E.g., 04/08/2020
E.g., 04/08/2020

Border Security

Border Security

In an era when countries and their populations are increasingly exposed to the opportunities and risks associated with the ever-expanding global movement of people, policymakers are rethinking approaches to border controls and border management. These policies and programs run the gamut—from facilitating the legitimate movement of people and trade to thwarting the unauthorized movement of humans and contraband, the latter a significant preoccupation in the post-9/11 era and as publics have become ever less accepting of illegal immigration. The research offered here examines the management of borders, enforcement policies and initiatives, and technologies used in pursuit of border security.

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The phenomenon of unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, typically after an arduous and often dangerous journey through Central America and Mexico, has reached a crisis proportion, with a 90 percent spike in arrivals from last year and predictions of future increases ahead.

The U.S. immigrant population—estimated at 40.8 million in 2012 — is the nation’s historical numerical high, and it is also the largest foreign-born population in the world. About 20 percent of all international migrants reside in the United States, even as the country accounts for less than 5 percent of global population. This article presents the latest, most sought-after data on immigrants in the United States—by origin, residence, legal status, deportations, languages spoken, and more—in one easy-to-use resource.

Burma, a resources-rich yet impoverished nation also known as Myanmar, rejoined the international community in 2011 after a military junta loosened its grip. Before the Southeast Asian nation opened its borders, Burmese migrated primarily for low-paid, clandestine work in Thailand but also as a result of violence and natural disasters. This article explores how the country’s recent transition has impacted Burmese migration flows.

Those caught trying to enter the United States illegally in portions of five Southwest border sectors face criminal prosecution under Operation Streamline, which the Department of Homeland Security launched in 2005. MPI's Donald Kerwin and Kristen McCabe examine how Operation Streamline works, highlight trends in the prosecution of immigration offenses, and evaluate the program's outcomes.

Approximately 400,000 migrants transit through Mexico each year in order to reach the United States, many of them women from Latin America. Gabriela Diaz and Gretchen Kuhner explain how the detention system's structure and new detention procedures affect women.

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Recent Activity

Articles

The stark contrast between the Republican and Democratic parties on immigration was codified in their 2016 party platforms, and showcased in the rosters of convention speakers—featuring victims of unauthorized immigrant crimes on the one hand, and unauthorized immigrants living in fear on the other. This article explores the evidence, even compared to earlier platforms, of two divergent universes regarding immigration.

Audio, Webinars
July 14, 2016

The UK vote to exit the European Union has given new momentum to euroskeptic, anti-immigration movements elsewhere. Experts discuss the political and policy lessons that can be learned from Brexit and applied to debates in Europe and North America, including how to address public anxiety over immigration and identity while managing migration in a globalized economy.

Reports
July 2016

What factors are fueling rising public anxiety over immigration seen in Europe and North America? This Transatlantic Council report outlines and analyzes the factors that can set the stage for such public unease—some of which have their roots outside of immigration policy per se, and are instead deeply embedded in the global, national, and local contexts within which migration occurs—and offers policymakers strategies to respond.

Articles

News of the Zika virus outbreak in Latin America has raised alarm bells, resulting in scattered calls for tighter restrictions on international entries to the United States. Evidence shows, however, that closing borders and restrictions on international travel tend to have little impact on the spread of infectious diseases. This feature article explores the linkages between public health and migration in the Americas.

Commentaries
June 2016

While the political and economic ramifications of the UK vote to quit the European Union hit with full force within hours, it will take far more time to sort out what Brexit means for migration policy. In the short term, the rights of EU nationals living in Britain are the most pressing, with border-control negotiations and future immigration levels also high on the agenda. Against a backdrop of deep public skepticism, this commentary suggests the next government should underpromise and overdeliver.

Articles

Movements of migrants and asylum seekers in the Mediterranean have shown to be highly fluid, adapting quickly to changing conditions at origin, transit, and destination. This article examines the shifts in flows across the three major Mediterranean routes since 2008 and the complex web of often interconnected factors underpinning these movements.

Reports
June 2016

Despite weathering many of the same economic and political challenges that have affected support for immigration in other countries in recent decades—from recession to threats of terrorism—Canada has managed to maintain a consistently positive public consensus around its immigration system. This report explores the evolution of Canada’s apparently unique attitude toward immigration and diversity.

Video, Audio, Webinars
May 25, 2016

A discussion on how the politics and migration policies of the British government influenced the decision to hold the "Brexit" referendum, how public attitudes towards immigration might influence the decision whether the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, and how the outcome might impact migration policy in the United Kingdom and European Union more broadly.

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