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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.

Asylum Reception in the European Union: A Flexible Model for the Future?

The pressure brought by the recent mass influx of migrants and refugees to Europe has drawn attention to the need for systems to receive and house new arrivals that can adapt to unpredictable numbers, remain cost-efficient, and meet national and EU standards. But what does it take to set up and manage a reception system that can simultaneously meet the demands of flexibility, quality, and efficiency?


Michael Kegels, Fedasil Belgium’s Director of Operational Services and author of the recent MPI Europe report, Getting the Balance Right: Strengthening Asylum Reception Capacity at National and EU Levels, discusses how to devise a more responsive asylum reception system at national and EU levels that upholds common standards. He is joined by representatives from the Austrian Ministry of Interior and EASO to reflect on the practical challenges of meeting asylum-seeker reception demand, the prospects of greater cooperation, and the place of asylum reception policy at the heart of the Common European Asylum System.  
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Resettlement Plus: Clearing the Path to Safety and Opportunity for Refugees

Following the March 30, 2016 meeting of global leaders hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), MPI Europe convened a discussion to examine the outcomes of the conference, and provide an analysis of how states and civil society can work together to realize the intensifying calls for new pathways to support the safe and legal migration—and successful integration—of refugees in practice. Speakers consider what initiatives already exist to facilitate the legal mobility of refugee groups, and critically assess the potential and pitfalls that come with each. The discussion also examines new and creative ideas that have emerged in the wake of the Syria crisis.

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How Well Are Young Children of Refugees Integrating into the United States?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on March 23rd, 2016

On this webinar, MPI analysts and experts in the field discuss the results of an analysis comparing young children of refugees to other U.S. children on several key indicators of well-being. This analysis is based on U.S. Census Bureau data with MPI’s unique assignments of refugee status to the foreign-born population, as well as administrative data on refugee arrivals from the U.S. Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, and Office of Refugee Resettlement. Key indicators to be discussed include geographic resettlement patterns, languages spoken, English proficiency, family structure, parental education and employment, poverty rates, use of public benefits, and health insurance coverage. The report analyzed these indicators for the most common refugee origin groups, including Vietnam, Cuba, Laos, Ukraine, Somalia, Haiti, Russia, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Burma, and 10 others.

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Europe’s Migration Crisis: A Status Report and the Way Forward

As the migration crisis in Europe continues unabated and a deepening crisis in Syria unfolds, European policymakers are struggling to come to terms with two of the most urgent elements: making certain that 2016 is not just a repetition of 2015 (or worse) and finding the key to incorporating those among the 1.5 million migrants who will be allowed to stay (whether under some form of protection or simply because EU Member States find deportations “difficult”).


Freshly returned from several months working on the crisis from MPI Europe’s offices in Brussels, Demetrios G. Papademetriou provides a briefing on how the policy response to the crisis has unfolded at EU and national levels, and sketches an affirmative vision for what the short-, mid-, and long-term responses must be if Europe is to respond more effectively to the crisis and tackle the longer-term integration challenges. 
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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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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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Simply No Consensus: Can the EU respond to continued refugee flows?

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, European Migration by migrationpolicy on September 18th, 2015

With refugee arrivals continuing on a scale unprecedented in recent history, the European Union is struggling to deliver a humane, sustainable response that will have the support of all of its Member States. MPI Europe, as part of a joint project on asylum in the EU with the Open Society Foundations, brought together senior officials from some of the Member States to discuss their differing perspectives on the current crisis. They considered what is needed to ensure a unified, practically feasible response to the biggest crisis that has faced the Common European Asylum System since its inception.

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Exploring Innovative Ideas to Strengthen the Global Protection System

This discussion explored the tensions facing asylum systems in Europe and North America, and asked what tools governments have at their disposal to respond proactively to forced displacement and reduce its costs for refugees and host communities alike. Where and when should governments focus their protection investments to have the most impact? What actors and stakeholders need to be engaged, both within a government and internationally? What lessons can be drawn from responses to past asylum flows? 

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Beyond Asylum: Adapting the Global Protection System to Better Meet Escalating Needs

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on July 22nd, 2015

An estimated 2.9 million people became refugees in 2014, with an average 42,500 forced to leave their homes each day. The unprecedented scale of displacement has placed the global refugee system under visible strain, as humanitarian agencies and host communities struggle to provide for ever-rising needs. This webinar digs more deeply into ways to empower refugees to use their skills and energies to provide for their own livelihoods, and enable refugees to legally take advantage of security or self-sufficiency opportunities beyond countries of first asylum by tapping into the potential of existing migration schemes.

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Resettling Increasingly Diverse Refugee Populations in the United States: Integration Challenges and Successes

This discussion focuses on the Migration Policy Institute's new report, The Integration Outcomes of U.S. Refugees: Success and Challenges, which uses previously unpublished State Department data among other sources to examine refugee characteristics at arrival for the ten largest national-origin groups resettled between 2002-2013, as well as their integration outcomes. The discussion examines the report's findings with respect to refugee employment and incomes, English proficiency and education levels, public benefit use, as well as differing integration outcomes between refugee groups with similar characteristics at arrival. 

