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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.

Public Narratives on Refugees: Sustaining Solidarity in Times of Crisis

The massive humanitarian exodus from Ukraine has upended global expectations of how quickly—and at what scale—host communities can welcome people fleeing their homes. The number of Ukrainians who fled to Poland within the first two weeks of the invasion surpassed the number of Venezuelans received by Colombia over a five-year period. Despite the potentially destabilizing pace and volume of arrivals from Ukraine, the policy response has been overwhelmingly supportive. So has the public response, with public opinion polling pointing to high support for Ukrainians across Europe.
 
But as the crisis continues, there are fears that these initial feelings of goodwill will fade and generosity fatigue will set in, much as occurred during the 2015-16 European migration and refugee crisis and in parts of South America with the arrivals of large numbers of Venezuelans. This raises several questions: How can immediate post-crisis solidarity be harnessed and made more sustainable, such that it can withstand emerging narratives of newcomers as threats to jobs and limited public services? How can feelings of goodwill be leveraged to spread to others rather than remaining narrowly focused on a particularly sympathetic population? And how can policy responses such as temporary stay permits build longer-term goodwill towards populations needing protection writ large?
 
This Migration Policy Institute webinar convenes international experts to consider what we know about public opinion and narratives on refugees and what this means for the Ukrainian crisis. This event marks the launch of a publication from the “Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World” initiative led by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The initiative aims to advance ideas to redesign the global protection and resettlement infrastructure in a way that is more equitable, flexible, and sustainable.

Innovation Within Government. Rethinking and Modernizing Integration Policy Plenary Session

MPI Europe Director Hanne Beirens moderated a session where Laura Batalla from Ashoka Hello Europe Initiative, David Cashaback from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Drocella Mugorewera from the Refugee Congress, Cameron McGlothlin of the U.S. Department of State's Office of Refugee Admissions, and Vincent Catot from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, discussed these questions:

  • How is integration policymaking evolving, under the combined pressures of the pandemic, economic shifts, rising social needs, and technological transformation?
  • How have policymakers in Europe and North America responded to the need for rapid and agile policy action to address COVID-19-induced disruption, at a time in which many of their usual routines, practices, and tools have been upended? How might these experiences shape integration policy in the longer run—in its objectives, practices, and overall mission?
  • How can multi-level governance approaches and multi-stakeholder cooperation help governments address evolving integration challenges and promote innovation? How to ensure systematic learning and transfer between community-level innovations and government policy?

Strengthening the Social Innovation Ecosystem in Challenging Times

Posted in International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by Migration Policy Institute on April 1st, 2022

In this session, MPI's Meghan Benton led a conversation between Brian Ssebunya, the Economic Recovery and Development Senior Technical Advisor at International Rescue Committee;  Awmaima Amrayaf, DLA Piper's Pro Bono Legal Officer and Coordinator of ‘Know Your Rights’ program; and Asma Naimi from Esade Business School on the following questions:

  • How can we maximise the contribution of social-innovation models and players to advance refugee and migrant inclusion, as Europe and North America re-emerge from crisis?
  • How can promising innovations for inclusion leave their "comfort zone" and reach underserved places and groups where the challenges are tougher, but where the returns are potentially greater
  • What has been the private sector’s contribution to countering refugee and migrant vulnerability during the COVID-19 crisis—as an investor, employer, and knowledge provider? What opportunities exist to strengthen private-sector involvement—not just in kickstarting new solutions to inclusion, but in consolidating them and making them sustainable?
  • Talking about "inclusive recovery": What does the COVID-19 emergency tell us about the role of refugee and migrant entrepreneurs within social innovation ecosystems? What should programs supporting inclusive and diverse social entrepreneurship look like?

A Tribute to the Life of Dr. Demetrios G. Papademetriou

This event celebrated the remarkable legacy of MPI's first president and MPI Europe's founder, Demetrios G. Papademetriou. One of the world's pre-eminent scholars and lecturers on international migration, he developed a rich body of scholarship shared in more than 275 books, research reports, articles, and other publications. He also advised numerous governments, international organizations, civil-society groups, and philanthropic organizations around the world on immigration and immigrant integration issues.

Read the event program and select writings from Dr. Papademetriou
Read MPI's press release on his passing.
For his obituary or to leave any memories for his family, click here.
Read a collection of tributes to his life and legacy.
Listen to his thoughts on this World of Migration podcast episode.

