Migration Policy Institute Podcasts header image

Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

MPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide.

Embarking on the Next Journey: Innovations in Predeparture Orientation Programs for Refugees

As the number of resettlement countries grows across Europe, Latin America, and Asia, the question of how to better prepare resettling refugees, as well as receiving communities, for what lies ahead is more pressing than ever. For resettling refugees, adjusting to their new lives can be particularly difficult. Often, they have lived for long periods in remote regions or refugee camps, with no or little formal education and limited knowledge of how to navigate bureaucracies. Equally, receiving communities may lack the information and support they need to welcome new neighbors. While predeparture orientation alone can neither guarantee a smooth transition nor expedite integration, it holds the potential to increase refugees’ confidence in their decision to resettle and to improve their ability to start life anew in an unfamiliar place. If done effectively, orientation can make a difference for refugees’ well-being and be an investment in receiving-community social cohesion.

While the potential benefits of such preparation are clear, it is far less obvious how exactly to make the most out of the limited time at hand before refugees depart. It can be challenging to strike a delicate balance between conveying key messages and skills for the next steps ahead while meeting refugees’ own information needs. What do resettling refugees need to learn before departure, and what information can wait until after arrival? Who is best placed to deliver predeparture orientation, and how can information be shared in the most accessible and credible way? And how can receiving communities best be supported in welcoming newcomers? To answer these questions, this Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar examines concrete and innovative practices of how to better design and implement predeparture orientation programs from the perspective of a diverse range of actors.

This webinar draws from the report, Preparing for the Unknown: Designing Effective Predeparture Orientation for Resettling Refugees and features remarks from the report authors, a refugee who went through resettlement process and now serves as a mentor for those being resettled in The Netherlands, and the head of the resettlement and integration support unit at IOM Norway. The report was produced in the framework of the European Union Action on Facilitating Resettlement and Refugee Admission through New Knowledge (EU-FRANK) project and lays out guiding principles for effective orientation programs for Member States as they decide or rethink what support they offer to refugees before arrival.

“Merit-Based” Immigration: Designing Successful Selection Systems

The U.S. administration is calling for the United States to adopt a more “merit-based” immigrant selection system, looking to Canada and Australia as potential models. An immigration proposal under consideration by the administration would adjust the composition of legal immigration, giving greater preference to skills over family ties. Much of the advanced industrial world—from Germany and the European Union to China and other Asian states—is also grappling with how best to attract and retain highly skilled immigrant workers as a means of enhancing human capital and economic competitiveness.

The conversation between Jean-Christophe Dumont, Head of the International Migration Division at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Migration Policy Institute (MPI) President Emeritus Demetrios G. Papademetriou focused on what policymakers should consider in designing—and managing—immigrant selection systems in a time of intense labor-market and demographic change. The discussion relied on recent MPI and OECD research on this topic, focusing primarily on the Canadian and Australian selection systems. MPI’s Julia Gelatt commented on the conversation from a U.S. policy perspective, discussing how lessons from abroad could apply to the United States.

A Mirror for the Nation? The Changing Profile of Mexican Immigrants in Texas

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on May 9th, 2019

While much of the U.S. debate on immigration from Mexico has focused on low-skilled immigrants, recent data suggest that the share of college-educated immigrants among recent Mexican arrivals is rising considerably. Texas is home to the second-largest U.S. population of highly skilled Mexican immigrants, a reflection of its proximity and deep economic ties to Mexico.

At this discussion experts from MPI and Southern Methodist University’s Texas-Mexico Center offer an overview of trends and key characteristics of highly skilled Mexican adults at the national level and for Texas, including educational levels by legal status and demographic differences and top industries of employment across Texas metro areas. The panelists engaged in a discussion on what these findings mean for Texas and its metro areas, causes behind the changing trends, and implications for immigration policy. They also examine the opportunities that addressing “brain waste”—the underutilization of college graduates’ skills—presents for the Texas economy and more broadly for the nation.         

Do All High School Graduates Count? Unintended Consequences of State Accountability Policies for English Learner Students

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on April 29th, 2019

High school graduation is an important personal achievement as well as a key indicator of school system effectiveness and a community’s potential economic vitality. For almost a decade, all U.S. states have used a common method to calculate the four-year graduation rate as part of their state school accountability system. This measure counts for a significant portion of a high school’s performance rating, which can gain it public accolades or identify it as a school in need of improvement. Even as rates of on-time graduation have improved, English Learners (ELs) post far lower rates than the national average.

This webinar marks the release of a Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report that investigates the unintended consequences of using the four-year graduation rate for school accountability. The report shows that ELs are more likely than other student subgroups to graduate in five or six years. However, most EL-serving high schools do not get credit for these graduates, as 60 percent of the nation’s ELs are served in states that only count the four-year rate for accountability purposes. Attaching high stakes to the four-year rate may also result in perverse incentives not to welcome high school EL newcomers out of fear these students will be unable to complete a degree in four years and thereby pull down the school’s performance rating. Schools may also mechanically redesign their instructional programs to “ensure” newcomers graduate in four years without evidence such a trajectory is possible or more educationally beneficial than a five- or six-year path.

