Asylum lies at the heart of the international refugee protection regime. Yet, today, most states in the developed world implement a range of deterrence measures designed to prevent access to asylum on their territories. With particular attention to Europe’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis, this paper categorizes contemporary deterrence policies. It then questions the sustainability and effectiveness of such policies. A number of deterrence measures do not conform with refugee and human rights law, rendering the refugee protection regime vulnerable to collapse. Finally, this article suggests some ways forward to address these problems. It discusses the partial success of legal challenges to deterrence measures and opportunities for alternative avenues to access protection. Ultimately, however, it argues that the viability of the refugee protection regime requires collective action and international burden-sharing.
This paper provides an overview of contemporary, empirical scholarship on clandestine migration facilitation. It argues clandestine migration is not merely the domain of criminal groups. Rather, it also involves protection mechanisms crafted within migrant and refugee communities. Yet amid concerns over national and border security, and the reemergence of nationalism, said strategies have become increasingly stigmatized and perceived as an inherently criminal activity. This paper constitutes an attempt to rethink the framework in everyday narratives of irregular migration facilitation.
This paper seeks to develop a working definition of the externalization of migration controls and how such externalization of the border implicates the human rights of migrants, and asylum seekers in particular.
This article describes the significant attempts to enact legislation related to refugees and international migrants since 2013 and examines the reasons why those attempts have not succeeded. It also describes American attitudes toward refugees and assesses whether those attitudes affected the fate of legislation.
CMS and the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN), a not-for-profit organization focusing on protection and development programs for migrants, report back from a fact-finding mission in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico where the delegation toured migrant detention and return facilities, met with public officials and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and assessed how the US-Mexico policies of deterrence and interdiction have impacted the region and particularly those seeking to flee the record levels of violence in the Northern Triangle states of Central America.
This essay proposes some ethical perspectives that can help in the task of reassessing the structure of the global refugee protection system in light of the extraordinarily high levels of refugee movement and forced migration occurring today.
This article discusses the principles of voluntariness, safety, and dignity in the context of refugee repatriation. It begins by setting out the applicable legal framework, and discusses how that framework has been elaborated upon and refined since 1951. The article then discusses how the principles of voluntariness, safety, and dignity have, in practice, been applied (or, in a few unfortunate cases, ignored). After noting that we are now living in an era of protracted refugee emergencies, the article concludes with a number of recommendations regarding alternatives to repatriation and the conditions under which repatriation can take place without offense to the principles of voluntariness, safety, and dignity.
This paper makes the case that refugee protection and national security should be viewed as complementary, not conflicting state goals. It argues that refugee protection can further the security of refugees, affected states, and the international community. Refugees and international migrants can also advance national security by contributing to a state’s economic vitality, military strength, diplomatic standing, and civic values. The paper identifies several strategies that would, if implemented, promote both security and refugee protection. It also outlines additional steps that the US Congress should take to enhance US refugee protection policies and security. Finally, it argues for the efficacy of political engagement in support of pro-protection, pro-security policies, and against the assumption that political populism will invariably impede support for refugee protection.
The values of individualism developed in the post-Enlightenment West are at the core of the contemporary refugee protection system. While enormously powerful, this tradition assigns priority to the individual as distinguished from the community. Based on patterns established in centuries of religious thought and practice as well as on the insights of key thinkers in the tradition of Western individualism, this paper argues that consideration of communities should receive greater emphasis. In terms of the refugee protection system, this shift requires examining how best to address the needs of communities that are uprooted, as well as the needs of communities into which displaced persons are received, rather than only focusing on individuals who cross a border and seek refugee status.
This article argues for new frameworks to more effectively address the situation of the totality of displaced persons, citing two recent efforts — the Nansen Initiative and Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative — as examples of practical ways to move forward.