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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.

World of Migration: Building a Modern U.S. Immigration and Asylum System in the National Interest

People on all sides of the policy debate largely agree that the current U.S. immigration system is broken. What should a 21st century immigration system that works in the national interest look like? And is this vision achievable amid current political realities? In this conversation, Migration Policy Institute Senior Fellow Doris Meissner speaks with Policy Analyst Ariel Ruiz Soto about how to build an immigration system that reflects today’s realities and builds in the flexibility to adapt to future developments.

The Challenges of Humanitarian Protection in the 21st Century

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, World of Migration by Migration Policy Institute on October 14th, 2021

Are the challenges of humanitarian protection more complex today than they were 20 years ago? And is a protection system that emerged after World War II still fit for purpose? In this conversation, Migration Policy Institute Co-Founder Kathleen Newland and Senior Policy Analyst Susan Fratzke discuss the challenges, but also the innovations in the refugee resettlement and asylum spaces, as countries around the globe cope with record displacement, mixed migration, climate pressures, and more.

Making Migration Policy in an Ever More Complex World

Posted in Labor Migration, Mobility and Security, International Migration, World of Migration by Migration Policy Institute on October 14th, 2021

What was the field of migration policy like in 2000, and has it become more complicated to work in this space, given the growing politicization of immigration and the advent of trends including greater humanitarian pressures, mixed migration flows, and climate-induced migration? And has the role of generating evidence-based research changed in this new era of mis/disinformation? Migration Policy Institute co-founder Demetrios G. Papademetriou takes on these and other questions, including whether the role of think tanks has evolved over the last two decades, in this conversation with MPI’s Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan. They also look ahead to the future challenges that will dominate immigration policymaking in the years ahead.

Revisiting the Role of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions in Light of Delta and Other Variants

Posted in International Migration, Moving Beyond Pandemic by Migration Policy Institute on October 14th, 2021

No one expected the travel restrictions imposed early in the COVID-19 pandemic to last so long or remain such a messy patchwork, in part because of the arrival of more contagious variants such as the delta variant – with significant effects on family reunification and humanitarian protection, travel for business and pleasure, and international migration. More than 18 months on, debates continue over the effectiveness of these measures in meeting public-health goals. Experts are working, though, to learn from the COVID-19 response to improve decision-making for handling future cross-border pandemics. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Kelley Lee, head of the Pandemics and Borders initiative at Simon Fraser University in Canada, about what the future holds, and whether decisionmakers truly learn to adapt or instead pull out the playbook from the last crisis.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: Impacts of Extreme Heat: Global Warming and Migration

Posted in Migration and Development, Labor Migration, International Migration, Changing Climate, Changing Migration by Migration Policy Institute on October 11th, 2021

Global warming and extreme heat are behind many of the phenomena linked to climate change. Hotter weather also has an impact on migration and on migrants, particularly in destinations such as the Middle East and parts of the United States. In recent years, there has been more attention paid to cases of migrant workers dying from the heat. In this episode, we speak with Tord Kjellstrom, a physician and researcher who has closely studied the relationship between extreme heat and population health, about what extreme heat means for migrants.

2021 Immigration Law & Policy Conference Keynote: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas

The 18th Annual Immigration Law and Policy conference opened with welcoming remarks from: Anna Gallagher, Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.; MPI President Andrew Selee; and William M. Treanor, Dean and Executive Vice President of Georgetown University Law Center,

Following introductory remarks, MPI Senior Fellow and Director of the U.S. Immigration Policy program Doris Meissner engaged Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas in the keynote conversation.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: Retreating from Climate Disaster in the United States

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Migration and Development, Changing Climate, Changing Migration by Migration Policy Institute on September 30th, 2021

In Western countries, a common narrative has developed that only poor or developing nations will have to confront human displacement caused by climate change. But communities in the United States and elsewhere have repeatedly moved because of environmental disasters such as flooding. This episode features a discussion on the U.S. government’s responses to internal displacement, with Kavi Chintam and Chris Jackson, co-authors of an Issues in Science and Technology article analyzing the approach to managed retreat.

s, M, l, xl ¿Cómo es la bienvenida de los migrantes en las ciudades de tamaño mediano en la región?

En respuesta a los cambios en tendencias migratorias, y el desplazamiento de venezolanos y centroamericanos a países de otras partes de la región, los gobiernos locales de América Latina y el Caribe están discutiendo un nuevo conjunto de interrogantes políticas en torno a la integración de inmigrantes.

