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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.

2016 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Supreme Lack of Clarity: Legal & Political Implications of the U.S. vs. Texas Case and Next Steps

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on September 28th, 2016

A deadlocked U.S. Supreme Court in June left in place the nationwide injunction barring implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which would have provided deportation relief for up to 4 million unauthorized immigrants. While the decision set no legal precedent, it has left the future of deferred action in the balance: Returning the case to the lower courts where a number of scenarios could play out based on how the Justice Department, the states that brought the challenge, and the presiding appellate and district judges respond. In this discussion, experts discuss what led to the outcome in the case and the choices that the next administration will face. Panelists discuss the legal challenge's effect on the DACA program and examine the implications for states and the advocacy community. Speakers include Cristina Jiménez, Co-Founder and Managing Director of United We Dream; Stephen H. Legomsky, John S. Lehmann University Professor Emeritus at Washington University School of Law and Former Chief Counsel at U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services; David Shahoulian, Deputy General Counsel at U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Rebecca Tallent, Head of U.S. Government Relations at Dropbox and former Policy Assistant to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner; and moderator Muzaffar Chishti, Director of MPI's office in New York, based at NYU School of Law. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2016 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Refugee Resettlement in the United States: The Dawn of a New Era?

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on September 28th, 2016

More than 65 million people have been forced to flee their homes, including 21 million refugees who have crossed international borders in search of a safe haven. The United States long has accepted more refugees annually for resettlement than any other country, though the numbers represent a tiny portion of those awaiting resettlement around the globe. Yet that historical welcome is under challenge in ways not seen since the immediate aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris, more than half of the nation’s governors announced opposition to the further resettlement of refugees in their states. And there are calls in Congress for major changes to the resettlement program, which will admit 85,000 refugees this fiscal year, even as defenders note that those under consideration for resettlement undergo more stringent security screening than all other would-be immigrants and travelers to the United States. This panel at the 13th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference discusses the policy and legal concerns raised by state and federal lawmakers about the resettlement of refugees, examines how the federal government and its humanitarian partners have responded to these concerns, and addresses the implications of these challenges for the future of a program that has resettled more than 3 million refugees since 1975. Speakers include T. Alexander Aleinikoff, former United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees and Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School; Kevin Fandl, Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at Fox School of Business, Temple University; Anna Greene, Policy and Advocacy Director for U.S. Programs at International Rescue Committee; and moderator Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Director of the Center for Applied Legal Studies and Human Rights Institute and Professor from Practice at Georgetown Law. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2016 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Immigration and the Republican Party: A Dividing Issue for a Divided Party?

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on September 28th, 2016

Immigration proved a central issue in the 2016 Republican primaries, helping eventual GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump emerge from a crowded field of 17 candidates and solidify his standing with a conservative base that is deeply skeptical about immigration. With the focus now turning to the general election, Republican Party leaders, strategists, and intellectuals from different vantage points—the #NeverTrump, #NeverHillary, pro-business, and libertarian wings of the party—are coming at the immigration debate differently, with differing interpretations of how pivotal immigration will prove to be in attracting or repelling voters and constituencies. This panel at the 13th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference delves into the range of views and approaches to immigration that are in play among Republicans and discuss their implications for the next Congress and the future of the party. Panelists discuss the on-the-ground strategy and lessons, their views on where immigration fits in today’s Republican Party, and how the election discourse on immigration is likely to affect the party going forward. Speakers include Alfonso Aguilar, President of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles; Linda Chavez, President of the Becoming American Institute; Daniel Garza, Executive Director of the LIBRE Initiative; Tamar Jacoby, President of ImmigrationWorks USA; and moderator Josh Gerstein, Senior Reporter, covering the courts, justice, and national security issues, at POLITICO‎. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2016 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Keynote Address: Senator Dick Durbin

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on September 28th, 2016

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois discusses deferred action for unauthorized immigrants, the DREAM Act, refugee resettlement, and other issues facing U.S. policymakers on immigration in this keynote address opening the 2016 Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2016 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Family Detention, PEP, and Prosecutorial Discretion: Developments in Immigration Enforcement

