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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.

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. 

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: No “Climate Refugees,” But Still a Role for the UN Refugee Agency

Technically, people forced to move because of climate disasters are not considered “refugees.” But the UN refugee agency, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, still takes climate issues into account, and since 2020 Andrew Harper has been its special advisor on climate action. We talked with Harper about his agency’s role in responding to climate issues, which regions of the world are most likely to be affected by climate impacts, and why climate is a “vulnerability multiplier” for refugees.

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.

COVID-19 Recovery and the Next Stage of the Syrian Refugee Response After Ten Years

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration by migrationpolicy on March 24th, 2021

Ten years into the response to the Syrian refugee crisis, this webinar explores findings from a research project conducted by the Durable Solutions Platform (DSP) and MPI on lessons from international experiences to support pathways to solutions in the Syrian refugee context.

The convergence of the pandemic and recovery efforts with new conversations about funding offers opportunities to reflect on the Syrian refugee response ten years on, and think critically about how international donors, host governments, and civil society can best address these challenges. How should funding be directed to promote a resilient and refugee-inclusive recovery? What interventions and policies should be prioritized going forward and how can local responses be strengthened? What lessons can be learned from other displacements and from the Syrian experience?

This webinar moderated by MPI President Andrew Selee features introductory remarks from DSP Manager Kathryn Achilles, and voices from the region: Sally Abi Khalil, Country Director for Oxfam Lebanon; Zaid Eyadat, Center for Strategic Studies Director at The University of Jordan; and Hassan Jenedie, Executive Director of Bousla Development & Innovation. MPI author Camille LeCoz presented the findings of the research project that includes case studies with examples of practices and approaches for supporting the resilience and self-reliance of refugees and host communities from different displacement contexts around the world and how the lessons learned can be applied in the Syrian refugee context.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: Who Manages Climate Migration? Evolving Global Governance

Climate change and international migration both are global issues with aspects that countries try to manage through treaties, pacts, and other types of agreements. But most of the global governance frameworks that exist for climate-induced migration require only voluntary commitments by states. This episode features a discussion with political scientist Nick Micinski, author of the forthcoming books, UN Global Compacts: Governing Migrants and Refugees and Delegating Responsibility: International Cooperation on Migration in the European Union.

The Future of Refugee Resettlement and Complementary Pathways: Strengthening Sustainable and Strategic Humanitarian Solutions for Refugees

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on February 23rd, 2021

As one of three durable solutions traditionally available for refugees, third-country resettlement is an important part of the international commitment to refugee protection and support. Yet the vast majority of refugees in need of resettlement as a durable solution in 2021 are unlikely to be resettled. In 2020, amid a global pandemic, resettlement numbers reached a record low: only 22,770 (1.6 percent) of the 1.4 million refugees in need of resettlement were resettled. In a recent paper, The Future of Refugee Resettlement & Complementary Pathways: Strengthening sustainable and strategic humanitarian solutions for refugees, Church World Service (CWS) argues that resettlement can and should be a humanitarian program to find protection for individuals and strategically contribute to the resolution of situations of forced displacement. However, achieving these goals will require political, structural, and operational changes. In particular, CWS makes the case that complementary pathways represent untapped opportunities for refugees to improve their lives through migration and proposes several key recommendations to advance complementary pathways and resettlement in the future.

This joint event organized by MPI and CWS, one of nine U.S. refugee resettlement agencies, brings together experts in the field to discuss the paper. As its primary author, Katherine Rehberg, Deputy Vice President of the Immigration and Refugee Program at CWS, presented the key findings and recommendations. The discussion then turned to the European Asylum Support Office’s work to foster closer international cooperation on resettlement submissions and processing, as well as what those experiences hold for wider cooperation between countries on resettlement processing, particularly outside the European Union. In addition, the conversation focused on what is required to implement complementary pathways at an international level.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: Purposeful and Coordinated: Climate Change and Managed Retreat in India

Confronting environmental change, whole communities sometimes relocate from one area to another. This purposeful, coordinated movement, while currently rare, is referred to as managed retreat. In this episode Architesh Panda, from the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, explains how this climate adaptation strategy works in India.

Welfare States and Migration: How Will the Pandemic Reshape a Complex Relationship?

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Europe was facing a set of interlocking challenges—a rise in spontaneous migration, an aging population, and a changing labor market—all of which put pressure on public finances. The public-health crisis has further exacerbated the situation, imposing huge costs on governments as they scramble to safeguard employment and protect vulnerable groups, including migrants disproportionately affected by job losses. Will this "perfect storm" rock the foundations of European welfare systems in the long term, and how? Will welfare states manage to adapt, and if so, what are the most promising innovations? How can governments close gaps in the social safety net, while laying the groundwork for economic recovery and long-term sustainability?  