Los gobiernos nacionales de la región han instituido una serie de políticas para integrar a quienes huyen de crisis en sus países de origen en el mercado laboral y el sistema educativo, tratando a quienes ocasionalmente llegan como refugiados como parte integral de sus comunidades. Pero ¿cómo se están traduciendo estas agendas políticas nacionales en ciudades que están manejando una afluencia de inmigrantes? ¿Qué políticas se están aplicando a nivel local con respecto a la integración de los migrantes en el mercado laboral y los sistemas de educación, salud, vivienda y servicios sociales? ¿Qué se puede aprender de esfuerzos recientes para dar la bienvenida a los inmigrantes en las comunidades locales?

En el primer webinario de una nueva serie de eventos que analiza cómo las ciudades de América Latina y el Caribe están abordando estos problemas, esta conversación con líderes de ciudades medianas examina la respuesta social de la región que ha resultado en la integración de nuevas llegadas de migrantes en comunidades locales. Los ponentes ofrecen reflexiones sobre sus experiencias en la gestión de la migración en el nivel local, la obtención de recursos financieros, la coordinación con los gobiernos nacionales y estatales, y el desarrollo e implementación de políticas de integración local.

How Will the Pandemic Reshape Public Health for Migrants?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by Migration Policy Institute on September 22nd, 2021

The COVID-19 public-health crisis exacerbated longstanding migrant vulnerabilities ranging from heightened exposure to infection to disproportionate barriers in accessing health services. However, the pandemic also triggered innovations in migration and health policy that may ultimately improve conditions for some migrants—including regularization, increased health-care benefits, and increased use of digital tools to improve health literacy and information provision. The acute understanding that public health requires coverage for the entire community has renewed interest in tackling issues faced by marginalized populations.

With COVID-19 likely to significantly reshape health-care systems in Europe and worldwide, there is a window of opportunity to test new strategies to tackle longstanding migrant health disparities, and ensure that structural changes accommodate the complex needs of diverse populations. What lessons can be learned from strategies that arose during the pandemic and can they inform more inclusive health care post-pandemic? This webinar features experts and policymakers assessing the most promising strategies to ensure migrant health after the pandemic, as well as the related challenges and opportunities. 

Speakers highlight key findings from the ApartTogether study about the impact of the pandemic on migrants, reflect on the implications of the public-health crisis for migrant health, examine practical strategies that countries such as Portugal have taken, and discuss the most pressing challenges and issues facing migrants in European public-health systems today. This webinar is part of the Integration Futures Working Group initiative supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung.  A related report from the project — Healing the Gap: Building Inclusive Public-Health and Migrant Integration Systems in Europe — also addresses some of the topics raised on this webinar. 

Opening More Avenues for Protection for Refugees

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, European Migration by Migration Policy Institute on September 15th, 2021

As of mid-2020, more than 20 million refugees were displaced to another country and under the mandate of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. While some may eventually return to their countries of origin or integrate locally into their host community, for the most at risk, resettlement remains a critical tool to secure legal status and access to fundamental rights in a third country. However, the number of resettlement places made available remains far below the level needed and plunged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This global scarcity in resettlement places has been paralleled by innovation. States have shown creativity in designing resettlement programs and in growing access to protection via complementary pathways, including educational and employment ones. The Three-Year Strategy (2019–2021) on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways, launched following the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees in 2018, aims to achieve more resettlement opportunities for refugees, as well as better access for refugees to complementary pathways. To support the goals of the Three-Year Strategy, the Sustainable Resettlement and Complementary Pathways Initiative (CRISP), led by UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), provides support to states and key stakeholders to establish, expand, or renew resettlement programs and advance complementary pathways of admission.

This Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar marked the launch of a report that sets out a series of recommendations for how UNHCR, national governments, civil society, and other partners can most effectively support the growth of resettlement and complementary pathways in the years ahead. The webinar highlighted the recommendations developed by MPI Europe in collaboration with the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub showcased in the report, which was commissioned by UNHCR with CRISP support.

