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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.

16th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference- Volleying among the Branches of Government: DACA, TPS, Asylum, and Other Policies That Hang in the Balance

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigration Enforcement by migrationpolicy on November 4th, 2019

In an unprecedented era of executive branch policy-making in the immigration arena, the nation’s federal judiciary has been called to decide a raft of major cases that hold the lives of more than 1 million recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status in the balance, and govern the conditions of care for children in immigration detention and the ability to apply for asylum. The administration’s action on the "public charge" rule may end up in the courts as well, and the fallout from the controversy of including a citizenship question on the 2020 census remains unsettled. What are the legal underpinnings, the stakes, and the possible outcomes as the nation’s courts, from district courts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, hear and rule on a consequential portfolio of legal challenges? And what is or will be Congress’ response given the dynamic interplay of litigation and executive action? This panel tackles these big questions.

Speakers include:

  • Kim Johnson, Director, California Department of Social Services
  • David Shahoulian, Chief Counsel, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Cecillia Wang, Deputy Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union
  • Muzaffar Chishti, Director, MPI's office at New York University School of Law

16th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference- The Humanitarian and Migration Crisis Originating in Central America: The Need for Regional Approaches

In recent years, the humanitarian and migration crisis in the three Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has resulted in increasing international migration, particularly of women and children as well as unaccompanied minors. Most of them cross the Guatemala-Mexico border to head towards the United States, while some migrate to countries in the region, such as Costa Rica. Many are fleeing serious violence carried out by gangs and other non-state actors, though the search for better livelihoods and family reunification with relatives already in the United States plays a role as well. Governments do not control territories where gangs and drug cartels rule, nor are they able to protect women and girls from domestic abuse and other forms of violence or insecurity. Natural disasters, climate change, food insecurity, and poor economic conditions exacerbate the situation for vulnerable people. This panel discussed the best ways for governments, international organizations, and NGOs in the region to address this crisis, particularly in terms of root causes and the protection of families and children.

Speakers include:

  • Chiara Cardoletti-Carroll, Deputy Regional Representative for the United States of America and the Caribbean, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
  • Anthony Fontes, Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University
  • Maureen Meyer, Director for Mexico and Migrant Rights, WOLA
  • Andrew Schoenholtz, Professor from Practice, Georgetown Law; Director, Human Rights Institute; Co-Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies

16th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference- Drawing a New Line: Recent Changes in U.S.-Mexico Border Policy

Under the current administration, U.S.-Mexico border polices have dominated headlines, becoming both the symbol and testing ground of hardline immigration policy. Family separation, the deaths of children in immigration custody, and the detention of men, women, and children in unsafe, overcrowded conditions have stirred national concern.

The asylum system alone has been hamstrung by “metering” that slows entry to a trickle, enormous court backlogs, the wholesale return to Mexico of asylum applicants awaiting their court appearances, and policies that attempt to force applicants to first seek protection in other countries.

This panel explores what these policies have meant to asylum seekers and the communities that straddle the 2,000-mile-long line. Topics include family separation, Remain in Mexico, the wall, state and local work, and more. The panelists also considered whether the administration is achieving results with its efforts to reshape overall enforcement, the responses from local border communities, and related litigation.

Speakers include:

  • Dylan Corbett, Founding Director, Hope Border Institute
  • Sue Kenney-Pfalzer, Director Border and Asylum Network, HIAS
  • Joel Rose, Correspondent, National Desk, National Public Radio
  • Anna Gallagher, Executive Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Will Immigration Reform Ever Succeed Again? The Legacy of IRCA & Its Enduring Lessons

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration, Immigration Enforcement by migrationpolicy on June 26th, 2019

Over the past two decades, efforts at immigration reform have failed again and again in Congress, leaving the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), together with its “follow-on” bill, the Immigration Act of 1990, as the most recent comprehensive immigration reforms to have made their way into law. And it appears that, at least for the foreseeable future, IRCA may retain that title amid vast partisan and ideological gulfs over immigration that seem unbridgeable despite near-universal recognition that the current system is badly broken.

So what happened in the politics of the 1980s that enabled passage of a major reform to the country’s enforcement, legal immigration, and employment systems? Is it possible to reconstruct the political conditions and coalitions that permitted the law’s passage, or has too much changed?

And what is IRCA’s real legacy: Did its passage mark the beginning of the potent pro- and anti-immigration movements that are central actors in today’s politics?  Did it, as some argue, poison the well for future immigration reform, or, conversely, did it represent sound policy? And what lessons do IRCA’s enactment and implementation offer today’s policymakers, scholars, and advocates?

This provocative, thoughtful discussion featured Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Resident Fellow Charles Kamasaki's book, Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die. Kamasaki is joined by other veterans of the IRCA debate, MPI's Doris Meissner and Muzaffar Chishti, for a conversation on these questions, the lessons that can be learned, the intended and unintended consequences, and how the 1986 law’s legacy has shaped contemporary politics surrounding immigration.

