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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.

The Next Frontier in Immigrant Integration Policy? Using Behavioral Insights to Foster Social Cohesion

Posted in International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on October 16th, 2018

Can tiny tweaks in how public policy is designed and how services work really “nudge” us to become better citizens? An increasing number of governments think so. Policymakers have used behavioral insights—an interdisciplinary, research-based approach to policy design grounded in understanding how people make choices in practice—to great effect to inspire people to become organ donors, encourage them to pay their taxes on time, and more. 

But while behavioral insights have been adopted in everything from education to health policy, their application in the field of immigrant integration has so far been limited. Could this method be used to promote social mixing and reduce inequality between those with and without a migrant background? Emerging experimental and real-world evidence suggests a range of ways a behavioral lens could to help policymakers reach their integration goals, from fostering open-mindedness among young people and reducing classroom segregation to encouraging immigrants to become citizens. 

On this webinar, speakers—Meghan Benton, MPI Assistant Director for Research in the International Programme; Antonio Silva, Behavioural Insights Team Senior Advisor; Laura Gonzalez-Murphy, New York State Department of State Director of Immigration Policy and Research; and Will Somerville, Unbound Philanthropy UK Programme Director and MPI UK Senior Fellow—explored what untapped potential behavioral insights may hold for integration policy, and how policymakers can start fitting this approach into their work. The webinar marked the release of an MPI Europe-Behavioural Insights Team report, Applying Behavioural Insights to Support Immigrant Integration and Social Cohesion, produced under the framework of MPI Europe's Integration Futures Working Group. 

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Preparing Newcomers for the Jobs of Today and the Labor Markets of Tomorrow

Getting recently arrived immigrants and refugees into work has long been considered the lynchpin of successful integration, with the legitimacy of migration and asylum systems often linked to positive economic outcomes. Spurred in part by the European migration crisis, significant social innovations and public-sector investments have focused on assessing newcomers’ existing skills, matching them with available jobs, and providing training to those in need. But with labour markets increasingly characterized by technological disruption and the flexible but precarious "gig economy," this model risks being severely upended.

This Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar marks the release of two publications produced in the framework of its Integration Futures Working Group. Jobs in 2028: How Will Changing Labor Markets Affect Immigrant Integration in Europe? examines possible scenarios for how social, economic, and technological trends could affect jobs, labor market policy, education and social policies, and migrant integration. The second report, Tech Jobs for Refugees: Assessing the Potential of Coding Schools for Refugee Integration in Germany, explores the potential of coding schools for refugees to help alleviate skills shortages and provide a pathway to work—for more than only a high-skilled minority. Join the experts for a discussion of key questions: How can governments equip newcomers—and indeed citizens—with the skills to thrive in the job markets of the future? How can governments prepare public services and contribution-based benefit schemes for a changing world of work? And for those unable to find work, what are the alternative ways that newcomers can meaningfully and measurably contribute to society?

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The U.S. Asylum System in Crisis: First Steps for Rescue

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on October 3rd, 2018

The United States has a long tradition of offering humanitarian protection to those in need. Yet in recent years, a confluence of factors has led to a large and growing backlog of asylum cases, with many applicants waiting years for a decision. This slowdown has both harmed those eligible for protection and invited misuse, with some claims filed to secure the right to remain in the country and receive the work authorization granted when cases are delayed.

Faced with a system in crisis, the Trump administration has taken a number of actions to narrow access to asylum in the United States. These include largely eliminating gang and domestic violence as grounds for asylum and introducing a “zero-tolerance” approach to border enforcement that entails prosecuting all first-time border crossers, including adult asylum seekers, for illegal entry—a policy that for a time led to the separation of apprehended parents from their children.

This webinar marks the publication of an important MPI report that analyses the factors that have brought the U.S. asylum system to a crisis point and proposes common-sense steps that can be implemented now to jump-start rescuing it. The report co-authors, Doris Meissner, Faye Hipsman, and T. Alexander Aleinikoff, and commentator Eleanor Acer from Human Rights First discuss the findings and measures that focus on the affirmative asylum system as the path to restoring timeliness and fairness to the system, while also deterring abuses. 

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