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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.

Human Rights, Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration: A New Paradigm

This MPI event, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), discusses the critical issue of climate-related displacement in the Asia-Pacific region, explored in depth in the joint MPI and IOM brief Human Rights, Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration: A New Paradigm. Climate change and environmental degradation are predicted to displace millions of people in the coming years, either directly or indirectly. While today’s international legal framework provides a degree of protection to those displaced by environmental factors and climatic events, there is no global consensus on a definition for such a group. In the absence of this, gaps in the legal system, and in implementation, how can recognition of the vulnerability of environmental migrants be facilitated and their protection ensured? This discussion explores how to protect climate change-induced migrants, particularly in the highly vulnerable Asia-Pacific region.

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Education for the Future: Extending Georgia’s High School and College Reforms to its Growing Immigrant Population

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on March 20th, 2014

This Migration Policy Institute webinar discusses the report from MPI's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, released on March 20, which provides one of the first cross-system analyses of the educational experiences of Georgia’s first- and second-generation youth. Speakers include report authors Michael Fix, MPI CEO and Director of Studies, Sarah Hooker, MPI Policy Analyst, and moderator Margie McHugh, MPI Director of the National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, as well as Pedro Portes, Executive Director of the University of Georgia Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education, and Elizabeth Webb, Director of ELL Programs for Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Georgia has experienced one of the fastest rates of growth from immigration in the United States over the past two decades, and today one in five Georgia youth is foreign born or is the child of parents who are immigrants or refugees. The educational outcomes of the state’s first- and second- generation young adults (ages 16-26) are cause for concern, however. Many are English Language Learners (ELLs), and they lag considerably behind their nonimmigrant peers in terms of high school graduation, college access, and postsecondary degree completion. They often face extra hurdles as they seek to develop academic English-language skills, complete high school course requirements, navigate the transition to college and careers, and finance postsecondary education—often while juggling work and family responsibilities. Educators in districts such as Gwinnett County—which enrolls one-fifth of the state’s ELL students—are on the front lines of efforts to address these challenges.

The webinar assesses where Georgia’s ambitious education reforms have met—or failed to meet—the needs of this growing population, including those who have been granted status under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The report, Education Reform in a Changing Georgia: Promoting High School and College Success for Immigrant Youth, is available online.

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Children on the Run: An Analysis of First-Hand Accounts from Children Fleeing Central America

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on March 12th, 2014

This Migration Policy Institute event with UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres features findings from UNHCR’s report, Children on the Run, which examines the increasing numbers of children from Central America and Mexico who head off alone to find refuge in the United States, fleeing violence, insecurity, and abuse in their communities and at home. The panel moderated by Kathleen Newland, Director of the Refugee Protection and Migrants, Migration, and Development Programs at MPI, also includes speakers Javier Sagredo, an advisor in the UN Development Programme's Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Leslie E. Vélez, UNHCR Senior Protection Officer. A troubling new trend has emerged among those seeking asylum: the number of children making the treacherous journey alone and unaccompanied from Mexico and the countries of Central America—particularly El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala—has doubled each year since 2010. And the U.S. government estimates 60,000 children will reach U.S. soil this fiscal year in search of safe haven. This discussion surrounding the UNHCR study, which was based on interviews that a team of researchers did with more than 400 unaccompanied children, analyzes the reasons behind the growing migration of this vulnerable population and makes recommendations for a way forward.

The UNHCR report is available online here.

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A Treacherous Journey: Child Migrants Navigating the U.S. Immigration System

This Migration Policy Institute panel discussion on unaccompanied minors focuses on a report by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) at UC Hastings College of the Law, A Treacherous Journey: Child Migrants Navigating the U.S. Immigration System. The panel moderated by Kathleen Newland, Director of the Refugee Protection and Migrants at MPI, includes speakers Elizabeth Dallam, KIND National Legal Services Director, Lisa Frydman, CGRS Associate Director and Managing Attorney, Karen Musalo, CGRS Director, and KIND Executive Director Wendy Young. The discussion focuses on the conclusion that children face a system created for adults that is not required to consider the child’s best interests. Despite the potentially enormous impact of the proceedings on their lives and futures, unaccompanied children are not provided lawyers to help them navigate the complex requirements of immigration proceedings.


The report is available at www.supportkind.org and www.cgrs.uchastings.edu.

