E.g., 01/24/2021
E.g., 01/24/2021

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 sign at the Quebec border advises travelers to turn back and report to a port of entry.
The First 100 Days: Summary of Major Immigration Actions  Taken by the Trump Administration
Fact Sheets
April 2017
By  Sela Cowger, Jessica Bolter and Sarah Pierce
An internally displaced Colombian family outside Bogota.
The Economic Integration of Refugees in Canada: A Mixed Record?
Reports
April 2017
By  Lori Wilkinson and Joseph Garcea
Policy Briefs
March 2017
By  Sarah Pierce and Doris Meissner
Commentaries
March 2017
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou
Reports
March 2017
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Meghan Benton and Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan

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In its newest five-year "roadmap" for justice and home affairs policy, the European Union has made migration a priority area. But while the Stockholm program offers plenty of detail on issues like illegal migration and asylum, it offers few specifics as to the final goal. MPI's Elizabeth Collett analyzes the program's action points and looks at challenges facing its implementation.

In the United States, asylum on the basis of sexual orientation was first granted in 1994. Swetha Sridharan of the Council on Foreign Relations explains why U.S. immigration law focuses on sexual identity rather than sexual conduct, and what this distinction has meant for asylum seekers.

Counterterrorism policies have had an unintended, negative effect on asylum and refugee resettlement in the United States. Swetha Sridharan of the Council on Foreign Relations explains the origins of the material-support bar, which groups it has affected, and how the U.S. government is addressing the problem.

Migrants' networks and relatively small travel distances help explain migration from one developing country to another. Dilip Ratha and William Shaw of the World Bank look at these and other reasons for and effects of South-South migration.

Approximately 50,000 of Germany's 170,000 tolerated asylum seekers are expected to will qualify for a residency permit under a law passed in March 2007. MPI's Eric Leise reports.

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Recent Activity

Articles

Amid a sense of declining welcome in the United States, growing numbers of asylum seekers have crossed into Canada in recent months, entering illegally to take advantage of a loophole in the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement. The result? Refugee advocates and politicians in Canada are issuing growing calls to change or suspend the treaty. This article examines the treaty's history, effects, and current challenges.

Fact Sheets
April 2017

During his first 100 days in office, President Trump has taken a sweeping set of actions on immigration, ranging from imposing a travel ban to cutting refugee admissions, "extreme" vetting, and fortifying immigration enforcement at the border and in the U.S. interior. This fact sheet examines the major immigration actions taken to date, legal challenges, and related policy and personnel developments.

Video, Audio, Webinars
April 12, 2017

Public anxiety about immigration and the fast pace of social change has reached a boiling point in many parts of Europe, contributing (in part) to the ascent of populist far-right parties. This discussion focuses on how the French election is unfolding, what we can learn from Brexit and the Dutch elections, and what these results portend (if anything) for the next round of political contests in Europe. Experts consider how governments can manage broader public concerns about rapid social change, economic opportunity, and security in ways that can reduce public anxiety over immigration and restore the public's trust. 

Articles

Colombia has more internally displaced persons (IDPs) than any other country in the world, the result of a 52-year civil war. Beyond improving the lives of its 7.3 million IDPs, the country faces a number of crucial migration issues as it works to achieve stability in the wake of an historic peace accord signed in late 2016. This country profile examines historical trends and current and future migration challenges in Colombia.

Reports
April 2017

Refugees in Canada have experienced mixed success when it comes to economic outcomes. While they struggle to enter the labor market, over time they catch up to other immigrants and the Canadian born. This report examines the web of programs that facilitate refugee integration, as well as differences in outcomes—including for those who are privately sponsored or resettled by the government.

Policy Briefs
March 2017

This brief examines President Trump's revised executive order issued in March 2017, replacing an earlier legally contested version suspending travel from certain majority-Muslim countries and pausing the U.S. refugee resettlement program. The brief compares the revised executive order to provisions of the original one, as well as to prior policy and practice.

Commentaries
March 2017

While the chaos of 2015 has abated, the conditions that fuelled huge spontaneous flows of asylum seekers and migrants to Europe have not changed. Europe faces a fundamental governance test that is undermining the legitimacy of both national and European institutions and, more directly, the integrity of management structures of Member States most affected by spontaneous migration. This commentary by Demetrios Papademetriou explores the challenges and way forward.

Reports
March 2017

This Transatlantic Council Statement explores the integration questions that the recent refugee and migration crisis in Europe has brought to the fore and their effect on broader governance structures for managing migration. As the immediate pressures have abated, policymakers have refocused their energies on preventing the next crisis and ensuring that newcomers—and the communities in which they settle—have the tools to thrive.

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