European Asylum and Immigration Policy
The European Union's transition toward a common asylum system by 2004 creates one of the most intense migration-policy laboratories in the world. Through a series of roundtables and publications, this project monitors and analyzes European policy developments, bringing to the European debate relevant experiences and best practices from other regions, and working with European officials and civil society organizations to put forward practical options for more constructive migration management.
Legal Norms for Migration
The Berne Initiative, undertaken in June 2001 by the Government of Switzerland, began the process of creating an international framework for the management of migration. In collaboration with this initiative, MPI is conducting research and writing on the international legal system's provisions, procedures, and legal requirements for international migration. Part of this work is a collaborative study on current international legal norms for migration. The study is being completed in collaboration with the Institut Universitaire des Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva), and is co-sponsored by the Swiss Government and the International Organization for Migration's Migration Policy and Research Programme. Visit the web site of the study's first conference. This project also includes regular study and evaluation of U.S. immigration law and legal developments.
Analyst: Kathleen Newland
Migration Information Source
The Migration Information Source is an on-line resource providing current and accurate migration and refugee data and analysis. The Source, guided by a panel of distinguished contributing editors, offers a Global Data Center, country profiles, stories by leading migration thinkers, policy updates from Capitol Hill, and dispatches from foreign correspondents around the globe. The Source is an ideal tool for policymakers, journalists, researchers, and NGOs looking for accurate information on international migration. Visit the Source at www.migrationinformation.org.
National Security and Immigration
Among its many functions, the immigration system is as an important part of any nation's homeland security regime. This project consists of two separate research endeavours. The first examines existing entry-control mechanisms in the United States, and advances policy recommendations to create more secure admissions standards for entry, and enhanced border security through more systematic cooperation with our neighbors and allies. The project evaluates policy proposals to (1) appraise their costs and likely effectiveness relative to alternative options; and (2) consider their collateral effects on immigrant and ethnic communities. This project also includes a study of the role of racial/ethnic profiling and civil liberties in law enforcement practices. The study is being conducted in collaboration with the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic and the Cornell Law School.
Refugee Protection and International Humanitarian Response
Policy Dialogue on Humanitarian Response
A wealth of experience and research has accumulated on response to humanitarian crises, yet the formulation of adequate policy responses has lagged behind. One contributing factor to this is that scholars and practitioners have not always been successful in communicating their policy-relevant findings to government officials and staff of international organizations. This project consists of a series of roundtables, funded in part by the Mellon Foundation, that bring together the research, practitioner, and policy communities for systematic information-sharing and collaborative policy development. The emphasis is on translating significant research findings and field observations into practical options for action.
Project on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
Research on this project has two major components. One is the production of a volume on the current status of IDPs worldwide, to be published by the UN's Unit on Internal Displacement. The volume will combine analytical and descriptive methods to build a case for new approaches to internal displacement, drawing on the operational lessons from IDP crises over the last twenty years, and situating the issue of internal displacement within broader developments in humanitarian thinking and practice. Second, in collaboration with the Brookings Institution, MPI is undertaking a study focused on the tensions that are often said to exist between those advocating on behalf of refugees and those seeking to further develop the international protection regime on behalf of the internally displaced. The study aims to develop a comprehensive protection regime for both groups.
Emerging Issues in Refugee Protection
Carried out in collaboration with the Department of International Protection
of the UNHCR, this project employs a combination of legal and social science
research to track new developments in law and practice in the realm of refugee
protection. Working with civil society organizations, NGOs, international organizations,
and policymakers, MPI's analysts and collaborators address ambiguities and gaps
existing in refugee law. In 2002, much of this work is focused on the "Global
Consultations on Refugee Protection," organized by UNHCR.
Because the most secure form of refugee protection is permanent resettlement in a safe and prosperous country-a solution that currently is available to about one percent of the world's refugees-this project examines resettlement programs in the United States and Europe. A study of the U.S. resettlement program, the world's largest, will assess its success in protecting those most in need of a secure alternative and in sharing the responsibilities of protection with first asylum countries. In addition, MPI is undertaking a review of existing resettlement programs on behalf of the Home Office of the United Kingdom. This review will identify best practices in countries that currently have resettlement programs, with the aim of ensuring that a future UK resettlement program is effective in meeting its objectives and efficient in operation. Finally, MPI is also conducting a transatlantic study of refugee resettlement programs.
Analyst: Kathleen Newland
North American Borders and Migration Agenda
North American Borders
This project focuses on concrete steps toward the cooperative management of migration and common borders in North America, and starts with the assumption that North America's borders are integrated social and economic zones that should be viewed as resources rather than barriers. This project initially is focused on bilateral, U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada discussions among public and private sector representatives. Over time, these discussions will become trilateral, and eventually will expand to include Central America and the Caribbean. The project emphasizes practical problem-solving in which better practices filter up from border communities as well as down from national capitals, and the gradual re-alignment of border relations toward cooperative and joint management rather than unilateral enforcement efforts.
Rethinking the U.S.-Mexico Migration Relationship
This project focuses on forming a new, cooperative migration relationship
between the United States and Mexico that reduces undocumented migration by
combining higher levels of legal, permanent immigration with well-designed programs
for temporary work that protect the labor and social rights of both temporary
workers and the domestic labor force. Policy recommendations coming out of this
project will contribute substantially to bilateral discussions on the portability
of social security accounts, remittance transfers, regularization of status,
and temporary labor programs, among other issues.
The U.S. immigration system has long been plagued by competing mandates, muddled long-term visions of the role of migration in U.S. society, and ineffective structures and systems. This project examines the various components of the U.S. immigration system (including labor migration programs, family reunification, and asylum) and offers policy recommendations for improving the overall immigration function to adequately address the demands placed on the system.
Immigrant Settlement and Integration
MPI's work on immigrant integration is composed of two distinct research endeavors. First, the "Building the New American Community" project is designed in response to emerging patterns of increasing diversity, dispersal, and devolution that pose significant new challenges to refugee and immigrant-receiving communities. The project combines research and analysis with ongoing technical assistance and provides support for three demonstration projects in refugee and immigrant integration. This work is being carried out in collaboration with the Urban Institute, the National Immigration Forum, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center. Second, the "Immigrant Settlement, Integration, and Social Cohesion" project addresses the fact that few countries make systematic efforts to integrate immigrants and refugees into their social and political fabric and fewer still can claim success. Work on this project will include a series of working papers and reports in three substantive areas: immigrant labor markets and economic participation, immigrant socio-economic mobility, and societal cohesion and political participation.
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