Immigrant Detention to a More Effective U.S. Immigration Custody System

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigration Enforcement by Migration Policy Institute on September 9th, 2021

The sprawling U.S. immigration detention system has long been controversial for its conditions of care, number of immigrants and asylum seekers detained, and costs. Prioritizing detention also has distorted the broader immigration enforcement system by causing a backlog in the immigration courts that must handle cases of detained migrants over those of the 3 million-plus nondetained people who then wait years for decisions, including those with compelling claims for asylum and other forms of relief. Responding to these conditions and likely future immigration realities both at U.S. borders and the interior necessitates rethinking the role and nature of the immigration custody system, steering it away from a punitive, detention-centered approach towards a more effective and fair approach. This represents an opportune moment for action given the substantial reduction of individuals in detention due to COVID-19, coupled with the Biden administration’s pledge to reimagine the custody system. This discussion focuses on a report - https://bit.ly/2WhJy52 - from its Rethinking U.S. Immigration Policy initiative that examines how the U.S. government can shift from jailers to case managers in ways that serve the national interest. Report authors lay out current conditions and costs in the system, along with their vision for a reimagined immigration custody system, including areas for congressional action and change in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The conversation covers priorities for custody determinations in a redesigned system, alternatives to detention, and how deterrence can ultimately be achieved when the immigration system’s border and interior enforcement, custody, supervision, and asylum adjudication measures are all effectively working together.

Labor Migration Governance in West Africa in the Wake of the Pandemic

Posted in Labor Migration, International Migration by Migration Policy Institute on September 9th, 2021

COVID-19 has dramatically curtailed opportunities to migrate in West Africa, with far-reaching economic consequences. In 2019, about 10 million West Africans lived in other countries in the region or internationally, and migration has traditionally been a driver for development for the region through remittances, knowledge transfers, and other forms of diaspora engagement. Now, ongoing border closures and travel restrictions coupled with new public-health measures have added an extra layer of complexity to migration management in the region. Competing policy priorities arising from the pandemic have also threatened to sideline recent national efforts to strengthen migration governance and the lifting of barriers to mobility under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol on Free Movement. In the cases of Ghana and Senegal, efforts to translate migration policy goals into practice were proving challenging even prior to the pandemic. Among the stumbling blocks: how to build mutually beneficial ties between origin countries and their diasporas, how to balance governments’ commitments to better regulate worker recruitment despite constraints on resources, and how to move the needle on issues such as promoting freedom of movement within ECOWAS while protecting local workers and business. In the wake of the pandemic and related economic downturn, migrants’ potential to support recovery efforts make addressing these questions even more critical. On this webinar speakers discuss a recent policy brief "Deepening Labor Migration Governance at a Time of Immobility: Lessons from Ghana and Senegal" https://bit.ly/2UOPEcZ . Experts and government officials from the region and Europe explore the importance of labor migration for West Africa, related policy efforts by the Ghanaian and Senegalese governments, and how development agencies can best support African countries in resuming mobility and enhancing the development benefits of labor migration.

Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan: How Could Europe Respond to Growing Displacement?

Posted in DefaultTag by Migration Policy Institute on August 24th, 2021

With Taliban militants now in control of most all of Afghanistan, thousands of civilians facing an uncertain future and possible violence have begun to flee their homes and seek refuge both internally and abroad, adding to a huge swell of previously displaced Afghans.

In light of the dangers facing millions of Afghans, MPI Europe hosted an important conversation exploring Europe’s possible responses to the situation in Afghanistan and in neighboring countries. Speakers including MPI Europe's Hanne Beirens and Camille Le Coz were joined by UNHCR's Aurvasi Patel and Samuel Hall's Nassim Majidi for a discussion on what European countries should prioritize to address the immediate needs of displaced populations; how can Europe start planning for longer-term assistance to countries in the region who are hosting the vast majority of Afghan refugees; the implications for partnerships with governments in the region; and what safe pathways have other countries opened in recent days to evacuate Afghans who have directly worked with European forces and other individuals at risk.

Experts on this webinar also examined how European governments could best prepare to respond to a possible increase in the number of asylum seekers reaching Europe’s borders in the next few months. They also discussed what lessons the migration crisis of 2015-16 can offer for European policymakers so they avoid repeating the same mistakes.

A related commentary is available here:  https://bit.ly/3yaHAAJ

Parte de una nueva comunidad: la integración de migrantes y refugiados venezolanos en América del Sur

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, Migration in South America by Migration Policy Institute on August 6th, 2021

Con su país en crisis, el 80 por ciento de los más de 5,6 millones de migrantes y refugiados venezolanos que han salido de Venezuela se han asentado en América Latina. Seis años después, está claro que esta situación ya no es temporal y los gobiernos de acogida han comenzado a pasar de la prestación de ayuda humanitaria a los recién llegados a una integración de más largo plazo en el mercado laboral, los sistemas de salud y educación y en las comunidades locales. Estos esfuerzos de integración no solo ayudan a los recién llegados, sino que también benefician a las comunidades de acogida, fortaleciendo el desarrollo económico, la salud pública, y la equidad y cohesión social.
 
