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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.

Using Supplementary School Funding to Improve the Educational Outcomes of Migrant-Background Students: A Transatlantic Comparison

The educational needs of immigrant students in primary and secondary schools pose a growing challenge for policymakers and educators, whether in countries such as the United States, where nearly 10 percent of students are learning English, or in Germany, which is dealing with record numbers of asylum seekers. Many local schools lack the resources and capacities to meet the needs of these students, particularly given that many have limited or interrupted formal education, coupled with low or no proficiency in the language of instruction.


Speakers on this webinar discuss the need for supplementary funding to support the educational needs of migrant-background students and provide an overview of the mechanics of school funding for migrant-background students in the four focal countries examined in the report. They also discuss how schools use those funds to provide specialized services, and highlight the most salient choices facing policymakers who seek to use supplementary funding mechanisms to better support effective, high-quality educational services for children from immigrant and refugee families.
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How to Fix the Global Migration Management System

More people than ever before are on the move, crossing international borders in search of safety, livelihoods, opportunity, or the chance to reunite their families. States are ill-prepared to deal with these mixed flows of refugees and other migrants, especially those who move without prior authorization from the countries they seek to enter.  

Much of the focus is on how best to address the immediate and urgent needs of refugees—and for good reason. But much less attention has been paid to protecting the human rights of other migrants, or to creating orderly processes and expanding opportunities for legal migration. Increased mobility is a fact of life in the 21st century, and cannot be continually dealt with as a crisis. 

There are signs that national governments and international institutions are working toward building collective humanitarian responses and designing more flexible systems that can respond not just to emergencies but also to protracted displacement and large-scale movements of people who are not refugees. A series of high-profile international meetings will culminate in September at a special session of the UN General Assembly and at the Leaders' Summit on Refugees convened by President Obama. These meetings provide an opportunity for states to bring greater safety, order, and benefits to international migration.

At this co-sponsored event, Lars Westbratt, State Secretary to the Swedish Minister for Justice and Migration; Simon Henshaw, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; and Kathleen Newland, Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute, discuss global and national responses to rising displacement, innovations in managing migration processes, and attempt to address the dysfunctional aspects of international migration. An introduction and welcome is given by H.E. Björn Lyrvall, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States.
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DAPA in the Balance: Supreme Court Arguments and Potential Impacts on U.S. Families and Communities

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on April 14th, 2016

On April 18, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in U.S. v. Texas, the Obama administration’s appeal of a lower federal court order suspending DAPA implementation. How the court rules in this legal challenge filed by 26 states will have both economic and social impacts on the population of eligible parents, their families, and the communities in which they reside. MPI experts explore who makes up the affected population, analyzing the legal arguments presented to the court, and examining the potential immediate and long-term implications of this case.

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Taking Stock of ESSA’s Potential Impact on Immigrant and English-Learner Students

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on January 22nd, 2016

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recently signed into law updates the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and provides a stronger focus on closing the achievement gap between English learners and other students. The law maintains accountability for subgroups of students, including English learners. Most importantly, it builds on that requirement by elevating English proficiency outcomes to be a key element of statewide accountability systems.

Despite these changes and other improvements for English learners, the law moves many critical accountability decisions from the federal to the state level, meaning that new strategies and efforts will be needed to ensure quality education services for these children. The creation of state plans and accountability measures to implement the new law’s provisions will provide immigrant groups and other English learner stakeholders with numerous opportunities to safeguard English learners’ rights to an equitable education and ensure they can excel along with other students. Join us January 21 to learn more about ESSA’s provisions and particular areas of concern for stakeholders who seek to maintain and build policies and practices that support immigrant and English-learner students’ success.
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A Profile of Children with Unauthorized Immigrant Parents in the United States

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on January 13th, 2016

Research finds that growing up with unauthorized immigrant parents places children at a disadvantage. Over the past decade, legislation that would provide a pathway to legal status for these parents stalled in Congress several times, and last year federal courts blocked implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)—an Obama administration initiative to extend work permits and a temporary reprieve from deportation to unauthorized immigrant parents. Absent major policy changes, millions of American children will continue to face the possibility of parental deportation and other risks associated with having an unauthorized immigrant parent. 


