E.g., 12/03/2022
E.g., 12/03/2022
Border Security

Border Security

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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.

Recent Activity

Image of Central American migrant caravan passing through Chiapas, Mexico
Commentaries
April 2022
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto and Andrew Selee
A woman in Italy is vaccinated before travel in 1951.
Articles
U.S. Border Patrol agents prepare to transport unauthorized migrants to Mexico under Title 42.
Articles
An image of an immigration boarding line.
Articles
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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Policy Briefs
November 2020
By  Doris Meissner and Michelle Mittelstadt
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Reports
November 2020
By  Jeanne Batalova, Andriy Shymonyak and Michelle Mittelstadt
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Policy Briefs
September 2020
By  Dany Bahar, Meagan Dooley and Andrew Selee
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Policy Briefs
September 2020
By  Dany Bahar, Meagan Dooley and Andrew Selee

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Two boys pose in an informal settlement east of Johannesburg largely populated by immigrants.

South Africa hosts the most immigrants of any African country. Yet it faces conflicting pressures, including the legacy of apartheid, a steady outflow of well-educated South Africans, and the need to juggle bilateral labor mobility schemes at a time of economic insecurity and high unemployment. This article traces these pressures and how they have developed over time.

A woman and her child in southern Ethiopia.

In 1980, more than 2.5 million Ethiopian refugees lived in other countries. Now, Ethiopians are more likely to migrate for labor reasons, particularly to the Middle East and southern Africa, and meanwhile the country has become a refuge for humanitarian migrants from its neighbors. This article traces the history of migration from, to, and through Ethiopia.

A Haitian man hugs his daughter in Peru.

The chaotic arrival of thousands of Haitians at the U.S.-Mexico border in September 2021 was the culmination of a journey through the Americas that began for many a decade ago. This article examines how Brazil became a refuge for many after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, and how Haitians then moved on to Chile and other countries as conditions changed, and then onward again further north.

A U.S. Customs agent looks at wreckage following the 9/11 terror attacks

After the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 the U.S. immigration system was retooled to have a strong national security focus. This restructuring had dramatic effects on government operations and resource allocations, not to mention on the lives of immigrants and the U.S. born alike. Twenty years on from 9/11, this article examines the changes put in place or accelerated as a result of the attacks.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks at a political event in Arizona.

Texas seems set to become chief antagonist to President Joe Biden’s immigration agenda. This article explores Governor Greg Abbott's plans to build new barriers along the border, use state and local law enforcement to carry out arrests of unauthorized immigrants, and strip licensing from federally contracted shelters housing unaccompanied children.

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Commentaries
June 2018
By  Elizabeth Collett and Susan Fratzke
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Commentaries
January 2018
By  Julia Gelatt and Sarah Pierce
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Commentaries
March 2017
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou
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Commentaries
February 2017
By  Elizabeth Collett
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Commentaries
November 2016
By  Muzaffar Chishti and Michelle Mittelstadt
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Commentaries
June 2016
By  Will Somerville
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Commentaries
April 2016
By  Hanne Beirens and Paul Clewett

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Video, Audio
April 19, 2021

Marking the launch of the Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World initiative, this event examines how the accessibility of asylum and protection globally has changed since the EU-Turkey deal, similar policies deployed by countries of asylum, the impacts of these policies, and what can be done t

Video, Audio
April 15, 2021

This report release event examines migration management in Mexico and Central America, and the growing government attention to migration functions, enhanced immigration enforcement, increased investments in asylum systems and existing protection frameworks, as well as labor migration policies.

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Video, Audio
April 8, 2021

Marking the release of an IOM-MPI report, this two-panel discussion, features introductory remarks by IOM Director General António Vitorino and examines how the pandemic has reshaped border management and human mobility in 2020 and what the lasting impacts may be throughout 2021 and beyond.

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Video, Audio
February 5, 2021

With Portugal assuming the EU Presidency in January 2021 and prioritizing progress on the EU Migration and Asylum Pact, this webinar features senior officials from the European Union, Germany (the last holder of the presidency), and Portugal to take stock of where conversations on the pact stand and Portugal’s plans for taking forward the negotiations. 

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Expert Q&A, Audio
December 17, 2020

Pre-COVID-19, we lived in a hyper-global world. There were 1.5 billion international tourism trips annually, nearly 40 million flights, and 272 million international migrants. This raises a provocative question: Does international mobility contribute to the spread of pandemics? In this episode, we speak with Michael Clemens and Thomas Ginn of the Center for Global Development.

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Recent Activity

Commentaries
April 2022

With migration from Central America increasing, the region from Canada to Panama faces an opportunity to build an effective regional approach to migration by focusing on several areas that are ripe for significant policy innovation. This commentary sketches a vision, offering a road map to more detailed research that outlines strategies for cooperation on legal pathways, humanitarian protection, migration management, and sustainable development.

Articles

Requirements that international travelers and migrants prove vaccination against certain diseases are about as old as vaccines themselves. In some cases, vaccine certificates predated the existence of government-issued passports. This article explores the history of these requirements, which began with smallpox and have since been applied for diseases including cholera, polio, yellow fever, and, recently, COVID-19.

Articles

The United States’ controversial Title 42 migrant expulsions policy will come to an end in May 2022, after more than 1.7 million expulsions over two years. The COVID-19-era public-health restriction ushered in an unprecedented period of mass expulsions, including of would-be asylum seekers, at the U.S.-Mexico border. Unwinding the policy will be complicated amid predictions of a significant increase in unauthorized migration.

Reports
March 2022

Cooperation with other countries has become a central part of Australian border enforcement. Partnerships with countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia, Nauru, and Papua New Guinea have helped Australia curb irregular maritime migration, but also come at significant costs. This report explores the current and future role of cooperation in Australian immigration enforcement policy.

Articles

Need information about U.S. immigration trends or the makeup of the country's immigrant population? This useful, stats-rich article answers the most common questions about the size, shape, and changing nature of the U.S. foreign-born population. It also offers data on immigration enforcement actions, backlogs, and other elements of the U.S. immigration system.

Reports
March 2022

Desde principios de la década de 2010, la migración irregular de Guatemala a Estados Unidos ha aumentado drásticamente. Huehuetenango, un departamento en el Altiplano Occidental de Guatemala, se encuentra entre las principales fuentes de esta emigración. Este estudio examina los patrones y factores impulsores de la emigración de Huehuetenango, así como las posibles estrategias para abordar factores de empuje y creación de alternativas a la migración irregular.

Reports
March 2022

Since the early 2010s, unauthorized migration from Guatemala to the United States has risen dramatically. Huehuetenango, a department in Guatemala’s Western Highlands, is among the top sources of this emigration. This study examines the patterns and drivers of emigration from Huehuetenango, as well as potential strategies to address push factors and create alternatives to irregular migration.

Reports
March 2022

To address cross-border challenges, the European Union and its Member States have increasingly partnered with neighboring countries, with those in the Maghreb region of northern Africa playing a particularly important role. This report examines the border security situation in the Maghreb and European efforts to work with Maghrebi partners to strengthen border management. It finds a mismatch in priorities stymies cooperation.

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