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Refugee & Asylum Policy

Refugee & Asylum Policy

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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

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December 2018
By  Mark Greenberg, Julia Gelatt, Jessica Bolter, Essey Workie and Isabelle Charo
South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia.
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Migrant processing at San Ysidro port of entry
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Refugee resettlement initiatives have extended beyond the traditional provider regions of North America, Western Europe, and Oceania, broadening from 14 states in 2005 to 26 in 2012. However, projected needs are expected to continue to far outpace the number of available spaces. This article investigates the various explanations for why more countries in Latin America, Asia, and other regions are opening resettlement places.

For two decades, Australia has experimented with different asylum policies in response to an increase in refugees and asylum seekers entering the country. A look at the country's challenges in managing a hotly contested political and public debate.

In its newest five-year "roadmap" for justice and home affairs policy, the European Union has made migration a priority area. But while the Stockholm program offers plenty of detail on issues like illegal migration and asylum, it offers few specifics as to the final goal. MPI's Elizabeth Collett analyzes the program's action points and looks at challenges facing its implementation.

In the United States, asylum on the basis of sexual orientation was first granted in 1994. Swetha Sridharan of the Council on Foreign Relations explains why U.S. immigration law focuses on sexual identity rather than sexual conduct, and what this distinction has meant for asylum seekers.

Counterterrorism policies have had an unintended, negative effect on asylum and refugee resettlement in the United States. Swetha Sridharan of the Council on Foreign Relations explains the origins of the material-support bar, which groups it has affected, and how the U.S. government is addressing the problem.

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Recent Activity

Video, Audio, Webinars
December 13, 2018

On this webinar, MPI researchers and Utah and Colorado refugee coordinators explore promising practices to better serve refugee families, including education services for refugee youth, innovative efforts to secure better jobs for adult refugees, and other services designed to aid integration over time. They also discuss the potential for implementing and supporting two-generation approaches to refugee integration at a time when the system’s funding and capacity are in peril.  

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Faced with absorbing vast numbers of asylum seekers who headed to Europe during the 2015-16 migration crisis and the ongoing arrival of much smaller, but steady flows of Central Americans at the U.S.-Mexico border, EU Member States and the United States in 2018 took or explored significant steps to narrow asylum and harden policies.

Reports
December 2018

At a time when the U.S. refugee resettlement system is facing unprecedented challenges, innovative and cost-effective tools for supporting refugee integration are in demand. This report explores how a two-generation approach to service provision could help all members of refugee families—from young children to working-age adults and the elderly—find their footing.

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Despite the major focus by media and publics on a handful of refugee crises around the world, displacement situations worsened during 2018 in a number of countries that received much less attention, including the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan—where unending conflict, new displacement, rising starvation, and an Ebola outbreak made already complex situations even more dire.

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Swedish asylum policy has taken a restrictionist turn since the country received a record-breaking number of asylum seekers in 2015 and after electoral gains by the nationalist, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats pushed the governing coalition to a harder line. Still, other aspects of the country’s migration policy remain welcoming, as this country profile explores.

Video, Audio, Webinars
December 5, 2018

Over 3 million Venezuelans have fled in response to the deepening political and economic crisis in their country, becoming one of the largest and fastest outflows anywhere in the world. Senior officials from Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, which are home to more than half of these Venezuelan migrants and refugees, discussed their countries' responses to this migration and other experts talked on the broader trend across the region and the prospects for future policy responses.

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November 27, 2018

A discussion on the vital new research project, ChildMove, that explores the experiences of young refugees and migrants who have traveled across Europe unaccompanied by their families.

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The Trump administration’s latest effort to narrow the ability to apply for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border hit a legal roadblock within days of implementation, as has been the pattern for much of its immigration agenda. This article examines the actions on asylum, which alongside deployment of active-duty military to the border, are among measures taken to seek to reduce the flow of Central Americans to the United States.

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