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A Transatlantic Conversation: Managing Migration in the Era of Mobility

This Migration Policy Institute panel discussion, presented in cooperation with the Greek Embassy, explores how the 2014 Greek Presidency of the European Union and the United States can work to address the challenges of managing migration while meeting humanitarian obligations and nurturing economic growth. Speakers are: Ambassador of Greece to the United States Christos P. Panagopoulos; U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard; MPI CEO Michael Fix; and moderator Demetrios G. Papademetriou, the President of MPI. 


As the 2014 Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union works to formulate the European Union’s next five-year program, two interconnected challenges have come to the fore: building a comprehensive migration system whose parts work harmoniously to meet humanitarian obligations and nurture economic growth and social cohesion, and doing so with very limited resources. Europe is not alone in the difficulties it faces in meeting these goals—and in fact shares many of these challenges with the United States. This discussion bridges these critical themes and offer ideas on how to manage more effectively the opportunities and responsibilities migration writ large creates.

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Managing Borders in North America: Charting the Future

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on February 7th, 2014

This Migration Policy Institute (MPI) panel discussion offers perspectives on border policy management from leading officials in the U.S., Canadian, and Mexican governments, and showcases MPI's edited volume, Managing Borders in an Increasingly Borderless World. Book co-editors Randall Hansen of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and MPI President Demetrios Papademetriou, as well as Mexican Ambassador to the United States Eduardo Medina Mora, Canada Border Services Agency Executive Vice President Malcolm Brown, former Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection David V. Aguilar, and Mexico's former Undersecretary of Population, Migration, and Religious Affairs Gustavo Mohar, discuss continuing and evolving challenges in border management and security. The book covers these challenges—terrorism, organized crime, illegal migration, smuggling, trafficking, human rights, infrastructure, corruption, and economic and political factors—and offers an analysis of effective and ineffective policies and programs. The panelists discuss the challenges and successes their governments have had in pursuing better, more effective, and smarter border controls, and the deepening regional cooperation in this important policy area.

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Effective Labour Migration Management Session II: Labour migration policy responsiveness to the business and worker needs

Posted in International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on December 19th, 2013

This Migration Policy Institute Europe panel discussion, one of two at an event organized with the Bertelsmann Stiftung, entitled “Effective Labour Migration Management: Creating Checks and Balances while Searching for Talent,” assesses the extent to which current labour migration systems are tailored to the needs of businesses and, at the same time, are able to protect and foster the labour and social rights of both migrant and native workers. The session brings the social partners' perspective into the debate and includes a discussion of the regulations of intra-company transfers and of the challenges and opportunities for integrating labour mobility provisions into trade agreements. The session is moderated by MPI Europe Director Elizabeth Collett and features Constantino Fotakis, a former adviser to the European Commission’s DG Employment; Carsten von der Linden of the Boston Consulting Group; Pauline Mathewson of Fragomen Worldwide; and Marco Cilento of the European Trade Union Confederation.

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Effective Labour Migration Management Session I: Integrating labour migration into modern European economies

Posted in International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on December 18th, 2013

This Migration Policy Institute Europe event, organized with the Bertelsmann Stiftung, entitled “Effective Labour Migration Management: Creating Checks and Balances while Searching for Talent” brought together experts, policymakers, and social partners involved in the management of labor migration to discuss the various options available to policymakers when trying to design an 'optimally balanced' labor migration policy. This panel was the first of two, and focused on key questions such as: how can policymakers strike a balance between integrating migrant workers with the right mix of skills to support economic growth and demographic sustainability, and reduce the cost of immigration for public budgets and the local labour market and society? Can governments minimise the costs of immigration by limiting either access or rights for lower-skilled migrants? And what needs to be done today to forge a fair deal on talent in the medium term? It also served as the Brussels launch of Martin Ruhs’ book, The Price of Rights: Regulating International Labour Migration. The session is moderated by MPI Senior Policy Analyst Madeleine Sumption and features author and Oxford University Lecturer Martin Ruhs, Bertelmann Stiftung’s Christal Morehouse, and Thomas Liebig, of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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Tackling Brain Waste among Immigrant Professionals: Initiatives to Improve the Recognition of Foreign Qualifications

Posted in US Immigration Policy, International Migration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on December 12th, 2013

This Migration Policy Institute panel discussion focuses on the circulation of skilled immigrant professionals and the recognition of foreign qualifications in the United States and Europe. The event brought together experts and policymakers from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss what governments can do to improve the recognition of foreign credentials — particularly in regulated occupations where time-consuming and expensive licensing processes can substantially delay access to skilled employment. The discussion highlights promising practices (including an example from Quebec), and identifies ways US policymakers can learn from European innovations in qualifications recognition and how international cooperation can help — both across the Atlantic and further afield. The event coincided with the release of the final report of a two-year research initiative funded by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. Read the report: Skilled Immigrants in the Global Economy: Prospects for International Cooperation on Recognition of Foreign Qualifications.

