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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.

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

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

World of Migration: Leveraging the Benefits That Immigration Can Bring

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration, Labor Migration, World of Migration by Migration Policy Institute on November 12th, 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.

World of Migration: Immigrant Integration: Essential to the Success of Immigration Policy

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration, Language Access, World of Migration by Migration Policy Institute on November 5th, 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.

World of Migration: Immigration Reform Denied: Destined to Repeat the Cycle of Failure?

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigration Enforcement, World of Migration by Migration Policy Institute on October 29th, 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.

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

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

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

Translating Into Success: Key Features of U.S. State & Local Language Access Laws and Policies

Posted in Immigrant Integration by Migration Policy Institute on October 22nd, 2021

The U.S. population included more than 25 million Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals in 2019, four out of five of whom were foreign born. Language barriers can pose serious obstacles for immigrant integration and hamper access to essential public services, ranging from schools and health care to police, fire departments, and the legal system. Recognizing the serious health, safety, and civil-rights issues at stake, many states and localities have introduced language access laws and policies to ensure LEP individuals have effective access to critical government services.

On this webinar, MPI researchers present an analysis that examines the common features and notable areas of innovation found in more than 40 state and local language access laws and policies. The discussion explores aspects of the policies that seek to build capacities to support their implementation and ensure the quality and consistency of services provided to LEP individuals. The conversation also illuminates key policy design elements and vital practical insights that state and local governments can employ as they face growing linguistic diversity and the need to ensure all residents have meaningful access to public information and services.   

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Making Migration Policy in an Ever More Complex World

Posted in Labor Migration, Mobility and Security, International Migration, World of Migration by Migration Policy Institute on October 14th, 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.

Revisiting the Role of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions in Light of Delta and Other Variants

Posted in International Migration, Moving Beyond Pandemic by Migration Policy Institute on October 14th, 2021

No one expected the travel restrictions imposed early in the COVID-19 pandemic to last so long or remain such a messy patchwork, in part because of the arrival of more contagious variants such as the delta variant – with significant effects on family reunification and humanitarian protection, travel for business and pleasure, and international migration. More than 18 months on, debates continue over the effectiveness of these measures in meeting public-health goals. Experts are working, though, to learn from the COVID-19 response to improve decision-making for handling future cross-border pandemics. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Kelley Lee, head of the Pandemics and Borders initiative at Simon Fraser University in Canada, about what the future holds, and whether decisionmakers truly learn to adapt or instead pull out the playbook from the last crisis.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: Impacts of Extreme Heat: Global Warming and Migration

Posted in Migration and Development, Labor Migration, International Migration, Changing Climate, Changing Migration by Migration Policy Institute on October 11th, 2021

Global warming and extreme heat are behind many of the phenomena linked to climate change. Hotter weather also has an impact on migration and on migrants, particularly in destinations such as the Middle East and parts of the United States. In recent years, there has been more attention paid to cases of migrant workers dying from the heat. In this episode, we speak with Tord Kjellstrom, a physician and researcher who has closely studied the relationship between extreme heat and population health, about what extreme heat means for migrants.

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.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: Retreating from Climate Disaster in the United States

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Migration and Development, Changing Climate, Changing Migration by Migration Policy Institute on September 30th, 2021

In Western countries, a common narrative has developed that only poor or developing nations will have to confront human displacement caused by climate change. But communities in the United States and elsewhere have repeatedly moved because of environmental disasters such as flooding. This episode features a discussion on the U.S. government’s responses to internal displacement, with Kavi Chintam and Chris Jackson, co-authors of an Issues in Science and Technology article analyzing the approach to managed retreat.

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.

How Will the Pandemic Reshape Public Health for Migrants?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by Migration Policy Institute on September 22nd, 2021

The COVID-19 public-health crisis exacerbated longstanding migrant vulnerabilities ranging from heightened exposure to infection to disproportionate barriers in accessing health services. However, the pandemic also triggered innovations in migration and health policy that may ultimately improve conditions for some migrants—including regularization, increased health-care benefits, and increased use of digital tools to improve health literacy and information provision. The acute understanding that public health requires coverage for the entire community has renewed interest in tackling issues faced by marginalized populations.

With COVID-19 likely to significantly reshape health-care systems in Europe and worldwide, there is a window of opportunity to test new strategies to tackle longstanding migrant health disparities, and ensure that structural changes accommodate the complex needs of diverse populations. What lessons can be learned from strategies that arose during the pandemic and can they inform more inclusive health care post-pandemic? This webinar features experts and policymakers assessing the most promising strategies to ensure migrant health after the pandemic, as well as the related challenges and opportunities. 

