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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?

Bridging the Digital Divide for U.S. Children in Immigrant Families

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by Migration Policy Institute on February 25th, 2022

The Omicron surge caused many U.S. schools to return to remote learning, an all-too-familiar status since the sudden shift to virtual learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The public-health crisis has tested school systems across the country and continues to pose operational challenges as schools transition between in-person, remote, and hybrid instruction. 

Remote learning has become a controversial tool and now is often considered a last-resort pandemic response. One reason is the digital divide in who can access computers, high-speed internet, and digital skills training. Children in immigrant families often have disproportionately less access to digital tools and training than their peers, which can lead to knowledge gaps, lower grades, chronic absenteeism, and disenrollment.

This webinar features findings from an MPI report that takes stock of lessons and promising practices from the pandemic, with insights from educators, community leaders, and other stakeholders on how to support immigrant children and U.S.-born children with immigrant parents during remote learning. Speakers from MPI, Internationals Network for Public Schools, Office of Global Michigan, and the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology, examine related parts of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 and how federal, state, and local governments; school districts; schools; libraries; and service providers can advance digital equity for children in immigrant families.

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. 

Biden at One: Assessing the Administration’s Immigration Record

On his inauguration day one year ago, President Joe Biden proposed a sweeping list of immigration policy priorities, including advancing legislation legalizing millions of unauthorized immigrants and rolling back key executive actions taken by his predecessor. Now at its first anniversary, the administration has advanced numerous further immigration actions that range widely across the immigration system.

Migration surges at the U.S.-Mexico border and partisan deadlock on Capitol Hill have complicated moving forward on legislation that would revamp the U.S. immigration system. Courts and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic have stymied some of the administration’s other efforts. Yet, while less noted, the Biden administration has pursued a broad agenda that encompasses immigration changes in the U.S. interior—including overhauling immigration enforcement priorities, humanitarian relief by extending temporary protection to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans and others from troubled countries, and administrative measures affecting important legal immigration processes.

This discussion with MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Doris Meissner, the White House's Deputy Director for Immigration Esther Olavarria, former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention Elizabeth Neumann, and Community Change Co-President Lorella Praeli examines the Biden track record on immigration and what lays ahead. The conversation draws from an article published in MPI's online journal, by Jessica Bolter and Muzaffar Chishti, detailing the administration’s first-year actions on immigration.

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: Planning and Shaping Inclusive Post-COVID-19 Recovery

In this session moderated by MPI's International Program Director of Research Meghan Benton, panelists Anila Noor, Member, European Commission's Expert Group on the Views of Migrants, and Founder, New Women Connectors, the Netherlands; Scarlet Cronin, Acting Executive Director, The Tent Partnership for Refugees; Katharina Bamberg, Policy Advisor on Migration and Integration, Eurocities; and Christina Pope, Senior Director of Welcoming International, Welcoming America discussed the following questions:

  • Over the past year-and-a-half, we have heard a lot of conversations about (and calls for) "inclusive recovery". If we were to make this more concrete: what does inclusive recovery look like for you?
  • How can government, the private sector, and social-sector organizations partner design and promote strategies for post-COVID-19 recovery that reflect the needs and resources of diverse communities? Where can we identify examples of these strategies?
  • How can "social innovation for inclusion" evolve into "inclusive social innovation"—expanding opportunities for diverse groups to participate in social entrepreneurship, community engagement, and policymaking?

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

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: Building a Modern U.S. Immigration and Asylum System in the National Interest

People on all sides of the policy debate largely agree that the current U.S. immigration system is broken. What should a 21st century immigration system that works in the national interest look like? And is this vision achievable amid current political realities? In this conversation, Migration Policy Institute Senior Fellow Doris Meissner speaks with Policy Analyst Ariel Ruiz Soto about how to build an immigration system that reflects today’s realities and builds in the flexibility to adapt to future developments.

The Challenges of Humanitarian Protection in the 21st Century

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, World of Migration by Migration Policy Institute on October 14th, 2021

Are the challenges of humanitarian protection more complex today than they were 20 years ago? And is a protection system that emerged after World War II still fit for purpose? In this conversation, Migration Policy Institute Co-Founder Kathleen Newland and Senior Policy Analyst Susan Fratzke discuss the challenges, but also the innovations in the refugee resettlement and asylum spaces, as countries around the globe cope with record displacement, mixed migration, climate pressures, and more.