The Changing Landscape of Interior Immigration Enforcement Under Trump

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Mobility and Security, Immigration Enforcement by migrationpolicy on May 8th, 2018

Within days of the inauguration, the Trump administration announced sweeping changes that are reshaping the immigration enforcement system in the U.S. interior by which removable noncitizens are arrested, detained, and deported. 
 
In ways big and small, the administration is reorienting the enforcement system. At the same time, there is growing pushback, particularly from states and localities unwilling to cooperate with federal enforcement. How do arrests and deportations under the Trump administration compare to past administrations? How are state and local governments, civil society, and consulates responding? What are the impacts of new policies on federal enforcement, federal-state-local enforcement relationships, and immigrant communities? 
 
To assess the changes and their impacts, Migration Policy Institute researchers visited 15 jurisdictions across the United States, both those cooperating, such as Houston, and those limiting cooperation, such Los Angeles. Their findings are contained in a major MPI report. It reflects interviews across a broad spectrum including ICE field leadership, senior local law enforcement and elected officials, immigration attorneys, community service providers, immigrant-rights advocates, consular officials, and former immigration judges. The report also provides analysis of national ICE data obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests. 
 
This discussion examinining the operation of today’s interior enforcement system features remarks by:

Randy Capps, Director of Research, U.S. Programs, MPI

Muzaffar Chishti, Director, MPI's office at NYU School of Law

J. Thomas Manger, Chief of Police, Montgomery County, Maryland, and President, Major Cities Chiefs Association

Gary Mead, former Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 

Rafael Laveaga, Head of Consulate of Mexico in Washington, DC (responsible for DC, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia) 

Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program, MPI  

   

Immigration Data Matters: How to Find the Most Accurate Resources

With immigration increasingly visible in the news and the political space in the United States and internationally, getting access to accurate, high-quality data is essential for publics and policymakers to understand immigration’s demographic effects and impacts on the economy, education and labor systems, and the communities in which immigrants and their families live and work.

This event marks the release of an updated version of the popular Immigration Data Matters guide, which directs users to more than 220 international and U.S. data sources, and explains how to navigate sometimes complex datasets issued by government statistical agencies, international organizations, and reputable research organizations. This handy online guide includes data sources covering everything from the size of foreign-born population stocks and flows to citizenship applications, children in immigrant families, refugee admissions, migrant deaths, international student enrollment, global remittance flows, enforcement activities, and much more. 

At a time of proliferating data sources on immigration and immigrants, the presenters (Jeanne Batalova, MPI Senior Policy Analyst and Data Hub Manager, MPI; Mark Mather, Population Reference Bureau Associate Vice President for U.S. Programs; Elizabeth M. Grieco, Pew Research Center Senior Writer/Editor and former U.S. Census Bureau Foreign-Born Population Branch Chief; and Marc Rosenblum, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director of the Office of Immigration Statistics at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) discuss where some of the most user-friendly data can be accessed, including MPI’s own Migration Data Hub. They share their insights on how to avoid common pitfalls in using existing immigration data and highlight relevant data sources available from international organizations and national governments, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  

2017 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: A Standoff on Immigration Enforcement: Federal vs. Local, State vs. State, State vs. Local

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigration Enforcement by migrationpolicy on October 5th, 2017

In a highly polarized atmosphere on immigration where federal lawmakers are largely paralyzed on policy change, states and localities in recent years have increasingly taken on a larger role in challenging Washington’s immigration authority. With the Trump administration focused on cracking down on “sanctuary” cities and enticing law enforcement agencies to take a greater role in immigration enforcement, politicians and policymakers in communities across the United States are lining up on opposing sides of the issue. Even as some states and cities are declaring themselves sanctuaries, others are rushing to bar jurisdictions from noncooperation with federal immigration authorities. In this panel, the President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the President of the National Sheriffs’ Association discuss immigration enforcement on a panel with immigration attorneys. Themes include the growing patchwork of stances on immigration from states, counties, cities, and even universities and local school boards; what is driving the pattern of increasingly active and litigious states in the immigration space; what the legal landscape is for state/local action; and how the administration may seek to further engage state and local jurisdictions in immigration enforcement.

2017 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Mapping Fast-Changing Trends in Immigration Enforcement and Detention

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigration Enforcement by migrationpolicy on October 5th, 2017

During the first six months of the Trump administration, arrests of noncitizens identified for removal rose nearly 40 percent over the same period a year earlier. At the border, apprehensions fell by nearly 50 percent from the first half of 2016, as fewer people sought to enter without authorization. And the White House announced plans to seek funding for thousands of Border Patrol agents and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel, and build new immigrant detention facilities. In this panel, a high-ranking ICE official, the Deputy Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a senior Department of Homeland Security official discuss the many immigration law enforcement and detention policy changes that have been occurring under the Trump administration.

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