Speakers highlight key findings from the ApartTogether study about the impact of the pandemic on migrants, reflect on the implications of the public-health crisis for migrant health, examine practical strategies that countries such as Portugal have taken, and discuss the most pressing challenges and issues facing migrants in European public-health systems today. This webinar is part of the Integration Futures Working Group initiative supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung.  A related report from the project — Healing the Gap: Building Inclusive Public-Health and Migrant Integration Systems in Europe — also addresses some of the topics raised on this webinar. 

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.

Immigrant Detention to a More Effective U.S. Immigration Custody System

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigration Enforcement by Migration Policy Institute on September 9th, 2021

The sprawling U.S. immigration detention system has long been controversial for its conditions of care, number of immigrants and asylum seekers detained, and costs. Prioritizing detention also has distorted the broader immigration enforcement system by causing a backlog in the immigration courts that must handle cases of detained migrants over those of the 3 million-plus nondetained people who then wait years for decisions, including those with compelling claims for asylum and other forms of relief. Responding to these conditions and likely future immigration realities both at U.S. borders and the interior necessitates rethinking the role and nature of the immigration custody system, steering it away from a punitive, detention-centered approach towards a more effective and fair approach. This represents an opportune moment for action given the substantial reduction of individuals in detention due to COVID-19, coupled with the Biden administration’s pledge to reimagine the custody system. This discussion focuses on a report - https://bit.ly/2WhJy52 - from its Rethinking U.S. Immigration Policy initiative that examines how the U.S. government can shift from jailers to case managers in ways that serve the national interest. Report authors lay out current conditions and costs in the system, along with their vision for a reimagined immigration custody system, including areas for congressional action and change in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The conversation covers priorities for custody determinations in a redesigned system, alternatives to detention, and how deterrence can ultimately be achieved when the immigration system’s border and interior enforcement, custody, supervision, and asylum adjudication measures are all effectively working together.

Labor Migration Governance in West Africa in the Wake of the Pandemic

Posted in Labor Migration, International Migration by Migration Policy Institute on September 9th, 2021

COVID-19 has dramatically curtailed opportunities to migrate in West Africa, with far-reaching economic consequences. In 2019, about 10 million West Africans lived in other countries in the region or internationally, and migration has traditionally been a driver for development for the region through remittances, knowledge transfers, and other forms of diaspora engagement. Now, ongoing border closures and travel restrictions coupled with new public-health measures have added an extra layer of complexity to migration management in the region. Competing policy priorities arising from the pandemic have also threatened to sideline recent national efforts to strengthen migration governance and the lifting of barriers to mobility under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol on Free Movement. In the cases of Ghana and Senegal, efforts to translate migration policy goals into practice were proving challenging even prior to the pandemic. Among the stumbling blocks: how to build mutually beneficial ties between origin countries and their diasporas, how to balance governments’ commitments to better regulate worker recruitment despite constraints on resources, and how to move the needle on issues such as promoting freedom of movement within ECOWAS while protecting local workers and business. In the wake of the pandemic and related economic downturn, migrants’ potential to support recovery efforts make addressing these questions even more critical. On this webinar speakers discuss a recent policy brief "Deepening Labor Migration Governance at a Time of Immobility: Lessons from Ghana and Senegal" https://bit.ly/2UOPEcZ . Experts and government officials from the region and Europe explore the importance of labor migration for West Africa, related policy efforts by the Ghanaian and Senegalese governments, and how development agencies can best support African countries in resuming mobility and enhancing the development benefits of labor migration.

Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan: How Could Europe Respond to Growing Displacement?

Posted in DefaultTag by Migration Policy Institute on August 24th, 2021

With Taliban militants now in control of most all of Afghanistan, thousands of civilians facing an uncertain future and possible violence have begun to flee their homes and seek refuge both internally and abroad, adding to a huge swell of previously displaced Afghans.

In light of the dangers facing millions of Afghans, MPI Europe hosted an important conversation exploring Europe’s possible responses to the situation in Afghanistan and in neighboring countries. Speakers including MPI Europe's Hanne Beirens and Camille Le Coz were joined by UNHCR's Aurvasi Patel and Samuel Hall's Nassim Majidi for a discussion on what European countries should prioritize to address the immediate needs of displaced populations; how can Europe start planning for longer-term assistance to countries in the region who are hosting the vast majority of Afghan refugees; the implications for partnerships with governments in the region; and what safe pathways have other countries opened in recent days to evacuate Afghans who have directly worked with European forces and other individuals at risk.

Experts on this webinar also examined how European governments could best prepare to respond to a possible increase in the number of asylum seekers reaching Europe’s borders in the next few months. They also discussed what lessons the migration crisis of 2015-16 can offer for European policymakers so they avoid repeating the same mistakes.

A related commentary is available here:  https://bit.ly/3yaHAAJ

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