E.g., 02/28/2024
E.g., 02/28/2024
Refugee & Asylum Policy

Refugee & Asylum Policy

_RefugeeAsylumPolicy credit

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

The U.S. Coast Guard interdicts a vessel with Cuban migrants.
Articles
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
A Haitian child looks over his mother's shoulder in Panama
Commentaries
October 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte
A Vietnamese family in the kitchen.
Articles

Pages

Cover image for The Missing Link
Reports
July 2022
By  Essey Workie, Lillie Hinkle and Stephanie Heredia
Cover image for Vías humanitarias para personas centroamericanas
Policy Briefs
May 2022
By  Susan Fratzke and Andrea Tanco
Cover image for Humanitarian Pathways for Central Americans
Policy Briefs
May 2022
By  Susan Fratzke and Andrea Tanco
Cover image for COVID-19 and the State of Global Mobility in 2021
Reports
May 2022
By  Meghan Benton, Samuel Davidoff-Gore, Jeanne Batalova, Lawrence Huang and Jie Zong

Pages

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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MigrantCaravanMXCity2018_Wotancito_WikiCommons
Commentaries
July 2019
By  Andrew Selee, Silvia E. Giorguli-Saucedo, Claudia Masferrer and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
MigrantsTijuanaRiverBed_BBCWorldService2014
Commentaries
July 2019
By  Andrew Selee, Silvia E. Giorguli-Saucedo, Claudia Masferrer and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
EuropeanParliament EPphoto Flickr
Commentaries
May 2019
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan
BorderWall CBP ManiAlbrecht
Commentaries
January 2019
By  Doris Meissner and Sarah Pierce
NationalGuardSouthernBorder
Commentaries
November 2018
By  Doris Meissner
AsylumSeekersSalzberg
Commentaries
October 2018
By  Susan Fratzke and Hanne Beirens

Pages

Lucia is a South Sudanese volunteer for JRS in Maban, South Sudan. She leads women’s groups in the community and is a mentor for young girls.
Video
June 14, 2023

In the run-up to the 2023 Global Refugee Forum, this discussion examines efforts at facilitating refugee participation and meaningful engagement in policy conversations at global and other levels.

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.

Image of computer and digital tools
Video
April 27, 2023

Digital solutions have been a lifeline for many governments and stakeholders involved in the reception and integration of millions of displaced Ukrainians. While digitalization holds great potential, digital tools also carry risk. This MPI Europe webinar examines the trade-offs, identifies lessons learned, and explores how digital tools might strengthen migration and integration systems.

Image of doctor explaining a diagnosis to a teen female patient sitting on a hospital bed
Video, Audio
April 24, 2023

Marking the launch of a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and MPI, this event examines unaccompanied children’s access to medical and mental health services post-release and offering recommendations for improvements.

Expert Q&A, Audio
April 24, 2023

How are U.S. border operations and policies evolving at the U.S.-Mexico border to address rising and diversifying flows? And what is driving increasing immigration from across Latin America, the Caribbean, and beyond? MPI President Andrew Selee speaks with two colleagues who traveled from one end of the nearly 2,000-mile boundary to the other, touring U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities and interviewing U.S. and Mexican officials, NGO leaders, and others.

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Recent Activity

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.

Policy Briefs
October 2023

In community sponsorship and other programs that directly involve communities and individuals in supporting refugees’ arrival and integration, where and with whom refugees are matched matters a great deal. This policy brief explores the ongoing evolution of approaches taken to matching refugees with sponsors or receiving communities, highlighting innovations and opportunities for further improvements.

Expert Q&A, Audio
October 19, 2023

African migrants turn to the strength of kinship-based support systems in pursuit of stability as they settle in a European landscape that is sometimes made precarious by their legal status and shifting policies. This episode discusses use of the kinship networks, including to exchange or broker identity documents between migrants along the migration journey and at destination.

Policy Briefs
October 2023

As millions of people fled Ukraine and sought safety in countries across Europe after Russia's 2022 invasion, community-led projects emerged to help newcomers find temporary housing in private homes. These hosting initiatives have helped quickly address a pressing housing need, fill gaps in official reception services, and engage communities in welcoming refugees. But they have also posed challenges, as this policy brief discusses.

Commentaries
October 2023

The next major displacement of people in the Americas is in the making, and it is going unnoticed. The response to the steady emigration from Haiti seen since a devastating 2010 earthquake has been largely haphazard and may not stand the test of new spikes as the country unravels further. This commentary suggests a way forward, based on a model used for the Venezuelan displacement crisis.

Articles

The more than 1.3 million Vietnamese immigrants in the United States are the result of nearly 50 years of migration that began with the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. While early generations of Vietnamese immigrants tended to arrive as refugees, the vast majority of recent green-card holders obtained their status through family reunification channels. This article takes a look at the sixth-largest U.S. immigrant population.

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