this astonishing development.
High-skilled immigration represents a potential major benefit to Czechia, which has undergone rapid economic growth since the transition from communism. The arrival of hundreds of thousands of new Ukrainians, many of whom are well educated, marks a moment for the country to re-evaluate its integration policies, as this article details.
Every year, thousands of migrants ordered deported from EU Member States, the United States, and elsewhere are not returned to their origin countries. Why? One reason is the multiple nations that refuse to cooperate on readmitting their nationals abroad. This article explores the motivations behind countries’ lack of cooperation and how deporting states have responded.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 ushered in renewed scrutiny of citizenship by investment programs, which allow wealthy Russian investors and others to become citizens of foreign countries. Some nations are now re-evaluating these "golden passport" schemes, which they developed to boost their economies. This article discusses the history of these programs and their evolution, why they have become controversial, and the main beneficiaries.
Disinformation and misinformation about migrants, refugees, and minority groups adapts to the shifting news cycle while also appealing to people’s pre-existing convictions and current worries. Events such as the war in Ukraine act as a catalyst, enabling coordinated groups to grab people’s attention, stoke fears, and in some cases even dictate political discourse. This article traces the long history of conspiracy theories around immigrants and how they spread today.
What’s in a name? Terms used to refer to people crossing international borders are frequently debated and often evolve, amid efforts to shape the narrative and changing political realities. This article explores the history and evolving use of terms such as "migrant," "refugee," "illegal immigrant," "unauthorized immigrant," and more.
The number of border walls globally has multiplied at a rapid clip, from fewer than five at the end of World War II to more than six dozen now, with more under construction. Most of the world's border fortifications have been built since the turn of the millennium, and are intended to accomplish a range of functions. This article charts the remarkable growth and normalization of border walls globally.
Artificial intelligence systems that promise speedier travel and improved tools to halt smuggling and detect illegal entry have been embraced by border officials across the globe. But critics contend they also pose serious privacy concerns, which may become more pronounced as technologies evolve. This article examines the challenges and promises.
Between Brexit and COVID-19, Europe’s 31-country zone of free movement has been profoundly tested. Still, the area has constantly evolved over the last 70 years, to include new groups of individuals who can freely move for work, study, or leisure, as well as cover larger geographic areas. This article examines the history and challenges to free movement, a crowning success of the European project.
The European Union has tried to leverage development assistance to address root causes of migration from Africa, including poverty, instability, and conflict. The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, unveiled in 2015, has supported more than 250 programs totaling nearly 5 billion euros across 26 countries, but has had only partial success addressing the underlying drivers of migration, as this article explains.
The European Union’s landmark 2016 migration deal with Turkey offered aid and other benefits in exchange for Turkey's assistance in helping reduce arrivals of asylum seekers and other migrants. At its fifth anniversary, the EU-Turkey deal remains one criticized by human-rights advocates and has met frustration from Turkey, but in many ways created a blueprint for other externalization arrangements, as this article outlines.
Faith plays a significant role in the mental health and social integration of refugees and asylum seekers. Yet in Germany, concerns about Islam and migrants from Muslim-majority countries have complicated social cohesion efforts, particularly in the wake of the 2015-16 refugee and migration crisis.
Even as the number of people making the dangerous journey through the Central Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe has declined since the migration and refugee crisis of 2015-16, the rate of deaths has increased. This article evaluates the role of Europe's hardening approach to trans-Mediterranean migration and the criminalization of search-and-rescue operations by nongovernmental organizations.
When he was elected prime minister in 2019, Kyriakos Mitsotakis promised what he called “strict but fair” reforms to secure Greece's borders and speed up transfers of asylum seekers crowding Aegean islands. Yet domestic and geopolitical tensions continued to roil the islands, later joined by a global pandemic, culminating in a fire that destroyed most of Lesvos's Moria refugee camp. This article examines Greece's efforts to strike a delicate balance on migration in a complex era.
Southeastern Europe is experiencing one of the sharpest depopulations in the world, with countries such as Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia on pace to see their populations shrink by at least 15 percent in coming decades. To counter this trend, governments in the region, NGOs, and the private sector are increasingly, if unevenly, tapping into large diaspora communities to spur economic growth and strengthen cultural ties.
Libya was once a prized destination for workers from around the world. But after Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow in 2011, the country became the transit point for hundreds of thousands of Europe-bound asylum seekers and other migrants. Following Libya's 2017 deal with Italy to detain and return migrants caught at sea—which was renewed in February 2020—migrants became trapped in an unstable country, facing harrowing realities, as this article explores.
Border closures and lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic have put a chill on intra-EU labor mobility, most immediately with the difficulty for European farmers to gain access to much-needed seasonal workers and for health-care institutions to get care workers. This article explores how these workers, who often face difficult situations, may be more vulnerable now. It also takes on implications for intra-EU labor mobility post-pandemic.
While migration once was a lower-priority topic for African governments, the last decade has seen a deepening in governance. Policymakers have integrated migration into their national development strategies and mainstreamed it across policy domains such as health and education. The actions are promising on paper, yet questions remain about the extent to which they will translate to more effective migration management.