This two-part MPI Europe event, moderated by MPI's Meghan Benton, examines these important questions. In the first session, veteran migration thinkers Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Grete Brochmann will reflect on the implications of this current moment for European economies and societies, and the role of immigration. The second session, with Jacopo Mazza, Scientific Officer at the Joint Research Centre, highlighted research from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre on the fiscal and demographic impacts of migration. MPI Europe's Liam Patuzzi and Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, along with European University Institute's Martin Ruhs explored the pandemic’s particular effects on migrants and refugees, gaps in the social safety net, the role immigrant integration policy can play in maximizing the benefits of migration, and smart ideas that governments are implementing to ensure immigration is an economic and demographic asset for the future.

Does Climate Change Cause Migration? It’s Complicated

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, Changing Climate, Changing Migration by migrationpolicy on November 17th, 2020

The relationship between climate change and migration is long and complex. Human civilizations have been affected by environmental conditions for centuries, but we should be wary of arguments that huge numbers of people are inevitably destined to migrate in response to specific climate threats. In this episode, we chat with Alex de Sherbinin of Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network about what the research shows – and doesn’t show.

Un Diálogo con Miembros de Coalición por Venezuela

En el evento “Diálogo con organizaciones de migrantes y refugiados venezolanos” expertos de MPI hablaron con la red más grande de organizaciones de migrantes y refugiados venezolanos en las Américas, quienes integran y articulan acciones en defensa y promoción de los derechos humanos, las libertades y los valores democráticos, así como enfrentan la emergencia humanitaria que atraviesa Venezuela y la crisis de migrantes y refugiados venezolanos en los países donde viven.

En dicho diálogo, algunos de los representantes de las organizaciones que conforman la red en Norteamérica, Centroamérica, Sudamérica y el Caribe, compartieron la manera como se coordinan, las acciones que se llevan a cabo y las dificultades, retos y desafíos que atraviesan. También, se abrió un espacio para que el público pueda hacer preguntas y dialogar con las organizaciones.

Esclareciendo el Panorama: Una mirada a los datos sobre migrantes y refugiados venezolanos en América Latina y el Caribe

Alrededor de 5 millones de venezolanos dejaron su país debido a la actual crisis política y económica en la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, de los cuales, al menos, 4.3 millones se movilizaron a otros países de América Latina y el Caribe. Este flujo masivo de población proveniente de Venezuela, que comenzó en el año 2015, ha generado desafíos de política migratoria y de integración para los países de acogida. Adicionalmente la pandemia del COVID-19 le ha agregado una nueva capa de complejidad. Ahora, los países receptores se enfrentan al reto de gestionar una crisis de salud pública, mientras que, al mismo tiempo, gestionan las necesidades de los venezolanos en situación de movilidad humana y de las comunidades de acogida.

Dados estos retos que enfrentan los países de la región, existe una necesidad apremiante de datos detallados sobre las características y vulnerabilidades de esta población. OIM está trabajando para llenar dichos vacíos utilizando La Matriz de Seguimiento de Desplazamiento (DTM por sus siglas en inglés) para reunir datos intersectoriales mediante evaluaciones detalladas en todos los países de América Latina y el Caribe. Así, la DTM es una herramienta que se ha convertido en la principal fuente de información primaria para el diseño de políticas públicas tanto para los países de acogida, como para los países de tránsito de los flujos de migrantes y refugiados provenientes de Venezuela. Dicha herramienta, recolecta datos de la demografía de los migrantes, sus actividades económicas, sus condiciones de salud, su acceso a servicios de salud, detalles de sus viajes, y los desafíos con los que se han encontrado mientras viajaban. A partir de la información que arroja dicha herramienta, un grupo de investigadores del MPI han elaborado un perfil regional de los migrantes y refugiados venezolanos que viajaron a través de 11 países de América Latina y el Caribe durante 2019. De esta forma, se esclarece el panorama de la situación de los migrantes y refugiados y da cuenta de las variaciones de un país a otro en cuanto las características de estos migrantes y refugiados y sus experiencias cuando viajan y establecen una nueva vida en otro país.

En este webinar expertos de la región, incluyendo OIM Director General Antonio Vitorino Eduardo Stein, Representante Conjunto ACNUR-OIM para Refugiados y Migrantes Venezolanos, discutirieron acerca del perfil demográfico de los refugiados y migrantes venezolanos en Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Perú, Trinidad y Tobago y Uruguay. La conversación explora las necesidades de la población, los cambios en los patrones de movilidad, los diversos instrumentos políticos que se han diseñado desde los países para gestionar este flujo y las importantes implicaciones políticas para la planificación a futura. Lo anterior, particularmente, en un nuevo contexto de pandemia mundial y las consecuencias sociales, políticas y económicas que lo acompañan y que tienen una serie de implicaciones para los refugiados y migrantes venezolanos y las comunidades de acogida.