Speakers: 

Sir Trevor Phillips, OBE, Co-Founder, Webber Phillips Ltd.; former Chair, Equality and Human Rights Commission, England, Scotland, and Wales; Founding Member, MPI Transatlantic Council on Migration

Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program, MPI; former Commissioner, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service

Ulrich Weinbrenner, Director-General for Migration, Refugees, and Return Policy, Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community, Federal Republic of Germany

Michael Fix, Senior Fellow and former President, MPI

Gustavo Mohar, MPI Board Member; former Under Secretary for Migration, Population, and Religious Affairs, Ministry of Governance, Government of Mexico

Brenda Dann Messier, Senior Advisor, Education Strategy Group; former Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education

Malcolm Brown, MPI Board Member; former Deputy Minister of Public Safety; former Executive Vice President, Canada Border Services Agency, Government of Canada

Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director, America's Voice

Moderator: 

Andrew Selee, President, MPI

Understanding Drivers of Irregular Migration from Guatemala

Posted in International Migration, Migration in Mexico and Central America by Migration Policy Institute on March 18th, 2022

This event was in Spanish with English interpretation.  This is the English interpretation. 

Irregular migration from Guatemala to the United States has accelerated dramatically in recent years, much of it from the Western Highlands, a region that is among the poorest and most rural in the country. The remittances resulting from migration have been a crucial lifeline in supporting the region through the COVID-19 pandemic, almost equaling total exports in 2020.

A critical first step toward developing alternatives to irregular migration is to understand the factors that drive people to leave, including the underlying causes and the immediate triggers. The Migration Policy Institute and the Guatemalan nongovernmental organization Asociación Pop No’j undertook a study examining the patterns and drivers of emigration from Huehuetenango, one of the country’s top migrant-sending areas in the Western Highlands. The researchers also assessed potential strategies to address push factors and create alternatives to irregular migration.

This report release event features discussion on  changing migration patterns from Guatemala, along with how policymakers and development practitioners can help create livelihood options and address other drivers of migration, as well as expanding legal pathways for circular migration. The conversation also explores broader lessons for policy approaches in both sending and receiving countries that, over time, could help better manage migration and provide alternatives to emigration.

 

Comprendiendo los factores que impulsan la migración irregular desde Guatemala (Audio - no interpretation)

Posted in International Migration, Migration in Mexico and Central America by Migration Policy Institute on March 17th, 2022

En los últimos años, la migración irregular de Guatemala a los Estados Unidos se ha acelerado drásticamente—particularmente aquella que proviene del altiplano occidental, una de las regiones más pobres y rurales del país. Las remesas han sido un salvavidas esencial para la región durante la pandemia de COVID-19, al casi igualar el total de las exportaciones en 2020.

Un paso fundamental para desarrollar alternativas a la migración irregular es comprender los factores que impulsan a las personas a salir, incluidas las causas subyacentes y los desencadenantes inmediatos. El Instituto de Políticas Migratorias y la organización no gubernamental guatemalteca, Asociación Pop No'j, llevaron a cabo un estudio en el que examinaron los patrones y los factores que impulsan la emigración desde Huehuetenango, una de las principales regiones de origen de migrantes en el altiplano occidental guatemalteco. Los investigadores también evaluaron posibles estrategias para atender los factores que impulsan la emigración y crear alternativas a la migración irregular.

En este evento de presentación del informe, los ponentes hablan sobre los cambios en los patrones de migración desde Guatemala, así como de la forma en que los formuladores de políticas públicas y los profesionales del desarrollo pueden ayudar a crear opciones de subsistencia para las personas, atender los factores que impulsan la emigración y ampliar las vías legales para la migración circular. La conversación también explora lecciones más amplias desde una perspectiva de política pública —tanto en los países de origen como en los de destino— que, con el tiempo, podrían ayudar a gestionar mejor la migración y ofrecer alternativas a la emigración.

Working Towards a More Gender-Responsive Reintegration Process for Returned Migrants

Posted in Migration and Development, International Migration by Migration Policy Institute on February 16th, 2022

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) calls for more gender-responsive return and reintegration programs. Yet many foundational questions remain unexamined, including how the migration experiences of women* affect their reintegration and the communities to which they return.

