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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.

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

Posted in DefaultTag by migrationpolicy 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 migrationpolicy 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 migrationpolicy 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.

EU Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration: Switching Perspectives?

Many countries around the globe are grappling with policy questions surrounding the return of irregular migrants and asylum seekers whose claims have been denied. In Europe, policymakers have long been concerned about low return rates. And discussions on how to increase the number of returns (including voluntary ones), while conducting them in a humane way, and achieving sustainable reintegration are high on the European Union (EU) agenda.

In April, the European Commission took a step toward the creation of a common EU return system, releasing its first Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration. The strategy aims to increase the number of voluntary returns, but also to improve EU Member States’ coordination on their respective Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programs and make reintegration in origin countries more sustainable. To achieve these objectives, European policymakers need to secure cooperation with migrants’ countries of origin—an often-neglected dimension of AVRR programs. However, these countries may be disinclined towards cooperation, concerned about the loss of remittances, negative public opinion, and increasing pressure on job markets and public service delivery already stressed by the pandemic. Still, voluntary return and reintegration may be one area where there are tangible opportunities for EU Member States and origin countries alike to build on some converging goals.

This MPI Europe event marks the release of a new policy brief EU Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration: Crafting a Road Map to Better Cooperation with Migrants’ Countries of OriginSpeakers examine origin- and destination-country policy priorities, opportunities for cooperation, challenges and structural limitations that shape what can be achieved, and possible next steps for building on the principles identified in the EU Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration, starting a new chapter for EU-funded AVRR programs. 

Desde un éxodo humanitario hacia un crecimiento a largo-plazo: El trayecto de América Latina en respuesta al éxodo venezolano

Posted in International Migration, Migration in South America by migrationpolicy on May 20th, 2021

La convergencia de la segunda crisis más grande de refugiados en el mundo y la pandemia del COVID-19 ha dejado a los más de 5,5 millones de migrantes que han huido de Venezuela en una posición aún más vulnerable. Sin acceso a servicios de salud y frecuentemente al borde de la pobreza, estos migrantes y refugiados han enfrentado desafíos sin precedentes mientras la pandemia ha azotado al mundo entero, cerrando fronteras, presionando sistemas de salud pública y dejando una recesión económica como resultado. La crisis sanitaria también ha agotado los gobiernos de acogida que están intentando proveer servicios humanitarios y canales para la migración venezolana en la región.

En esta discusión organizada por el Banco Mundial y el Migration Policy Institute (MPI), altos funcionarios del hemisferio occidental examinaron los esfuerzos nacionales y regionales que se han llevado a cabo para integrar a los venezolanos de una manera que maximice sus contribuciones de capital humano y sus capacidades de impulsar el crecimiento económico en sus países de acogida. La discusión también considera como la comunidad internacional puede movilizarse para transformar esta crisis en una oportunidad de desarrollo para la región.

From a Humanitarian Exodus to Long-Term Growth Latin Americas Journey Responding to the Venezuelan Exodus

Posted in Migration in South America by migrationpolicy on May 18th, 2021

The convergence of the second largest refugee crisis in the world and the COVID-19 pandemic has left the more than 5.5 million migrants who have fled Venezuela in an even more vulnerable position. Lacking access to health care and often on the edge of poverty, these migrants and refugees have faced unprecedented challenges as the pandemic swept the globe, shutting down borders, taxing public-health systems, and leaving an economic downturn in its wake. The public-health crisis has also taxed the host governments trying to provide humanitarian assistance and avenues for migration for Venezuelans in the region.

In this World Bank-MPI webinar, speakers--including MPI President Andrew Selee, Canada's Minister of International Development Karina Gould, Colombian President Advisor Alejandra Botero, World Bank Vice President for Latin America Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, Vice President, Inter-American Development Bank's Felipe Munoz, U.S. State Department's Nancy Izzo Jackson, and Peruvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Allan Wagner--examined national and regional efforts to integrate Venezuelans in ways that maximize their human-capital contributions and ability to drive economic growth in their host countries. The discussion also considered how the international community can mobilize to transform this crisis into a development opportunity for the region.

Missing Ingredients in Diaspora Engagement in Development: Destination-Country Policies and Integration

Posted in Migration and Development, Immigrant Integration, International Migration by migrationpolicy on April 24th, 2021

The role of diasporas in the development of their countries of origin is now an accepted part of migration and development analysis. However, policy recommendations have centered mostly on how origin countries engage their diasporas in development efforts. More than 110 origin countries have created specialized units devoted to facilitating diaspora contributions to development. 

