E.g., 03/02/2024
E.g., 03/02/2024
Border Security

Border Security

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

Recent Activity

Image of EU and Member State flags flapping in wind
Commentaries
December 2023
By  Hanne Beirens and Camille Le Coz
Cover image for What Role Could Digital Technologies Play...
Policy Briefs
December 2023
By  Lucía Salgado and Hanne Beirens
The U.S. Coast Guard interdicts a vessel with Cuban migrants.
Articles
CBP personnel process and screen migrants for possible entry into the U.S.
Commentaries
October 2023
By  Colleen Putzel-Kavanaugh and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto

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Cover image for Using Risk Analysis to Shape Border Management
Reports
January 2023
By  Kelley Lee, Julianne Piper and Jennifer Fang
Cover image for COVID-19’s Effects on U.S. Immigration and Immigrant Communities
Reports
June 2022
By  Julia Gelatt and Muzaffar Chishti
Cover image for COVID-19 and the State of Global Mobility in 2021
Reports
May 2022
By  Meghan Benton, Samuel Davidoff-Gore, Jeanne Batalova, Lawrence Huang and Jie Zong
Cover image for Migración de Huehuetenango en el Altiplano Occidental de Guatemala
Reports
March 2022
By  Andrew Selee, Luis Argueta and Juan José Hurtado Paz y Paz

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Migrantes en la aldea de Canaán Membrillo, en el Tapón del Darién, Panamá.

El paso por el Tapón del Darién ha transformado la migración en las Américas. Cada día, más de 1.000 personas cruzan lo que no hace mucho era un tramo de selva poco transitado entre Colombia y Panamá, la mayoría con la esperanza de llegar a Estados Unidos o Canadá. Es un viaje increíblemente arriesgado. Los gobiernos se han esforzado por responder al creciente movimiento, que se espera que supere los 500.000 cruces en 2023.

Migrants in the Darien Gap village of Canaan Membrillo, Panama.

Passage through the Darien Gap has transformed migration across the Americas. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken the incredibly perilous journey across the remote jungle between Colombia and Panama, risking exposure to hazardous terrain, criminal groups, and other dangers. As this article outlines, governments have struggled to respond to the growing movement, expected to top 500,000 crossings in 2023.

Protests at a refugee compound in Nauru.

For two decades, asylum seekers seeking to reach Australia by boat were diverted to Nauru, a small Pacific Island nation that made a hefty profit off the extraterritorial asylum arrangement. But attitudes among local Nauruans have been mixed, with some fearing their economy revolved around Australia and the foreign workers who shuttled in and out of the processing center. As more countries seek to strike offshore asylum deals, this article examines the effects on local communities.

Afghan parolees wait in line at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

An estimated 1.9 million migrants are in the United States or have been authorized to enter with a twilight immigration status that does not automatically lead to to permanent residence but temporarily shields them from deportation for at least one year. Use of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and immigration parole has been a hallmark of the Biden administration as it seeks to address record border arrivals and protection needs.

Venezuelan migrants charge their phones and other devices at a power point in Boa Vista, Brazil.

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.

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Central american migrants resting at Casa del Migrante in Tecun Uman, Guatemala.
Video
June 7, 2023

Marking release of a report, experts on this webinar examine migration narratives since 2018 and how they have been used to justify policy approaches or incentivize mobility decisions.

Expert Q&A, Audio
May 23, 2023

MPI's Lawrence Huang discusses COVID-19 mobility restrictions in China and the Asia Pacific—and what this all means for future public health crises—with Dr. Karen Grépin, a health policy professor at the University of Hong Kong.

Expert Q&A, Audio
May 18, 2023

MPI President Andrew Selee and two colleagues who joined him at the U.S.-Mexico border to examine increasingly sophisticated U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations discuss the evolution of policies and procedures to address asylum seekers and other migrants arriving at official ports of entry.

Expert Q&A, Audio
April 24, 2023

How are U.S. border operations and policies evolving at the U.S.-Mexico border to address rising and diversifying flows? And what is driving increasing immigration from across Latin America, the Caribbean, and beyond? MPI President Andrew Selee speaks with two colleagues who traveled from one end of the nearly 2,000-mile boundary to the other, touring U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities and interviewing U.S. and Mexican officials, NGO leaders, and others.

Expert Q&A, Audio
April 15, 2023

When large numbers of asylum seekers and other migrants arrive at the borders of Western countries without prior authorization to enter, they are often treated as “spontaneous” arrivals. But migration is almost never truly spontaneous. Our podcast Changing Climate, Changing Migration speaks with David Leblang, a professor of politics and public policy at the University of Virginia, who discusses how climate change fits into the migration calculus.

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Recent Activity

Commentaries
December 2023

The New Pact on Migration and Asylum agreed in December 2023 by EU Member States and the European Parliament after lengthy negotiation will, without a doubt, go down in history as a signal political accomplishment. But will it result in better management of migration and asylum systems in a complex era? The outcome will turn on implementation and communication, this MPI Europe commentary explains.

Policy Briefs
December 2023

With EU migration systems under strain, many observers have high hopes that the New Pact on Migration and Asylum will be able to help Europe address pressing challenges. This policy brief explores how digital technologies could support the implementation of the pact, should it be approved, as well as areas where caution is merited.

Expert Q&A, Audio
November 15, 2023

Travel documents play an important role in international mobility, and for refugees serve as an essential gateway to a world of opportunities, from pursuing education and employment to reuniting with family. This episode unpacks the complexities around travel documents and their pivotal role in refugees' livelihoods. 

Commentaries
November 2023

The $13.6 billion border emergency supplemental spending bill the Biden administration is seeking lays out the elements for resourcing immigration functions to full capacity across the entire border enforcement system. Without resourcing the system across all its parts, including adjudications and management, no administration, present or future, will be able to effectively manage spontaneous border arrivals, this commentary argues.

Expert Q&A, Audio
October 27, 2023

Former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff talks about the security implications of climate change and migration in this episode of the podcast Changing Climate, Changing Migration.

Video
September 18, 2023

The 20th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by MPI, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center, features fresh, thoughtful policy and legal analysis, and discussion of some of the top immigration issues by leading government officials, attorneys, researchers, advocates, and other experts. 

Articles

Amid the highest Caribbean maritime migration levels in a generation, the Biden administration is relying on a carrot-and-stick strategy it honed amid record unauthorized migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. The approach, combining limits on asylum, expanded legal pathways, and international enforcement partnerships, could be increasingly important if maritime migration rises, as this article explains.

Commentaries
October 2023

There is a deeper story behind the U.S. government's fiscal 2023 border encounters numbers than that the year marked a new record high. The pivot from the pandemic-era Title 42 expulsions policy and sharp diversification in nationalities have reshaped migrant arrivals unlike any year before. This commentary goes beyond the headlines to focus on the more enduring—and challenging—realities occuring at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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