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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.

Unaccompanied Minors: A Crisis with Deep Roots and No Simple Solutions

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on June 25th, 2014

This Migration Policy Institute (MPI) telebriefing discusses factors behind the recent surge in flows of unaccompanied children from Mexico and Central America to the United States as well as short- and longer-term policy options for improving how the U.S. immigration system interacts with this population with distinct needs. Speakers include Doris Meissner, Director of MPI's U.S. Immigration Policy Program, and Marc Rosenblum, Deputy Director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program. The call previews a policy brief on unaccompanied minors that MPI will release in July.  

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Detained or Deported: How Parents in the Immigration Enforcement System Can Protect their Children

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on June 24th, 2014

This Migration Policy Institute (MPI) panel discussion, in partnership with the Women's Refugee Commission, focuses on a new toolkit by the Women's Refugee Commission to provide detained and deported immigrants as well as unauthorized mothers and fathers with crucial information to protect and maintain their parental rights and make well-informed, critical decisions regarding the care and welfare of their children. In addition, speakers discuss the broader policy points surrounding detention and child protection issues and the implications for the immigration enforcement and child welfare systems. Speakers include Director Michelle Brane and Senior Program Officer Emily Butera of the Women's Refugee Commission Migrant Rights and Justice Program as well as Deputy Assistant Director of Custody Programs Andrew Lorenzen-Strait with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The discussion is moderated by Doris Meissner, Director of MPI's U.S. Immigration Policy Program. To view the toolkit online, click here.
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Improving the Educational Outcomes of California’s Immigrant Youth: A National Imperative

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration, Language Access by migrationpolicy on June 18th, 2014

This Migration Policy Institute (MPI) webinar explores the findings of the new report, Critical Choices in Post-Recession California: Investing in the Educational and Career Success of Immigrant Youth. The authors of the report, MPI Director Margie McHugh, CEO and Director of Studies Michael Fix, and Policy Analyst Sarah Hooker discuss the implications of California's public education system reforms for the state's 3.3 million first- and second-generation immigrant young adults and their families. By virtue of sheer demographics, the outcomes of these youth—who include more than one-third of the country's English Language Learner (ELL) students—will drive the success of national high school and college completion efforts and shape the record of the country’s success or failure in integrating today's immigrants into the mainstream of society.

 

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.

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State-Level Initiatives to Address Brain Waste Among Highly Educated Immigrants and Refugees: Special Focus on Nurses, Engineers, and Teachers

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration, Labor Migration, Language Access by migrationpolicy on May 15th, 2014

This Migration Policy Institute (MPI) webinar focuses on data compiled by MPI on brain waste among foreign-trained nurses, engineers, and teachers, and updates on three state-level initiatives—in Illinois, Washington, and Massachusetts—that are working to analyze and address challenges faced by immigrants and refugees with degrees and training in these fields. Dr. Jeanne Batalova presents MPI’s data on brain waste at the national and state levels and representatives from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, OneAmerica, and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition discuss their analysis and efforts on these issues. The discussion is moderated by Margie McHugh, Director of MPI's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy.

Despite possessing postsecondary degrees and relevant work experience, many highly educated immigrants and refugees in the United States struggle to find employment that utilizes their talents and professional experience. Particularly in fields with strict certification or licensure requirements, difficulties in obtaining recognition of credentials from foreign institutions, acquiring professional-level English skills, and navigating costly or time-consuming recertification processes prevent highly skilled immigrants and refugees from making the most of their education and training, and waste human capital badly needed by local economies and employers.
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The Deportation Story: Deporter-in-Chief, Releaser-in-Chief, or Reformer-in-Chief?

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on April 29th, 2014

This Migration Policy Institute panel discussion examines the U.S. deportation system with analysis on migrant apprehensions, removals, returns, and criminal prosecutions, and launches the report, The Deportation Dilemma: Reconciling Tough and Humane Enforcement. Report authors Doris Meissner, MPI Director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program, and Marc Rosenblum, MPI Deputy Director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program, as well as commentators David V. Aguilar and Hiroshi Motomura and moderator Muzaffar Chishti, discuss the findings of the report, including the main drivers of deportation policy and how the system has changed over the past two decades.  

