E.g., 06/20/2024
E.g., 06/20/2024
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 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
Banderas de las naciones centroamericanas en una marcha en San Diego.
Articles
A double border wall leads to a boat launch in Yuma, Arizona.
An abandoned shoe lies in the mud along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Articles
Paintings of the Algerian and Moroccan flags on a brick wall
People hold flags of Central American nations at a march in San Diego.
Articles

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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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The U.S. Supreme Court.

Virtually all major U.S. immigration policy reforms have faced lawsuits in recent years, giving federal judges wide latitude to shape national policy. The situation, which began during the Obama administration and has escalated, is a byproduct of congressional inaction and the emergence of immigration as a political wedge issue. This article tracks the trend, which has added new volatility to the immigration system, and places it in context.

A flag hangs at the vice president's residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, DC.

Want to check a fact about U.S. immigration? Interested in putting recent trends into perspective? This article compiles authoritative, up-to-date information about the U.S. immigrant population and how it has changed over time. Data cover immigrants' demographic, educational, and linguistic characteristics; their top states of residence; enforcement activities; refugees and asylum seekers; naturalization trends; visa backlogs; and more.

Crossers at the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border

A political crisis marked by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s growing authoritarianism has sparked the largest emigration in the country’s modern history. Hundreds of thousands have fled, including intellectuals, artists, and academics. They increasingly are heading beyond the traditional destination of Costa Rica, to the United States and beyond, as this article details.

President Joe Biden in the White House.

Pandemic-related U.S. policies have led to more than 2.6 million migrant expulsions at the U.S.-Mexico border, expanded public benefits to cover millions more U.S. residents, and offered free COVID-19 vaccines and treatment. Many of these policies are now likely to end as the Biden administration in May 2023 formally declares the pandemic to be over, although what comes next remains unclear.

President Joe Biden at the U.S.-Mexico border.

At his term's midpoint, President Joe Biden has relied on executive action to advance his immigration agenda more than his predecessors, including Donald Trump. Yet many of the changes to interior enforcement, humanitarian protection, and other areas have been overshadowed by the record pace of arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border, which has presented the administration with major policy and operational challenges.

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Video, Audio
May 11, 2021

The convergence of the second largest refugee crisis in the world and the COVID-19 pandemic has left the more than 5.5 million migrants who have fled Venezuela in an even more vulnerable position.

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.

2021.4.8 IOM Muse Mohammed Syrian Refugees Leaving Lebanon   Covid
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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Recent Activity

Reports
June 2023

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have long histories of emigration, but are seeing increasing transit and return migration as well. This report explores the stories told within these three countries about migration in all its forms, how these narratives intersect with (and at times, contradict) each other, and how they influence policy decisions and public opinion.

Articles

Los centroamericanos representan menos de una décima parte de la población de inmigrantes en Estados Unidos. Pero su número se ha multiplicado por diez desde 1980. Este artículo proporciona una mirada integral a esta población.

Articles

Budgets for border security and interior immigration enforcement have been on the rise in places including the United States and the European Union. The spending is a result of the heightened focus on securitization by the Global North and has led to a ballooning private industry. This article explains the trend.

Articles

The United States entered a new era with the end of the pandemic-era Title 42 expulsions policy. The government’s hopes of maintaining order at the U.S.-Mexico border post-Title 42 may be complicated by factors including authorities’ limited capacity, ongoing litigation, and cooperation from other countries. This article reviews the Biden administration's changing border policies and possible challenges ahead.

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.

Articles

Algeria and Morocco sit along a crucial migration corridor between Africa and Europe and have often been defined by their rivalry. Although both have been reluctant to welcome large numbers of sub-Saharan African migrants, their motivations have been different. And historically, their approaches to emigration have been a study in contrasts. This article explores the factors driving migration policy in these two countries.

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Central Americans comprise less than one-tenth of the overall U.S. foreign-born population, but their numbers have grown tenfold since 1980, amid economic challenges, political crises, and natural disasters in their region. This article provides a comprehensive look at this population.

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