Migration Policy Institute - Middle East & North Africa
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In 2016, nearly 1.2 million immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region lived in the United States. MENA immigration has picked up in recent decades, owing to war and worsening economic prospects. This article offers the latest data on the MENA population in the United States, which is more likely to come via humanitarian routes and less likely via family reunification than the foreign-born population overall.
European leaders in 2017 pursued migration partnerships with North African countries, seeking to stem maritime arrivals across the Mediterranean. Italy struck a deal with Libya to provide support in cracking down on illegal migration and smugglers, while Germany signed cooperation agreements with Egypt and Tunisia. Meanwhile, widespread reports of migrant abuse in Libya are prompting questions about the limitations and human costs of these partnerships.
Millions of displaced people were unable to return home in 2017, and countless others found themselves newly displaced. Targeted violence in Myanmar caused more than 624,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh, and conflict in South Sudan drove at least 668,000 abroad. Some first-asylum countries, such as Uganda and Turkey, were largely accommodating, while others, such as Jordan and Lebanon, pressured refugees to leave.
In 2016, the European Union announced with fanfare a new Migration Partnership Framework to inform cooperation with countries of origin and transit. While the bloc has long recognized collaboration as key to achieving its migration-management aims, EU partnerships face persistent challenges, including looking beyond short-term enforcement goals and taking into account partner needs, capacity, and objectives.
Since the 2015–16 refugee crisis, European policymakers have eagerly sought cooperation with origin and transit countries in the hopes of stemming unauthorized migration to Europe. This approach is neither new, nor without its limitations. By examining the evolution of two longstanding Mediterranean partnerships—between Spain and Morocco, and Italy and Tunisia—this report offers insights on what has and has not worked.
Turkey has been on the frontlines of the Syrian refugee crisis from the beginning. The vast majority of Turkey's nearly 3.2 million Syrian asylum seekers live in cities, putting pressure on the limited resources and legal authority of local governments to serve them. This article examines Istanbul's creative approaches to meeting the needs of this vulnerable population while balancing the concerns of local citizens.
Eager to emulate the success of an EU-Turkey deal that has helped sharply reduce crossings into Greece, the European Union is exploring similar partnerships with transit countries along the North African coastline. But as this commentary explores, these prospective deals with Libya and other governments may be built upon unstable foundations and come with inherent complexities, possible risks for North African partners, and moral and other hazards for the European Union.
More than 18,000 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the United States since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011. Nearly half of Syrian refugees are under age 14, and this population is more dispersed geographically across the country than the overall Syrian immigrant population. This article offers a demographic profile of Syrian refugees, including age, gender, language, and religion, as well as top state and city destinations.
With global displacement at a post-World War II high, the international community made some advances on refugee protection in 2016, but there were also steps backward. The United Nations held the first-ever refugee summit and some countries, including the United States and Canada, increased their resettlement commitments. Meanwhile, conflict intensified in some hotspots and publics turned against refugees, as this Top 10 article explores.
Marking the release of All at Sea: The Policy Challenges of Rescue, Interception, and Long-Term Response to Maritime Migration, this book discussion explores the different facets of maritime migration and the challenges governments, civil society, the private sector, and international organizations face in tackling this issue together. Presenters discuss the overwhelming Mediterranean crisis and movements across the Bay of Bengal/Andaman Sea, the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden, in the Caribbean, and the waters around Australia; and the particular challenges for policymakers in each of these cases.
With maritime migration the subject of significant policy and public focus in Europe, Australia, and beyond, this timely volume reviews the policy responses to irregular maritime arrivals at regional, national, and international levels. The book includes case studies of the major global hotspots—the Mediterranean, Gulf of Aden, Bay of Bengal/Andaman Sea, Australia, and the Caribbean—and examines trends and policy responses.
A book discussion that explores the different facets of maritime migration and the challenges governments, civil society, the private sector, and international organizations face in tackling this issue together.
This discussion focuses on how governments and actors in the Mediterranean region can work together to expand durable solutions for refugees and coordinate efforts to build welcoming communities for newcomers.
Ahead of the UN High-Level Meeting on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, participants in this public roundtable discuss the root causes and challenges of the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean region and possible solutions and innovations.
Kenyan migration to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has been on the rise over the last few decades, spurred by rising unemployment and instability in Kenya combined with the GCC region's economic growth and proximity. While both sending and origin countries benefit economically from this new migration, it presents significant challenges for these governments, particularly in the area of labor rights, as this feature article explores.
MPI Europe expert analysis and discussion with UNHCR and Italian NGO representatives on what is being done and what can be done to connect Syrians and other refugees with opportunities to settle, work, and live outside the immediate region of the Syrian conflict.
Far from establishing a workable long-term solution to address overwhelming flows of asylum seekers arriving in Greece, the EU-Turkey deal has many observers concerned about the significant legal and logistical hurdles standing in the way of implementation—let alone questions about whether the deal would ultimately work. MPI Europe director Elizabeth Collett explains the practical implications of the deal in this commentary.
Although in theory refugees are already eligible to move beyond the circumstances of their displacement through a variety of legal channels, in reality pathways are often blocked by practical, technical, and political obstacles. This report explores existing tools and innovative new ideas to open additional opportunities to refugees, whether in first-asylum countries or via migration elsewhere.
Experts discuss what is being done and what can be done to connect Syrians and other refugees with opportunities to settle, work, and live outside the immediate region of the conflict.
Global displacement reached a new high with nearly 60 million people worldwide displaced internally or externally in the greatest number since record-keeping began. The trend continued in 2015 as conflicts in places such as Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen drove millions of people to leave their homes and seek refuge in other communities or across borders.