E.g., 06/14/2024
E.g., 06/14/2024
Refugee & Asylum Policy

Refugee & Asylum Policy

Tens of millions of people around the globe have been forcibly displaced by conflict, natural disaster, or persecution, seeking refuge either within or beyond the borders of their country. Humanitarian protection, whether for refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced persons (IDPs), represents a key policy area for many major immigrant-receiving countries as well as nations bordering locations where war, political upheaval, or natural disaster have disrupted daily life. The research offered here relates to the law and practice of protecting refugees and IDPs in areas of conflict as well as in industrialized nations, with a focus on secure solutions and effective institutional arrangements for comprehensive protection.

Recent Activity

A naturalization ceremony at the White House.
Cover image for Converging Crises
Reports
March 2024
By  Luisa Feline Freier, Andrea Kvietok and Leon Lucar Oba
Afghan refugees in Iran's Semnan refugee settlement.
Articles
A member of the Texas National Guard faces migrants in Eagle Pass, Texas.
Articles
A family of Afghan evacuees leaving Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
Articles
A temple in Dharamsala, India.
Articles

Pages

Cover image for Why Matching Matters
Policy Briefs
October 2023
By  Craig Damian Smith and Emma Ugolini
Cover image for From Safe Homes to Sponsor policy brief
Policy Briefs
October 2023
By  Susan Fratzke, Viola Pulkkinen and Emma Ugolini
Cover image for Attracting, Retaining, and Diversifying Sponsors
Reports
September 2023
By  María Belén Zanzuchi, Nadja Dumann, Florian Tissot and Admir Skodo
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

Pages

A member of the Texas National Guard faces migrants in Eagle Pass, Texas.

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.

A family of Afghan evacuees leaving Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

The Afghan immigrant population in the United States has grown dramatically since 2010, and particularly since the 2021 withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Most Afghans who obtained a green card in recent years have done so through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, reserved for interpreters and other Afghans who worked with the U.S. government. This article offers data on the approximately 195,000 Afghan immigrants in the United States.

A temple in Dharamsala, India.

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.

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.

A loan officer in Kenya.

Credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial services are often critical in order to fully participate in the modern world. Yet many refugees and other forced migrants have trouble obtaining these seemingly simple tools, preventing them from full integration. This article outlines humanitarian migrants’ needs for financial services and the barriers that can arise.

Pages

Bhutanese refugee sits on bed in family's apartment in New York
Commentaries
June 2021
By  Essey Workie, Mark Greenberg and Lillie Hinkle
CBP_SanYsidro_smaller
Commentaries
February 2021
By  Doris Meissner and Sarah Pierce
State of the EU 2020
Commentaries
October 2020
By  Hanne Beirens
CoronavirusCommentary Art
Commentaries
March 2020
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Meghan Benton and Susan Fratzke

Pages

Video
September 18, 2023

The 20th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by MPI, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center, features fresh, thoughtful policy and legal analysis, and discussion of some of the top immigration issues by leading government officials, attorneys, researchers, advocates, and other experts. 

Volunteers entertain refugees on trip to museum
Video, Audio
September 14, 2023

Speakers, including a resettled refugee, examine the challenges that hinder refugee participation in sponsorship program design and operation and explore meaningful ways, tools, and mechanisms for effectively expanding refugees’ role in current and future programs. They also discuss innovative initiatives that are already making strides in refugee involvement.

Expert Q&A, Audio
August 24, 2023

MPI Europe Associate Director Camille Le Coz discusses migration dynamics in West Africa and and how African leaders are responding to these trends with Leander Kandilige, a senior lecturer at the Centre for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana.

Expert Q&A, Audio
July 27, 2023

MPI Europe Associate Director Camille Le Coz discusses rising displacement in the Sahel, which is experiencing multiple crises, with development economist Alexandra Tapsoba.

Image of gavel resting on U.S. flag
Video
July 20, 2023

As the U.S. immigration court system struggles with record case backlogs, decisions take years, immigration enforcement is delayed, and wait times incentivize unauthorized arrivals. This discussion examines the factors that have driven the system to the point of crisis and possible fixes.

Pages

Recent Activity

Articles

Immigration touches on many facets of life in the United States. Get the facts with this useful resource, which compiles in one place answers to some of the most often-asked questions about immigration and immigrants in the United States now and historically. This article contains essential data on the immigrant population, immigration levels, trends in immigration enforcement, and much more.

Reports
March 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on mobility in the Middle East and North Africa were immediate and wide-reaching. These include the world’s largest and most sustained repatriation efforts for stranded migrants, halted and reversed irregular journeys, and a reckoning with some countries’ reliance on foreign labor. This report examines how these impacts varied across countries in this highly diverse region, as well as the uneven recovery.

Reports
March 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic hit South American nations at a time when many were already contending with major migration challenges. Historic levels of intraregional migration and displacement, notably from Venezuela, collided with countries’ attempts to stop the spread of a new threat to public health. This report examines the region’s responses to the public-health crisis, and the immediate and lasting impacts on cross-border movement.

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

Floods, heatwaves, and other extreme weather events have displaced hundreds of thousands of people in Iran, with repercussions for residents including the 3.4 million refugees and other forced migrants, who are restricted to climate-affected areas. Environmental challenges may also be pushing some people to move internationally. This article offers a rare look at the climate and migration dynamics in Iran.

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 Afghan immigrant population in the United States has grown dramatically since 2010, and particularly since the 2021 withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Most Afghans who obtained a green card in recent years have done so through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, reserved for interpreters and other Afghans who worked with the U.S. government. This article offers data on the approximately 195,000 Afghan immigrants in the United States.

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.

Pages