E.g., 06/20/2024
E.g., 06/20/2024
Refugee & Asylum Policy

Refugee & Asylum Policy

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 naturalization ceremony at the White House.
Cover image for Converging Crises
Reports
March 2024
By  Luisa Feline Freier, Andrea Kvietok and Leon Lucar Oba
Afghan refugees in Iran's Semnan refugee settlement.
Articles
A member of the Texas National Guard faces migrants in Eagle Pass, Texas.
Articles
A family of Afghan evacuees leaving Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
Articles
A temple in Dharamsala, India.
Articles

Pages

Cover image for Migration at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Reports
January 2024
By  Alan D. Bersin, Nate Bruggeman and Ben Rohrbaugh
Cover image for Expanding Protection Options?
Reports
January 2024
By  Andrew Selee, Susan Fratzke, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Luisa Feline Freier
Shifting Realities at the U.S.-Mexico Border report
Reports
January 2024
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Colleen Putzel-Kavanaugh and Doris Meissner
Cover image for Confronting Compassion Fatigue
Reports
January 2024
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, M. Murat Erdoğan and Lucía Salgado
Cover image for What Role Could Digital Technologies Play...
Policy Briefs
December 2023
By  Lucía Salgado and Hanne Beirens
Cover image for Migration and Displacement in Secondary Cities
Reports
November 2023
By  Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Camille Le Coz
Cover image for Immigration and Integration in the Ever More Diverse Houston Area
Reports
November 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte, Michael Fix and Jeanne Batalova

Pages

Afghan refugees in Iran's Semnan refugee settlement.

Floods, heatwaves, and other extreme weather events have displaced hundreds of thousands of people in Iran, with repercussions for residents including the 3.4 million refugees and other forced migrants, who are restricted to climate-affected areas. Environmental challenges may also be pushing some people to move internationally. This article offers a rare look at the climate and migration dynamics in Iran.

A member of the Texas National Guard faces migrants in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Rising tensions between Texas and the federal government have sparked fears of a constitutional crisis after the state deployed its National Guard to prevent the U.S. Border Patrol from conducting operations in a city park in Eagle Pass, with Texas Governor Greg Abbott saying the “invasion” of migrants triggered the need for action. This article provides an overview of the standoff and the larger context of current and past state-federal tensions over immigration enforcement.

A family of Afghan evacuees leaving Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

The Afghan immigrant population in the United States has grown dramatically since 2010, and particularly since the 2021 withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Most Afghans who obtained a green card in recent years have done so through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, reserved for interpreters and other Afghans who worked with the U.S. government. This article offers data on the approximately 195,000 Afghan immigrants in the United States.

A temple in Dharamsala, India.

The number of Tibetan refugees in India, Nepal, and Bhutan has been on a steady decline since the mid-2000s, posing a threat to the future of an exile community that has developed a robust governance, cultural, educational, and religious structure. While the Tibetan government-in-exile has become a model for displaced communities, a series of factors have contributed to the shrinking population in South Asia, as this article describes.

President Joe Biden signs an executive order.

In three years, President Joe Biden has surpassed the number of immigration-focused executive actions taken by the Trump administration throughout its entire four-year term, making his the most active U.S. presidency ever on immigration. Yet the Biden administration has been repeatedly accused of inaction at the U.S.-Mexico border, where record levels of migrant encounters have occurred. This article reviews the Biden track record on immigration.

Pages

Image of Central American migrant caravan passing through Chiapas, Mexico
Commentaries
April 2022
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto and Andrew Selee
Home Secretary Priti Patel & Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta hold asylum accord
Commentaries
April 2022
By  Hanne Beirens and Samuel Davidoff-Gore
Photo of Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meeting with Afghan evacuees in Germany
Commentaries
September 2021
By  Mark Greenberg, Celia Reynolds and Essey Workie
Bhutanese refugee sits on bed in family's apartment in New York
Commentaries
June 2021
By  Essey Workie, Mark Greenberg and Lillie Hinkle

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Twin sisters from Syria shared their experience of living in exile. -  Jesuit Refugee Service International
Video, Audio
November 14, 2023

With the Global Refugee Forum approaching, this webcast explores how municipalities and other key stakeholders can be engaged in informing and delivering on the 2024 resettlement and complementary pathways pledges. 

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.

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.

WoM-podcast-episode-tile
Expert Q&A, Audio
September 26, 2023

How is refugee resettlement evolving? As more countries turn to private or community sponsorship, MPI speaks with Erin Schutte Wadzinski, who leads one of the pioneering private sponsorship groups in Worthington, Minnesota, under the Welcome Corps initiative.

2023 Immigration Law and Policy Conference
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. 

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Recent Activity

Articles

Immigration touches on many facets of life in the United States. Get the facts with this useful resource, which compiles in one place answers to some of the most often-asked questions about immigration and immigrants in the United States now and historically. This article contains essential data on the immigrant population, immigration levels, trends in immigration enforcement, and much more.

Reports
March 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on mobility in the Middle East and North Africa were immediate and wide-reaching. These include the world’s largest and most sustained repatriation efforts for stranded migrants, halted and reversed irregular journeys, and a reckoning with some countries’ reliance on foreign labor. This report examines how these impacts varied across countries in this highly diverse region, as well as the uneven recovery.

Reports
March 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic hit South American nations at a time when many were already contending with major migration challenges. Historic levels of intraregional migration and displacement, notably from Venezuela, collided with countries’ attempts to stop the spread of a new threat to public health. This report examines the region’s responses to the public-health crisis, and the immediate and lasting impacts on cross-border movement.

Reports
March 2024

The story of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe is chiefly one of challenges to solidarity and coordination. Cross-border movement—even within Europe’s Schengen Area—ground to a halt, and countries took varied approaches to using travel measures in an attempt to slow the virus’s spread. This report explores the pandemic’s impacts on mobility to and within Europe, its challenges to European solidarity, and lessons for future public-health crises.

Articles

Floods, heatwaves, and other extreme weather events have displaced hundreds of thousands of people in Iran, with repercussions for residents including the 3.4 million refugees and other forced migrants, who are restricted to climate-affected areas. Environmental challenges may also be pushing some people to move internationally. This article offers a rare look at the climate and migration dynamics in Iran.

Articles

Rising tensions between Texas and the federal government have sparked fears of a constitutional crisis after the state deployed its National Guard to prevent the U.S. Border Patrol from conducting operations in a city park in Eagle Pass, with Texas Governor Greg Abbott saying the “invasion” of migrants triggered the need for action. This article provides an overview of the standoff and the larger context of current and past state-federal tensions over immigration enforcement.

Articles

The Afghan immigrant population in the United States has grown dramatically since 2010, and particularly since the 2021 withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Most Afghans who obtained a green card in recent years have done so through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, reserved for interpreters and other Afghans who worked with the U.S. government. This article offers data on the approximately 195,000 Afghan immigrants in the United States.

Articles

The number of Tibetan refugees in India, Nepal, and Bhutan has been on a steady decline since the mid-2000s, posing a threat to the future of an exile community that has developed a robust governance, cultural, educational, and religious structure. While the Tibetan government-in-exile has become a model for displaced communities, a series of factors have contributed to the shrinking population in South Asia, as this article describes.

Pages