E.g., 06/19/2024
E.g., 06/19/2024
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

Cover image for Outmatched: The U.S. Asylum System Faces Record Demands
Reports
February 2024
By  Kathleen Bush-Joseph
Cover image for The Mobility Key policy brief
Policy Briefs
February 2024
By  Samuel Davidoff-Gore
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
President Joe Biden signs an executive order.
Articles
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

Pages

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
Cover image for Attracting, Retaining, and Diversifying Sponsors
Reports
September 2023
By  María Belén Zanzuchi, Nadja Dumann, Florian Tissot and Admir Skodo
Cover image for At the Breaking Point report
Reports
July 2023
By  Muzaffar Chishti, Doris Meissner, Stephen Yale-Loehr, Kathleen Bush-Joseph and Christopher Levesque
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

Pages

A loan officer in Kenya.

Credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial services are often critical in order to fully participate in the modern world. Yet many refugees and other forced migrants have trouble obtaining these seemingly simple tools, preventing them from full integration. This article outlines humanitarian migrants’ needs for financial services and the barriers that can arise.

A woman and child walk in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

Is climate change a major driver of migration and displacement? From where are people leaving, and where are they going? This informative primer, a Climate Migration 101 of sorts, provides answers to basic questions about climate change and migration, starting with how and where climate change triggers human movement.

A Syrian woman in Turkey

Turkey is home to the world’s largest refugee population, a fact that has been a source of pride, a geopolitical tool, and a logistical challenge. This article shows how the millions of Syrians who have arrived since 2011 comprise just one aspect of Turkey’s rich and complex migration history. The country has been a significant host, a transit point for individuals heading to Europe, and a source of migrant laborers.

The U.S. Coast Guard interdicts a vessel with Cuban migrants.

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.

A Vietnamese family in the kitchen.

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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Commentaries
February 2021
By  Doris Meissner and Sarah Pierce
State of the EU 2020
Commentaries
October 2020
By  Hanne Beirens
CoronavirusCommentary Art
Commentaries
March 2020
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Meghan Benton and Susan Fratzke
Family Netherlands IOM
Commentaries
February 2020
By  Susan Fratzke and Hanne Beirens
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Commentaries
September 2019
By  Mark Greenberg, Julia Gelatt and Amy Holovnia

Pages

Volunteers entertain refugees on trip to museum
Video, Audio
September 14, 2023

Speakers, including a resettled refugee, examine the challenges that hinder refugee participation in sponsorship program design and operation and explore meaningful ways, tools, and mechanisms for effectively expanding refugees’ role in current and future programs. They also discuss innovative initiatives that are already making strides in refugee involvement.

Expert Q&A, Audio
August 24, 2023

MPI Europe Associate Director Camille Le Coz discusses migration dynamics in West Africa and and how African leaders are responding to these trends with Leander Kandilige, a senior lecturer at the Centre for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana.

Expert Q&A, Audio
July 27, 2023

MPI Europe Associate Director Camille Le Coz discusses rising displacement in the Sahel, which is experiencing multiple crises, with development economist Alexandra Tapsoba.

Image of gavel resting on U.S. flag
Video
July 20, 2023

As the U.S. immigration court system struggles with record case backlogs, decisions take years, immigration enforcement is delayed, and wait times incentivize unauthorized arrivals. This discussion examines the factors that have driven the system to the point of crisis and possible fixes.

Expert Q&A, Audio
July 12, 2023

Climate migration sounds simple. It is not. MPI’s Lawrence Huang answers some of the most common questions around one of the least understood dynamics in human movement.

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Recent Activity

Reports
February 2024

The U.S. humanitarian protection system, known for its long history of assisting those in need, has come under incredible pressure in recent years. The asylum adjudications system, which is under-resourced, is struggling to keep up with record asylum seeker arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border. This report examines the state of the asylum system, including changes under the Biden administration and potential lessons for other countries.

Policy Briefs
February 2024

Travel documents are critical facilitators of mobility. But for refugees, who cannot safely use a passport issued by their origin country, the lack of a usable travel document can shut them out of work, study, or other opportunities beyond their first country of asylum. This policy brief examines alternative documents that can facilitate refugees’ movement, key barriers to acquiring them, and strategies for overcoming these challenges.

Expert Q&A, Audio
January 24, 2024

What can the rest of the world learn from climate migration legal experiments in the Pacific? This episode of the Changing Climate, Changing Migration podcast features insights from renowned legal scholar Jane McAdam, who directs the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW.

Reports
January 2024

Unauthorized migration at the U.S.-Mexico border has been a high-profile and politically divisive issue for decades. But as the nature of migration at the border has changed profoundly, U.S. policy responses have struggled to keep up. This report explores the changing nature of migration flows and migration policy at the border from the early 1990s until today, highlighting key lessons for contemporary policy-making.

Reports
January 2024

The massive and rapid displacement of Syrians, Venezuelans, and Ukrainians presented neighboring countries with an impossible task: providing legal status and assistance, even though their asylum systems lacked the capacity to handle such a large influx. This report examines the costs and benefits of the flexible approaches taken to providing status in these three cases, identifying lessons for future crises.

Articles

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.

Reports
January 2024

All eyes are on the U.S.-Mexico border, where shifting migration trends and record migrant arrivals have stretched the U.S. border management system beyond its capabilities. As the Biden administration continues to implement its new regime of incentives for orderly arrivals and disincentives for unauthorized crossings, this report analyzes the rapidly changing policy and migration realities and outlines recommendations for a more effective, durable system of border control.

Reports
January 2024

Large-scale displacement can trigger instability and feelings of threat in refugee host countries. But in certain cases, it can also uncover deep wells of solidarity that create space for generous policy responses. This report explores factors that can foster and erode public support for forced migrants, drawing examples from attitudes towards Syrians in Turkey, Venezuelans in Colombia, and Ukrainians in Europe.

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