Webinar participants also discuss the implications of California’s graduation rate policy choices. California does not use extended-year graduation rates for federal accountability, and—for state reporting—has adopted an alternative method for calculating graduation rates for continuation schools that serve older teenagers at significant risk of dropping out. Together, these policies may incentivize administrators to push ELs and other students who need more time to graduate out of traditional high schools and into alternative school settings. Speakers also discuss policy options states can consider to broaden the definition of a successful high school by using multiple graduation rate indicators.

Speakers: 

Russell W. Rumberger, Professor, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, UC Santa Barbara; Director, California Dropout Research Project

Julie Sugarman, Senior Policy Analyst for PreK-12 Education, Migration Policy Institute (MPI)

Moderator: 

Margie McHugh, Director, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, MPI

Children of Immigrants and Child Welfare Systems: Key Policy and Practice

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on April 23rd, 2019

Like other children, those born to immigrants can enter into a state’s child welfare system when there are reports of abuse or neglect by a parent or other caretaker.  Children with unauthorized immigrant parents may also intersect with the system if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests, detains, or deports a parent.

The increased numbers of children of immigrants in the United States (the vast majority U.S. born), along with developments in immigration policy and enforcement, have important implications for state and local child welfare agencies. Some jurisdictions have responded by developing specialized policies and practices, but there are significant variations around the country. To better understand state and local child welfare systems’ policies and practices for working with immigrant families, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) conducted discussions with administrators in 21 states and counties and reviewed relevant literature.

This webinar showcases the release of an MPI report, drawn from this research, that describes key policy issues for child welfare agencies and promising agency approaches. During this webinar, report authors MPI's Mark Greenberg and Ann Flagg of American Public Human Services Association, provide an overview of issues of intersection between immigration and child welfare systems and describe their findings regarding child welfare policies and practices to address the needs of children of immigrants and their families. Director of Georgia's Division of Family and Children Services Tom C. Rawlings and Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services Deputy Director Roberta Medina also share their perspectives and discuss key issues they are facing, and the report authors discuss their recommendations, with examples relating to organizational structure, training, language access, licensing of providers, screenings for immigration-status issues, interactions with foreign governments, and more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speakers: 

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

Silvia Giorguli, President, El Colegio de México

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Selee, President, Migration Policy Institute    

International vs. National Protection for Refugees: Diverging Trends?

The global response to the rising challenge of refugee displacement has been marked by two contradictory trends. First, at the international level there has been a recognition of the gravity of the problem and a move toward responsibility sharing and global governance of refugee situations—most notably through the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees in December 2018. At the same time, a very different trend is emerging among countries in the Global North as a number of governments have actively narrowed their protection frameworks, tightened asylum policies, and limited the rights of refugees through laws and policies, effectively strengthening barriers to movement for those who are seeking refuge or asylum.

This conversation explores the factors behind this divergence between the international community and national policies and what it means for cooperation at the international level.  MPI’s Kathleen Newland discusses what has been accomplished through the Global Compact on Refugees and what its implementation is likely to accomplish. Mary Giovagnoli, of Refugee Council USA, examines how protection policy has shifted in the United States and the implications this has for the ability of the international community to respond to global refugee needs. David Scott FitzGerald shares insights from his book, Refuge beyond Reach, regarding how asylum policies in high-income democracies have been adapted to shut down most legal paths to safety for refugees through a range of deterrence methods that, while complying with the letter of their international commitments to refugees, do not adhere to them in spirit.      

Addressing Trauma in Young Children in Immigrant and Refugee Families through Early Childhood Programs

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on April 3rd, 2019

Many young children of immigrants and refugees are affected by trauma, whether directly or through their parents or other family members. Early childhood programs have the potential to play an important role in identifying and addressing infant and early childhood mental-health challenges for immigrant families that may result from exposure to trauma and other stressors. However, their capacity to take a trauma-informed approach in their services and provide appropriate support and referrals—especially with regard to immigrant, refugee, and other culturally and linguistically diverse families—is limited.

During this webinar, speakers discuss the intersection of trauma and early childhood development, exploring how migration-related trauma and stressors can influence the wellbeing of young children of immigrants. Researchers, Maki Park and Caitlin Katsiaficas, from MPI's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy provide an overview of a MPI policy brief that seeks to raise awareness of this issue and points to key opportunities for states to support, through early childhood and other programs, the healthy socioemotional development of young children of immigrants and refugees who have experienced trauma. Jessica Dym Bartlett, Co-Director of Early Childhood Research at Child Trends, discussed efforts to integrate trauma-informed approaches into early childhood systems, with a focus on opportunities to expand access and quality of these services specifically for immigrant and refugee families with young children. Aimee Hilado, Wellness Program Senior Manager at RefugeeOne, the largest refugee resettlement agency in Illinois, discusses how home visiting services can effectively address trauma and mental health through a two-generation approach.

Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Conference: A Sense of Home - Reflection on Key Themes, Next Steps

Drawing on the expertise of housing experts, refugee and migrant organisations, social enterprises, and urban designers, this final session of the MPI Europe conference, ‘Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home,' reflects on the key themes and next steps identified in the two-day conference such as the potential of co-housing for community building; the role of urban planning for more inclusive cities; building innovative cross-sectoral partnerships; and novel approaches to measuring and communicating success in social innovation.

Moderator: Elizabeth Collett, Director, MPI Europe (on leave of absence); Special Adviser to the Director General, International Organization for Migration

Speakers

  • David Manicom, Assistant Deputy Minister, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada
  • Laura Corrado, Head of Unit, Legal Migration and Integration, DG Home, European Commission
  • Sorcha Edwards, Secretary General, Housing Europe

“Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home.” European Economic and Social Committee. 25 April, 2019. © 2019 EU.

Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Conference: A Sense of Home - Breakout Session: Innovative Partnerships

What types of partnerships best generate innovative ideas for refugee inclusion, what types of organizations should governments should partner with, and what are the challenges and opportunities of public-private partnerships? During this panel from the MPI Europe event, ‘Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home,' panelists answer these and other questions.

Moderator: Kenny Clewett, Director, Hello Europe Initiative, Ashoka, Spain

Speakers

  • Antigone Kotanidis, Project Coordinator on behalf of the Municipality of Athens, Curing the Limbo, Greece
  • Hugo Ortiz Dubon, Co-Founder and Diversity Strategist, We Link Sweden, Sweden
  • Viola Zabeti, Press and Opinion (Public Affairs), Union of Sweden, Stockholm

“Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home.” European Economic and Social Committee. 25 April, 2019. © 2019 EU.

Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Conference: A Sense of Home - Parallel Panel: ‘Innovative Cities and Rural Communities’

Discussants at this panel from an MPI Europe event, ‘Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home,' examine the innovative approaches of cities and rural areas when it comes to refugee inclusion.

Moderator: Haroon Saad, Lead Expert, Local Urban Development European Network, Belgium

Speakers

  • Eleftherios Papagiannakis, Vice Mayor for Migrants, Refugees, and Municipal Decentralization, Municipality of Athens, Greece
  • Mari Bjerck, Researcher, Eastern Norway Research Institute, Project SIMRA (Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas), Norway
  • Antoine Savary, Deputy Head of Unit, Legal Migration and Integration, DG Home, European Commission

“Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home.” European Economic and Social Committee. 25 April, 2019. © 2019 EU.

Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Conference: A Sense of Home - Breakout Session: ‘Beyond Employment: Social Inclusion Through Professional Life’

This panel examines the role of employment in creating a sense of home, including the role of professional mentoring in promoting social inclusion and access to the labour market. It was one of several panels at the MPI Europe event, ‘Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home'.

Moderator: Ben Mason, Researcher and project lead, Betterplace lab, Germany

Speakers

  • Julie Bodson, Advocacy Coordinator, DUO for a JOB, Belgium
  • Hugo Ortiz Dubon, Co-founder and diversity strategist, We Link Sweden, Sweden
  • Tariq Tarey, Director of Refugee Social Services, Jewish Family Services, United States

“Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home.” European Economic and Social Committee. 24 April, 2019. © 2019 EU.

Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Conference: A Sense of Home - Panel I: ‘Creating Home? Housing as a Gateway to Integration’

This panel from the MPI Europe conference, ‘Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home,' looks at housing as a gateway to integration and examines the role of a home in shaping opportunities for newcomers, what needs should be factored in, and how to reduce receiving communities’ anxieties concerning social change.

Welcoming Remarks

  • Stéphane Dion, Canadian Ambassador to Germany and Special Envoy to the European Union and Europe
  • Carlos Trindade, President, EESC Group on Immigration and Integration
  • Meghan Benton, Senior Policy Analyst and Assistant Director for Research, International Programme, Migration Policy Institute

Speakers

  • Anila Noor, Member of the European Migrant Advisory Board, Netherlands
  • Tariq Tarey, Director of Refugee Social Services, Jewish Family Services, United States
  • Doug Saunders, journalist and author, Canada/UK
  • Fuad Mahamed, Founder, Ashley Community Housing, United Kingdom
  • Moderator: Meghan Benton, MPI

“Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion: A Sense of Home.” European Economic and Social Committee. 24 April, 2019. © 2019 EU.