In the three years since the GCM was adopted, international organizations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have released research on gender and reintegration, encouraging a closer examination of these dynamics. Implementing partners involved in reintegration have also become more sensitive to gender dynamics and the particular challenges faced by women. Some have trained their teams to better identify gender issues and developed initiatives aimed more specifically at helping female returnees during the reintegration process. Finally, actors in the field acknowledge that the monitoring and evaluation of reintegration projects requires special attention to gender dynamics, for example the collection of gender-disaggregated data.

Yet despite these steps, much work remains to operationalize a more gender-responsive approach to reintegration programs. Cooperation between countries of origin and destination under the auspice of the GCM offers an opportunity to elevate this issue’s priority on the international agenda.

Held during Migration Week hosted by the United Nations Network on Migration, this webinar features policymakers and practitioners from Africa, Asia, and Europe in a conversation reflecting on the progress made in the past three years to better integrate gender into reintegration programs for returned migrants, ongoing challenges, and how the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) in May offers a critical moment to promote good practices.

This webinar is part of a research partnership between MPI and the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ), supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: A Note of Caution about Exaggerating the Climate-Migration Link

Concerns that large amounts of people will be displaced by climate change and head to wealthy countries in North America and Europe are often misplaced, according to migration scholar Hein de Haas. These types of narratives can tap into anti-immigrant sentiments, allow governments to avoid responsibility for their own failures, and may overlook the large numbers of people forced to remain in place amid environmental disaster, he argues in this episode. 

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: When Climate Change Comes to Refugee Settings

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, Changing Climate, Changing Migration by Migration Policy Institute on December 10th, 2021

Environmental disasters can force people out of their homes and communities, complicating responses to ongoing humanitarian protection efforts. As a result, many humanitarian organizations have started paying attention to the impacts of climate change for multiple aspects of their refugee protection work. For this episode, we speak with Joan Rosenhauer, the executive director of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, about how natural disasters and other environmental harms affect her organization’s work and its faith-based mission.

SI4RI Conference: Refugee and Migrant Inclusion in Smaller and Rural Communities

Posted in Immigrant Integration, International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by Migration Policy Institute on December 10th, 2021

MPI Europe Policy Analyst Liam Patuzzi moderated a breakout session where David Campbell, President, Jupia Consultants Inc.; Andrea Soler Eslava, Senior Rural Integration Project Manager, International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC); Danielle Gluns, Head of the Research and Transfer Office for Migration Policy, University of Hildesheim; Khmlin Haj Mohamad, Regional Refugee Ambassador, SHARE SIRA project (Expanding Social Orientation & Integration for Newcomers in Rural Areas in Europe); and Maher Dahdal, Regional Refugee Ambassador, SHARE SIRA project, discussed the following topics:

  • As smaller towns and rural areas have stepped up their efforts to welcome refugees and migrants in recent years, what can we learn about these communities’ resources and limitations in promoting social inclusion and cohesion? What new bottlenecks has the COVID-19 pandemic generated?
  • What does social innovation for inclusion look like in rural areas, and what conditions does it need to develop? How is it linked with other trends shaping the future of small and rural communities—such as demographics, infrastructural, and environmental ones?
  • How can small communities successfully transfer and adapt innovative practices that originated in larger cities? At the same time, how can they nurture ‘home-grown’ innovations specifically tailored to their context(s)?

SI4RI Conference — Where Challenges Intersect: Promoting the Inclusion of Migrant Women and Vulnerable Groups

In a breakout session, MPI Europe Senior Policy Analyst Jasmijn Slootjes led a discussion with Beba Svigir, Chief Executive Officer, Calgary Immigrant Women's Association; Lama Jaghjougha, Founder, Raise Women's Awareness Network; Kava Spartak, Director, YAAR e.V; and Drocella Mugorewera, Board Member of Refugee Congress and Executive Director of Bridge Refugee Services, United States on the following topics:

  • What are the key success factors for interventions aiming to protect groups at high risk of exclusion and marginalization, promoting their well-being and participation? How far have we come since 2015-16, and what is still missing?
  • How have organizations adapted their models of service provision in response to the pandemic, and how successful are these adaptations proving to be—for example, in recreating a sense of community and trust even in virtual and hybrid formats?
  • How can holistic, highly tailored, and often resource-intensive forms of support be sustained and brought to scale?
  • What models can help leverage the entrepreneurialism, innovativeness and resilience of migrant and refugee women, whose vital role in our societies has been further highlighted by the pandemic?