MPI analysts and a leading education scholar present and discuss findings on the citizenship and immigration status of children with unauthorized immigrant parents, their age structure, variations in status by age, school enrollment patterns, geographic distribution, English proficiency, and educational attainment rates. Presenters also discuss the effects of parental unauthorized status on children and the risks unique to this population in comparison to children of immigrants generally and all U.S. children, along with policies that could compound or ameliorate the negative effects of parental unauthorized status on children. 
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Using Data to Improve Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Services for Immigrants and Refugees

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on December 17th, 2015

Timed to coincide with the release of a series of new fact sheets that provide in-depth data profiles of immigrant and refugee adult learners and workers, this webinar explores the relationship of key Census data findings to current state and local efforts to devise plans for implementation of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). 

In recent decades roughly 1 million foreign-born individuals have settled in the United States per year, many with needs for adult education and workforce training services. WIOA’s implementation could play a critical role in supporting the upward mobility of these immigrants and refugees in the workforce and their successful integration into the civic life of the cities and states where they have settled. However, the law’s narrow accountability measures are expected by many to make it more difficult for local providers to serve immigrants and refugees seeking to learn English or improve their basic skills, especially those who are not on track to earn postsecondary credentials or who do not have this as a goal.
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Leadership Visions: A Discussion with Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz-Massieu

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on December 15th, 2015

MPI Leadership Visions held a discussion with the Foreign Minister of Mexico, Claudia Ruiz-Massieu, for the first public appearance during her first visit to Washington, DC in her current capacity. With the growing importance of migration matters tying the United States and Mexico together, this Leadership Visions program moderated by MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner offers a special opportunity to hear from and engage with a critical figure in the U.S.-Mexico relationship. Minister Ruiz-Massieu was appointed to her post by President Enrique Peña Nieto on August 27, 2015, having previously served as Minister of Tourism since 2012. Prior to joining the Peña Nieto administration, she served two terms as an elected member of Mexico's House of Representatives. Minister Ruiz-Massieu has also had a distinguished academic career.

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Twenty Five Years Later: Reflecting on the Immigration Act of 1990

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Labor Migration by migrationpolicy on December 8th, 2015

On November 29, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Immigration Act of 1990. The law increased immigration levels by redesigning admissions categories and restructuring employment-based entry provisions for both permanent and temporary admissions, with the aim of increasing emphasis on the skills, education, and investment of these immigrants. The bill also revised the grounds of inadmissibility and deportation, expanded the definition of aggravated felony, and established administrative naturalization and Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

To mark the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Act, MPI hosted a discussion examining the history of the legislation, how it was accomplished politically, and the stakeholders and issues that were critical to its passage. Panelists will recount the goals of the legislation, assess whether they have been met, examine the unintended consequences, and discuss the relevance and lessons of the Act for current immigration debates.

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Investor Visa Programs: Examining their Utility, Challenges, and Successes

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on December 1st, 2015

On December 11, the EB-5 regional center program, a key piece of the U.S. EB-5 investor visa program is set to expire unless Congress acts to reauthorize or simply extend it. The EB-5 program grants legal permanent residence (green cards) to foreign nationals who invest at least $1 million (or $500,000 in poorer areas) in a U.S. commercial enterprise that creates or preserves ten jobs. Uncertainty about the future of the U.S. EB-5 program comes as several other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries are trying to maximize the investor visa programs’ economic benefits. Against this backdrop, Migration Policy Institute President Emeritus Demetrios Papademetriou and MPI’s Kate Hooper examine the motivations underpinning recent changes to investor visa programs in North America, Europe, and elsewhere, and the implications for the future direction of these programs.  

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2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Examining the Growth of Immigrant Detention and the Future of Detention Alternatives

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2015

In this panel discussion at the 12th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, speakers Bob Libal, Executive Director of Grassroots Leadership; Jonathan Ryan, Executive Director of Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES);  Esther Olavarria, Special Assistant to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and moderator Jeanne M. Atkinson, Executive Director of Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), examine the current legal and political landscape of immigrant detention, the role of the private prison industry, and cost-effective and humane alternatives to detention. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Unaccompanied Central American Children: One Year Later

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2015

This panel discussion at the 12th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference focuses on policy and practice changes that affect the movement, arrival, and reception of unaccompanied Central American children to the United States and Mexico. Panelists are Maureen Meyer, Senior Associate for Mexico and Migrant Rights at WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas; Jennifer Podkul, Senior Program Officer for the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission; Reyna Torres Mendivil, Director General for the Protection of Mexicans Abroad at Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Relations; and moderator Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Director of the Center for Applied Legal Studies and the Human Rights Institute at Georgetown University Law Center. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference –Keynote Address: H.E. António Guterres

