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Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

MPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide.

Focusing on Protection: Previewing Upcoming High-Level Fora on Migration

With global displacement at record levels, it is clear that humanitarian protection will continue to be a key focus for policymakers and the international community throughout 2016. This year's calendar is dotted with a series of high-profile international events related to migration and refugee protection—including conferences in London (February 4) and Geneva (March 30) addressing the fallout of the Syrian civil war, and a pair of summits on refugees and migrants hosted by the United Nations and the United States in September. These high-level meetings could prove crucial in paving the way for meaningful solutions for the world’s forcibly displaced populations.

Migration Policy Institute (MPI) experts join the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on International Migration, Peter Sutherlan, for a webinar focusing on what can be expected to be discussed at this year’s high-level migration summits, and what tangible results might occur. In addition to Mr. Sutherland, the webinar features MPI Senior Fellow T. Alexander Aleinikoff, former UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, and MPI Senior Fellow and Co-Founder Kathleen Newland.
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Taking Stock of ESSA’s Potential Impact on Immigrant and English-Learner Students

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on January 22nd, 2016

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recently signed into law updates the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and provides a stronger focus on closing the achievement gap between English learners and other students. The law maintains accountability for subgroups of students, including English learners. Most importantly, it builds on that requirement by elevating English proficiency outcomes to be a key element of statewide accountability systems.

Despite these changes and other improvements for English learners, the law moves many critical accountability decisions from the federal to the state level, meaning that new strategies and efforts will be needed to ensure quality education services for these children. The creation of state plans and accountability measures to implement the new law’s provisions will provide immigrant groups and other English learner stakeholders with numerous opportunities to safeguard English learners’ rights to an equitable education and ensure they can excel along with other students. Join us January 21 to learn more about ESSA’s provisions and particular areas of concern for stakeholders who seek to maintain and build policies and practices that support immigrant and English-learner students’ success.
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A Profile of Children with Unauthorized Immigrant Parents in the United States

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on January 13th, 2016

Research finds that growing up with unauthorized immigrant parents places children at a disadvantage. Over the past decade, legislation that would provide a pathway to legal status for these parents stalled in Congress several times, and last year federal courts blocked implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)—an Obama administration initiative to extend work permits and a temporary reprieve from deportation to unauthorized immigrant parents. Absent major policy changes, millions of American children will continue to face the possibility of parental deportation and other risks associated with having an unauthorized immigrant parent. 


MPI analysts and a leading education scholar present and discuss findings on the citizenship and immigration status of children with unauthorized immigrant parents, their age structure, variations in status by age, school enrollment patterns, geographic distribution, English proficiency, and educational attainment rates. Presenters also discuss the effects of parental unauthorized status on children and the risks unique to this population in comparison to children of immigrants generally and all U.S. children, along with policies that could compound or ameliorate the negative effects of parental unauthorized status on children. 
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Shortage Amid Surplus: Emigration and Human Capital Development in the Philippines

Posted in Migration and Development, Labor Migration, International Migration by migrationpolicy on December 29th, 2015

The Philippines has the most sophisticated labor-exporting model in the world. Despite the robust supply of workers in the Philippines, there is a concern that emigration—coupled with limited capacity of local training institutions—has contributed to labor shortages in key industries.

The International Organization for Migration and the Migration Policy Institute hosted a breakfast briefing to discuss these critical issues and launch the Issue in Brief, Shortage amid Surplus: Emigration and Human Capital Development in the Philippines, the fifteenth in this joint-publication series offering succinct insights on migration issues affecting the Asia-Pacific region today.

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Using Data to Improve Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Services for Immigrants and Refugees

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on December 17th, 2015

Timed to coincide with the release of a series of new fact sheets that provide in-depth data profiles of immigrant and refugee adult learners and workers, this webinar explores the relationship of key Census data findings to current state and local efforts to devise plans for implementation of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). 