Upskilling the U.S. Labor Force: Mapping the Credentials of Immigrant-Origin Workers

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on March 8th, 2019

Amid an aging workforce, the retirement of baby boomers, and declining birth rates, the United States is expected to face a shortage of 8 million workers between now and 2027. At the same time, immigrant-origin adults are predicted to be main source of future labor force growth over the next two decades. Yet as the labor market seeks greater education and skills, 30 million adults who are immigrants or the children of immigrants lack postsecondary credentials. This webinar discusses a new MPI report offering a first-ever demographic profile of this population and analysis of the significant payoff credentials could bring in terms of workforce participation and wages.

 

Speakers include: 

Michael Fix, Senior Fellow and former President, Migration Policy Institute (MPI)

Jeanne Batalova, Senior Policy Analyst and Manager of the Migration Data Hub, MPI

Courtney Brown, Vice President of Strategic Impact, Lumina Foundation

Brenda Dann-Messier, Commissioner, Office of Postsecondary Education, Rhode Island

Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Director of Upskilling Policy, National Skills Coalition

A Conversation with António Vitorino, the Director General of the International Organization for Migration

The world is home to approximately 258 million international migrants, who represent 3.4 percent of the global population. About 10 percent of them are refugees. As countries seek to come to terms with record forcible displacement and manage other human movement, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is working with partners in the international community to respond to humanitarian emergencies and meet the operational challenges of migration management, advance a better understanding of migration issues, and promote orderly migration policies that can benefit migrants and Member States alike.

In this first and only public address during his inaugural formal visit to Washington, DC. Director General António Vitorino discussed his vision for IOM; reforms and changes in the UN system designed to address migration matters better; the coordination of efforts between IOM, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and other international partners in addressing humanitarian protection; and the operational steps IOM is taking to respond to forced migration and displacement in hotspots around the world, including Venezuela, Bangladesh, and Libya. Following a conversation with Demetrios Papademetriou, Mr. Vitorino took audience questions.

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

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

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

The discussion was primarily conducted in Spanish. 

Evento con la Secretaria de Gobernación de México Olga Sánchez Cordero

No se pierda el discurso que dio la Secretaria de Gobernación de México Olga Sánchez Cordero en el Instituto de Políticas Migratorias durante su primera visita oficial a Estados Unidos. Enfocó su discurso en cambios a la estrategia para abordar flujos de migrantes centroamericanos que llegan y pasan por México bajo la administración del presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador. La nueva política mexicana priorizará objetivos para lograr una migración segura, ordenada y regular, ella dijo. Escuche aquí:

A New Migration Policy for A New Era: A Conversation with Mexico’s Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero

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

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

The discussion at this event was mostly conducted in Spanish, and this version is the simultaneous English interpretation. 

Building the Foundations for Inclusion in Europe? - Session III: Integration policymaking in a time of populism: How can we broaden and deepen the integration toolbox?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on February 6th, 2019

Immigrant integration policymaking has become vastly more complex and under greater scrutiny amid the rise of populism in Europe. This panel from an MPI Europe event, Building the Foundations for Inclusion: What Does the Future Hold for Immigrant Integration in Europe?, examines what new skills and tools policymakers need, promising innovations integration policymakers could learn from other policy portfolios, and what institutions, systems, and actors need to be at the table.

 

Speakers include:

Laura Corrado, Head of Unit, Unit B.1 – Legal Migration and Integration, Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission

Honey Deihimi, Head of Division, Cabinet of the Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor and Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, Germany

David Manicom, Assistant Deputy Minister for Settlement and Integration, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada

Eleftherios Papagiannakis, Vice Mayor for Migrants, Refugees, and Municipal Decentralisation, Athens

Marco Zappalorto, Chief Executive, Nesta Italia

Building the Foundations for Inclusion in Europe? - Session II: The future of integration: How can we ensure that everyone can thrive in changing labour markets?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on February 6th, 2019

Amid population ageing and changing labour markets that could affect the skills, sectors, and structure of jobs themselves, governments across Europe are grappling with how to support migrants and refugees in increasingly unstable and knowledge-intensive labour markets. This panel from an MPI Europe event, Building the Foundations for Inclusion: What Does the Future Hold for Immigrant Integration in Europe?, examines how newcomers can capitalise on growing nontraditional pathways to economic success amid the digitisation and automation of many jobs, how social protection programmes can be updated to a changing world of work, and how schools and universities can help all young people succeed in future labour markets.

 

Speakers include:

Meghan Benton, Assistant Director, International Programme, MPI

Julie Bodson, Duo for a Job, Belgium

Pia Buhl Girolami, Specialist Director, Department of Integration, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Norway

Rachel Marangozov, Research Associate, Institute for Employment Studies; and Director, MigrationWork

Ben Mason, Project Lead, ‘Digital Routes to Integration’, betterplace lab

- Older Posts »