With deportation levels for unauthorized immigrants reaching record levels under the Obama administration, and after a decade of failed congressional efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform, many immigrant-rights advocates are demanding that the administration scale back enforcement that they view as ripping families apart—and possibly even suspend deportations—until Congress passes a broad legalization. At the same time, immigration-control adherents question the administration’s commitment to immigration control, accusing the administration of selective enforcement. Troubled by what they see as excessive claims of executive power, congressional Republicans are seeking ways to ensure that border security and interior enforcement come first.

These conflicting views partly reflect basic disagreements about what a successful immigration enforcement system would look like. Yet the gap between these narratives also reflects uncertainty and confusion about the actual state of U.S. immigration enforcement. As the Department of Homeland Security reviews its removal operations, the MPI discussion and report outline the tools that both the president and Congress have to influence the deportation system going forward. 
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Education for the Future: Extending Georgia’s High School and College Reforms to its Growing Immigrant Population

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on March 20th, 2014

This Migration Policy Institute webinar discusses the report from MPI's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, released on March 20, which provides one of the first cross-system analyses of the educational experiences of Georgia’s first- and second-generation youth. Speakers include report authors Michael Fix, MPI CEO and Director of Studies, Sarah Hooker, MPI Policy Analyst, and moderator Margie McHugh, MPI Director of the National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, as well as Pedro Portes, Executive Director of the University of Georgia Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education, and Elizabeth Webb, Director of ELL Programs for Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Georgia has experienced one of the fastest rates of growth from immigration in the United States over the past two decades, and today one in five Georgia youth is foreign born or is the child of parents who are immigrants or refugees. The educational outcomes of the state’s first- and second- generation young adults (ages 16-26) are cause for concern, however. Many are English Language Learners (ELLs), and they lag considerably behind their nonimmigrant peers in terms of high school graduation, college access, and postsecondary degree completion. They often face extra hurdles as they seek to develop academic English-language skills, complete high school course requirements, navigate the transition to college and careers, and finance postsecondary education—often while juggling work and family responsibilities. Educators in districts such as Gwinnett County—which enrolls one-fifth of the state’s ELL students—are on the front lines of efforts to address these challenges.

The webinar assesses where Georgia’s ambitious education reforms have met—or failed to meet—the needs of this growing population, including those who have been granted status under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The report, Education Reform in a Changing Georgia: Promoting High School and College Success for Immigrant Youth, is available online.

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Children on the Run: An Analysis of First-Hand Accounts from Children Fleeing Central America

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on March 12th, 2014

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.

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A Treacherous Journey: Child Migrants Navigating the U.S. Immigration System

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.


The report is available at www.supportkind.org and www.cgrs.uchastings.edu.

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Managing Borders in North America: Charting the Future

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on February 7th, 2014

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.

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Tackling Brain Waste among Immigrant Professionals: Initiatives to Improve the Recognition of Foreign Qualifications

Posted in US Immigration Policy, International Migration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on December 12th, 2013

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.

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2013 E Pluribus Unum Prizes Awardee Panel Discussion

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on December 6th, 2013

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.

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Life Beyond Congressional Action

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 4th, 2013

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.

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A New Reality at the Border: Assessing Current Conditions and Considerations for Future Policy

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 4th, 2013

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.

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Lessons from the Past: Looking to IRCA and Other Programs in Reforming the US Immigration System

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 4th, 2013

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.

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Former Mississippi Governor and former Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour on the Role of Immigrants in the U.S.