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2015

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres explores the strains on the global humanitarian protection system, the Syrian refugee crisis and its spillover onto Europe, and the need for leadership from the United States and other major refugee-receiving countries as the world copes with the largest levels of displacement ever recorded. This keynote address occurred at the 2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Exploring the Future of Executive Action

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2015

This panel at the 12th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference reviews the possible outcomes and timeline for the litigation challenging the Obama administration’s executive actions on immigration, and the political and practical challenges for implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, as well as expansions to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Panelists are Heather Fong, Assistant Secretary for State and Local Law Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center; Dora B. Schriro, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection; Cristina Rodríguez, Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law at Yale Law School; and moderator Muzaffar Chishti, Director of MPI’s office at NYU School of Law. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Today’s Politics and U.S. Immigration Policy

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2015

Immigration, never far from the headlines, has assumed even greater visibility in recent months as the election cycle heats up. In this panel discussion at the 12th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, speakers Matt A. Barreto, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Latino Decisions; Fawn Johnson, Chief Policy Editor of Morning Consult; Cesar Gonzalez, Chief of Staff for Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL); and moderator Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute, provide their perspectives on the role immigration is playing in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, the influence of immigration-related demographic change on policy and politics across the country, and the congressional landscape ahead for immigration action, both through appropriations and substantive legislation. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Keynote Address: The Honorable Jeh Johnson

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 16th, 2015

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson explores immigration priorities as well the status of the executive actions announced by President Obama in November 2014 during this keynote address at the 2015 Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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Unaccompanied Child Migrants in the United States: How Are They Faring?

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on October 16th, 2015

U.S. Customs and Border Protection had apprehended more than 76,000 unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras at the U.S.-Mexico border as of August 31, 2015—the highest level ever.These children represent a high-needs population, and their large numbers may place a strain on the states and communities that bear the costs of their education and other services with minimal federal assistance. This webinar marked the release of a new Migration Policy Institute brief that offers data and a qualitative research summary on where unaccompanied child migrants are being placed, how they are faring in immigration courts, what types of services are available to them, and how school districts and communities are adapting to their arrival.

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What’s New in Farm Labor? Immigration and the Agricultural Sector

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on September 16th, 2015

Join the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) for an expert discussion on the findings of the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS), including data that illustrate that the workforce on U.S. crop farms, which is composed largely of unauthorized Mexican immigrants, is aging and increasingly settled in the United States. Panelists provided an overview of farm labor in 2015; discussed trends demonstrated by the NAWS; and examined how fading prospects for comprehensive immigration reform, the expansion of the H-2A program, and possible eligibility for deferred action programs may impact the agricultural workforce. The discussion also included an analysis of possible future policies that could impact immigrant workers in the agricultural sector.

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Regional Enforcement: A Profile of Migrants Deported from the United States and Mexico to the Northern Triangle

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on September 3rd, 2015

On this webinar, marking the release of an MPI report on these topics, authors presented an overview of regional immigration enforcement trends, including U.S. and Mexican apprehensions and deportations of both children and adults, along with a demographic, socioeconomic, and criminal profile of child and adult deportees. The researchers presented their analysis of how Mexico’s growing enforcement efforts are impacting migration from Central America to the United States, and discussed migration policies that establish workable enforcement and humanitarian protection.

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The Unauthorized Population in the United States: New Data Trends

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on August 19th, 2015

Marking the release of a new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report examining the unauthorized immigrant population in the United States, currently estimated at 11 million, this webinar drew on U.S. Census Bureau data to detail the profiles of the overall U.S. unauthorized population, including first-ever estimates at the county level by country and region of origin for those potentially eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs.

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Targeted Enforcement: Projecting the Effects of Executive Action on Deportations

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on July 23rd, 2015

In November 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions on immigration policy. While much of the immediate attention focused on the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative and creation of a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, the announcement also included major changes to federal immigration enforcement practices. MPI analysts presented findings from a new report, which explores these new enforcement priorities and estimates the number of unauthorized immigrants now considered priorities—and nonpriorities—for enforcement. Current and former DHS officials joined the discussion, commenting on the historical context for these enforcement actions and plans for implementation of these new policies.

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