While research and recommendations on country-of-origin policies have advanced in both quantity and quality, two important pieces have been left out of diaspora-and-development discussions: 1) the importance of integration to the capacity of diaspora communities to contribute to development and 2) the ways in which official development cooperation programs in destination countries support diaspora organizations and involve diasporas in official development cooperation.
There is also a growing realization of the connection between the development roles of diasporas and their integration in the countries where they have settled.

This webinar examines what roles diasporas play in the development cooperation programs of countries of destination, as well as the potential challenges and opportunities for policy design. Speakers, from government, civil society, and the diaspora community, explore how integration in destination countries influences diasporas’ ability to contribute to development in their homelands. The discussion includes examples from the diaspora engagement actions and policies of western donor governments and lessons about effectiveness and sustainability, including from Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and United States. The event includes a special focus on Norway, where policy development is looking into how to strengthen civil-society engagement in the field of integration, and exploring the connections to diasporas engagement in development cooperation.

Creación de capacidad efectiva de gestión migratoria en México y Centroamérica

Aunque los titulares actuales se enfocan en las crecientes llegadas de migrantes en la frontera EEUU-México, la región entera que abarca desde Panamá hasta los Estados Unidos constituye un corredor importante para la migración irregular. Mientras la mayoría de las personas que migran viajan hacia los Estados Unidos o Canadá, hay una cantidad creciente de migrantes quienes se están instalando en México, Costa Rica y Panamá, especialmente dado que es aún más difícil alcanzar y entrar a los Estados Unidos. Aunque la mayoría de estos migrantes vienen de Centroamérica, números importantes de migrantes extracontinental están llegando desde países fuera de la región inmediata, como de Haití, Cuba y países de Sudamérica, África y Asia.

 

En reacción a estas tendencias migratorias cambiantes, México y Centroamérica han desarrollado nuevas capacidades para gestionar la migración durante los últimos cinco años. Estos esfuerzos, no obstante, muchas veces han sido frágiles, ad hoc, institucionalmente débiles y más enfocados en la seguridad y el control migratorio que en un enfoque integral. En adelante, estos países enfrentan una oportunidad única para sentar las bases necesarias para construir un sistema regional que privilegia la migración segura, ordenada y legal.

 

El MPI lanzó un nuevo informe que examina la gestión migratoria en México y Centroamérica, especialmente en Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Panamá. El informe examina la atención creciente que están prestando los gobiernos hacia funciones migratorios, organismos de seguridad, inversiones en sistemas de asilo y los existentes marcos de protección humanitaria, así como políticas de migración laboral. La conversación exploró los resultados del informe, así como las estrategias que gobiernos regionales y el gobierno estadounidense, tanto como la sociedad civil, podrán implementar para manejar la migración de una mejor manera. Mientras los gobiernos de la región siguen enfrentando tendencias migratorias cambiantes, va a ser sumamente importante que los gobiernos de la región desarrollen la capacidad institucional para manejar estos movimientos y construyan un sistema regional migratorio que sea colaborativo y eficaz y funcione en el interés de todos los países.

 

Building Effective Migration Management Capacity in Mexico and Central America (English Version)

In response to shifting migration trends, with more Central Americans and migrants from other regions traveling through and settling in Mexico and Central America, governments in the region over the past 5 years have developed new capacities to manage migration. These efforts, however, have often been fragile, ad hoc, institutionally weak, and more often focused on enforcement than a comprehensive approach. Moving forward, these governments face an unprecedented opportunity to lay the foundation necessary to build a regional migration system that privileges safe, orderly, and legal migration.

This report release examines migration management in Mexico and Central America, in particular Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama. The report examines growing government attention to migration functions, enhanced immigration enforcement, increased investments in asylum systems and existing protection frameworks, as well as labor migration policies. The discussion explores the report’s findings, along with strategies that regional and U.S. governments, as well as civil society, can employ to better manage migration. As governments in the region are being confronted with rapidly changing migration trends, it is an ever more pressing priority for governments in the region to develop institutional capacity to manage these movements and build an effective, collaborative regional migration system that works in the interest of all countries.

Speakers made their remarks in Spanish and English. This version includes English interpretation. 

Disparities Facing U.S. Children in Immigrant Families: New Data and Ideas for Indicators to Promote Equity

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on April 22nd, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has inarguably exacerbated longstanding disparities that undermine the economic mobility and integration of immigrant parents in the United States and their children’s prospects for success in school and beyond. These include critical two-generational barriers disproportionately experienced by immigrant families, such as poverty, limited English proficiency, digital access and device challenges, linguistic isolation, and low levels of parental formal education. These disparities sit at the intersection of K-12, early childhood, adult education, and social services systems where they are largely unaddressed, despite expectations that each system play a major role in addressing them.

