E.g., 08/09/2020
E.g., 08/09/2020

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

Reports
March 2017
By Kate Hooper, Maria Vincenza Desiderio, and Brian Salant
Policy Briefs
February 2017
By Sarah Pierce and Doris Meissner
Commentaries
February 2017
By Elizabeth Collett
Commentaries
January 2017
By Kathleen Newland and T. Alexander Aleinikoff

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Many countries, and in particular the United States, have begun granting asylum claims filed on the basis of sexual orientation in the past few decades. Despite the efforts by U.S. and other governments to reinforce protection for LGBT refugees, this community remains a marginalized group.
Refugee resettlement initiatives have extended beyond the traditional provider regions of North America, Western Europe, and Oceania, broadening from 14 states in 2005 to 26 in 2012. However, projected needs are expected to continue to far outpace the number of available spaces. This article investigates the various explanations for why more countries in Latin America, Asia, and other regions are opening resettlement places.
For two decades, Australia has experimented with different asylum policies in response to an increase in refugees and asylum seekers entering the country. A look at the country's challenges in managing a hotly contested political and public debate.

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.

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Recent Activity

Reports
March 2017

Cities have played a significant role in addressing Europe’s migration crisis, including by helping migrants and refugees integrate successfully into the local labor market. This report identifies concrete actions that could be taken to better leverage European Union soft law, funding, and knowledge exchange mechanisms to support cities’ activities in this area and to deliver more effective services.

 

Articles

The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to halt President Trump's controversial executive order on immigration and refugee resettlement has strong legal parallels to an earlier injunction, which blocked a very different Obama administration initiative on immigration two years ago in a challenge mounted by Republican governors. The two cases have brought new focus to the limits of executive authority in the immigration arena.

Articles

Two significant migration shifts at the U.S.-Mexico border have been obscured by talk of walls and further border security: Mexicans no longer represent the top unauthorized crossers, replaced by Central Americans seeking protection, and flows are diversifying with increased arrivals of Cubans, Haitians, Asians, and Africans. This article sketches the evolving trends, which have key implications for U.S. and regional migration policy.

Policy Briefs
February 2017

This brief examines key provisions of President Trump's recent executive order suspending travel from certain majority-Muslim countries and pausing the U.S. refugee resettlement program, comparing them to current and earlier policy and practice. Presented in an easy-to-use side-by-side chart, the brief gives context to the executive order, which has drawn major scrutiny.

Commentaries
February 2017

Eager to emulate the success of an EU-Turkey deal that has helped sharply reduce crossings into Greece, the European Union is exploring similar partnerships with transit countries along the North African coastline. But as this commentary explores, these prospective deals with Libya and other governments may be built upon unstable foundations and come with inherent complexities, possible risks for North African partners, and moral and other hazards for the European Union.

Commentaries
January 2017

The executive order halting the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days and cutting refugee placements has identified a singularly unsuitable target. None of the more than 3 million refugees who have entered the United States through the resettlement program has killed anyone in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Singling out refugees is a classic case of blaming the victim and will not make America safer, as this commentary explores.

Audio
January 27, 2017

In the year since the Valletta Summit, the European Union and Member State governments have ramped up cooperation with origin, transit, and hosting countries, yet questions remain over how effective these partnerships have been and how far they can be reasonably be pursued. This webinar is a discussion on longer-term interventions the European Union may pursue to find solutions for asylum seekers, including cooperation with other countries on migration management.  

Reports
January 2017

While territorial asylum—the principle that a refugee must reach the territory of a host country in order to lodge a protection claim—has become the dominant response to refugee outflows, it does not provide an easy solution for sudden influxes. Amid record global displacement, this report considers whether there are viable alternatives to territorial asylum, and explores how they might be implemented.

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