In recent decades roughly 1 million foreign-born individuals have settled in the United States per year, many with needs for adult education and workforce training services. WIOA’s implementation could play a critical role in supporting the upward mobility of these immigrants and refugees in the workforce and their successful integration into the civic life of the cities and states where they have settled. However, the law’s narrow accountability measures are expected by many to make it more difficult for local providers to serve immigrants and refugees seeking to learn English or improve their basic skills, especially those who are not on track to earn postsecondary credentials or who do not have this as a goal.
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Leadership Visions: A Discussion with Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz-Massieu

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on December 15th, 2015

MPI Leadership Visions held a discussion with the Foreign Minister of Mexico, Claudia Ruiz-Massieu, for the first public appearance during her first visit to Washington, DC in her current capacity. With the growing importance of migration matters tying the United States and Mexico together, this Leadership Visions program moderated by MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner offers a special opportunity to hear from and engage with a critical figure in the U.S.-Mexico relationship. Minister Ruiz-Massieu was appointed to her post by President Enrique Peña Nieto on August 27, 2015, having previously served as Minister of Tourism since 2012. Prior to joining the Peña Nieto administration, she served two terms as an elected member of Mexico's House of Representatives. Minister Ruiz-Massieu has also had a distinguished academic career.

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Reception and Reintegration Services in Central America: Ending the Deportee Revolving Door

Posted in International Migration by migrationpolicy on December 11th, 2015

Hundreds of thousands of Central Americans, deported from Mexico and the United States, have arrived back in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in the past five years. Often facing conditions that are worse now than when they departed, this rapidly growing population of deportees—including tens of thousands of children—are in danger of entering a revolving door of migration, deportation, and remigration. 


As deportations have increased in recent years, finding successful ways to disrupt the revolving-door phenomenon by providing more and better opportunities for Central America’s people, including through reception programs and reintegration services, is crucial to Central America, Mexico, and the United States.
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Twenty Five Years Later: Reflecting on the Immigration Act of 1990

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Labor Migration by migrationpolicy on December 8th, 2015

On November 29, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Immigration Act of 1990. The law increased immigration levels by redesigning admissions categories and restructuring employment-based entry provisions for both permanent and temporary admissions, with the aim of increasing emphasis on the skills, education, and investment of these immigrants. The bill also revised the grounds of inadmissibility and deportation, expanded the definition of aggravated felony, and established administrative naturalization and Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

To mark the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Act, MPI hosted a discussion examining the history of the legislation, how it was accomplished politically, and the stakeholders and issues that were critical to its passage. Panelists will recount the goals of the legislation, assess whether they have been met, examine the unintended consequences, and discuss the relevance and lessons of the Act for current immigration debates.

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Investor Visa Programs: Examining their Utility, Challenges, and Successes

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on December 1st, 2015

On December 11, the EB-5 regional center program, a key piece of the U.S. EB-5 investor visa program is set to expire unless Congress acts to reauthorize or simply extend it. The EB-5 program grants legal permanent residence (green cards) to foreign nationals who invest at least $1 million (or $500,000 in poorer areas) in a U.S. commercial enterprise that creates or preserves ten jobs. Uncertainty about the future of the U.S. EB-5 program comes as several other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries are trying to maximize the investor visa programs’ economic benefits. Against this backdrop, Migration Policy Institute President Emeritus Demetrios Papademetriou and MPI’s Kate Hooper examine the motivations underpinning recent changes to investor visa programs in North America, Europe, and elsewhere, and the implications for the future direction of these programs.  

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Addressing the Implications of the Emigration of Skilled and Educated Europeans

Posted in European Migration by migrationpolicy on November 24th, 2015

The Migration Policy Institute’s Transatlantic Council on Migration is releasing a series of reports on how governments and societies can attenuate some of the costs of emigration and capture more of its potential benefits. In this webinar, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, the Convenor of the Transatlantic Council and author of the Council Statement on ways to turn emigration challenges into opportunities, is joined by Transatlantic Council Founding Member Antonio Vitorino and Council report author Irial Glynn for a discussion on the long-term policy reforms that countries such as Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Greece should consider in order to create meaningful employment and upward mobility opportunities at home for both natives and immigrants with the aim of both retaining and attracting back the skilled workers on whom economies depend for growth, innovation, and economic competitiveness. 

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2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Examining the Growth of Immigrant Detention and the Future of Detention Alternatives

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2015

In this panel discussion at the 12th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, speakers Bob Libal, Executive Director of Grassroots Leadership; Jonathan Ryan, Executive Director of Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES);  Esther Olavarria, Special Assistant to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and moderator Jeanne M. Atkinson, Executive Director of Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), examine the current legal and political landscape of immigrant detention, the role of the private prison industry, and cost-effective and humane alternatives to detention. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Unaccompanied Central American Children: One Year Later