This webcast explores findings from an analysis conducted by the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, which compares key sociodemographic characteristics of immigrant and U.S.-born parents of young and school-age children and underscores their two-generational implications. Speakers examine disparities evident in the analysis and discuss potential ways to incorporate equity-sensitive measures associated with them in the policy and program frameworks of key systems, with an eye to achieving more responsive and effective service designs and improving equity and access more generally for families facing multiple disparities.

Pushing Borders Outward: The State of Asylum Globally Five Years After the EU-Turkey Deal

In the five years since the European Union turned to Turkey to keep asylum seekers and other migrants from reaching European soil in exchange for a variety of economic and other considerations, governments around the world have increasingly externalized their migration controls and asylum proceedings. They have done so by pushing their borders outward through arrangements with transit and origin countries, as well as by implementing barriers that make it harder to access protection. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges by providing a public-health rationale for border closures and entry limitations. The five-year anniversary of the EU-Turkey deal provides an opportunity to examine how the accessibility of asylum and protection globally has changed.

In this discussion experts considered the extent to which externalization strategies, such as the EU-Turkey agreement or deals with Libya and now-rescinded U.S. agreements to send asylum seekers to Central America, have become the dominant strategies deployed by countries of asylum. How have the impacts of these policies been felt, both by asylum seekers and host and transit countries? And what can be done to ensure refugees continue to have access to protection and asylum procedures?

This event marks the launch of an initiative led by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, “Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World.” The initiative aims to redesign the global protection and resettlement infrastructure in a way that is more equitable, flexible, and sustainable. 

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: No “Climate Refugees,” But Still a Role for the UN Refugee Agency

Technically, people forced to move because of climate disasters are not considered “refugees.” But the UN refugee agency, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, still takes climate issues into account, and since 2020 Andrew Harper has been its special advisor on climate action. We talked with Harper about his agency’s role in responding to climate issues, which regions of the world are most likely to be affected by climate impacts, and why climate is a “vulnerability multiplier” for refugees.

Building Effective Migration Management Capacity in Mexico and Central America

In response to shifting migration trends, with more Central Americans and migrants from other regions traveling through and settling in Mexico and Central America, governments in the region over the past 5 years have developed new capacities to manage migration. These efforts, however, have often been fragile, ad hoc, institutionally weak, and more often focused on enforcement than a comprehensive approach. Moving forward, these governments face an unprecedented opportunity to lay the foundation necessary to build a regional migration system that privileges safe, orderly, and legal migration.

This report release examines migration management in Mexico and Central America, in particular Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama. The report examines growing government attention to migration functions, enhanced immigration enforcement, increased investments in asylum systems and existing protection frameworks, as well as labor migration policies. The discussion explores the report’s findings, along with strategies that regional and U.S. governments, as well as civil society, can employ to better manage migration. As governments in the region are being confronted with rapidly changing migration trends, it is an ever more pressing priority for governments in the region to develop institutional capacity to manage these movements and build an effective, collaborative regional migration system that works in the interest of all countries.

This is the original audio.  Speakers made their remarks in Spanish and English. There is no simultaneous interpretation in this audio.  Spanish and English interpretations will be posted online zoom. 

A Year of Pandemic: The State of Global Human Mobility & What Is on the Horizon

The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed mobility and cross-border movement in 2020, decimating tourism and business travel, severely curtailing labor migration, and dampening all forms of migration, including refugee resettlement. Since the onset of the public-health crisis, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has tracked the hundreds of travel restrictions, border closures, and health-related travel requirements imposed by governments globally. An IOM-Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report draws from the IOM database to sketch the state of mobility across world regions in 2020, and the range of mobility-related strategies used to contain and mitigate the spread of the virus.
 

This two-panel discussion, featuring introductory remarks by IOM Director General António Vitorino, examines how the pandemic reshaped border management and human mobility in 2020 and what the lasting impacts may be throughout 2021 and beyond. The first panel examines the government actions and regional and international coordination undertaken in 2020, including “travel bubbles” and immunity passports, along with how policymakers balanced health and economic concerns and the needs of vulnerable populations and unprecedented logistical issues in their responses. The second panel explored what policymakers should consider as the world enters into a new, uneven phase marked on the one hand by rising vaccinations, but on the other by the spread of new COVID-19 variants and additional mobility restrictions as caseloads rise in some regions. Speakers discussed what it may take to reopen fully, a possible new border infrastructure focused on public health, what regional and international coordination efforts are showing promise, and a look ahead to major decisions that will need to be made in 2021.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: The Benefits of Climate Migration

Popular discussions usually frame climate change-induced migration negatively, often as a strategy of last resort. But migrating abroad can also be an effective way to build resilience against the impacts of climate change. This episode discusses how migration can bring social, economic, and other benefits to migrants and their communities, in conversation with University of Vienna human geographer Harald Sterly.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: Is Climate Change Driving Migration from Central America?

