E.g., 06/19/2024
E.g., 06/19/2024
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

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 Four Years of Profound Change: Immigration Policy during the Trump Presidency
Reports
February 2022
By  Jessica Bolter, Emma Israel and Sarah Pierce
Cover image for The Complex Motivations and Costs of Central American Migration
Reports
November 2021
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Rossella Bottone, Jaret Waters, Sarah Williams, Ashley Louie and Yuehan Wang
Cover image for African Migration through the Americas: Drivers, Routes, and Policy Responses
Reports
October 2021
By  Caitlyn Yates and Jessica Bolter
Cover image for Migration Management and Border Security: Lessons Learned
Policy Briefs
September 2021
By  Alan D. Bersin

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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.

Haitians at a medical site in Jeremie, Haiti.

The Haitian diaspora has swelled since a massive earthquake in 2010 and in the wake of violent riots that culminated in a political crisis in 2018 and the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Poverty, natural disasters, political crisis, and insecurity have historically driven Haitian migration. Destination countries have often rejected these arrivals and sought to deport Haitian migrants in large numbers.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at a conference in Tampa.

Renewed U.S. state activism on immigration has echoes of the early 2010s, when Arizona’s SB 1070 defined a Republican-led push to increase enforcement that was ultimately muted by the courts and public backlash. Newer strategies rely on a novel array of tactics including migrant busing, litigation, and lawmaking. States are also moving in opposite directions, with some expanding rights for unauthorized immigrants, as this article details.

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EuropeanParliament EPphoto Flickr
Commentaries
May 2019
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan
BorderWall CBP ManiAlbrecht
Commentaries
January 2019
By  Doris Meissner and Sarah Pierce
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Commentaries
November 2018
By  Doris Meissner
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Commentaries
September 2018
By  Julia Gelatt, Michael Fix and Jennifer Van Hook
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Commentaries
June 2018
By  Jessica Bolter and Sarah Pierce
Deferred Action Summit
Commentaries
June 2018
By  Julia Gelatt and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto

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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. 

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

Marking the release of a Migration Policy Institute report on possible protection pathways for Central Americans, this webcast offers analysis on regional resettlement and humanitarian channels and the opportunities and obstacles to expanding these programs, along with specific actions that the United States and Canada could take.

Nigerian Ministry of interior launched IOM’s Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) in Abuja airport.
Video, Audio
May 10, 2022

Marking the launch of an IOM-MPI report, this webcast examines the state of mobility across world regions into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic—what travel restrictions remain, what policy adaptations have occurred, and how do systems improve for the next public-health crisis.

Video, Audio
January 19, 2022

This MPI discussion with leading experts, advocates, and a top official from the administration examines the Biden track record on immigration and what lays ahead

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Expert Q&A, Audio
November 24, 2021

With migration a dynamic phenomenon in the Americas, the U.S. government increasingly is realizing that migration management should be viewed in a regional context. This requires a new set of policies and ways of engagement with countries in North and Central America, and beyond, as MPI President Andrew Selee discusses with colleague Andrea Tanco in this episode of our World of Migration podcast.

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Recent Activity

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.

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.

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