E.g., 01/27/2023
E.g., 01/27/2023
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

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Cover image for Migration Management and Border Security: Lessons Learned
Policy Briefs
September 2021
By  Alan D. Bersin
Cover image for Deepening Labor Migration Governance at a Time of Immobility: Lessons from Ghana and Senegal
Policy Briefs
July 2021
By  Camille Le Coz and Kate Hooper
Sentando las bases para una cooperación regional: Política migratoria y capacidad institucional en México y Centroamérica
Reports
April 2021
By  Andrew Selee, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Andrea Tanco, Luis Argueta and Jessica Bolter
Laying the Foundation for Regional Cooperation: Migration Policy and Institutional Capacity in Mexico and Central America
Reports
April 2021
By  Andrew Selee, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Andrea Tanco, Luis Argueta and Jessica Bolter

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U.S. Border Patrol agents prepare to transport unauthorized migrants to Mexico under Title 42.

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.

An image of an immigration boarding line.

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.

A construction crew works on a wall the U.S.-Mexico border.

The number of border walls globally has multiplied at a rapid clip, from fewer than five at the end of World War II to more than six dozen now, with more under construction. Most of the world's border fortifications have been built since the turn of the millennium, and are intended to accomplish a range of functions. This article charts the remarkable growth and normalization of border walls globally.

A U.S. government supercomputer.

Artificial intelligence systems that promise speedier travel and improved tools to halt smuggling and detect illegal entry have been embraced by border officials across the globe. But critics contend they also pose serious privacy concerns, which may become more pronounced as technologies evolve. This article examines the challenges and promises.

Photo of U.S. President Joe Biden delivering remarks in front of White House.

While Donald Trump’s presidency is perceived as being the most active on immigration, touching nearly every aspect of the U.S. immigration system, President Joe Biden’s administration has far outpaced his predecessor in the number of executive actions taken during his first year in office—even as the pace of change has gone largely unnoticed, as this article explores.

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EuropeanParliament EPphoto Flickr
Commentaries
May 2019
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan
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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 Doris Meissner
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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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Expert Q&A, Audio
October 20, 2021

People on all sides of the policy debate largely agree that the current U.S. immigration system is broken. What should a 21st century immigration system that works in the national interest look like? And is this vision achievable amid current political realities?

World of Migration Episode 1
Expert Q&A, Audio
October 13, 2021

MPI co-founder Demetrios G. Papademetriou takes on many questions, including whether the role of think tanks has evolved over the last two decades, in this conversation with MPI’s Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan. They also look ahead to the challenges that will dominate immigration policymaking in the years ahead.

Video, Audio
September 27, 2021

The 2021 annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference featured a keynote conversation with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas and analysis by top experts on the early months of the Biden administration and how immigration law and policy can respond to our changing world in a manner that is humane and in the national interest.

Video, Audio
September 2, 2021

The sprawling U.S. immigration detention system has long been controversial for its conditions of care, number of immigrants and asylum seekers detained, and costs. This discussion of a report provides a vision for a reimagined immigration custody system. 

Video, Audio
July 21, 2021

Featuring findings from a recent MPI report, speakers examined the process of releasing unaccompanied children to sponsors, the current structure of federal post-release services, and the most significant needs these children and their U.S. sponsors experience.

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Recent Activity

Reports
June 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic recession have affected the lives of all U.S. residents, but immigrants have been among the hardest hit, with evidence of disproportionately high rates of death as well as a particularly high spike in unemployment. This report takes a look back at how the COVID-19 crisis has affected U.S. immigration policies and levels and the country’s immigrant communities.

Video, Audio, Webinars
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.

Articles

A recent uptick in the number of unauthorized migrants attempting to reach the United States by sea has been largely overshadowed by tensions on the southwest border but serves as an echo of eras past. This article explains why migrant interdictions have risen to recent highs, especially among Cubans and Haitians.

Articles

In the years since its return to democracy, Chile has emerged as a major immigration destination within South America. Yet recent large-scale migrant arrivals from Haiti and Venezuela have shaken the country’s politics and at times overwhelmed a decades-old immigration framework that critics contended was woefully out of date. New reforms could tighten immigration, but many questions remain. This country profile analyzes migration to Chile particularly since 1990.

Video, Audio, Webinars
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.

Policy Briefs
May 2022

As assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programs proliferate in Europe, there is growing recognition that counseling migrants as they prepare to return to their countries of origin can play an important role in their longer-term reintegration. This policy brief assesses the gaps between counselors in Europe and organizations supporting migrants after return that will need to be overcome to maximize the benefits of predeparture counseling.

Commentaries
May 2022

Many countries are reopening for international travel and migration after the shutdown forced by the pandemic. Yet there is still no consensus on whether and how to use travel measures to prevent the spread of future variants of COVID-19 or respond to the next public health crisis. This commentary lays out four guiding principles for building an inclusive and effective global mobility system.

Articles

The population of sub-Saharan African immigrants in the United States is relatively small, but it has grown substantially over the last four decades and is likely to continue to increase. This group of 2.1 million people is highly diverse, including individuals with a range of ethnic, linguistic, and other backgrounds, as this article explains.

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