Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

World of Migration


Wednesday Nov 15, 2023

Travel documents play an important role in international mobility, and for refugees serve as an essential gateway to a world of opportunities, from pursuing education and employment to reuniting with family. In this episode, MPI’s Susan Fratzke unpacks the complexities around travel documents and their pivotal role in refugees' livelihoods with Adhieu Achuil Kueth, founder of MonyQadow, and Jackie Keegan, deputy director of the Division of International Protection for Resettlement and Complementary Pathways at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Kueth shares her first-hand experience traveling on a refugee travel document and her commitment to aiding fellow refugees in accessing higher education opportunities. Keegan sheds light on the challenges refugees face in obtaining these essential documents. Tune in to learn more.

Thursday Oct 19, 2023

African migrants harness the strength of kinship in pursuit of security and stability as they settle in a European landscape that is sometimes made precarious by their legal status and shifting policies. In this episode, MPI Europe Associate Director Camille Le Coz discusses this fascinating phenomenon with Apostolos Andrikopoulos, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow at Harvard University and the University of Amsterdam. Together, they dive into the intricate web of kinship-based support systems employed by African migrants as they navigate migration routes and integration at destination, including through the exchange or brokering of identity documents. All in their quest for a better life. Tune in for an engaging conversation. 

Tuesday Sep 26, 2023

What does the future of refugee resettlement look like? In this World of Migration episode, MPI Senior Policy Analyst Susan Fratzke leads an insightful conversation about sponsorship of refugees by private individuals and community groups. With humanitarian protection systems struggling to address record needs, more countries—including the United States—are turning to private or community sponsorship. Tune in to hear from Erin Schutte Wadzinski, who leads one of the pioneering sponsorship groups in Worthington, Minnesota. She discusses the Welcome Corps program launched by the U.S. government in January 2023. What does it mean to be a sponsor? How much responsibility do sponsors take on? What is the private sponsorship experience for refugees? Is this model working well? The conversation offers answers to these and other questions.

Thursday Aug 24, 2023

Governments in West Africa have intensified their efforts to manage migration more effectively and to greater benefit. Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders are exploring ways to boost remittance receipts, harness the potential of diasporas for developments, and enhance international financial connections. What are the latest migration dynamics in West Africa, and how are African leaders responding to these trends? Can European and African policymakers collaborate to create safer and better-managed migration between the two continents? In this episode, Migration Policy Institute Europe Associate Director Camille Le Coz engages in a conversation with Leander Kandilige, a senior lecturer at the Centre for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana. Tune in to learn more about the complexities of migration policymaking in West Africa and the opportunities.

Thursday Jul 27, 2023

West Africa’s Sahel region is experiencing crisis, with outbreaks of violence, weak economies, and governance issues. These challenges are compounded by the impacts of climate change, leading to an increasing number of people being internally displaced or seeking refuge in other countries. What do migration flows look like? And how are governments in the region responding? In this episode, Migration Policy Institute Europe Associate Director Camille Le Coz discusses displacement in the Sahel with Alexandra Tapsoba, a development economist at the Higher Institute for Population Sciences at the University Joseph Ki-Zerbo in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Tune in for an interesting conversation on an often overlooked region.

Tuesday Jun 27, 2023

Migration from Haiti, while longstanding, took on new urgency after a 2010 earthquake decimated the country. In the years since, Haitians have fanned out across the Americas. Less focus has been given to the migration of Haitians within the Caribbean and their experiences there. In this episode, Migration Policy Institute Senior Policy Analyst Valerie Lacarte speaks with experts Bridget Wooding and Louby George about migration of Haitians to the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. The Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, is the second top destination for Haitians after the United States; the Bahamas hosts a much smaller share of the nearly 1.8 million Haitians who have sought protection or improved living conditions outside their country. What have been the policy responses? And the warmth of the welcome? Tune in.

Thursday May 18, 2023

The U.S.-Mexico border is one of the busiest in the world, with hundreds of thousands of vehicles and pedestrians–and hundreds of millions of dollars in trade—crossing legally through ports of entry each day. In addition, the ports of entry receive some of the asylum seekers and other migrants who are seeking to enter the United States. How have policies, procedures, and operations around would-be migrants evolved, in particular as migration to the border has increased and the nationalities diversified greatly? Migration Policy Institute President Andrew Selee and two colleagues who were at the border examining U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations discuss.

Monday Apr 24, 2023

Migration to the U.S.-Mexico border, once overwhelmingly a Mexican phenomenon, has diversified and become increasingly hemispheric in nature. As the immigration flows become more complex and the encounters of arriving asylum seekers and other migrants surge to record levels, how are U.S. border operations and policies evolving? And what is driving rising immigration from across Latin America, the Caribbean, and beyond? Migration Policy Institute President Andrew Selee speaks with two colleagues who traveled from one end of the nearly 2,000-mile boundary to the other, touring U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities and interviewing U.S. and Mexican officials, NGO leaders, and others.

