As federal immigration legislation continues to languish, state and municipal governments across the country are forging ahead and taking decisive action to integrate immigrants into their communities. This panel from the 11th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference—organized in October 2014 by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., the Center for Migration Studies, and Georgetown University Law Center—examines different approaches to advancing immigrant laws and policies at the state and local levels. Panelists discuss recent measures adopted by city and state governments to expand immigrants’ access to education and health care, limit local involvement in immigration enforcement, and enhance immigrants’ ability to participate in civic life and revitalize local economies. The panelists are: Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner, New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; the Hon. Ricardo Lara, Senator, 33rd District, California State Senate; and Steve Tobocman, Director, Global Detroit. The conversation is moderated by Jeanne M. Atkinson, Executive Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. For more on the conference, visit: www.migrationpolicy.org/events/11th-annual-immigration-law-and-policy-conference.
The 11th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference—organized in October 2014 by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., the Center for Migration Studies, and Georgetown University Law Center—begins with keynote remarks by León Rodríguez, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. During his first major public address since being sworn in, Director Rodríguez discussed his agency's performance, including its handling of the hundreds of thousands of applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. For more on the 11th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, visit: www.migrationpolicy.org/events/11th-annual-immigration-law-and-policy-conference.
This panel discussion marks the release of the new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report, Deportation and Discretion: Reviewing the Record and Options for Change. The report and discussion provide a detailed description of formal removals from the United States, including the previous immigration and criminal records of deportees, as well as their country of origin, gender, length of residence in the United States, and other demographic characteristics. Marc Rosenblum, Deputy Director of MPI's U.S. Immigration Policy Program and lead author of the report, answers key questions about immigration enforcement: who is being removed, where are noncitizens being apprehended, how are they being removed, and how are DHS’s current enforcement priorities reflected in enforcement outcomes. Other issues covered in the discussion include MPI’s insights more broadly from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removals dataset, obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by The New York Times, as well as the work done by the Government Accountability Office in this area. This event offers a unique opportunity to review the past decade-plus of deportations and determine what lessons can be learned for future policy and possible administrative action.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, who assumed his duties in 2014, lays out his vision and discusses his priorities for the agency as part of the Migration Policy Institute's (MPI) Leadership Visions series. The discussion is moderated by Doris Meissner, Director of MPI's U.S. Immigration Policy Program.
Realizing the DACA and DREAM Promise: Actions to Support Educational Attainment of Potentially Eligible Immigrant Youth
Extending New Relief to Unauthorized Immigrants: Estimating the Impacts of Possible Executive Actions
This briefing marks the launch of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) brief, Executive Action for Unauthorized Immigrants: Estimates of the Populations that Could Receive Relief. With the Obama administration contemplating executive action in the immigration arena, immigrant-rights leaders, members of Congress, and others have proposed a number of options for actions that President Obama could take to provide relief to more of the nation’s estimated 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants. Among the options are extending deferred action to populations beyond those eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and further refining the enforcement priorities that guide deportations. In this briefing, MPI experts Randy Capps, Marc Rosenblum, and Michael Fix unveil the findings of new research that provides estimates of the numbers who may benefit from potential approaches to administrative relief.
Christopher Edley, Jr., former Dean and Orrick Professor of Law, University of California Berkeley School of Law and Co-Chair of the recent National Commission on Education Equity and Excellence, and Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, Executive Director of Californians Together, join the report's authors for the discussion of their findings and the implications for national and state policy.
To read the full report, click here.
State-Level Initiatives to Address Brain Waste Among Highly Educated Immigrants and Refugees: Special Focus on Nurses, Engineers, and Teachers
Education for the Future: Extending Georgia’s High School and College Reforms to its Growing Immigrant Population
This Migration Policy Institute event with UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres features findings from UNHCR’s report, Children on the Run, which examines the increasing numbers of children from Central America and Mexico who head off alone to find refuge in the United States, fleeing violence, insecurity, and abuse in their communities and at home. The panel moderated by Kathleen Newland, Director of the Refugee Protection and Migrants, Migration, and Development Programs at MPI, also includes speakers Javier Sagredo, an advisor in the UN Development Programme's Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Leslie E. Vélez, UNHCR Senior Protection Officer. A troubling new trend has emerged among those seeking asylum: the number of children making the treacherous journey alone and unaccompanied from Mexico and the countries of Central America—particularly El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala—has doubled each year since 2010. And the U.S. government estimates 60,000 children will reach U.S. soil this fiscal year in search of safe haven. This discussion surrounding the UNHCR study, which was based on interviews that a team of researchers did with more than 400 unaccompanied children, analyzes the reasons behind the growing migration of this vulnerable population and makes recommendations for a way forward.
The UNHCR report is available online here.
