E.g., 04/12/2024
E.g., 04/12/2024
Refugee & Asylum Policy

Refugee & Asylum Policy

_RefugeeAsylumPolicy credit

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 refugee family in Phoenix.
Articles
A busy street in Old Montreal
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
Banderas de las naciones centroamericanas en una marcha en San Diego.
Articles
A double border wall leads to a boat launch in Yuma, Arizona.
An abandoned shoe lies in the mud along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Articles

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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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Policy Briefs
November 2020
By  Doris Meissner and Michelle Mittelstadt
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Reports
November 2020
By  Jeanne Batalova, Andriy Shymonyak and Michelle Mittelstadt
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Fact Sheets
August 2020
By  Diego Chaves-González and Carlos Echeverría-Estrada

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A flag hangs at the vice president's residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, DC.

Want to check a fact about U.S. immigration? Interested in putting recent trends into perspective? This article compiles authoritative, up-to-date information about the U.S. immigrant population and how it has changed over time. Data cover immigrants' demographic, educational, and linguistic characteristics; their top states of residence; enforcement activities; refugees and asylum seekers; naturalization trends; visa backlogs; and more.

Crossers at the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border

A political crisis marked by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s growing authoritarianism has sparked the largest emigration in the country’s modern history. Hundreds of thousands have fled, including intellectuals, artists, and academics. They increasingly are heading beyond the traditional destination of Costa Rica, to the United States and beyond, as this article details.

President Joe Biden in the White House.

Pandemic-related U.S. policies have led to more than 2.6 million migrant expulsions at the U.S.-Mexico border, expanded public benefits to cover millions more U.S. residents, and offered free COVID-19 vaccines and treatment. Many of these policies are now likely to end as the Biden administration in May 2023 formally declares the pandemic to be over, although what comes next remains unclear.

Asylum seekers from Venezuela in Texas.

Venezuelans comprise one of the fastest-growing immigrant groups in the United States, nearly tripling in size from 2010 to 2021. Much of this migration has been fueled by crisis in Venezuela, where political unrest and economic strife have caused millions to flee since 2015, most remaining in Latin America. Venezuelan immigrants are far more likely than the overall foreign- and U.S.-born populations to have a college degree. Take an in-depth look at this immigrant population.

A refugee receives emergency assistance in Uganda.

Many refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrants do not trust humanitarian actors, are unable to access assistance, or did not have support when they needed it. This article, featuring findings from a large-scale survey involving more than 16,000 migrants in countries around the world, provides an overview of these challenges.

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Expert Q&A, Audio
March 29, 2022

Do host communities respond differently to people migrating because of environmental impacts compared to refugees fleeing war or migrants seeking work? Research discussed on this episode of Changing Climate, Changing Migration suggests the answer is yes.

Video, Audio
March 8, 2022

Featuring expert views from the European Commission's Asylum Unit Head, along with representatives from the European Union Agency for Asylum, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representation for EU Affairs, and MPI Europe, this webinar explores the implementation of the Temporary Protection Directive, prospects for the integration of the Ukrainian displaced populations,

Video, Audio
February 24, 2022

Marking the release of an MPI report, this webinar takes stock of lessons learned about remote learning during the pandemic and examines how governments, schools, and service providers can advance digital equity for children in immigrant families.

Video, Audio
January 19, 2022

This MPI discussion with leading experts, advocates, and a top official from the administration examines the Biden track record on immigration and what lays ahead

Changing Climate Changing Migration podcast tile episode 15
Expert Q&A, Audio
December 10, 2021

For this episode of Changing Climate, Changing Migration, we speak with Joan Rosenhauer, the executive director of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, about how natural disasters and other environmental harms affect her organization’s work and its faith-based mission.

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Recent Activity

Articles

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.

Reports
June 2023

One promising—but often underutilized—element of addressing the world’s urgent humanitarian protection needs is meaningfully engaging refugees in policymaking processes. As this report highlights, consultations, advisory roles, and leadership and staff positions can help ensure refugees’ knowledge and expertise are reflected in policy responses to displacement. The study also examines common limitations and ways to make engagement more impactful.  

Articles

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.

Reports
June 2023

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have long histories of emigration, but are seeing increasing transit and return migration as well. This report explores the stories told within these three countries about migration in all its forms, how these narratives intersect with (and at times, contradict) each other, and how they influence policy decisions and public opinion.

Articles

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.

Articles

Budgets for border security and interior immigration enforcement have been on the rise in places including the United States and the European Union. The spending is a result of the heightened focus on securitization by the Global North and has led to a ballooning private industry. This article explains the trend.

Articles

The United States entered a new era with the end of the pandemic-era Title 42 expulsions policy. The government’s hopes of maintaining order at the U.S.-Mexico border post-Title 42 may be complicated by factors including authorities’ limited capacity, ongoing litigation, and cooperation from other countries. This article reviews the Biden administration's changing border policies and possible challenges ahead.

Reports
May 2023

Los países de América Latina y el Caribe han aprovechado, de manera pragmática, una variedad de herramientas políticas para otorgar estatus legal a al menos la mitad de los más de 6 millones de venezolanos desplazados en la región. Este informe explora hasta qué punto los venezolanos desplazados han podido obtener un estatus legal en los 15 principales países receptores, su acceso al mercado laboral y a servicios públicos, y dónde persisten brechas.

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