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on September 28th, 2016

Immigration enforcement, always a central component of immigration policy, has received particular focus throughout President Obama’s administration. Regardless of who wins the presidential election in November, enforcement will likely continue to play a large—and contested—role for the next four years. In this panel discussion at the 13th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, speakers Elizabeth Cedillo-Pereira, Senior Advisor to the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security; Dree K. Collopy, Partner at Benach Collopy LLP and Co-Director, Immigration Litigation Clinic, Catholic University School of Law; Thomas D. Homan, Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security; Stephen Manning, Partner at Immigrant Law Group PC and Director, Innovation Law Lab; and moderator Charles Wheeler, Director of Training and Legal Support, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, INC. examine three key aspects of current U.S. immigration enforcement: family detention and policies affecting unaccompanied children; the replacement of the Secure Communities federal-local immigration enforcement cooperation program with the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) amid rising local resistance to cooperation with the federal government; and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidance on its use of prosecutorial discretion with regards to deportation decisions. Panelists evaluate the successes and failures of these policies, and consider what legislative and other change could happen in the upcoming year. The conference is organized annually by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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2016 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Panel: Immigration Politics & Policy in 2016: How Will Immigration Electioneering Affect Post-Election Policymaking?

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on September 28th, 2016

Immigration proved an especially contested battleground during the 2016 Republican primary season and appears likely to be a top-tier issue in the general election, amid striking contrasts in policy and tone between the two major political campaigns. Moderated by MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner, this panel at the 13th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference explores the role immigration is playing in the campaigns and politics of the election. Panelists include David Frum, Senior Editor at The Atlantic; Rosalind Gold, Senior Director of Policy, Research and Advocacy at the NALEO Educational Fund; Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice; and Karen Tumulty, National Political Correspondent at The Washington Post. The discussion focuses in particular on the stances of the presidential nominees and other leading voices. How will a new Congress and administration move forward, given the complicated political dynamics within each party? What is each presidential candidate likely to do in his or her first 100 days? And what will the legislative landscape for immigration action look like in 2017? Panelists explore these and other pressing questions.

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A New Era in Refugee Protection and Migration Management? Looking Forward After UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response, International Migration by migrationpolicy on September 28th, 2016

Housing an estimated 263,000 Somali refugees, the Dadaab camp is one of the world's largest refugee camps, and for more than 20 years, it has been home to generations of Somalis who have fled conflict. However, in 2016, the Kenyan government closed its Department of Refugee Affairs and announced its intention to close Dadaab camp, or at the very least drastically reduce the number of refugees in the camp by the end of the year. Based on a 2013 agreement with Somalia and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the “voluntary repatriation" of Somali refugees, the Kenyan government has been encouraging Somalis in the camp to volunteer to return in exchange for cash assistance. What these refugees will find on return to Somalia, however, is questionable, as conditions there do not appear stable or conducive to large-scale return. For those Somalis who remain in the camp and do not take the volunteer repatriation package, the future is no less uncertain—will they be forced to return without assistance if the camp closes, and if they do manage to remain in Kenya, will they be left without food assistance and subject to arrest for illegal presence?

Back from a recent trip to the region, Human Rights Watch researchers have released a report exploring the situation of refugees in Dadaab. Hear them share their findings from on-the-ground interviews and observations, along with their recommendations for the Kenyan government and international community. 

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2016 Immigration Law and Policy Conference – Keynote Address: Alejandro Mayorkas

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on September 28th, 2016

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas discusses refugee resettlement and other pressing immigration issues in this keynote address opening the 2016 Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center.

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Closing the Gap? The Role of Funding in Equitable Education for English Learners in the United States

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on August 25th, 2016

There has been considerable policy activity and innovation over the last 50 years to improve educational equity across student populations, starting with civil-rights lawsuits in the 1960s over access to high-quality education and continuing through the 2001 and 2015 reauthorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Disproportionately lower achievement outcomes for several student subgroups have remained a top concern during this time, including those for economically disadvantaged students, English Learners (ELs), and certain racial and ethnic minority groups.

Marking the release of a new report, this webinar will explore the key funding mechanisms in place to support EL students, including federal Title III and state supplementary funding sources. In light of broad trends toward more decentralized decisionmaking and the increased opportunities that follow for stakeholder input to shape key educational policies, presenters discuss the diverse sources of information that should be brought to bear on public conversations about funding. These include demographic trends in the student population, district and school-based services that meet diverse student needs, and what efforts are being made to improve educational quality and student outcomes. Drawing examples from recent national and state-level actions, the speakers demonstrate how efforts to improve educational quality for ELs are tightly bound to efforts to improve the equitable distribution of educational resources.
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DACA at Four: Estimating the Potentially Eligible Population and Assessing Application and Renewal Trends

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on August 11th, 2016

August marks the fourth anniversary of implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Since its launch in 2012, DACA has provided a reprieve from deportation and temporary eligibility to work legally in the United States to more than 700,000 young unauthorized immigrants. And in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision not to allow a more expansive deferred-action initiative for parents to go forward, DACA remains the only large-scale initiative that offers relief from deportation to unauthorized immigrants.