WELCOMING REMARKS - Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion (SI4RI): Sowing Innovation in the Cracks of Crisis

This virtual conference explores how the diverse landscape of partnerships, social enterprises, participatory models, and community-led initiatives spearheading social innovation for inclusion has fared during COVID-19. It also focuses on how this ecosystem can emerge strengthened from the pandemic, and be a vital force in addressing new humanitarian challenges.

Welcoming Remarks by:

Hanne Beirens, Director, MPI Europe

Brian Street, Refugee and Migration Affairs Officer, U.S. Mission to the European Union

Mary Coulter, Counsellor for Migration, Mission of Canada to the European Union,

Paul Soete, President of the Thematic Study Group on Immigration and Integration, European Economic and Social Committee

Moving Beyond Pandemic: The Corporate World’s Response to COVID-19 Pandemic, its Omicron Variant, Digital Nomad Visas & More

Posted in Labor Migration, International Migration, Moving Beyond Pandemic by Migration Policy Institute on December 9th, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on the corporate sector, disrupting operations, ushering in changed thinking about the office environment, and chilling business travel. How has the business world responded? And in what way are COVID-19 protocols, new innovations, and trends in working practices affecting the decisions that companies make about the mobility of their workforce? In this episode, we speak with two former government officials who are now in the private sector—Ian Robinson of the immigration law firm Fragomen and Brendan Ryan, CEO of Nomadic, which provides digital solutions for corporate travel—about the trends and policy environment shaping business mobility decisions, whether the rise of the Omicron variant might scupper plans to restart travel, and whether the rise of digital nomad visas represent a fad or permanent shift.

MPI 20th Anniversary Conference: Migration & Humanitarian Protection in a Rapidly Evolving World - Armchair Discussion

In the 20 years since the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) was founded, international migration trends and policies have changed in dramatic ways. The number of migrants has increased, many more migrants are in mixed flows with humanitarian protection needs, and migration has become a much more salient political issue in countries around the world. What do these trends presage for the future in terms of international migration governance and humanitarian protection?

During an armchair discussion, the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration, António Vitorino, and MPI cofounder and President Emeritus Demetrios G. Papademetriou discussed the evolution of international migration governance and its possible future. The conversation was moderated by Meghan Benton, Director for International Research, MPI and MPI Europe.

MPI 20th Anniversary Conference: Migration & Humanitarian Protection in a Rapidly Evolving World - Opening Panel

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, MPI‘s 20th Anniversary by Migration Policy Institute on December 2nd, 2021

In the 20 years since the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) was founded, international migration trends and policies have changed in dramatic ways. The number of migrants has increased, many more migrants are in mixed flows with humanitarian protection needs, and migration has become a much more salient political issue in countries around the world. What do these trends presage for the future in terms of international migration governance and humanitarian protection?

The conference opened with a panel discussion on humanitarian protection with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, MPI co-founder Kathleen Newland, and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) President Wendy Young.

Changing Migration to Costa Rica and Implications for Immigrant Integration Policy

Within Latin America, Costa Rica is a top immigrant-destination country. New dynamics emerged beginning in 2015 as migration flows became increasingly mixed, with the arrival of refugees, seasonal and permanent immigrants, and extracontinental migrants transiting the country en route to destinations further north. With increasing numbers of Venezuelans and extracontinental migrants, and more recently a surge in Nicaraguan arrivals, there are greater pressures on the Costa Rican migration system’s capacity. The arrivals also have tested society’s acceptance of immigrants amid the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, which strained government resources and presented unique challenges for migrants. Yet migration holds opportunities as Costa Rica potentially stands to benefit from this influx of human capital if properly managed.

This webinar marks the release of a report examining the state of Costa Rica’s institutional framework and initiatives supporting the integration of migrants and refugees, a particularly critical policy area as the immigrant population continues to grow. The discussion, which features key Costa Rican government officials and members of the private sector and civil society,  explores where the migration system is most advanced and where challenges remain, along with how to better foster immigrant integration, in particular for recent arrivals, as well as social cohesion. Topics include regularization and registration, health, employment, and education.

The event was in Spanish and this is the live English interpretation.