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2015

This panel discussion at the 12th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference focuses on policy and practice changes that affect the movement, arrival, and reception of unaccompanied Central American children to the United States and Mexico. Panelists are Maureen Meyer, Senior Associate for Mexico and Migrant Rights at WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas; Jennifer Podkul, Senior Program Officer for the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission; Reyna Torres Mendivil, Director General for the Protection of Mexicans Abroad at Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Relations; and moderator Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Director of the Center for Applied Legal Studies and the Human Rights Institute at Georgetown University Law Center. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference –Keynote Address: H.E. António Guterres

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2015

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres explores the strains on the global humanitarian protection system, the Syrian refugee crisis and its spillover onto Europe, and the need for leadership from the United States and other major refugee-receiving countries as the world copes with the largest levels of displacement ever recorded. This keynote address occurred at the 2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Exploring the Future of Executive Action

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2015

This panel at the 12th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference reviews the possible outcomes and timeline for the litigation challenging the Obama administration’s executive actions on immigration, and the political and practical challenges for implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, as well as expansions to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Panelists are Heather Fong, Assistant Secretary for State and Local Law Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center; Dora B. Schriro, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection; Cristina Rodríguez, Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law at Yale Law School; and moderator Muzaffar Chishti, Director of MPI’s office at NYU School of Law. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Today’s Politics and U.S. Immigration Policy

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2015

Immigration, never far from the headlines, has assumed even greater visibility in recent months as the election cycle heats up. In this panel discussion at the 12th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, speakers Matt A. Barreto, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Latino Decisions; Fawn Johnson, Chief Policy Editor of Morning Consult; Cesar Gonzalez, Chief of Staff for Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL); and moderator Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute, provide their perspectives on the role immigration is playing in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, the influence of immigration-related demographic change on policy and politics across the country, and the congressional landscape ahead for immigration action, both through appropriations and substantive legislation. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Keynote Address: The Honorable Jeh Johnson

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2015

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson explores immigration priorities as well the status of the executive actions announced by President Obama in November 2014 during this keynote address at the 2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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Young Refugee Children: Their Schooling Experiences in the United States and in Countries of First Asylum

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on October 28th, 2015

Conflicts in Syria and around the world have generated an estimated 19.5 million refugees, of whom just over half are children. Most refugees reside in countries of first asylum in developing regions, with relatively few officially resettled in the United States and other developed countries. The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is releasing a series of three papers, as part of a research project supported by the Foundation for Child Development, about the education and well-being of these children. The first report discusses the mental health and schooling of Syrian refugee children living in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. The second explores the experiences of Somali Bantu refugee students in a U.S. elementary school shortly after their resettlement. And the third offers a broader look at the educational experiences of refugee children in developing countries—in camps and urban settings. In this webinar, the authors of the papers and MPI analysts presented their findings on the experiences of refugee children and the impacts on their mental health and education.

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Serving Newcomer Immigrant and Refugee Students in Secondary Schools: Comparing U.S. and European Practices

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, European Migration by migrationpolicy on October 23rd, 2015

Against the backdrop of the refugee crisis in Europe and the unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied minors entering U.S. schools in the last two years, this webinar considers the particular challenges facing educators and policymakers as they attempt to meet the needs of immigrant and refugee students who arrive during their middle and high school years. Providing these students with instructional, linguistic, and socioemotional supports is especially complex in the secondary grades, due to the rigor of the curriculum and the short timeframe available for students to prepare for postsecondary education and the workforce.

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What’s Next for the European Asylum Crisis?

With uncontrolled migration to the European Union growing by leaps and bounds and asylum applications recorded by EU Member States at an all-time high, calls for ‘solidarity’ and increased support from the EU level for Member States under pressure have grown louder. In this webinar, MPI Europe President Demetrios Papademetriou and EASO Executive Director Rob Visser, the agency’s first director, had a candid discussion on the role EASO has played in its first five years and its potential for the future, along with what strategies Europe ought to be pursuing with regards to the current crisis.

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Unaccompanied Child Migrants in the United States: How Are They Faring?

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on October 16th, 2015

U.S. Customs and Border Protection had apprehended more than 76,000 unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras at the U.S.-Mexico border as of August 31, 2015—the highest level ever.These children represent a high-needs population, and their large numbers may place a strain on the states and communities that bear the costs of their education and other services with minimal federal assistance. This webinar marked the release of a new Migration Policy Institute brief that offers data and a qualitative research summary on where unaccompanied child migrants are being placed, how they are faring in immigration courts, what types of services are available to them, and how school districts and communities are adapting to their arrival.

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