This webinar marked the release of a new Migration Policy Institute issue brief that includes the most current estimates of potential DACA beneficiaries, which were generated using data from the 2014 American Community Survey (ACS) and MPI’s unique assignments of unauthorized status to noncitizens in the data. Webinar participants discussed their findings regarding the rates of those who have applied, have sought renewal, and may apply for a second renewal of status, along with data on those who might be eligible in the future for DACA or able to gain eligibility through education. They also discussed recent policy and political developments, present trends in DACA requests and application rates by country of origin and at U.S. and state levels, and examine how DACA has affected the social integration, education, and employment of qualifying young unauthorized immigrants. 
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Beyond Brexit: The Policy and Political Lessons for Immigration-Anxious Countries

Posted in Mobility and Security, International Migration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on July 14th, 2016

The United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union has given new momentum to euroskeptic, nationalist, and anti-immigration movements elsewhere in Europe. While many of the policy impacts of the referendum will not be known for a while yet, the vote has pointed, in stunning fashion, to the rising public anxiety over immigration levels and concerns over governments' ability to manage flows and foster successful immigrant integration.


On this webinar, MPI Europe President Demetrios Papademetriou, who is also President emeritus of MPI, and experts associated with MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration discuss the political and policy lessons that can be learned from Brexit and applied to debates in both Europe and North America, including how to address concerns over immigration, identity, and immigrant integration while managing migration in a globalized economy. The discussion will also touched on a Transatlantic Council report, Understanding and Addressing Public Anxiety About Immigration.

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Using Supplementary School Funding to Improve the Educational Outcomes of Migrant-Background Students: A Transatlantic Comparison

The educational needs of immigrant students in primary and secondary schools pose a growing challenge for policymakers and educators, whether in countries such as the United States, where nearly 10 percent of students are learning English, or in Germany, which is dealing with record numbers of asylum seekers. Many local schools lack the resources and capacities to meet the needs of these students, particularly given that many have limited or interrupted formal education, coupled with low or no proficiency in the language of instruction.


Speakers on this webinar discuss the need for supplementary funding to support the educational needs of migrant-background students and provide an overview of the mechanics of school funding for migrant-background students in the four focal countries examined in the report. They also discuss how schools use those funds to provide specialized services, and highlight the most salient choices facing policymakers who seek to use supplementary funding mechanisms to better support effective, high-quality educational services for children from immigrant and refugee families.
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How to Fix the Global Migration Management System

More people than ever before are on the move, crossing international borders in search of safety, livelihoods, opportunity, or the chance to reunite their families. States are ill-prepared to deal with these mixed flows of refugees and other migrants, especially those who move without prior authorization from the countries they seek to enter.  

Much of the focus is on how best to address the immediate and urgent needs of refugees—and for good reason. But much less attention has been paid to protecting the human rights of other migrants, or to creating orderly processes and expanding opportunities for legal migration. Increased mobility is a fact of life in the 21st century, and cannot be continually dealt with as a crisis. 

There are signs that national governments and international institutions are working toward building collective humanitarian responses and designing more flexible systems that can respond not just to emergencies but also to protracted displacement and large-scale movements of people who are not refugees. A series of high-profile international meetings will culminate in September at a special session of the UN General Assembly and at the Leaders' Summit on Refugees convened by President Obama. These meetings provide an opportunity for states to bring greater safety, order, and benefits to international migration.

At this co-sponsored event, Lars Westbratt, State Secretary to the Swedish Minister for Justice and Migration; Simon Henshaw, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; and Kathleen Newland, Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute, discuss global and national responses to rising displacement, innovations in managing migration processes, and attempt to address the dysfunctional aspects of international migration. An introduction and welcome is given by H.E. Björn Lyrvall, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States.
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Will Britain Leave the EU? The Role of Immigration in Brexit

Posted in International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on May 25th, 2016

On June 23, 2016, in what polling suggests will be a very close decision, UK citizens will decide whether the United Kingdom will remain part of the European Union (EU) or exit. The decision on the “Brexit” referendum will have enormous ramifications, in terms of trade, policy, and for the free movement of people and labor. 
 
While there have been referenda on key issues in EU countries before, this is the first time that a major Member State has put full membership to the test. Yet for many European governments, Brexit is a second-tier issue, behind the refugee crisis, the rise of the populist far right, the aftermath of the 2008-09 recession, and security on the Eastern border. Nonetheless, if the United Kingdom decides to exit, it is highly likely that the broader European project will suffer, boosting Euroskepticism and spurring debates over EU membership in other countries.
 
