E.g., 01/27/2023
E.g., 01/27/2023
Refugee & Asylum Policy

Refugee & Asylum Policy

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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
Cover image for COVID-19 and the State of Global Mobility in 2021
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 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
Building Welcome from the Ground up: European Small and Rural Communities Engaging in Refugee Resettlement
Reports
November 2020
By  Liam Patuzzi, Monica Andriescu and Antonio Pietropolli

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A Dutch family at Ellis Island between 1915 and 1920.

As host to more immigrants than any other country, the United States has been shaped and reshaped by immigration over the centuries, with the issue at times becoming a flashpoint. This article covers the history of U.S. immigration and the major laws governing immigration, and provides a comprehensive overview of the present-day immigrant population.

Migrants enrolled in the Migrant Protection Protocols are processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.

The Biden administration's court-ordered restart of the controversial Migrant Protection Protocols, known informally as the Remain in Mexico policy, puts it in the awkward position of reviving a program it is simultaneously still trying to end. The Trump-era program forced tens of thousands of migrants to wait out the duration of their U.S. immigration court hearings in Mexico and was only questionably successful at deterring unauthorized arrivals.

Two boys pose in an informal settlement east of Johannesburg largely populated by immigrants.

South Africa hosts the most immigrants of any African country. Yet it faces conflicting pressures, including the legacy of apartheid, a steady outflow of well-educated South Africans, and the need to juggle bilateral labor mobility schemes at a time of economic insecurity and high unemployment. This article traces these pressures and how they have developed over time.

Merchants sell items on a busy street in San José, Costa Rica.

Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans have fled their country since 2018, amid repression and a renewed government crackdown. In neighboring Costa Rica, many migrants have encountered a robust system for protection and integration, yet they still face stigma and discrimination in their daily lives. This article explores this dynamic along one of Central America's most important migratory routes.

Somali refugees in Ethiopia attend a class.

There are more refugees than ever globally, but each year only a tiny share get selected for resettlement to new countries. This “resettlement gap” has grown due to political pressures in resettlement countries and procedural challenges throughout the process, as this article explains.

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Commentaries
August 2017
By  Doris Meissner
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Commentaries
March 2017
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou
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Commentaries
February 2017
By  Elizabeth Collett
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Commentaries
January 2017
By  Kathleen Newland and T. Alexander Aleinikoff
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Commentaries
September 2016
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Susan Fratzke
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Commentaries
September 2016
By  T. Alexander Aleinikoff

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Video, Audio
December 1, 2021

In this webinar, speakers examine the critical role of child care provided by family, friends, and neighbors (FFN) for immigrant families and program and policy approaches to more equitably serve and support FFN caregivers.

Video, Audio
November 30, 2021

This webinar marks the release of a report examining the state of Costa Rica’s institutional framework and initiatives supporting the integration of migrants and refugees, a particularly critical policy area as the immigrant population continues to grow. The event was in Spanish and this is the live English interpretation.

Video, Audio
November 30, 2021

Este webinar marca la publicación de un informe que examina el marco institucional y las iniciativas del estado de Costa Rica que apoyan la integración de migrantes y refugiados, un área de política particularmente crítica a medida que la población inmigrante continúa creciendo. 

 

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Expert Q&A, Audio
November 24, 2021

With migration a dynamic phenomenon in the Americas, the U.S. government increasingly is realizing that migration management should be viewed in a regional context. This requires a new set of policies and ways of engagement with countries in North and Central America, and beyond, as MPI President Andrew Selee discusses with colleague Andrea Tanco in this episode of our World of Migration podcast.

MPI 20th Anniversary Conference - Antonio Vitorino and Demetrios Papademetriou
Video
November 15, 2021

MPI’s 20th Anniversary Conference featured the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration, António Vitorino, in an armchair conversation with MPI co-founder and President Emeritus Demetrios G. Papademetriou, as well as a panel discussion with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and MPI co-founder Kathleen Newland and KIND President Wendy Young.

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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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