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2013 E Pluribus Unum Prizes Keynote Address by Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL)

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on December 6th, 2013

Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), who chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ immigration task force and is the author of the recent book, Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill, provided keynote remarks for the Migration Policy Institute’s 2013 E Pluribus Unum Prizes awards ceremony, held in Washington DC in December 2013. This year’s prize winners included Twin Cities-based Neighborhood Development Center, the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in Washington DC, and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. Kaiser Permanente received the E Pluribus Unum Prizes’ Corporate Leadership Award. After an introduction by Michael Fix, Senior Vice President and Co-Director of MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, Congressman Gutierrez spoke about the importance of integration in the immigration debate. He discussed his belief that immigrant integration efforts are key to allowing immigrants to fully participate in and contribute to society in the United States and his steadfast support for immigration reform. For more on the E Pluribus Unum Prizes and the 2013 winners, visit www.integrationawards.org.

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2013 E Pluribus Unum Prizes Award Ceremony

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on December 6th, 2013

The Migration Policy Institute’s 2013 E Pluribus Unum Prizes awards ceremony, held in Washington, DC in December 2013, honored four exceptional immigrant integration initiatives in the United States—three with a $50,000 prize and one a Corporate Leadership Award. After an introduction by Michael Fix and Margie McHugh, Co-Directors of MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee and its immigration subcommittee, introduced one of the winners: Twin Cities-based Neighborhood Development Center (NDC). The prize was accepted by NDC’s Founder and President Mihailo Temali. The award to Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in Washington, DC was accepted by Founder and President Sonia Gutierrez. For the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, the prize was accepted by Executive Director Eva Millona. And Gayle Tang, Senior Director, National Diversity and Inclusion, accepted the E Pluribus Unum Prizes’ Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of Kaiser Permanente. For more on the E Pluribus Unum Prizes and the 2013 winners, visit www.integrationawards.org.

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2013 E Pluribus Unum Prizes Awardee Panel Discussion

Posted in US Immigration Policy, Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on December 6th, 2013

The Migration Policy Institute’s 2013 E Pluribus Unum Prizes awards ceremony held in Washington, DC in December 2013 included a panel discussion with the winners of the prizes, which honor exceptional immigrant integration initiatives in the United States. Moderator Margie McHugh, who co-directs MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, discussed immigrant integration practice and policy with the winners: Allison Kokkoros of the adult-focused Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in Washington, DC; Eva Millona of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition; Mihailo Temali of the Twin Cities-based Neighborhood Development Center; and Gayle Tang of Kaiser Permanente. The discussion also featured Felicia Escobar, Senior Policy Director for Immigration at the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Ronald G. Marlow, Assistant Secretary for Access and Opportunity, state of Massachusetts Executive Office of the Governor. For more on the E Pluribus Unum Prizes and the 2013 winners, visit integrationawards.org.

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A Conversation with the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees T. Alexander Aleinikoff about the Syrian Crisis, Other UNHCR Work

Posted in Refugees, IDPs, and Humanitarian Response by migrationpolicy on November 22nd, 2013

More than two and a half years of violent conflict in Syria have left between one-quarter and one-third of the Syrian population displaced internally or seeking refuge abroad, with many still departing the country. UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees T. Alexander Aleinikoff joined Kathleen Newland, who directs MPI's refugee protection work, for a discussion on what is now considered one of the biggest humanitarian emergencies in a generation. In addition to discussing the key concerns UNHCR has identified in the Syrian crisis and the regional and international responses, Mr. Aleinikoff and Ms. Newland discussed some of UNHCR’s other priorities and areas of action, such as the Somalian refugee situation and prospects for innovation in UNHCR.

