E.g., 06/21/2024
E.g., 06/21/2024
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 Migration and Displacement in Secondary Cities
Reports
November 2023
By  Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Camille Le Coz
A woman and child walk in the Somali region of Ethiopia.
Articles
Cover image for Immigration and Integration in the Ever More Diverse Houston Area
Reports
November 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte, Michael Fix and Jeanne Batalova
A Syrian woman in Turkey
The U.S. Coast Guard interdicts a vessel with Cuban migrants.
Articles

Pages

Cover image for Vías humanitarias para personas centroamericanas
Policy Briefs
May 2022
By  Susan Fratzke and Andrea Tanco
Cover image for Humanitarian Pathways for Central Americans
Policy Briefs
May 2022
By  Susan Fratzke and Andrea Tanco
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
Cover image for Advancing Digital Equity among Immigrant-Origin Youth
Reports
February 2022
By  Essey Workie, Lillie Hinkle, Anna deDufour and Valerie Lacarte
Cover image for Four Years of Profound Change: Immigration Policy during the Trump Presidency
Reports
February 2022
By  Jessica Bolter, Emma Israel and Sarah Pierce

Pages

A sign for Calle Ocho in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.

Cubans comprise the largest Caribbean immigrant group in the United States, and for decades have benefitted from uniquely preferential immigration programs. The population is growing, as recent years have seen the largest wave of emigration in Cuba's modern history. This article offers key statistics about the 1.3 million Cuban immigrants in the United States.

Protests at a refugee compound in Nauru.

For two decades, asylum seekers seeking to reach Australia by boat were diverted to Nauru, a small Pacific Island nation that made a hefty profit off the extraterritorial asylum arrangement. But attitudes among local Nauruans have been mixed, with some fearing their economy revolved around Australia and the foreign workers who shuttled in and out of the processing center. As more countries seek to strike offshore asylum deals, this article examines the effects on local communities.

Boys on a fishing boat on the shores of Lake Tanganyika

Tanzania’s previously generous policies towards refugees have been growing more restrictive. Many refugees are confined to camps separated from the rest of the community, and authorities have been accused of pressuring thousands of migrants to return to Burundi and Mozambique. In border communities, however, relations between natives and foreign nationals are much calmer, as this article details.

Afghan parolees wait in line at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

An estimated 1.9 million migrants are in the United States or have been authorized to enter with a twilight immigration status that does not automatically lead to to permanent residence but temporarily shields them from deportation for at least one year. Use of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and immigration parole has been a hallmark of the Biden administration as it seeks to address record border arrivals and protection needs.

Venezuelan migrants charge their phones and other devices at a power point in Boa Vista, Brazil.

While smartphones and other technologies can assist decision-making, they do not always improve migrants’ journeys or lives. Forcibly displaced populations can face barriers in the form of limited internet access and low levels of digital literacy. Digital tools may also expose them to government surveillance and raise anxiety about social relations with loved ones. This article underscores refugees' complex relationships with technology.

Pages

ExternalProcessing EU
Commentaries
June 2018
By  Elizabeth Collett and Susan Fratzke
EUTurkeydeal Commentary2018
Commentaries
March 2018
By  Elizabeth Collett
Bhutanese_Refugees_Employment_Workshop
Commentaries
September 2017
By  Kathleen Newland and Randy Capps
JuanOsuna Tribute CMS
Commentaries
August 2017
By  Doris Meissner

Pages

Expert Q&A, Audio
April 24, 2023

How are U.S. border operations and policies evolving at the U.S.-Mexico border to address rising and diversifying flows? And what is driving increasing immigration from across Latin America, the Caribbean, and beyond? MPI President Andrew Selee speaks with two colleagues who traveled from one end of the nearly 2,000-mile boundary to the other, touring U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities and interviewing U.S. and Mexican officials, NGO leaders, and others.

Expert Q&A, Audio
April 15, 2023

When large numbers of asylum seekers and other migrants arrive at the borders of Western countries without prior authorization to enter, they are often treated as “spontaneous” arrivals. But migration is almost never truly spontaneous. Our podcast Changing Climate, Changing Migration speaks with David Leblang, a professor of politics and public policy at the University of Virginia, who discusses how climate change fits into the migration calculus.

Image of USCIS Director Ur Jaddou
Video, Audio
April 11, 2023

Marking the launch of MPI’s Global Skills and Talent Initiative, this webcast features senior policymakers and other experts discussing the extent to which labor market needs should shape future immigration policy decisions, and how countries are adjusting—and could adjust—their immigration systems to meet human capital and competitiveness needs.

Expert Q&A, Audio
March 30, 2023

How could humanitarian migrants with skills and experience use existing work or study visa pathways to fill labor market needs in destination countries? MPI’s Susan Fratzke speaks with Betsy Fisher, U.S. Director of the nonprofit Talent Beyond Boundaries, about complementary pathways as an innovative addition to refugee resettlement and asylum.

Video, Audio
February 14, 2023

Marking one year since Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the resulting massive displacement crisis, this MPI Europe webinar examines the situation of those fleeing the war who have found refuge in Europe, implementation of the Temporary Protection Directive, integration outcomes and challenges for Ukrainian refugees, and plans for a future that contemplates reintegration for Ukrainians who will

Pages

Recent Activity

Reports
November 2023

Small and mid-sized cities are some of the fastest growing in many parts of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa. Yet life in these cities can present a variety of challenges for migrants and displaced persons. This report examines these challenges in secondary cities in Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda, and how local, national, and civil-society actors are working to address them.

Articles

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.

Reports
November 2023

Nearly one-quarter of residents of the Houston metro area are immigrants. These foreign-born Houstonians come from an ever-wider range of countries and are well represented in high-demand industries, and make up a sizeable share of parents. This report sketches a profile of the Houston area’s immigrant population overall, and takes a closer look at the number and characteristics of those eligible to naturalize.

Commentaries
November 2023

The $13.6 billion border emergency supplemental spending bill the Biden administration is seeking lays out the elements for resourcing immigration functions to full capacity across the entire border enforcement system. Without resourcing the system across all its parts, including adjudications and management, no administration, present or future, will be able to effectively manage spontaneous border arrivals, this commentary argues.

Articles

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.

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.

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. 

Articles

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.

Pages