Enhancing the Social and Economic Inclusion of Refugees through Local Development Strategies

Humanitarian and development actors in low- and middle-income countries that host refugees have focused many of their recent interventions on integrating newcomers into national development strategies and promoting access to public services nationwide. But how do these efforts play out at the local level?

This MPI Europe conversation explores how development actors can work with local authorities to enhance the social and economic inclusion of refugees. Subnational authorities have been at the forefront of hosting refugees; while their capacity can be narrow, they often have first-hand experience in managing relations between host and refugee communities. During this webchat, experts discuss partnerships between local authorities, the UNHCR, and development actors that are aimed at integrating refugees in local governance mechanisms. These experiences suggest that improvements for refugees often start at the local level, where general principles agreed upon in international fora are being tested. 

This discussion involving representatives from the World Bank, UNHCR, and Kenya’s Refugee Affairs Secretariat explores three main questions: How can development and humanitarian actors engage with local institutions to promote refugee inclusion? How has the involvement of refugees in local institutions materialized and what are the ways to ensure this participation leads to tangible changes? Finally, in fragile environments, how can discussions on refugee inclusion enhance the engagement of other groups that have traditionally been marginalized in refugee-hosting regions (e.g., internally displaced persons, ethnic minorities, or returnees)?

Rethinking and Restarting: What should the returns process look like post-pandemic?

COVID-19-related border closures, travel restrictions, and uncertainties as to how to safeguard the health of returnees and their receiving communities have paralyzed the migrant-return system across the globe. With a few notable exceptions, such as the United States and Sweden, most countries have halted the return of rejected asylum seekers and irregular migrants, including overstayers, to their countries of origin until further notice. Authorities have paused or postponed return or removal orders, shifted to automatic renewal of immigration permits and, in some cases, opted to release migrants awaiting their return from closed detention centers (e.g., in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom).  

As countries move into different phases of reopening, the question of when and how to return migrants will become increasingly pressing. How feasible will the transfer of migrants be between countries that are at different points on the containment curve? How politically desirable is it to press certain countries to readmit their citizens when the coronavirus is already testing the limits of their infrastructure?

Furthermore, the return process was already plagued by problems of low return rates, controversial returns, and overly ambitious reintegration goals.

Part of MPI Europe's webinar series exploring what the migrant-return and reintegration process might look like in the post-COVID period, this webinar highlights the opportunity the restart offers countries to rethink and improve their return and reintegration operations. Before turning to the reintegration process later this summer, this first webinar in the series showcases speakers from Belgium's Fedasil, the French Office of Immigration and Integration, and the International Organization for Migration discussing the counselling of (potential) returnees to increase the uptake of voluntary return – a return option that is generally seen as more humanitarian, practical, less expensive, and sustainable.

Migrants in Africa & COVID-19: From Emergency Measures to Inclusive Social Protection Systems

Most African states closed their borders in attempt to contain COVID-19, resulting in a loss of livelihood that has been devastating for many, including migrants, in the absence of a community-based safety net. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports migration flows in West and Central Africa were nearly halved between January and April 2020, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded and requiring assistance with shelter, health care, and food. Already under pressure to deliver health services and emergency safety nets for their citizens, host countries often lack the capacity and the resources to support migrants, especially the ones who are in transit or informal workers without legal status. As a result, assistance for migrants during this public-health crisis has often come from international organizations such as IOM, civil-society actors, or diasporas.

The coronavirus crisis has also raised longer-term questions about social protection systems in Africa and which dimensions should be set up and prioritized for funding. In many ways, the pandemic has confirmed the pressing need for social protection for everyone, particularly in terms of health care, as vulnerabilities in one group can affect overall community wellbeing. But the looming economic crisis also risks limiting the appetite of host governments and development aid donors for more ambitious protection systems for non-nationals, which may ultimately reduce the benefits of regional and continental free movement regimes that African countries have been working towards for a decade.

This MPI Europe discussion with the Acting Regional Director for West and Central Africa for the International Organization for Migration, along with representatives from the African Union and International Labor Organization explores what emergency measures have been deployed by African governments and aid actors in response to COVID-19 to assist migrants in need. The panelists also examine what the health crisis says about social protection systems, the incentives for inclusionary systems for all, who should support these mechanisms in times of crisis, and how to make (at least some of) these measures sustainable.

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. 

Humanitarian Protection in an Era of Pandemic

The rapid closures of borders around the world have been among the most dramatic migration-related effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 130 countries have introduced entry restrictions at their borders, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates. While these closures have virtually suspended leisure and business travel across the world, the effects are proving even more severe for refugees and migrants fleeing danger. Crossing an international border to a country of safety and filing an asylum claim is no longer possible in many places—a seismic shock to the foundations of a post-World War II international protection system that relies on the goodwill of national governments to grant access to their territory for those in need.