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have left Central America in recent years, and climate extremes have been identified as one of the factors that might be driving this movement, along with elements such as political instability and violence. In this episode, we hear from geographer and climatologist Diego Pons, of Colorado State University, to dissect how changing climate, food insecurity, and migration intersect in this region.

COVID-19 Recovery and the Next Stage of the Syrian Refugee Response After Ten Years

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration by migrationpolicy on March 24th, 2021

Ten years into the response to the Syrian refugee crisis, this webinar explores findings from a research project conducted by the Durable Solutions Platform (DSP) and MPI on lessons from international experiences to support pathways to solutions in the Syrian refugee context.

The convergence of the pandemic and recovery efforts with new conversations about funding offers opportunities to reflect on the Syrian refugee response ten years on, and think critically about how international donors, host governments, and civil society can best address these challenges. How should funding be directed to promote a resilient and refugee-inclusive recovery? What interventions and policies should be prioritized going forward and how can local responses be strengthened? What lessons can be learned from other displacements and from the Syrian experience?

This webinar moderated by MPI President Andrew Selee features introductory remarks from DSP Manager Kathryn Achilles, and voices from the region: Sally Abi Khalil, Country Director for Oxfam Lebanon; Zaid Eyadat, Center for Strategic Studies Director at The University of Jordan; and Hassan Jenedie, Executive Director of Bousla Development & Innovation. MPI author Camille LeCoz presented the findings of the research project that includes case studies with examples of practices and approaches for supporting the resilience and self-reliance of refugees and host communities from different displacement contexts around the world and how the lessons learned can be applied in the Syrian refugee context.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: Who Manages Climate Migration? Evolving Global Governance

Climate change and international migration both are global issues with aspects that countries try to manage through treaties, pacts, and other types of agreements. But most of the global governance frameworks that exist for climate-induced migration require only voluntary commitments by states. This episode features a discussion with political scientist Nick Micinski, author of the forthcoming books, UN Global Compacts: Governing Migrants and Refugees and Delegating Responsibility: International Cooperation on Migration in the European Union.

The Future of Refugee Resettlement and Complementary Pathways: Strengthening Sustainable and Strategic Humanitarian Solutions for Refugees

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on February 23rd, 2021

As one of three durable solutions traditionally available for refugees, third-country resettlement is an important part of the international commitment to refugee protection and support. Yet the vast majority of refugees in need of resettlement as a durable solution in 2021 are unlikely to be resettled. In 2020, amid a global pandemic, resettlement numbers reached a record low: only 22,770 (1.6 percent) of the 1.4 million refugees in need of resettlement were resettled. In a recent paper, The Future of Refugee Resettlement & Complementary Pathways: Strengthening sustainable and strategic humanitarian solutions for refugees, Church World Service (CWS) argues that resettlement can and should be a humanitarian program to find protection for individuals and strategically contribute to the resolution of situations of forced displacement. However, achieving these goals will require political, structural, and operational changes. In particular, CWS makes the case that complementary pathways represent untapped opportunities for refugees to improve their lives through migration and proposes several key recommendations to advance complementary pathways and resettlement in the future.

This joint event organized by MPI and CWS, one of nine U.S. refugee resettlement agencies, brings together experts in the field to discuss the paper. As its primary author, Katherine Rehberg, Deputy Vice President of the Immigration and Refugee Program at CWS, presented the key findings and recommendations. The discussion then turned to the European Asylum Support Office’s work to foster closer international cooperation on resettlement submissions and processing, as well as what those experiences hold for wider cooperation between countries on resettlement processing, particularly outside the European Union. In addition, the conversation focused on what is required to implement complementary pathways at an international level.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: Migrate or Adapt? How Pacific Islanders Respond to Climate Change

Posted in Migration and Development, International Migration, Changing Climate, Changing Migration by migrationpolicy on February 19th, 2021

Among the earliest examples of the disruptions that climate change can bring, some low-lying island countries in the Pacific Ocean are facing serious threats from rising sea levels and coastal erosion. Over the long term, atoll nations such as Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Marshall Islands might eventually need to relocate some or all of their populations. But not everyone wants to migrate, and governments have balanced supporting people who relocate with other ways of adapting to changing conditions. Carol Farbotko, of Australia’s University of the Sunshine Coast and the University of Tasmania, joins the podcast to discuss the policies and dynamics in place in this region.

 

 

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