E.g., 06/15/2024
E.g., 06/15/2024
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

Cover image for Migration and Displacement in Secondary Cities
Reports
November 2023
By  Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Camille Le Coz
A woman and child walk in the Somali region of Ethiopia.
Articles
Cover image for Immigration and Integration in the Ever More Diverse Houston Area
Reports
November 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte, Michael Fix and Jeanne Batalova
A Syrian woman in Turkey
The U.S. Coast Guard interdicts a vessel with Cuban migrants.
Articles

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Cover image for El relanzamiento del Programa de Menores Centroamericanos
Reports
December 2021
By  Mark Greenberg, Stephanie Heredia, Kira Monin, Celia Reynolds and Essey Workie
Cover image for Relaunching the Central American Minors Program: Opportunities to Enhance Child Safety and Family Reunification
Reports
December 2021
By  Mark Greenberg, Stephanie Heredia, Kira Monin, Celia Reynolds and Essey Workie
Cover image for El estado de la política migratoria y de integración de Costa Rica
Reports
November 2021
By  Diego Chaves-González and María Jesús Mora
Cover image for The State of Costa Rican Migration and Immigrant Integration Policy
Reports
November 2021
By  Diego Chaves-González and María Jesús Mora
cover image for How We Talk about Migration: The Link between Migration Narratives, Policy, and Power
Reports
October 2021
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Haim Malka and Shelly Culbertson
Cover image for African Migration through the Americas: Drivers, Routes, and Policy Responses
Reports
October 2021
By  Caitlyn Yates and Jessica Bolter

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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.

Boys on a fishing boat on the shores of Lake Tanganyika

Tanzania’s previously generous policies towards refugees have been growing more restrictive. Many refugees are confined to camps separated from the rest of the community, and authorities have been accused of pressuring thousands of migrants to return to Burundi and Mozambique. In border communities, however, relations between natives and foreign nationals are much calmer, as this article details.

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.

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JuanOsuna Tribute CMS
Commentaries
August 2017
By  Doris Meissner
_Refugees
Commentaries
March 2017
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou
_TunisiaCamp
Commentaries
February 2017
By  Elizabeth Collett
Syrians NickOza IRC
Commentaries
January 2017
By  Kathleen Newland and T. Alexander Aleinikoff
_SouthSudaneseRefugee
Commentaries
September 2016
By  T. Alexander Aleinikoff
UNrefugeesummit
Commentaries
September 2016
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Susan Fratzke

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Video, Audio
February 14, 2023

Marking one year since Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the resulting massive displacement crisis, this MPI Europe webinar examines the situation of those fleeing the war who have found refuge in Europe, implementation of the Temporary Protection Directive, integration outcomes and challenges for Ukrainian refugees, and plans for a future that contemplates reintegration for Ukrainians who will

Expert Q&A, Audio
February 2, 2023

Should countries extend legal protections to people displaced by climate change? This episode of Changing Climate, Changing Migration contemplates the merits of such an approach, featuring Ama Francis, a climate displacement project strategist with the International Refugee Assistance Project and Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

Expert Q&A, Audio
December 15, 2022

As the planet’s temperature warms, award-winning environmental journalist Gaia Vince thinks humanity is facing a chaotic century of mass migration spurred by climate change? In this episode of Changing Climate, Changing Migration, she contemplates a future in which hundreds of millions of people move from one part of the globe to another.

EU Migration and Home Affairs DG Pariat at MPI event
Video, Audio
December 13, 2022

Monique Pariat, the European Commission’s Director General for Migration and Home Affairs, spoke to the DC policy community on Europe’s rapid response to the Ukrainian displacement crisis, lessons learned, and considerations for future policies.

Lviv, Ukraine. Jesuit houses sheltering families
Video, Audio
October 11, 2022

With millions fleeing war-torn Ukraine, questions about how to effectively promote migrant integration are again front and center.

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Recent Activity

Reports
November 2023

Small and mid-sized cities are some of the fastest growing in many parts of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa. Yet life in these cities can present a variety of challenges for migrants and displaced persons. This report examines these challenges in secondary cities in Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda, and how local, national, and civil-society actors are working to address them.

Articles

Is climate change a major driver of migration and displacement? From where are people leaving, and where are they going? This informative primer, a Climate Migration 101 of sorts, provides answers to basic questions about climate change and migration, starting with how and where climate change triggers human movement.

Reports
November 2023

Nearly one-quarter of residents of the Houston metro area are immigrants. These foreign-born Houstonians come from an ever-wider range of countries and are well represented in high-demand industries, and make up a sizeable share of parents. This report sketches a profile of the Houston area’s immigrant population overall, and takes a closer look at the number and characteristics of those eligible to naturalize.

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.

Articles

Turkey is home to the world’s largest refugee population, a fact that has been a source of pride, a geopolitical tool, and a logistical challenge. This article shows how the millions of Syrians who have arrived since 2011 comprise just one aspect of Turkey’s rich and complex migration history. The country has been a significant host, a transit point for individuals heading to Europe, and a source of migrant laborers.

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.

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. 

Articles

Amid the highest Caribbean maritime migration levels in a generation, the Biden administration is relying on a carrot-and-stick strategy it honed amid record unauthorized migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. The approach, combining limits on asylum, expanded legal pathways, and international enforcement partnerships, could be increasingly important if maritime migration rises, as this article explains.

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