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Life Beyond Congressional Action

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 4th, 2013

This panel discussion at the 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference held on October 31, 2013 examines immigration policy areas that lend themselves to possible administrative action. Panelists discussed what roles the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, prosecutorial discretion, and provisional unlawful presence waivers play, and how states and local governments might respond to the presence of both unauthorized and authorized immigrants. The discussion was moderated by Jeanne Atkinson, Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC). The panelists were Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center; Lynden Melmed, Partner, Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP; and Wendy Young, President, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). The Law and Policy Conference was organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Georgetown University Law Center, the Center for Migration Studies of New York, and CLINIC.

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A New Reality at the Border: Assessing Current Conditions and Considerations for Future Policy

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 4th, 2013

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Michael J. Fisher is among panelists discussing U.S. border security measures, the impact of these measures on local communities and commerce, and the wider consequences of border security-related actions during a panel at the 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference convened October 31, 2013 by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., Georgetown University Law Center, and the Center for Migration Studies of New York. The panel was moderated by Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Deputy Director of Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Migration. The other panelists joining Chief Fisher were Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; and Fernando Garcia, Executive Director, Border Network for Human Rights.

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Lessons from the Past: Looking to IRCA and Other Programs in Reforming the US Immigration System

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 4th, 2013

During this panel discussion at the 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference convened October 31, 2013 by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., Georgetown University Law Center, and the Center for Migration Studies of New York, panelists discussed the political, public policy, and implementation lessons from the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) and from recent programs, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. The panel was moderated by Donald Kerwin, Executive Director of the Center for Migration Studies. The panelists were Muzaffar Chishti, Director of the MPI Office at NYU School of Law; Charles Kamasaki, Executive Vice President, National Council of La Raza; and Jan C. Ting, Professor of Law at the Temple University Beasley School of Law.

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Former Mississippi Governor and former Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour on the Role of Immigrants in the U.S.

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 1st, 2013

Former Mississippi Governor and former Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour delivered a keynote address at the 10th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, which occurred on October 31, 2013 and was organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., Center for Migration Studies of New York, and Georgetown University Law Center. During his remarks, Governor Barbour touched upon the role that immigrants played in helping rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina and discussed the importance of building high-skilled, low-skilled, and temporary workforces to ensure American competitiveness and success in the global economy. He also discussed the prospects for immigration reform. Governor Barbour was introduced by MPI President Demetrios Papademetriou.

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State of Play: Insights from the Field and Washington on the Immigration Reform Debate

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 1st, 2013

During this panel discussion at the 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference convened October 31, 2013 by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., Georgetown University Law Center, and the Center for Migration Studies of New York, panelists discussed the state of play of immigration policy and politics in Washington and in the states, the changing dynamics, and mobilizations underway by advocacy groups on both sides of the debate. The panel discussion was moderated by Doris Meissner, who directs MPI’s U.S. immigration policy program. The panelists were Roy Beck, President and CEO of Numbers USA; Fawn Johnson, National Journal Correspondent; Ryan Lizza, Washington Correspondent, The New Yorker; Bruce A. Morrison, Chair of the Morrison Public Affairs Group; and Lorella Praeli, Director of Advocacy & Policy, United We Dream.

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Sen. John McCain Discusses the Prospects for Immigration Reform in the 113th Congress

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on November 1st, 2013

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) delivers a keynote address during the 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, which occurred on October 31, 2013 and was organized by the Migration Policy Institute, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., Center for Migration Studies of New York, and Georgetown University Law Center. During his speech, Senator McCain discussed the prospects for immigration reform, reiterated his support for reform that includes an eventual path to citizenship for the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population, and addressed criticism that the immigration legislation that passed the Senate in June 2013 would harm the economy and U.S. workers. 

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The Ongoing Challenge of Ensuring Human Rights for Migrants in the European Union and United States

Posted in US Immigration Policy, International Migration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on October 21st, 2013

In this panel discussion at the Migration Policy Institute, Morten Kjaerum, Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and former Founding Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights, discussed the state of rights protection in Europe as well as his agency’s role in this evolving arena. The FRA’s goal is to promote understanding and secure fundamental rights in the European Union, and the discussion explored the organization’s work collecting and analyzing hard-to-find data, and its strategies for using this to combat discrimination against migrants and other minority populations. Other speakers focused on the evolution of the immigrant-rights movement in the United States, with comments by Lucas Guttentag, Founder and former National Director and Senior Advisor of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; and Becky Monroe, Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The speakers discussed shared challenges and opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic, a conversation that was particularly relevant in light of the loss of human life at Lampedusa and the deportation of a teenage Roma girl seeking asylum in France. The panel was moderated by MPI Senior Vice President Michael Fix.

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