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No End in Sight: The Worsening Syrian Refugee Crisis

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration by migrationpolicy on May 4th, 2015

To date, almost 4 million refugees have fled the Syrian civil war, the vast majority seeking shelter in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon, but with growing numbers also moving to Egypt and Northern Iraq. At this Migration Policy Institute briefing, Erol Kekic from Refugee Council USA and Anastasia Brown from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who recently visited the region, report on their findings on the space for humanitarian protection. Also joining the panel is Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Simon Henshaw, whose portfolio in the Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration includes Syrian refugees. He discusses recent developments in the region and in the U.S. humanitarian response. The discussion is moderated by Kathleen Newland, director of MPI's Refugee Protection and Humanitarian Response Program. 

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Integration Challenges and Opportunities in the Economic Development and Refugee Resettlement Arenas

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on March 13th, 2015

This Migration Policy Institute webinar addresses two distinct, significant areas—economic development and refugee resettlement—that were a focus of robust discussion in recommendations submitted by a number of leading organizations and networks to the White House Task Force on New Americans. During the webinar, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Annie Wilson shares thoughts on how to better support the integration of refugees and the refugee resettlement process, Global Detroit Director Steve Tobocman talks about the WE Global Network and recommendations for the task force in the areas of international student retention, immigrant entrepreneurship, and rural economic development, and MPI’s Margie McHugh discusses recommendations on education and training, language access, and late-arriving immigrant and refugee students. 

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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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Has EU Immigration and Asylum Policy Failed? Can It Ever Succeed?

This Migration Policy Institute Europe (MPI Europe) telebriefing examines the realities of European policy on immigration and asylum thus far, the challenges that policymakers face in the coming months and years, and what possibilities exist for future reform and development of EU immigration policy. Is this the end of the road for European collaboration, or the beginnings of closer cooperation? Participants include MPI Europe Director Elizabeth Collett, MPI Europe Fellow Madeline Garlick, and moderator Matina Stevis of the Wall Street Journal. The discussion outlines the findings of a new MPI Europe policy brief written by Madeline Garlick that reflects on the challenges confronting the European Union and Member States with respect to asylum policymaking in the near term and beyond, as well as some of the opportunities ahead to improve the Common European Asylum System.

To read the policy brief, click here.

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Syrians on the Edge: The Status of Refugees in Neighboring Countries

This MPI panel discussion, in partnership with the Middle East Institute and the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM), examines the status of Syrian refugees abroad and the effect of the ongoing Syrian crisis on Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. Panelists Oytun Orhan, ORSAM Project Coordinator and Researcher, Peri-Khan Aqrawi-Whitcomb, Middle East Research Institute Junior Research Fellow, Faysal Itani, Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, and Saban Kardas, ORSAM President discuss the experiences of each country as outlined in ORSAM’s report. The project team visited each country and after six months of boots-on-the-ground research, found that women and children account for more than 75 percent of the refugees, making education in particular a devastating issue for the next generation of Syrians. In addition, Syrian emigrants settle not only in camps but also in cities, raising prices and lowering wages all along the Syrian borders. The discussion is moderated by Kathleen Newland, Director of the Refugee Protection Program at MPI.

The panel makes the case that because of the heavy financial and social costs, Syrian displacement is not merely a problem for Syria or even the greater Middle East; the destabilization is a global problem requiring significant outreach to the global community.

To read the report from ORSAM, click here: www.orsam.org.tr/en/showReport.aspx?ID=2638
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A Discussion on the Global Forum on Migration and Development: Perspectives from Asia and the Pacific

This International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Migration Policy Institute (MPI) meeting launches the Issue in Brief, The Global Forum on Migration and Development: Perspectives from Asia and the Pacific, the ninth in this MPI/IOM joint-publication series that offer succinct insights on migration issues affecting the Asia-Pacific region today. The discussion explores the Asia-Pacific priorities for the GMFD 2014 and provides recommendations on how the GMFD can be a development focused and results-oriented forum.

Over the last seven years, many governments in the Asia-Pacific region have been actively engaged in the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) not only as participants to the process but also as leaders driving its direction and continuity. The region’s active engagement has clearly made an impact judging on the themes and topics of the GFMD since 2007. To continue its success and to remain as relevant, the GFMD has to be as instrumental in shaping the reality on the ground as much as the global discourse on migration and development.

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Human Rights, Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration: A New Paradigm

This MPI event, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), discusses the critical issue of climate-related displacement in the Asia-Pacific region, explored in depth in the joint MPI and IOM brief Human Rights, Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration: A New Paradigm. Climate change and environmental degradation are predicted to displace millions of people in the coming years, either directly or indirectly. While today’s international legal framework provides a degree of protection to those displaced by environmental factors and climatic events, there is no global consensus on a definition for such a group. In the absence of this, gaps in the legal system, and in implementation, how can recognition of the vulnerability of environmental migrants be facilitated and their protection ensured? This discussion explores how to protect climate change-induced migrants, particularly in the highly vulnerable Asia-Pacific region.

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