E.g., 03/02/2024
E.g., 03/02/2024
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 woman in a winter coat receives food from a woman in an orange safety vest at a train station in P
Commentaries
May 2022
By  Meghan Benton and Andrew Selee
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Reports
May 2022
By  Meghan Benton, Samuel Davidoff-Gore, Jeanne Batalova, Lawrence Huang and Jie Zong
People in France rally for far-right politician Marine Le Pen on May Day.
U.S. immigration officials walk by a courthouse in Seattle.
Home Secretary Priti Patel & Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta hold asylum accord
Commentaries
April 2022
By  Hanne Beirens and Samuel Davidoff-Gore

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Reports
March 2017
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Meghan Benton and Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan
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Reports
March 2017
By  Kate Hooper, Maria Vincenza Desiderio and Brian Salant
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Policy Briefs
February 2017
By  Sarah Pierce and Doris Meissner
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Reports
November 2016
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Meghan Benton
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Reports
November 2016
By  Jane M. Dyer and Laurie Baksh
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Reports
November 2016
By  Elizabeth Dawson-Hahn, Suzinne Pak-Gorstein, Andrea J. Hoopes and Jasmine Matheson
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Reports
November 2016
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Susan Fratzke

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Unaccompanied minors undergo processing at a temporary facility in Texas.

The number of unaccompanied child migrants at the U.S. southern border has risen, presenting President Joe Biden with challenges similar to those faced by his predecessors in 2014 and 2019. This article examines the previous episodes and evaluates how Biden is mirroring or deviating from previous presidents' responses.

Ramshackle dwellings dot a hillside in the Kutupalong refugee camp, outside Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

The Rohingya people have been rendered stateless and subjected to repeated abuse that has made them the world’s most persecuted minority, with hundreds of thousands pushed into neighboring Bangladesh, as well as India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and beyond. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the Rohingya, including who they are, where they come from, and how they have been systematically marginalized in their native Myanmar and internationally.

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Nearly one-third of all immigrants in the United States come from Asia, and Asian countries such as India, China, and the Philippines are the origin for a growing number of foreign-born U.S. residents. Compared to overall immigrants and the U.S. born, the foreign born from Asia tend to earn higher incomes, work in management jobs, and have higher levels of education, as this article explores.

A child walks by a destroyed building in Syria.

Millions of people flee civil wars for safety elsewhere, but predicting precisely when refugees and asylum seekers will be displaced is not as easy as it seems. There is not always a direct correlation between episodes of violence and patterns of migration. This article explores how civilians require both motivation and opportunity to leave conflict zones.

President Joe Biden signs executive orders on immigration in the White House.

President Joe Biden has grand ambitions to reshape the U.S. immigration system, but his administration has run into early stumbling blocks in rolling back the strict enforcement regime of his predecessor. Administrative resistance, a tangled web of legal agreements signed by the Trump administration, and anxieties about a possible uptick in immigrants and asylum seekers at the border have posed early challenges to Biden’s agenda.

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Video, Audio
July 10, 2020

This discussion explores how development and humanitarian actors in low- and middle-income countries can engage with local institutions to promote the social and economic inclusion of refugees and how this inclusion can enhance engagement with other traditionally marginalized groups.

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Video, Audio
June 25, 2020

This MPI Europe webinar showcases speakers from Belgium's Fedasil, the French Office of Immigration and Integration, and IOM discussing the counselling of (potential) returnees to increase the uptake of voluntary return—a return option that is generally seen as more humanitarian, practical, and less expensive.

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Video, Audio
June 8, 2020

Amid rising Central American migration to the United States, the U.S. and Mexican governments in June 2019 signed a joint declaration pledging to work together to manage and reduce irregular migration. At the agreement’s one-year anniversary, MPI researchers engaged in discussion with former U.S. and Mexican Ambassadors and a veteran journalist about the changes sparked. 

Andrew Selee, Veronica Escobar, Dan Crenshaw, Duncan Wood
Video
April 22, 2020

In this bipartisan discussion, two border-state members of Congress—Rep. Veronica Escobar and Rep. Dan Crenshaw—discuss the response to the coronavirus outbreak, how it is affecting the interconnected border region, and what the future might hold.
 

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Audio
April 8, 2020

MPI and MPI Europe experts discuss the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on asylum systems in Europe and North America, as well as in developing regions, where 85 percent of refugees live. During this freeform conversation, our analysts also assess the implications for the principle of asylum and the future for a post-World War II humanitarian protection system that is under threat.

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Recent Activity

Commentaries
May 2022

Recent displacement crises—ranging from Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Myanmar, South Sudan, to most recently Ukraine—have imposed huge stresses on the humanitarian protection regime. Yet individual countries and regional organizations have been innovating to meet the challenge and expand the options available for protection, in some cases bypassing beleaguered asylum systems. This commentary traces the rise of more ad hoc approaches.

Reports
May 2022

Despite high hopes that international movement would be revived in 2021 after the deep chill in 2020 with designation of a global pandemic, cross-border mobility remained limited as migrants and travelers faced complex rules, high costs, and uncertainty as new COVID-19 variants emerged. This report assesses global mobility in 2021, including changing use of travel restrictions, their impacts on mobile populations, and efforts to safely restart migration and travel.

Video, Audio, Webinars
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.  

Articles

Over recent decades, France has sought to build a more selective immigration system that welcomes students and well-educated workers but enacts restrictions for asylum seekers. This country profile examines France's immigration policies and trends, including the rise of far-right political parties that have used immigration as a wedge to increase their base and their influence.

Reports
May 2022

Public opinion of refugees and asylum seekers is often portrayed as a binary, reflected in stories of them as “threats” or “benefits.” Yet in reality, people can hold a variety of competing beliefs and concerns about forced migrants and their impacts on society. This report explores these different narratives, the contexts in which they flourish, and the types of initiatives that have been used to try to boost solidarity and ease tensions.

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.

Articles

New Biden administration guidelines encourage immigration prosecutors to support dismissing many low-priority deportation cases and focus on criminals, threats to national security, and other priorities. This move could have a major impact on clearing backlogs in the overstretched U.S. immigration court system, resulting in quicker determinations in removal and asylum cases, where wait times can presently stretch for years.

Commentaries
April 2022

The United Kingdom’s controversial deal with Rwanda to relocate certain asylum seekers there—not for offshore processing for possible settlement in the United Kingdom but as a permanent destination—will have far-reaching implications, possibly destabilizing the norms and architecture of the post-World War II protection system, this commentary argues.

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