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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.

s, M, l, xl ¿Cómo es la bienvenida de los migrantes en las ciudades de tamaño mediano en la región?

En respuesta a los cambios en tendencias migratorias, y el desplazamiento de venezolanos y centroamericanos a países de otras partes de la región, los gobiernos locales de América Latina y el Caribe están discutiendo un nuevo conjunto de interrogantes políticas en torno a la integración de inmigrantes.

Los gobiernos nacionales de la región han instituido una serie de políticas para integrar a quienes huyen de crisis en sus países de origen en el mercado laboral y el sistema educativo, tratando a quienes ocasionalmente llegan como refugiados como parte integral de sus comunidades. Pero ¿cómo se están traduciendo estas agendas políticas nacionales en ciudades que están manejando una afluencia de inmigrantes? ¿Qué políticas se están aplicando a nivel local con respecto a la integración de los migrantes en el mercado laboral y los sistemas de educación, salud, vivienda y servicios sociales? ¿Qué se puede aprender de esfuerzos recientes para dar la bienvenida a los inmigrantes en las comunidades locales?

En el primer webinario de una nueva serie de eventos que analiza cómo las ciudades de América Latina y el Caribe están abordando estos problemas, esta conversación con líderes de ciudades medianas examina la respuesta social de la región que ha resultado en la integración de nuevas llegadas de migrantes en comunidades locales. Los ponentes ofrecen reflexiones sobre sus experiencias en la gestión de la migración en el nivel local, la obtención de recursos financieros, la coordinación con los gobiernos nacionales y estatales, y el desarrollo e implementación de políticas de integración local.

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. 

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. 

Building Effective Migration Management Capacity in Mexico and Central America

Posted in International Migration, Immigration Enforcement, Migration in Mexico and Central America by Migration Policy Institute on April 16th, 2021

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. 

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.

Beyond the Border: U.S.-Mexican Migration Accord Has Ushered in Sweeping Change in Mexico in Its First Year

Following months of rising Central American migration through Mexico to the United States, the U.S. and Mexican governments on June 7, 2019 signed a joint declaration pledging to work together to manage and reduce irregular migration. The accord effectively marked a new era in the development of Mexico’s immigration enforcement and humanitarian protection systems. To avert the imposition of tariffs on Mexican goods threatened by President Donald Trump, the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador agreed to deploy its recently created National Guard to combat illegal immigration and accepted the expansion of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP, also known as Remain in Mexico) along the entirety of the U.S.-Mexico border. In turn, the Trump administration agreed to expedite asylum processing for migrants waiting in Mexico under MPP and committed to addressing the conditions driving migration by investing in economic development efforts in southern Mexico and Central America.

While the full effects of the U.S.-Mexico cooperation agreement will take years to unfold, the Migration Policy Institute has assessed the changes during the accord’s first year. At the agreement’s one-year anniversary, MPI researchers Andrew Selee and Ariel Ruiz Soto engaged in discussion with former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson, former Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Gerónimo Gutiérrez, and journalist Angela Kocherga about the changes it has sparked. The panelists also discussed how the agreement, coupled with U.S. policies designed to narrow access to asylum, has increased demand for humanitarian protection in Mexico, exposed significant weaknesses in the systems for protecting vulnerable migrants and exacerbated precarious conditions for migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border. As both countries face mobility challenges due to COVID-19, speakers explored how these changes may affect the future of U.S.-Mexico relations. 

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.

Panel: Respuestas Regionales a Migrantes y Refugiados Nicaragüenses

Respuestas regionales a flujos migratorios nicaragüenses (Panel 2)

  • Carlos Andrés Torres Salas, Viceministro de Gobernación y Policía, Ministro de Gobernación y Policía de Costa Rica
  • Harold Villegas-Román, Asesor al Viceministro del Interior y la Policía; y Comisionado, Comisión de Visas Restringidas y Refugio del Estado de Costa
  • Alberto Cortés Ramos, Profesor, Departamento de Ciencias Políticas, Universidad de Costa Rica
  • Manuel Orozco, Director del Programa de Migración, Remesas y Desarrollo, Diálogo Interamericano

Mientras las crisis continúan desarrollándose en Venezuela y Nicaragua, más de 4,5 millones de personas han dejado a esos países, con la mayoría instalándose en países vecinos en la región. Hasta la fecha, los países latinoamericanos generalmente han respondido por buscar maneras pragmáticas para recibir e integrar migrantes y refugiados de Venezuela y Nicaragua.

Esta serie de debates en panel examina los desafíos futuros mientras países de la región busca establecer estrategias futuras para responder a flujos migratorios a gran escala. Responsables políticos y principales interesados de la región, así como representantes de instituciones internacionales destacadas involucradas en la respuesta regional, ofrecen sus puntos de vista sobre requisitos de entrada cambiantes; vías legales y proceso de asilo; acceso a la educación, servicios de salud y servicios públicos; y las oportunidades y retos que esos flujos migratorios exponen por el futuro de la región.

Las observaciones dadas en inglés fueron traducidas al español en esta grabación.

The International Response to the Venezuelan & Nicaraguan Humanitarian Crises (Panel 3) & New Approaches (Conclusion) - Latin American Responses to the Venezuelan & Nicaraguan Migration Crises

The International Response to the Venezuelan and Nicaraguan Humanitarian Crises (Panel 3)

  • Chiara Cardoletti-Carroll, Deputy Regional Representative for the United States and the Caribbean, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • Luca Dall’Oglio, Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration (IOM) USA
  • Dana Francis, Director, Office of Assistance for Europe, Central Asia, and the Americas, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, U.S. Department of State
  • Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian, Director, Department of Social Inclusion, Organization of American States (OAS)
  • Moderator: Juan F. Jiménez Mayor, former Prime Minister and former Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Peru

New Approaches toward Protection and Integration in the Region?