Eso discusión presenta un análisis del Instituto de Políticas Migratorias (MPI) y la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM) sobre la integración socioeconómica de los migrantes y refugiados venezolanos en Suramérica, utilizando datos de la Matriz de Seguimiento de Desplazamiento (DTM) de la OIM, junto con otras investigaciones. Este perfil sociodemográfico examina los niveles de inclusión económica, educación, acceso a la salud y cohesión social de los venezolanos en los cinco países que en conjunto albergan a más del 70 por ciento de esta población migrante en todo el mundo: Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador y Perú.
 
En este webinar, los oradores exploran el progreso de las experiencias de integración de los venezolanos durante los últimos seis años considerando la evolución de las políticas regionales y nacionales, la pandemia de COVID-19 y la dinámica migratoria cambiante. Al observar estas tendencias y perspectivas, la conversación se centra en las oportunidades y desafíos que existen para apoyar la formulación de políticas efectivas que beneficían tanto a los migrantes y refugiados venezolanos como a las comunidades donde están reconstruyendo sus vidas. 

English Interpretation: Part of a New Community: The Integration of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees in South America

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, Migration in South America by Migration Policy Institute on August 6th, 2021

With their country in turmoil, 80 percent of the more than 5.6 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees who have left Venezuela have settled across Latin America. Six years on, it is clear this situation is no longer temporary and host governments have begun the shift from the provision of humanitarian aid for new arrivals to their longer-term integration into the labor market, health-care and education systems, and local communities. These integration efforts not only aid the newcomers but also benefit the communities where they live, strengthening economic development, public health, and social equity and cohesion.

This discussion featuring a new MPI-International Organization for Migration (IOM) analysis on the socioeconomic integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in South America, using data from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, along with other research. This sociodemographic profile examines Venezuelans’ levels of economic inclusion, education, access to health care, and social cohesion in the five countries that together host more than 70 percent of this migrant population worldwide: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. 

Speakers explore the progress of Venezuelans’ integration experiences over the past six years considering evolving regional and national policies, the COVID-19 pandemic, and changing migration dynamics. Looking at these trends and insights, the conversation focused on the opportunities and challenges that exist to support effective policymaking that will benefit both Venezuelan migrants and refugees and the communities where they are rebuilding their lives.

Movilizando una Solución Internacional para Apoyar a Migrantes y Refugiados Venezolanos

Posted in DefaultTag by Migration Policy Institute on August 4th, 2021

La comunidad internacional prometió más de $1.5 mil millones en subvenciones y préstamos durante la conferencia de donantes de alto nivel en junio para apoyar a los migrantes y refugiados venezolanos que componen la segunda mayor crisis de desplazamiento externo del mundo. Más allá de las contribuciones financieras, la conferencia centró la atención en las necesidades y estrategias de integración a más largo plazo que están siguiendo los países de acogida, incluidas las iniciativas de regularización.

Al reflexionar sobre los desafíos a corto y mediano plazo que enfrentan los venezolanos en Suramérica y el Caribe, líderes de la diáspora venezolana y miembros de la sociedad civil exploran lo que logró la conferencia de donantes y discuten alianzas e iniciativas prometedoras. Los oradores también examinan las necesidades de protección e integración de los venezolanos, incluidas las poblaciones afrodescendientes, indígenas, mujeres y LGBTIQ+, y el rol del sector privado en cubrir estas necesidades. Los panelistas también evalúan cómo se utilizó el financiamiento de la conferencia de donantes de alto nivel de 2020, su efectividad para abordar las necesidades de los venezolanos y qué brechas quedan.

Part of a New Community: The Integration of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees in South America

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, Migration in South America by Migration Policy Institute on July 31st, 2021

With their country in turmoil, 80 percent of the more than 5.6 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees who have left Venezuela have settled across Latin America. Six years on, it is clear this situation is no longer temporary and host governments have begun the shift from the provision of humanitarian aid for new arrivals to their longer-term integration into the labor market, health-care and education systems, and local communities. These integration efforts not only aid the newcomers but also benefit the communities where they live, strengthening economic development, public health, and social equity and cohesion.