Thursday Mar 30, 2023

Pressures on the global humanitarian protection system have only worsened as the Afghan and Ukrainian refugee crises come on top of longstanding displacement from Syria, Venezuela, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, and other countries. These crises have given new urgency to finding ways to connect displaced peoples with opportunities to find safety and resume their lives. The use of complementary pathways, such as existing work and study visa channels, has been touted by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and others as an option running alongside traditional avenues such as asylum and refugee resettlement. But how can humanitarian migrants with skills and experience potentially use existing work or study pathways to fill labor market needs in destination countries? In this episode, MPI’s Susan Fratzke speaks with Betsy Fisher, U.S. Director of the nonprofit Talent Beyond Boundaries, about complementary pathways. Learn more about innovative solutions to support displaced peoples and connect them with job opportunities.

Wednesday Mar 15, 2023

Investor visa programs have become popular for countries seeking to attract foreign investment and stimulate economic growth. Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, however, there has been greater scrutiny on these programs and who is using them. This new controversy has added to a longstanding debate about whether countries should sell residency rights in exchange for passive investment. But how exactly do these programs work, and what are the potential benefits and drawbacks? In this episode, MPI’s Kate Hooper speaks with Madeleine Sumption, the director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, about the range of investment visa programs, applicants’ motives, and more.

Thursday Dec 08, 2022

Anxiety around immigration is far from recent, yet there are concerns that it is reaching a new peak with far-right parties attaining positions of power in places such as Sweden and Italy, and nationalistic rhetoric entering the daily mainstream. Populist and radical-right politicians from the United States to France, Denmark, and beyond have exploited anxiety around large-scale demographic change, stoking fears of immigrants “replacing” natives and erasing their culture and way of life. Our Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan discusses with researcher Justin Gest (author of “Majority Minority”) the ways in which the confluence of polarization, nationalism, and immigration seen today can be interpreted. How can increasingly diverse societies come up with a new definition of “we” that is both meaningful and inclusive?  

Wednesday Nov 24, 2021

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.

Friday Nov 12, 2021

Is immigration a net positive or negative for societies? It’s one of the key questions that underpins the debate over immigration levels, whether asked directly or tacitly underlying the conversation. And what policy levers exist to ensure that immigration is leveraged to bring the greatest benefits possible and blunt any downsides? In this conversation, Migration Policy Institute Senior Fellow and former President Michael Fix takes on the big questions with Senior Policy Analyst Julia Gelatt, examining the fiscal impacts of immigration, the importance of immigrant integration, how a greater focus on credential recognition could allow immigrants to more fully utilize the academic and professional skills they bring with them, and much more.

Friday Nov 05, 2021

Immigrant integration is the domestic policy side of the immigration debate: The secret sauce as to whether immigration policy is successful or not. Yet the issue of how immigrants and their children fare and the integration policies and programs that help ease their incorporation into society often receive far less attention, certainly in the U.S. context, than questions around immigration levels, border security, and the unauthorized population. Some countries are quite intentional about their immigrant integration programming, while the United States has a more decentralized approach, even as immigrants have moved beyond the handful of traditional destinations in recent decades. In this conversation, Margie McHugh, director of MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, chats with Ivana Tú Nhi Giang about why integration is important not just for immigrants and their families but for the broader society as well.

Friday Oct 29, 2021

The architecture of the U.S. legal immigration system rests on a 1965 law and was last significantly updated in 1990. While there is widespread agreement that the existing framework does not align with the national needs and realities of the 21st century, Congress has proven unable to enact significant legislative reform over the past two decades. How have congressional and public debates on immigration changed and is achieving bipartisan consensus on this highly charged issue possible today? In this episode, Migration Policy Institute Senior Fellow Muzaffar Chishti discusses this and more with colleague Jessica Bolter.

Wednesday Oct 20, 2021

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.

Thursday Oct 14, 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.

Thursday Oct 14, 2021

What was the field of migration policy like in 2000, and has it become more complicated to work in this space, given the growing politicization of immigration and the advent of trends including greater humanitarian pressures, mixed migration flows, and climate-induced migration? And has the role of generating evidence-based research changed in this new era of mis/disinformation? Migration Policy Institute co-founder Demetrios G. Papademetriou takes on these and other questions, including whether the role of think tanks has evolved over the last two decades, in this conversation with MPI’s Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan. They also look ahead to the future challenges that will dominate immigration policymaking in the years ahead.

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