  • Diego Chaves, Visiting Fellow, MPI
  • Jessica Bolter, Associate Policy Analyst, MPI

 

As crises continue to unfold in Venezuela and Nicaragua, more than 4.5 million people have left both of those countries, with most settling in neighboring countries in the region. To date, Latin American countries have generally responded by finding pragmatic ways to receive and integrate migrants and refugees from Venezuela and Nicaragua.

This series of panel discussions examines the challenges ahead as countries in the region seek to chart future strategies for responding to large-scale forced migration flows. Leading policymakers and key stakeholders from the region, as well as representatives of major international institutions involved with the regional response, offer their views on changing entry requirements; legal pathways and asylum processes; access to education, health care, and public services; and the opportunities and challenges that these migration flows present for the future of the region.

Remarks given in Spanish have been translated into English in this recording.

Regional Responses to Nicaraguan Outflows (Panel 2) - Latin American Responses to the Venezuelan and Nicaraguan Migration Crises

Regional Responses to Nicaraguan Outflows (Panel 2)

  • Carlos Andrés Torres Salas, Vice Minister of the Interior and Police, Costa Rica
  • Harold Villegas-Román, Advisor to the Vice Minister of the Interior and Police; and Commissioner, Restricted Visa and Refugee Commission, Costa Rica
  • Alberto Cortés Ramos, Professor, Political Science Department, University of Costa Rica
  • Moderator: Manuel Orozco, Director, Migration, Remittances, and Development Program, Inter-American Dialogue

As crises continue to unfold in Venezuela and Nicaragua, more than 4.5 million people have left both of those countries, with most settling in neighboring countries in the region. To date, Latin American countries have generally responded by finding pragmatic ways to receive and integrate migrants and refugees from Venezuela and Nicaragua.

This series of panel discussions examines the challenges ahead as countries in the region seek to chart future strategies for responding to large-scale forced migration flows. Leading policymakers and key stakeholders from the region, as well as representatives of major international institutions involved with the regional response, offer their views on changing entry requirements; legal pathways and asylum processes; access to education, health care, and public services; and the opportunities and challenges that these migration flows present for the future of the region.

Remarks given in Spanish have been translated into English in this recording.

Is U.S.-Mexico Cooperation on Migration Possible?

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Migration in Mexico and Central America by Migration Policy Institute on April 17th, 2019

Over recent months, the number of Central American migrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border has surged, presenting a critical challenge in the relationship between the two neighboring countries. President Trump has accused Mexico of doing nothing to stop illegal migration, while the Mexican government is emphasizing the need to address root causes in Central America driving human movement. After President Trump’s threat to “close the border” if the Mexican government did not do more, tensions between the two countries appeared to subside. However, these tensions—and the rising number of unauthorized crossings at the border and of asylum seekers in both countries—has put the issue of migration front and center in the relationship between the two countries again.

In fact, migration patterns between the two countries have changed dramatically over the past decade. While there is still considerable legal migration from Mexico to the United States, illegal immigration has dropped to a fraction of what it was only 15 years ago, and the overall number of Mexicans living in the United States is actually dropping. Meanwhile, the number of Americans living in Mexico continues to rise and may well be over 1 million, making it by far the largest U.S.-citizen community anywhere in the world. The two countries face shared migration flows from Central America, Venezuela, and other parts of the world, which they increasingly need to find ways of managing in collaborative ways, and both face important challenges for integrating immigrants into the labor market, schools, and society at large.

Can Mexico and the United States find common cause around migration or are the perspectives and interests of the two countries too different to make cooperation possible? How will the two governments respond to the current change in migration flows from Central America? And what creative thinking is possible in the future?

This discussion of the current trends and future possibilities—with experts from a Study Group on U.S.-Mexico Migration convened by El Colegio de México and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI)—examines migration from the Northern Triangle of Central America and other regions, as well as ways to improve U.S. and Mexican asylum systems, create new approaches to labor migration, address smuggling networks, and modernize border management.

Speakers: 

Alan Bersin, former Assistant Secretary for Policy and former U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and Policy Consultant, Covington

Silvia Giorguli, President, El Colegio de México

Carlos Heredia, former Mexican Congressman, and Associate Professor, Department of International Studies, Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE)

Roberta Jacobson, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs

Claudia Masferrer León, Professor, Center for Demographic, Urban, and Environmental Studies, El Colegio de México 

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

Gustavo Mohar, former Mexican Undersecretary of Migration, Population, and Religious Affairs

Andrés Rozental, former Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister and founding President, Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (Comexi) 

Andrew Selee, President, Migration Policy Institute    

(Spanish Language Event) A New Migration Policy for A New Era: A Conversation with Mexico’s Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero

On her first official trip to Washington, DC, Secretary of the Interior Olga Sánchez Cordero offered a public address on Mexico’s new approach to migration policy at MPI.

Under the new administration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico is adopting a new approach to addressing migration flows, including efforts to issue work and humanitarian visas that allow Central American immigrants to stay in Mexico for periods of time, as well as strengthening the country’s asylum system. Secretary Sánchez Cordero discussed these and other steps the López Obrador administration is undertaking as Mexican migration to the United States has slowed, while movement from Central America to and through Mexico has increased in recent years.

The discussion was primarily conducted in Spanish. 

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