2021 Immigration Law & Policy Conference Keynote: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas

The 18th Annual Immigration Law and Policy conference opened with welcoming remarks from: Anna Gallagher, Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.; MPI President Andrew Selee; and William M. Treanor, Dean and Executive Vice President of Georgetown University Law Center,

Following introductory remarks, MPI Senior Fellow and Director of the U.S. Immigration Policy program Doris Meissner engaged Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas in the keynote conversation.

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.

Opening More Avenues for Protection for Refugees

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, European Migration by Migration Policy Institute on September 15th, 2021

As of mid-2020, more than 20 million refugees were displaced to another country and under the mandate of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. While some may eventually return to their countries of origin or integrate locally into their host community, for the most at risk, resettlement remains a critical tool to secure legal status and access to fundamental rights in a third country. However, the number of resettlement places made available remains far below the level needed and plunged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This global scarcity in resettlement places has been paralleled by innovation. States have shown creativity in designing resettlement programs and in growing access to protection via complementary pathways, including educational and employment ones. The Three-Year Strategy (2019–2021) on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways, launched following the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees in 2018, aims to achieve more resettlement opportunities for refugees, as well as better access for refugees to complementary pathways. To support the goals of the Three-Year Strategy, the Sustainable Resettlement and Complementary Pathways Initiative (CRISP), led by UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), provides support to states and key stakeholders to establish, expand, or renew resettlement programs and advance complementary pathways of admission.

This Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar marked the launch of a report that sets out a series of recommendations for how UNHCR, national governments, civil society, and other partners can most effectively support the growth of resettlement and complementary pathways in the years ahead. The webinar highlighted the recommendations developed by MPI Europe in collaboration with the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub showcased in the report, which was commissioned by UNHCR with CRISP support.

Parte de una nueva comunidad: la integración de migrantes y refugiados venezolanos en América del Sur

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, Migration in South America by Migration Policy Institute on August 6th, 2021

Con su país en crisis, el 80 por ciento de los más de 5,6 millones de migrantes y refugiados venezolanos que han salido de Venezuela se han asentado en América Latina. Seis años después, está claro que esta situación ya no es temporal y los gobiernos de acogida han comenzado a pasar de la prestación de ayuda humanitaria a los recién llegados a una integración de más largo plazo en el mercado laboral, los sistemas de salud y educación y en las comunidades locales. Estos esfuerzos de integración no solo ayudan a los recién llegados, sino que también benefician a las comunidades de acogida, fortaleciendo el desarrollo económico, la salud pública, y la equidad y cohesión social.
 
Eso discusión presenta un análisis del Instituto de Políticas Migratorias (MPI) y la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM) sobre la integración socioeconómica de los migrantes y refugiados venezolanos en Suramérica, utilizando datos de la Matriz de Seguimiento de Desplazamiento (DTM) de la OIM, junto con otras investigaciones. Este perfil sociodemográfico examina los niveles de inclusión económica, educación, acceso a la salud y cohesión social de los venezolanos en los cinco países que en conjunto albergan a más del 70 por ciento de esta población migrante en todo el mundo: Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador y Perú.
 
En este webinar, los oradores exploran el progreso de las experiencias de integración de los venezolanos durante los últimos seis años considerando la evolución de las políticas regionales y nacionales, la pandemia de COVID-19 y la dinámica migratoria cambiante. Al observar estas tendencias y perspectivas, la conversación se centra en las oportunidades y desafíos que existen para apoyar la formulación de políticas efectivas que beneficían tanto a los migrantes y refugiados venezolanos como a las comunidades donde están reconstruyendo sus vidas. 

English Interpretation: Part of a New Community: The Integration of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees in South America

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, Migration in South America by Migration Policy Institute on August 6th, 2021

With their country in turmoil, 80 percent of the more than 5.6 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees who have left Venezuela have settled across Latin America. Six years on, it is clear this situation is no longer temporary and host governments have begun the shift from the provision of humanitarian aid for new arrivals to their longer-term integration into the labor market, health-care and education systems, and local communities. These integration efforts not only aid the newcomers but also benefit the communities where they live, strengthening economic development, public health, and social equity and cohesion.

This discussion featuring a new MPI-International Organization for Migration (IOM) analysis on the socioeconomic integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in South America, using data from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, along with other research. This sociodemographic profile examines Venezuelans’ levels of economic inclusion, education, access to health care, and social cohesion in the five countries that together host more than 70 percent of this migrant population worldwide: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. 

Speakers explore the progress of Venezuelans’ integration experiences over the past six years considering evolving regional and national policies, the COVID-19 pandemic, and changing migration dynamics. Looking at these trends and insights, the conversation focused on the opportunities and challenges that exist to support effective policymaking that will benefit both Venezuelan migrants and refugees and the communities where they are rebuilding their lives.

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