This discussion featuring a new MPI-International Organization for Migration (IOM) analysis on the socioeconomic integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in South America, using data from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, along with other research. This sociodemographic profile examines Venezuelans’ levels of economic inclusion, education, access to health care, and social cohesion in the five countries that together host more than 70 percent of this migrant population worldwide: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. 

Speakers explore the progress of Venezuelans’ integration experiences over the past six years considering evolving regional and national policies, the COVID-19 pandemic, and changing migration dynamics. Looking at these trends and insights, the conversation focused on the opportunities and challenges that exist to support effective policymaking that will benefit both Venezuelan migrants and refugees and the communities where they are rebuilding their lives.

Supporting Unaccompanied Children in the U.S. Communities Where They Live

Posted in DefaultTag by Migration Policy Institute on July 23rd, 2021

Early 2021 saw record-setting numbers of unaccompanied children arriving at the southwest border, accompanied by much public scrutiny over their care while in federal custody. Less attention has been paid, however, to what happens once the children are released from federal custody into the care of family or other sponsors in communities across the United States. While the minors await immigration proceedings, what case management, legal services, and federal follow-up exist? What are local communities doing to support these children and what challenges persist?

This webinar features findings from a recent MPI report examining the process of releasing children to sponsors, the current structure of federal post-release services, and the most significant needs these children and their U.S. sponsors experience. The discussion considered what the recent increase in arrivals means for the children, the communities where they live, and schools they attend. MPI experts, along with representatives from California Department of Social Services, Northern Virginia Family Service, and U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, explored efforts by philanthropic, state, and local actors to address the needs of this population and their communities, what service gaps exist, and key recommendations to improve access to services.

Brain Waste among Highly Skilled Immigrants in the United States: A Persistent Problem with Increasing Costs

Posted in DefaultTag by Migration Policy Institute on June 25th, 2021

Two million college-educated immigrants in the United States are either unemployed or working in jobs that require no more than a high school diploma, often because of licensing, credential-recognition, and other barriers. While most states have seen their populations of highly skilled immigrants grow since 2010, there have been few strategic efforts to improve the integration prospects of these new residents or address this skill underutilization, also referred to as “brain waste.” The failure to fully leverage this human capital comes with increasing costs, with job vacancies at a two-decade high, an aging society, and a rapidly transforming labor market.

During this webcast, MPI's Jeanne Batalova was joined by David Dyssegaard Kallick from the Fiscal Policy Institute, Upwardly Global's Jina Krause-Vilmar, Mohamed Khalif from the Washington Academy for International Medical Graduates, and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Shaun E. Smith for a discussion on findings from a report examining at U.S. and state levels the underemployment of college graduates by nativity and by race and ethnicity, in the process revealing patterns of economic inequality. The conversation includes immigrant and employer voices who explore the promising strategies that exist to mitigate this brain waste for the benefit of the U.S. economy, local communities, and the workers themselves.

A First Step Towards Equity for Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood Systems: Identifying Their Language Needs and Characteristics

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by Migration Policy Institute on June 22nd, 2021

MPI research shows that one third of children ages 5 and under in the United States are Dual Language Learners (DLLs) who live with at least one parent who speaks a language other than English at home; over 80 percent are racial or ethnic minorities and 95 percent are U.S. citizens. These DLLs have the potential to become bilingual and biliterate, given appropriate home language and other supports. They also disproportionately face challenges including lower levels of family income, parental educational attainment, and access to the internet and digital devices.

With extensive research in recent decades demonstrating the disparities and language learning challenges and opportunities DLLs face, calls for adoption of early childhood policies and programs that are equitable and responsive to these children’s needs are longstanding. Yet, nearly all state early childhood systems currently lack standardized definitions and policies to identify DLL children, which means that these systems lack information critical to understanding whether DLLs are being effectively and equitably served. However, as new investments and substantial relief funds for early childhood services begin to flow to states, leaders and stakeholders both inside and outside government have a rare opportunity to develop processes to identify DLLs across early childhood systems—an essential step in promoting equitable services and outcomes for this large and growing population.

In this webinar, MPI experts Margie McHugh, Delia Pompa, and Maki Park discuss a framework describing the most critical elements that should be included in standardized, comprehensive DLL identification and tracking processes for early childhood systems, based on program and policy needs. They also explore promising approaches from across the United States as identified in an accompanying report and provide an analysis of state and national DLL data. The Executive Director of Early Edge spoke about the legislative efforts to effectively define and identify DLLs across the state of California through a strengths-based approach.

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