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 1st, 2013

Former Mississippi Governor and former Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour delivered a keynote address at the 10th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, which occurred on October 31, 2013 and was organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., Center for Migration Studies of New York, and Georgetown University Law Center. During his remarks, Governor Barbour touched upon the role that immigrants played in helping rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina and discussed the importance of building high-skilled, low-skilled, and temporary workforces to ensure American competitiveness and success in the global economy. He also discussed the prospects for immigration reform. Governor Barbour was introduced by MPI President Demetrios Papademetriou.

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State of Play: Insights from the Field and Washington on the Immigration Reform Debate

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 1st, 2013

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 state of play of immigration policy and politics in Washington and in the states, the changing dynamics, and mobilizations underway by advocacy groups on both sides of the debate. The panel discussion was moderated by Doris Meissner, who directs MPI’s U.S. immigration policy program. The panelists were Roy Beck, President and CEO of Numbers USA; Fawn Johnson, National Journal Correspondent; Ryan Lizza, Washington Correspondent, The New Yorker; Bruce A. Morrison, Chair of the Morrison Public Affairs Group; and Lorella Praeli, Director of Advocacy & Policy, United We Dream.

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Sen. John McCain Discusses the Prospects for Immigration Reform in the 113th Congress

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 1st, 2013

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) delivers a keynote address during the 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, which occurred on October 31, 2013 and was organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., Center for Migration Studies of New York, and Georgetown University Law Center. During his speech, Senator McCain discussed the prospects for immigration reform, reiterated his support for reform that includes an eventual path to citizenship for the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population, and addressed criticism that the immigration legislation that passed the Senate in June 2013 would harm the economy and U.S. workers. 

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The Ongoing Challenge of Ensuring Human Rights for Migrants in the European Union and United States

Posted in US Immigration Policy, International Migration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on October 21st, 2013

In this panel discussion at the Migration Policy Institute, Morten Kjaerum, Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and former Founding Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights, discussed the state of rights protection in Europe as well as his agency’s role in this evolving arena. The FRA’s goal is to promote understanding and secure fundamental rights in the European Union, and the discussion explored the organization’s work collecting and analyzing hard-to-find data, and its strategies for using this to combat discrimination against migrants and other minority populations. Other speakers focused on the evolution of the immigrant-rights movement in the United States, with comments by Lucas Guttentag, Founder and former National Director and Senior Advisor of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; and Becky Monroe, Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The speakers discussed shared challenges and opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic, a conversation that was particularly relevant in light of the loss of human life at Lampedusa and the deportation of a teenage Roma girl seeking asylum in France. The panel was moderated by MPI Senior Vice President Michael Fix.

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A House Divided: Divergent Views in Congress Over Immigration Reform

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on August 19th, 2013

Senate passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation in June 2013 stands as a major accomplishment on the road to restructuring the U.S. immigration system. At this mid-point in the legislative debate, House committees have passed five separate bills, but are still grappling with key elements of the Senate plan, especially legalization for the nation’s estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants. The big question surrounding the debate remains whether compromises that reconcile the approaches by both chambers can be found to produce legislation that improves the U.S. immigration system. This online discussion with Migration Policy Institute policy experts Doris Meissner and Muzaffar Chishti was held shortly after MPI released an analysis comparing the major provisions of the Senate bill against those of the individual House bills considered to date in House committees. The discussion outlines the differing policies crafted by the House and Senate, their likely implications for the U.S. immigration system, and offers a look ahead to where the debate might be headed when Congress returns from its summer recess.

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A Year In: A Review of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA)

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on August 14th, 2013

August 15, 2013 marked the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which offers a two-year reprieve from deportation as well as work authorization for eligible unauthorized immigrants under the age of 31 who entered the United States before the age of 16 and meet a number of education and other requirements. During this online chat, Migration Policy Institute researchers discuss their findings in a new MPI brief that provides the most up-to-date estimates of the current and prospective DACA population by educational attainment, English proficiency, state of residence, country of origin, age, gender, labor force participation, poverty, and parental status. Researchers Michael Fix, Jeanne Batalova, and Sarah Hooker also answer questions from chat participants.

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