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?
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.
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.
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”).
Young Refugee Children: Their Schooling Experiences in the United States and in Countries of First Asylum
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.
Serving Newcomer Immigrant and Refugee Students in Secondary Schools: Comparing U.S. and European Practices
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Integration Challenges and Opportunities in the Economic Development and Refugee Resettlement Arenas
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.
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.
A Discussion on the Global Forum on Migration and Development: Perspectives from Asia and the Pacific
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.