E.g., 04/22/2024
E.g., 04/22/2024
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 member of the Texas National Guard faces migrants in Eagle Pass, Texas.
Articles
A temple in Dharamsala, India.
Articles
Cover image for Outmatched: The U.S. Asylum System Faces Record Demands
Reports
February 2024
By  Kathleen Bush-Joseph
Cover image for The Mobility Key policy brief
Policy Briefs
February 2024
By  Samuel Davidoff-Gore
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

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Shifting Realities at the U.S.-Mexico Border report
Reports
January 2024
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Colleen Putzel-Kavanaugh and Doris Meissner
Cover image for What Role Could Digital Technologies Play...
Policy Briefs
December 2023
By  Lucía Salgado and Hanne Beirens
Cover image for At the Breaking Point report
Reports
July 2023
By  Muzaffar Chishti, Doris Meissner, Stephen Yale-Loehr, Kathleen Bush-Joseph and Christopher Levesque
Cover image for Migration Narratives in Northern Central America
Reports
June 2023
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Aaron Clark-Ginsberg, Alejandra Lopez and Alejandro Vélez Salas
Cover image for Migration, Integration, and Diaspora Engagement in the Caribbean
Reports
March 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte, Jordi Amaral, Diego Chaves-González, Ana María Sáiz and Jeremy Harris
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

Pages

A woman crying in her room.

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.

President Joe Biden signs an executive order.

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.

The U.S. Coast Guard interdicts a vessel with Cuban migrants.

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.

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.

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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

Reports
March 2024

The story of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe is chiefly one of challenges to solidarity and coordination. Cross-border movement—even within Europe’s Schengen Area—ground to a halt, and countries took varied approaches to using travel measures in an attempt to slow the virus’s spread. This report explores the pandemic’s impacts on mobility to and within Europe, its challenges to European solidarity, and lessons for future public-health crises.

Articles

Rising tensions between Texas and the federal government have sparked fears of a constitutional crisis after the state deployed its National Guard to prevent the U.S. Border Patrol from conducting operations in a city park in Eagle Pass, with Texas Governor Greg Abbott saying the “invasion” of migrants triggered the need for action. This article provides an overview of the standoff and the larger context of current and past state-federal tensions over immigration enforcement.

Articles

The number of Tibetan refugees in India, Nepal, and Bhutan has been on a steady decline since the mid-2000s, posing a threat to the future of an exile community that has developed a robust governance, cultural, educational, and religious structure. While the Tibetan government-in-exile has become a model for displaced communities, a series of factors have contributed to the shrinking population in South Asia, as this article describes.

Reports
February 2024

The U.S. humanitarian protection system, known for its long history of assisting those in need, has come under incredible pressure in recent years. The asylum adjudications system, which is under-resourced, is struggling to keep up with record asylum seeker arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border. This report examines the state of the asylum system, including changes under the Biden administration and potential lessons for other countries.

Policy Briefs
February 2024

Travel documents are critical facilitators of mobility. But for refugees, who cannot safely use a passport issued by their origin country, the lack of a usable travel document can shut them out of work, study, or other opportunities beyond their first country of asylum. This policy brief examines alternative documents that can facilitate refugees’ movement, key barriers to acquiring them, and strategies for overcoming these challenges.

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.

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