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

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
A Haitian child looks over his mother's shoulder in Panama
Commentaries
October 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte
A Vietnamese family in the kitchen.
Articles
Migrantes en la aldea de Canaán Membrillo, en el Tapón del Darién, Panamá.

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Cover image for El relanzamiento del Programa de Menores Centroamericanos
Reports
December 2021
By  Mark Greenberg, Stephanie Heredia, Kira Monin, Celia Reynolds and Essey Workie
Cover image for Relaunching the Central American Minors Program: Opportunities to Enhance Child Safety and Family Reunification
Reports
December 2021
By  Mark Greenberg, Stephanie Heredia, Kira Monin, Celia Reynolds and Essey Workie
Cover image for El estado de la política migratoria y de integración de Costa Rica
Reports
November 2021
By  Diego Chaves-González and María Jesús Mora
Cover image for The State of Costa Rican Migration and Immigrant Integration Policy
Reports
November 2021
By  Diego Chaves-González and María Jesús Mora
cover image for How We Talk about Migration: The Link between Migration Narratives, Policy, and Power
Reports
October 2021
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Haim Malka and Shelly Culbertson
Cover image for African Migration through the Americas: Drivers, Routes, and Policy Responses
Reports
October 2021
By  Caitlyn Yates and Jessica Bolter

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Haitians at a medical site in Jeremie, Haiti.

The Haitian diaspora has swelled since a massive earthquake in 2010 and in the wake of violent riots that culminated in a political crisis in 2018 and the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Poverty, natural disasters, political crisis, and insecurity have historically driven Haitian migration. Destination countries have often rejected these arrivals and sought to deport Haitian migrants in large numbers.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at a conference in Tampa.

Renewed U.S. state activism on immigration has echoes of the early 2010s, when Arizona’s SB 1070 defined a Republican-led push to increase enforcement that was ultimately muted by the courts and public backlash. Newer strategies rely on a novel array of tactics including migrant busing, litigation, and lawmaking. States are also moving in opposite directions, with some expanding rights for unauthorized immigrants, as this article details.

A refugee family in Phoenix.

U.S. refugee resettlement is slowly increasing after hitting a historic low, rebounding from the Trump administration’s efforts to reduce humanitarian migration as well as pandemic-era restrictions on movement and processing slowdowns. This article offers recent and historical data about refugees resettled in the United States, as well as asylum seekers and asylees.

A busy street in Old Montreal

Canada's ambitions to dramatically increase immigration have met resistance in Quebec, the country's only majority-French province, where many worry their identity is under threat. Provincial officials have sought to fortify the role of the French language in society through academic, immigration, and linguistic policies, but the language nonetheless faces demographic threats, as this article explains.

Banderas de las naciones centroamericanas en una marcha en San Diego.

Los centroamericanos representan menos de una décima parte de la población de inmigrantes en Estados Unidos. Pero su número se ha multiplicado por diez desde 1980. Este artículo proporciona una mirada integral a esta población.

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_Refugees
Commentaries
March 2017
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou
_TunisiaCamp
Commentaries
February 2017
By  Elizabeth Collett
Syrians NickOza IRC
Commentaries
January 2017
By  Kathleen Newland and T. Alexander Aleinikoff
_SouthSudaneseRefugee
Commentaries
September 2016
By  T. Alexander Aleinikoff
UNrefugeesummit
Commentaries
September 2016
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Susan Fratzke
SyrianChildren UNHCR Flickr
Commentaries
April 2016
By  Hanne Beirens and Paul Clewett
Boat SteveEvans Flickr
Commentaries
March 2016
By  Elizabeth Collett

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Expert Q&A, Audio
February 2, 2023

Should countries extend legal protections to people displaced by climate change? This episode of Changing Climate, Changing Migration contemplates the merits of such an approach, featuring Ama Francis, a climate displacement project strategist with the International Refugee Assistance Project and Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

Expert Q&A, Audio
December 15, 2022

As the planet’s temperature warms, award-winning environmental journalist Gaia Vince thinks humanity is facing a chaotic century of mass migration spurred by climate change? In this episode of Changing Climate, Changing Migration, she contemplates a future in which hundreds of millions of people move from one part of the globe to another.

EU Migration and Home Affairs DG Pariat at MPI event
Video, Audio
December 13, 2022

Monique Pariat, the European Commission’s Director General for Migration and Home Affairs, spoke to the DC policy community on Europe’s rapid response to the Ukrainian displacement crisis, lessons learned, and considerations for future policies.

Lviv, Ukraine. Jesuit houses sheltering families
Video, Audio
October 11, 2022

With millions fleeing war-torn Ukraine, questions about how to effectively promote migrant integration are again front and center.

Attorney General William Tong
Video
September 20, 2022

Focusing on top immigration policy issues at federal and state levels, this 2022 Immigration Law and Policy Conference featured keynotes by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson exploring the growing role states are taking in the national immigration debate.

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Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
October 2023

In community sponsorship and other programs that directly involve communities and individuals in supporting refugees’ arrival and integration, where and with whom refugees are matched matters a great deal. This policy brief explores the ongoing evolution of approaches taken to matching refugees with sponsors or receiving communities, highlighting innovations and opportunities for further improvements.

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.

Policy Briefs
October 2023

As millions of people fled Ukraine and sought safety in countries across Europe after Russia's 2022 invasion, community-led projects emerged to help newcomers find temporary housing in private homes. These hosting initiatives have helped quickly address a pressing housing need, fill gaps in official reception services, and engage communities in welcoming refugees. But they have also posed challenges, as this policy brief discusses.

Commentaries
October 2023

The next major displacement of people in the Americas is in the making, and it is going unnoticed. The response to the steady emigration from Haiti seen since a devastating 2010 earthquake has been largely haphazard and may not stand the test of new spikes as the country unravels further. This commentary suggests a way forward, based on a model used for the Venezuelan displacement crisis.

Articles

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.

Articles

El paso por el Tapón del Darién ha transformado la migración en las Américas. Cada día, más de 1.000 personas cruzan lo que no hace mucho era un tramo de selva poco transitado entre Colombia y Panamá, la mayoría con la esperanza de llegar a Estados Unidos o Canadá. Es un viaje increíblemente arriesgado. Los gobiernos se han esforzado por responder al creciente movimiento, que se espera que supere los 500.000 cruces en 2023.

Commentaries
September 2023

The 2023 Global Refugee Forum will test whether global solidarity for refugees and their hosts can be revived as the political environment cools in many countries. With responses to major displacement crises since 2019 largely taking place outside forum and Global Compact on Refugees processes, preserving the relevance of the forum and the compact will require going beyond counting pledges in Geneva, as this commentary explains.

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.

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