E.g., 06/21/2024
E.g., 06/21/2024
Border Security

Border Security

CBPagent mexborder

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

A woman crying in her room.
Cover image for Migration at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Reports
January 2024
By  Alan D. Bersin, Nate Bruggeman and Ben Rohrbaugh
President Joe Biden signs an executive order.
Articles
Shifting Realities at the U.S.-Mexico Border report
Reports
January 2024
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Colleen Putzel-Kavanaugh and Doris Meissner
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

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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
Cover image for Migration from Huehuetenango in Guatemala’s Western Highlands
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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State of the EU 2020
Commentaries
October 2020
By  Hanne Beirens
Covid SchengenBorderClosures Falk Lademann Flickr
Commentaries
August 2020
By  Hanne Beirens, Susan Fratzke and Lena Kainz
Covid Mobility Commentary Flickr JensOlafWalter
Commentaries
May 2020
By  Meghan Benton
CoronavirusCommentary Art
Commentaries
March 2020
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Meghan Benton and Susan Fratzke
MigrantCaravanMXCity2018_Wotancito_WikiCommons
Commentaries
July 2019
By  Andrew Selee, Silvia E. Giorguli-Saucedo, Claudia Masferrer and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
MigrantsTijuanaRiverBed_BBCWorldService2014
Commentaries
July 2019
By  Andrew Selee, Silvia E. Giorguli-Saucedo, Claudia Masferrer and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
EuropeanParliament EPphoto Flickr
Commentaries
May 2019
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan

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Expert Q&A, Audio
December 15, 2022

As the planet’s temperature warms, award-winning environmental journalist Gaia Vince thinks humanity is facing a chaotic century of mass migration spurred by climate change? In this episode of Changing Climate, Changing Migration, she contemplates a future in which hundreds of millions of people move from one part of the globe to another.

Attorney General William Tong
Video
September 20, 2022

Focusing on top immigration policy issues at federal and state levels, this 2022 Immigration Law and Policy Conference featured keynotes by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson exploring the growing role states are taking in the national immigration debate.

Expert Q&A, Audio
August 2, 2022

Digital innovations—including automatic verification of health and vaccination results—are reopening economies and global mobility while setting the standard for new ways of managing mobility and health that will outlast the pandemic. Dr. Pramod Varma, chief architect of India's COVID pass system, DIVOC; Dr. Edem Adzogenu, founder of the Afro Champions Initiative; and MPI's Lawrence Huang discuss these innovations on this episode of Moving Beyond Pandemic.

The border area of Haquillas is home to several Venezuelans waiting of their documentation to be formally processed in order to enter in Peru regularly.
Video
June 9, 2022

On the sidelines of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, this event co-sponsored by MPI examines tools and concrete actions taken on regional migration governance, best practices and lessons learned, and the role of regional mechanisms to respond to migration and forced displacement.

Seeking the US border, many Central American migrants begin their journey in Mexico on 'La Bestia'
Video, Audio
May 24, 2022

Con motivo de la publicación de un informe del Instituto de Política Migratoria sobre posibles vías de protección para las personas centroamericanas, este webcast ofrece un análisis sobre las vías humanitarias y de reasentamiento que ya se utilizan en la región así como las oportunidades y los obstáculos para expandir estos programas. 

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Recent Activity

Articles

An unknown number of women and girls from Southeast Asia have gone to China to marry Chinese men. Many go voluntarily, hoping for a better quality of life for themselves and their families. But some are deceived into their situation and are victims of human trafficking. This article takes a look at the phenomenon of marriage migration spurred by China's gender imbalance.

Reports
January 2024

Unauthorized migration at the U.S.-Mexico border has been a high-profile and politically divisive issue for decades. But as the nature of migration at the border has changed profoundly, U.S. policy responses have struggled to keep up. This report explores the changing nature of migration flows and migration policy at the border from the early 1990s until today, highlighting key lessons for contemporary policy-making.

Articles

In three years, President Joe Biden has surpassed the number of immigration-focused executive actions taken by the Trump administration throughout its entire four-year term, making his the most active U.S. presidency ever on immigration. Yet the Biden administration has been repeatedly accused of inaction at the U.S.-Mexico border, where record levels of migrant encounters have occurred. This article reviews the Biden track record on immigration.

Reports
January 2024

All eyes are on the U.S.-Mexico border, where shifting migration trends and record migrant arrivals have stretched the U.S. border management system beyond its capabilities. As the Biden administration continues to implement its new regime of incentives for orderly arrivals and disincentives for unauthorized crossings, this report analyzes the rapidly changing policy and migration realities and outlines recommendations for a more effective, durable system of border control.

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.

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