The pandemic has also placed into stark relief the unique vulnerabilities forced migrants now confront in the face of outbreak. The reception facilities where many asylum seekers live while awaiting a verdict on their claim invite outbreaks, even in high-income countries with well-run asylum and reception systems. Infection is likely to spread even more rapidly in severely overcrowded facilities, such as the camps on the Greek islands and informal settlements in Mexican border cities where migrants awaiting U.S. asylum hearings are massed. In developing countries where access to proper health care is limited even for nationals, the consequences of the pandemic could be disastrous for refugees who often live in densely packed housing with poor sanitation. At the same time, the suspension of resettlement operations by IOM and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has closed off a crucial lifeline for the especially vulnerable.

Speakers on this webinar consider how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected—and perhaps, remade—the global protection systems. Meghan Benton, Director for Research of MPI’s International Program, is joined by MPI colleagues, Kathleen Newland, Hanne Beirens, Sarah Pierce, and Susan Fratzke, for a free-flowing conversation regarding the effects of the pandemic on asylum systems in Europe and North America, as well as those in developing regions, where 85 percent of refugees remain. In addition to considering the immediate effects the crisis has had on national asylum systems and on refugees themselves, the conversation looks ahead and begin to assess the implications for the principle of asylum and access to protection in the future.

View MPI's resources on COVID-19

COVID-19 in Latin America: Tackling Health Care & Other Impacts for Vulnerable Migrant Populations

Governments across Latin America have taken extraordinary mobility-limiting measures in recent days as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge, with important impacts for a region that has seen a massive scale of forced and irregular migration. Most countries in the region have ordered the full closure of their land and sea borders, and imposed stringent air travel restrictions on all foreigners. In addition, government leaders in Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador are among those who have announced countrywide lockdowns and declared states of emergency, ordering the closure of public spaces including businesses, schools, and shelters.

This global public health crisis comes at a critical time for regional mobility and migration. Since 2015, Latin America has experienced unprecedented migration flows, with the exodus of millions from Venezuela. There are major questions about how the pandemic-related preventative measures will impact ongoing migration flows and border communities that depend on cross-border trade and services. And there are significant concerns about how COVID-19 may affect immigrant communities that do not always have access to health services.  At the same time, several governments, such as those in Colombia and Argentina, are looking at creative ways of engaging immigrant health professionals in the effort to combat the spread of the virus.

This Migration Policy Institute webinar brings together public health and migration experts to analyze the impact these preventative measures will have on vulnerable immigrants and refugees in Colombia. The speakers also discuss how policymakers and international organizations can include migrant populations in their emergency response plans.
 
Speakers included:
Iván Darío Gonzalez Ortiz, former Vice Minister and Acting Minister, Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection
Julián A. Fernández Niño, Professor, Department of Public Health, Universidad del Norte (Barranquilla, Colombia)
Christian Krüger, former Director, Migración Colombia
Gladys Sanmiguel, former Secretary of Social Integration for Bogotá, Colombia
 
Moderator: Andrew Selee, President, Migration Policy Institute
 

Migration & Coronavirus: A Complicated Nexus Between Migration Management and Public Health

Governments around the world have adopted significant migration management measures to try to contain and halt the spread of COVID-19. Border closures, travel restrictions, prohibitions on arrivals from certain areas, and heightened screening have been among the leading policy responses, initially to try to block COVID-19 from crossing borders and later, as the pandemic became a global one, as part of a raft of mobility restrictions seeking to mitigate further spread. The success of these restrictions in stemming the initial breakout of public health threats across international borders as well as their role in mitigating "community spread" within affected states is a matter of dispute. More clear, however, is that internal measures—such as business closures and "lockdown" orders—are likely to be borne disproportionately by the most vulnerable, including refugees, unauthorized populations, and other immigrants.
 
This webinar, organized by the Migration Policy Institute and the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School, discussed the state of play around the globe and examined where migration management and enforcement tools may be useful and where they may be ill-suited to advancing public health goals. Experts compared the current response (and rhetoric) to what has been seen during prior major public health crises in the United States and internationally, and discussed how this is likely to affect future mobility and international cooperation on issues such as humanitarian protection.

Speakers included:

Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow, MPI, and former Commissioner, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service

Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Associate Director, International Program, Migration Policy Institute (MPI)

T. Alexander Aleinikoff, University Professor and Director, Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, and former Deputy UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Alan Kraut, Distinguished University Professor of History, American University, and MPI Nonresident Fellow

View all MPI resources related to COVID-19.

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