MPI hosts a discussion exploring how the migration politics and policies of the UK government influenced the decision to hold the referendum, how it might influence the result, and how the referendum’s outcome could impact migration policy in the United Kingdom and the European Union more broadly.
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DAPA in the Balance: Supreme Court Arguments and Potential Impacts on U.S. Families and Communities

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on April 14th, 2016

On April 18, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in U.S. v. Texas, the Obama administration’s appeal of a lower federal court order suspending DAPA implementation. How the court rules in this legal challenge filed by 26 states will have both economic and social impacts on the population of eligible parents, their families, and the communities in which they reside. MPI experts explore who makes up the affected population, analyzing the legal arguments presented to the court, and examining the potential immediate and long-term implications of this case.

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Asylum Reception in the European Union: A Flexible Model for the Future?

The pressure brought by the recent mass influx of migrants and refugees to Europe has drawn attention to the need for systems to receive and house new arrivals that can adapt to unpredictable numbers, remain cost-efficient, and meet national and EU standards. But what does it take to set up and manage a reception system that can simultaneously meet the demands of flexibility, quality, and efficiency?


Michael Kegels, Fedasil Belgium’s Director of Operational Services and author of the recent MPI Europe report, Getting the Balance Right: Strengthening Asylum Reception Capacity at National and EU Levels, discusses how to devise a more responsive asylum reception system at national and EU levels that upholds common standards. He is joined by representatives from the Austrian Ministry of Interior and EASO to reflect on the practical challenges of meeting asylum-seeker reception demand, the prospects of greater cooperation, and the place of asylum reception policy at the heart of the Common European Asylum System.  
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Resettlement Plus: Clearing the Path to Safety and Opportunity for Refugees

Following the March 30, 2016 meeting of global leaders hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), MPI Europe convened a discussion to examine the outcomes of the conference, and provide an analysis of how states and civil society can work together to realize the intensifying calls for new pathways to support the safe and legal migration—and successful integration—of refugees in practice. Speakers consider what initiatives already exist to facilitate the legal mobility of refugee groups, and critically assess the potential and pitfalls that come with each. The discussion also examines new and creative ideas that have emerged in the wake of the Syria crisis.

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How Well Are Young Children of Refugees Integrating into the United States?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on March 23rd, 2016

On this webinar, MPI analysts and experts in the field discuss the results of an analysis comparing young children of refugees to other U.S. children on several key indicators of well-being. This analysis is based on U.S. Census Bureau data with MPI’s unique assignments of refugee status to the foreign-born population, as well as administrative data on refugee arrivals from the U.S. Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, and Office of Refugee Resettlement. Key indicators to be discussed include geographic resettlement patterns, languages spoken, English proficiency, family structure, parental education and employment, poverty rates, use of public benefits, and health insurance coverage. The report analyzed these indicators for the most common refugee origin groups, including Vietnam, Cuba, Laos, Ukraine, Somalia, Haiti, Russia, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Burma, and 10 others.

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Europe’s Migration Crisis: A Status Report and the Way Forward

As the migration crisis in Europe continues unabated and a deepening crisis in Syria unfolds, European policymakers are struggling to come to terms with two of the most urgent elements: making certain that 2016 is not just a repetition of 2015 (or worse) and finding the key to incorporating those among the 1.5 million migrants who will be allowed to stay (whether under some form of protection or simply because EU Member States find deportations “difficult”).


Freshly returned from several months working on the crisis from MPI Europe’s offices in Brussels, Demetrios G. Papademetriou provides a briefing on how the policy response to the crisis has unfolded at EU and national levels, and sketches an affirmative vision for what the short-, mid-, and long-term responses must be if Europe is to respond more effectively to the crisis and tackle the longer-term integration challenges. 
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Scaling Up Resettlement: The Role of Private Sponsorship Programs in Addressing the Refugee Crisis

Posted in International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on February 8th, 2016

As the European Union considers scaling up plans to resettle refugees from Turkey and other countries of first asylum to improve protection, as well as reduce pressures to travel illicitly, limit the power of criminal networks and develop more equitable responsibility sharing among EU Member States, speakers, including the author of a recent MPI report, will discuss their analysis on how private sponsorship programs for refugees could possibly enhance outcomes and spread costs. 

Used by Canada, Australia, and a handful of other countries, as well as 15 of the 16 German länder, these programs permit private individuals, groups, corporations, and other entities to sponsor individual refugees for resettlement and accept financial responsibility for them for a period of time. Panelists explore how these programs, if implemented or expanded in EU countries, might provide an additional safe and orderly channel for refugees to gain protection and become one part of the broader solution that policymakers are seeking in response to the current crisis. 
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