E.g., 02/23/2024
E.g., 02/23/2024
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

A busy street in Old Montreal
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
Banderas de las naciones centroamericanas en una marcha en San Diego.
Articles
A double border wall leads to a boat launch in Yuma, Arizona.
An abandoned shoe lies in the mud along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Articles

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A flag hangs at the vice president's residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, DC.

Want to check a fact about U.S. immigration? Interested in putting recent trends into perspective? This article compiles authoritative, up-to-date information about the U.S. immigrant population and how it has changed over time. Data cover immigrants' demographic, educational, and linguistic characteristics; their top states of residence; enforcement activities; refugees and asylum seekers; naturalization trends; visa backlogs; and more.

Crossers at the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border

A political crisis marked by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s growing authoritarianism has sparked the largest emigration in the country’s modern history. Hundreds of thousands have fled, including intellectuals, artists, and academics. They increasingly are heading beyond the traditional destination of Costa Rica, to the United States and beyond, as this article details.

President Joe Biden in the White House.

Pandemic-related U.S. policies have led to more than 2.6 million migrant expulsions at the U.S.-Mexico border, expanded public benefits to cover millions more U.S. residents, and offered free COVID-19 vaccines and treatment. Many of these policies are now likely to end as the Biden administration in May 2023 formally declares the pandemic to be over, although what comes next remains unclear.

Asylum seekers from Venezuela in Texas.

Venezuelans comprise one of the fastest-growing immigrant groups in the United States, nearly tripling in size from 2010 to 2021. Much of this migration has been fueled by crisis in Venezuela, where political unrest and economic strife have caused millions to flee since 2015, most remaining in Latin America. Venezuelan immigrants are far more likely than the overall foreign- and U.S.-born populations to have a college degree. Take an in-depth look at this immigrant population.

A refugee receives emergency assistance in Uganda.

Many refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrants do not trust humanitarian actors, are unable to access assistance, or did not have support when they needed it. This article, featuring findings from a large-scale survey involving more than 16,000 migrants in countries around the world, provides an overview of these challenges.

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Afghan refugees arrive on a flight from Tajikistan
Video
May 19, 2022

This official side event of the International Migration Review Forum revists lessons from COVID-19, and explores the potential for greater international coordination over health and mobility and setting principles that are clear, equitable, streamlined, and future-focused.

International Migration Review Forum 2022 Official Side Event
Video, Audio
May 17, 2022

Organized on the margins of the first International Migration Review Forum, this official side event looks at effective practices and programs to build socially cohesive and inclusive societies—including lessons from post-conflict settings on how to build intergroup trust. Discussants focus on successful development interventions and offer examples of why some promising ideas may have fallen short in practice.

Nigerian Ministry of interior launched IOM’s Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) in Abuja airport.
Video, Audio
May 10, 2022

Marking the launch of an IOM-MPI report, this webcast examines the state of mobility across world regions into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic—what travel restrictions remain, what policy adaptations have occurred, and how do systems improve for the next public-health crisis.

Displaced Ukrainians who have just crossed the Medyka border in Poland getting assistance from IOM
Video, Audio
May 4, 2022

Experts consider what is known about public opinion and narratives on refugees, looking at the Ukrainian and Syrian crises, and how post-crisis solidarity can be harnessed towards sustainable protection.  

Emergency department. Centre Hospitalier de la Région d'Annecy (CHRA)
Video
April 28, 2022

Held immediately after the European Union unveiled its skills and talent package, this MPI Europe webinar explores how Europe can address its labor market needs at a time of great upheaval, and the role that immigration and immigrant integration policy can play in helping propel Europe’s economic recovery.

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Recent Activity

Reports
June 2023

One promising—but often underutilized—element of addressing the world’s urgent humanitarian protection needs is meaningfully engaging refugees in policymaking processes. As this report highlights, consultations, advisory roles, and leadership and staff positions can help ensure refugees’ knowledge and expertise are reflected in policy responses to displacement. The study also examines common limitations and ways to make engagement more impactful.  

Articles

Canada's ambitions to dramatically increase immigration have met resistance in Quebec, the country's only majority-French province, where many worry their identity is under threat. Provincial officials have sought to fortify the role of the French language in society through academic, immigration, and linguistic policies, but the language nonetheless faces demographic threats, as this article explains.

Reports
June 2023

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have long histories of emigration, but are seeing increasing transit and return migration as well. This report explores the stories told within these three countries about migration in all its forms, how these narratives intersect with (and at times, contradict) each other, and how they influence policy decisions and public opinion.

Articles

Los centroamericanos representan menos de una décima parte de la población de inmigrantes en Estados Unidos. Pero su número se ha multiplicado por diez desde 1980. Este artículo proporciona una mirada integral a esta población.

Articles

Budgets for border security and interior immigration enforcement have been on the rise in places including the United States and the European Union. The spending is a result of the heightened focus on securitization by the Global North and has led to a ballooning private industry. This article explains the trend.

Articles

The United States entered a new era with the end of the pandemic-era Title 42 expulsions policy. The government’s hopes of maintaining order at the U.S.-Mexico border post-Title 42 may be complicated by factors including authorities’ limited capacity, ongoing litigation, and cooperation from other countries. This article reviews the Biden administration's changing border policies and possible challenges ahead.

Reports
May 2023

Los países de América Latina y el Caribe han aprovechado, de manera pragmática, una variedad de herramientas políticas para otorgar estatus legal a al menos la mitad de los más de 6 millones de venezolanos desplazados en la región. Este informe explora hasta qué punto los venezolanos desplazados han podido obtener un estatus legal en los 15 principales países receptores, su acceso al mercado laboral y a servicios públicos, y dónde persisten brechas.

Reports
May 2023

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have pragmatically tapped a variety of policy tools to provide legal status to at least half and as many as two-thirds of the more than 6 million displaced Venezuelans in the region. This report explores the extent to which Venezuelans have been able to obtain legal status in the top 15 host countries, their access to labor markets and public services, and where gaps remain.

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