This Migration Policy Institute panel discussion on unaccompanied minors focuses on a report by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) at UC Hastings College of the Law, A Treacherous Journey: Child Migrants Navigating the U.S. Immigration System. The panel moderated by Kathleen Newland, Director of the Refugee Protection and Migrants at MPI, includes speakers Elizabeth Dallam, KIND National Legal Services Director, Lisa Frydman, CGRS Associate Director and Managing Attorney, Karen Musalo, CGRS Director, and KIND Executive Director Wendy Young. The discussion focuses on the conclusion that children face a system created for adults that is not required to consider the child’s best interests. Despite the potentially enormous impact of the proceedings on their lives and futures, unaccompanied children are not provided lawyers to help them navigate the complex requirements of immigration proceedings.
This Migration Policy Institute (MPI) panel discussion offers perspectives on border policy management from leading officials in the U.S., Canadian, and Mexican governments, and showcases MPI's edited volume, Managing Borders in an Increasingly Borderless World. Book co-editors Randall Hansen of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and MPI President Demetrios Papademetriou, as well as Mexican Ambassador to the United States Eduardo Medina Mora, Canada Border Services Agency Executive Vice President Malcolm Brown, former Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection David V. Aguilar, and Mexico's former Undersecretary of Population, Migration, and Religious Affairs Gustavo Mohar, discuss continuing and evolving challenges in border management and security. The book covers these challenges—terrorism, organized crime, illegal migration, smuggling, trafficking, human rights, infrastructure, corruption, and economic and political factors—and offers an analysis of effective and ineffective policies and programs. The panelists discuss the challenges and successes their governments have had in pursuing better, more effective, and smarter border controls, and the deepening regional cooperation in this important policy area.
Tackling Brain Waste among Immigrant Professionals: Initiatives to Improve the Recognition of Foreign Qualifications
This Migration Policy Institute panel discussion focuses on the circulation of skilled immigrant professionals and the recognition of foreign qualifications in the United States and Europe. The event brought together experts and policymakers from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss what governments can do to improve the recognition of foreign credentials — particularly in regulated occupations where time-consuming and expensive licensing processes can substantially delay access to skilled employment. The discussion highlights promising practices (including an example from Quebec), and identifies ways US policymakers can learn from European innovations in qualifications recognition and how international cooperation can help — both across the Atlantic and further afield. The event coincided with the release of the final report of a two-year research initiative funded by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. Read the report: Skilled Immigrants in the Global Economy: Prospects for International Cooperation on Recognition of Foreign Qualifications.
The Migration Policy Institute’s 2013 E Pluribus Unum Prizes awards ceremony held in Washington, DC in December 2013 included a panel discussion with the winners of the prizes, which honor exceptional immigrant integration initiatives in the United States. Moderator Margie McHugh, who co-directs MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, discussed immigrant integration practice and policy with the winners: Allison Kokkoros of the adult-focused Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in Washington, DC; Eva Millona of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition; Mihailo Temali of the Twin Cities-based Neighborhood Development Center; and Gayle Tang of Kaiser Permanente. The discussion also featured Felicia Escobar, Senior Policy Director for Immigration at the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Ronald G. Marlow, Assistant Secretary for Access and Opportunity, state of Massachusetts Executive Office of the Governor. For more on the E Pluribus Unum Prizes and the 2013 winners, visit integrationawards.org.
This panel discussion at the 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference held on October 31, 2013 examines immigration policy areas that lend themselves to possible administrative action. Panelists discussed what roles the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, prosecutorial discretion, and provisional unlawful presence waivers play, and how states and local governments might respond to the presence of both unauthorized and authorized immigrants. The discussion was moderated by Jeanne Atkinson, Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC). The panelists were Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center; Lynden Melmed, Partner, Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP; and Wendy Young, President, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). The Law and Policy Conference was organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Georgetown University Law Center, the Center for Migration Studies of New York, and CLINIC.
U.S. Border Patrol Chief Michael J. Fisher is among panelists discussing U.S. border security measures, the impact of these measures on local communities and commerce, and the wider consequences of border security-related actions during a panel at the 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference convened October 31, 2013 by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., Georgetown University Law Center, and the Center for Migration Studies of New York. The panel was moderated by Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Deputy Director of Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Migration. The other panelists joining Chief Fisher were Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; and Fernando Garcia, Executive Director, Border Network for Human Rights.
During this panel discussion at the 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference convened October 31, 2013 by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., Georgetown University Law Center, and the Center for Migration Studies of New York, panelists discussed the political, public policy, and implementation lessons from the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) and from recent programs, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. The panel was moderated by Donald Kerwin, Executive Director of the Center for Migration Studies. The panelists were Muzaffar Chishti, Director of the MPI Office at NYU School of Law; Charles Kamasaki, Executive Vice President, National Council of La Raza; and Jan C. Ting, Professor of Law at the Temple University Beasley School of Law.