The last several years have witnessed extraordinary developments related to the adjudication and representation of persons facing possible removal from the United States. 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—highlights innovative new legal service-delivery programs, including government-funded counsel in New York City, the Immigrant Justice Corps fellowship program, the Justice Americorps Program, nongovernmental organization initiatives to represent the growing numbers of unaccompanied child migrants (UACs) and others. It also discusses challenges related to the accelerated adjudication of proceedings for minors, the expansion in non-court removals, legal representation of persons apprehended near the U.S.-Mexico border, and an economic analysis of government-funded legal counsel in immigration proceedings. Panelists are Austin T. Fragomen, Partner, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy, LLP; Meredith Linsky, Director, American Bar Association Commission on Immigration; Hon. Dana Leigh Marks, President, National Association of Immigration Judges; and John Montgomery, Senior Vice President, NERA Economic Consulting. For more on the conference, visit: www.migrationpolicy.org/events/11th-annual-immigration-law-and-policy-conference.
Children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have been coming to the United States without a parent or guardian for many years. In 2008, Congress enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act to provide special protections for this vulnerable population. In recent years, the number of unaccompanied child migrants (UACs) from these countries has increased significantly, culminating in much larger numbers arriving at US borders in 2014. 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, considers several key issues that have arisen with respect to U.S. and regional responses to the cross-border movements of these children, in particular with respect to due process, enforcement actions in the United States and Mexico, and Central American government plans to address the violence affecting these children in their home communities. Speakers are H.E. Francisco Altschul Fuentes, Ambassador of El Salvador to the United States; Barbara Leen, Counsel to the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice; and Maria Woltjen, Lecturer in Law and Director of The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, University of Chicago. The conversation was moderated by Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Director,
Center for Applied Legal Studies; Director, Human Rights Institute,
Professor from Practice, Georgetown University Law Center. For more on the conference, visit: www.migrationpolicy.org/events/11th-annual-immigration-law-and-policy-conference.
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 the use of executive action in implementing immigration policy, the numbers of those who may potentially be affected by such action, underlying legal issues, and any challenges in implementation. The panelists—Ana Navarro, a Republican political contributor to CNN, CNN en Español, and ABC News; Norman J. Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute; Simon Rosenberg, President and Founder, New Democrat Network (NDN); and Marc R. Rosenblum, Deputy Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program, Migration Policy Institute—discussed the possible political ramifications for future immigration reform policy during a conversation moderated by MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner. For more on the conference, visit: www.migrationpolicy.org/events/11th-annual-immigration-law-and-policy-conference.
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.
With postsecondary degrees proving to be beyond the reach of many low-income immigrant youth, and a vastly under-resourced adult education system the weakest link in the U.S. educational pipeline, a lack of educational attainment and opportunities stands to block hundreds of thousands of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) youth from obtaining immigration protections for which they would otherwise qualify. This Migration Policy Institute (MPI) webinar discusses the findings of the report Diploma, Please: Promoting Educational Attainment for DACA- and Potential DREAM Act-Eligible Youth, from MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy. The discussion covers the education challenges facing DACA youth, targeted programs designed to address them, and recommendations for overcoming the education-success obstacles that key subgroups of DACA-DREAM youth face. The report highlights some of the promising programs, emerging models, and policy contexts in states such as California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Georgia, and Washington State.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.