E.g., 10/24/2021
E.g., 10/24/2021
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

Cover image for Migration Management and Border Security: Lessons Learned
Policy Briefs
September 2021
By  Alan D. Bersin
An Afghan refugee in the United States.
Articles
Cover image for Refugee Resettlement and Complementary Pathways: Opportunities for Growth
Reports
September 2021
By  Susan Fratzke, Maria Belen Zanzuchi, Kate Hooper, Hanne Beirens, Lena Kainz, Nathan Benson, Eliza Bateman and Jessica Bolter
A girl in Farah province, Afghanistan.
Articles
A member of the MS-13 gang.
Articles

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Reports
April 2021
By  Meghan Benton, Jeanne Batalova, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Timo Schmidt
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Reports
March 2021
By  Camille Le Coz, Samuel Davidoff-Gore, Timo Schmidt, Susan Fratzke, Andrea Tanco, Maria Belen Zanzuchi and Jessica Bolter
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Policy Briefs
December 2020
By  Lena Kainz, Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Kathleen Newland
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Reports
November 2020
By  Liam Patuzzi, Monica Andriescu and Antonio Pietropolli

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A boy walks through a coastal village in Honduras.

A disproportionate number of Central American migrants traveling through Mexico to the United States come from Honduras, driven by government corruption, impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and hurricanes that have devastated communities and livelihoods. This article examine the multiple factors behind migration from the country, drawing from interviews with migrants en route.

Rohingya families from Myanmar arrive in Bangladesh

The United States historically led the world in refugee resettlement, but was surpassed by Canada in 2018—and U.S. refugee admissions fell to a record low 12,000 in 2020. With the country now on course to rebuild resettlement capacity, this article examines the U.S. refugee and asylee populations and how they have changed over time, including key demographic characteristics.

Returned migrants participate in development work in Burkina Faso.

The European Union has tried to leverage development assistance to address root causes of migration from Africa, including poverty, instability, and conflict. The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, unveiled in 2015, has supported more than 250 programs totaling nearly 5 billion euros across 26 countries, but has had only partial success addressing the underlying drivers of migration, as this article explains.

President Joe Biden speaks to journalists at the White House.

During his first 100 days in office, U.S. President Joe Biden took more than three times as many executive actions on immigration as predecessor Donald Trump. While rising encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border have captured major attention, Biden has been remarkably active in areas that have received far less attention, including interior enforcement. This article explores the administration's actions during its first three months.

Migrants arrive in Greece on a crowded boat from Turkey.

The European Union’s landmark 2016 migration deal with Turkey offered aid and other benefits in exchange for Turkey's assistance in helping reduce arrivals of asylum seekers and other migrants. At its fifth anniversary, the EU-Turkey deal remains one criticized by human-rights advocates and has met frustration from Turkey, but in many ways created a blueprint for other externalization arrangements, as this article outlines.

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Commentaries
May 2019
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan
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Commentaries
January 2019
By  Doris Meissner and Sarah Pierce
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Commentaries
November 2018
By  Doris Meissner
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Commentaries
October 2018
By  Susan Fratzke and Hanne Beirens
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Commentaries
June 2018
By  Jessica Bolter and Sarah Pierce
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Commentaries
June 2018
By  Elizabeth Collett and Susan Fratzke

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Webinars
June 3, 2021

This conversation marks the release of an MPI policy brief and reflects on how mobility systems in sub-Saharan Africa have adapted to meet the public health challenges posed by COVID-19, and what lessons can be learned.

Video, Audio
May 19, 2021

In April 2021, the European Commission took a step toward the creation of a common EU return system, releasing its first Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration.

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 MPI and Robert Bosch Stiftung initiative--Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World--this event examines how the accessibility of asylum and protection globally has changed since the EU-Turkey deal, other similar policies deployed by countries of asylum, the impacts of t

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Expert Q&A, Audio
April 19, 2021

Technically, people forced to move because of climate disasters are not considered “refugees.” But the UN High Commissioner for Refugees still takes climate issues into account, and since 2020 Andrew Harper has been its special advisor on climate action.

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Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
September 2021

What strategic lessons can be learned from the migration- and border-management challenges North America and Europe have faced in recent years? This reflection by a former high-ranking homeland security official explores a range of timely issues, including the need to rethink multilateralism and improve international cooperation, address migrant smuggling, and engage in advanced planning to avoid future crises.

Articles

The dramatic evacuation from Afghanistan may bring more than 50,000 new Afghan immigrants to the United States, according to government predictions. These new arrivals would join a small but growing population of Afghans in the United States, most of whom have arrived since 2010. This article provides insights into this immigrant group, many of whom arrived on the Special Immigrant Visa.

Reports
September 2021

The number of people who have been forcibly displaced has grown to unprecedented levels. While the global refugee protection regime has come under incredible strain as a result, states have also shown creativity in the design of resettlement programs and complementary pathways. This report takes stock of these programs worldwide, identifies opportunities to scale them up, and assesses barriers that have hindered growth.

Articles

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has prompted fears of a rollback of human rights and a new refugee crisis. This article examines the prospects for possible future Afghan displacement in the region and beyond by looking at the last four decades of forced migration from Afghanistan and new factors that could determine what happens now that the U.S. military and its allies have pulled out.

Reports
August 2021

Even as COVID-19 vaccination campaigns have picked up speed in Europe, economic uncertainty remains. Recently arrived refugees, migrant women, and other immigrants who faced labor market challenges before the pandemic have in many cases seen these challenges grow. This report explores the impact of the public-health crisis on migrants’ labor market integration and options for building inclusive pandemic recovery strategies.

Articles

Gang violence is a major driver of migration, particularly from Central America to the United States. But governments on both sides often rely on outdated and static understandings of gangs and their membership. This article explains the history of groups such as MS-13 and Barrio 18 and why they are relevant for immigration policy.

Video, Audio, Webinars
August 24, 2021

In light of the dangers facing millions of Afghans, this discussion focused on what European countries should prioritize to address the immediate needs of displaced populations; how to start planning for longer-term assistance to countries in the region who are hosting Afghan refugees; implications for partnerships with governments in the region; and what safe pathways other countries have opened in recent days to evacuate Afghans at risk.

Reports
August 2021

The U.S. immigration detention system is sprawling, expensive, and has long been criticized for its prisonlike conditions and health risks. The pandemic has brought these risks into even sharper focus. This report examines detention’s role in the U.S. immigration enforcement system and proposes a different approach centered on release with supervision and case management—tools that are less costly, more humane, and ensure compliance with immigration proceedings.

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