Cambios migratorios en Costa Rica e implicaciones para la política de integración de migrantes

Dentro de América Latina, Costa Rica es uno de los países principales de destino de migrantes. Desde el 2015, han surgido nuevas dinámicas a raíz de la diversificación de los flujos migratorios, dado la llegada de refugiados, migrantes estacionales y permanentes y migrantes extracontinentales que transitan por el país en ruta hacia destinos más al norte. Con un número creciente de venezolanos, migrantes extracontinentales, y más recientemente un aumento en las llegadas de nicaragüenses, el sistema migratorio costarricense ha enfrentado mayores presiones de capacidad. Las llegadas también han puesto a prueba la aceptación de los migrantes por parte de la sociedad en medio de la pandemia de COVID-19, que ha agotado los recursos gubernamentales y ha presentado desafíos para los migrantes. Sin embargo, la migración ofrece oportunidades y Costa Rica podría beneficiarse de esta afluencia de capital humano si se gestiona adecuadamente.

Este webinar marca la publicación de un informe que examina el marco institucional y las iniciativas del estado de Costa Rica que apoyan la integración de migrantes y refugiados, un área de política particularmente crítica a medida que la población migrante continúa creciendo. El debate, que conta con funcionarios de alto nivel del gobierno de Costa Rica y miembros del sector privado y la sociedad civil, explora dónde está más avanzado el sistema migratorio y dónde persisten los desafíos, junto con cómo fomentar mejor la integración de los inmigrantes, en particular para los recién llegados. Los temas incluyen la cohesión social, regularización y registro, salud, empleo y educación. 

World of Migration: Thinking Regionally to Act Locally in Immigration Policy

With migration a dynamic phenomenon in the Americas—with significant Central American flows to the U.S. border, and much smaller but growing numbers of South Americans and others traveling north—the U.S. government increasingly is realizing that migration management cannot occur only at the U.S.-Mexico border and must include cooperation with Mexico, Central America, and other countries in the hemisphere such as Canada, Costa Rica, and Panama. This recognition of migration as a regional system requires a new set of policies and ways of engagement with countries across the Americas, as Migration Policy Institute (MPI) President Andrew Selee discusses with colleague Andrea Tanco. The conversation also turns to the evolution of the immigration debate over the past two decades and the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: Climate Change and Environmental Migration: View from the IOM

Posted in Migration and Development, International Migration, Changing Climate, Changing Migration by Migration Policy Institute on October 27th, 2021

The UN migration agency, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in 2015 created a special division responsible for migration-related issues involving the environment and climate change. The division just got a new leader and is looking to embark on a new agenda. This episode of the podcast features a discussion with new division head Manuel Marques Pereira, who talks about his office’s role and priorities in dealing with migration shaped by climatic events. 

Bienvenida a los Migrantes Venezolanos, Innovaciones en las Políticas de Integración en Colombia

Posted in International Migration, Migration in South America by Migration Policy Institute on October 22nd, 2021

El Gobierno de Colombia estima que para fin de año, más de un millón de los 1,7 millones de personas venezolanas elegibles para un proyecto de regularización sin precedentes tendrán el permiso del Estatuto Temporal de Protección que les permite acceder a beneficios sociales y tramitar una visa de residentes dentro de diez años.  

A pesar de esta política amplia, todavía quedan desafíos, no solo en Colombia, sino en la región latinoamericana en general, para posicionar la integración socioeconómica de migrantes y refugiados como una oportunidad de desarrollo para los países de acogida. A la vez, hay mucho por hacer para aumentar la cohesión social frente a preocupaciones públicas sobre el alcance y la magnitud de esta migración. ¿Qué estrategias se han implementado en Colombia hasta ahora y qué pueden aprender otros países en la región, y globalmente, de la experiencia colombiana?

En este webinario organizado por el Instituto de Políticas Migratorias (MPI) y el Departamento de Inclusión Social de la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA) ponentes examinan cuestiones de integración y cohesión social en Colombia. La conversación se enfoca en un programa innovador del gobierno colombiano, Café por la Integración, que busca abrir espacios para dialogar con comunidades clave a lo largo del país.  También se explora cómo la comunidad internacional puede apoyar a los países que están recibiendo altas cantidades de personas venezolanas, como Colombia, mientras intentan estabilizar la situación de migrantes tanto como la de las comunidades de acogida, además de potenciar los beneficios de la migración y limitar sus posibles desventajas.

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