Kevin Appleby, Senior Director for International Migration Policy, reports from Athens, Greece.
US immigration policy has serious limitations, particularly when viewed from an economic perspective. Some shortcomings arise from faulty initial design, others from the inability of the system to adapt to changing circumstances. In either case, a reluctance to confront politically difficult decisions is often a contributing factor to the failure to craft laws that can stand the test of time. This paper argues that, as a result, some key aspects of US immigration policy are incoherent and mutually contradictory — new policies are often inconsistent with past policies and undermine their goals. Inconsistency makes policies less effective because participants in the immigration system realize that lawmakers face powerful incentives to revise policies at a later date. It specifically analyzes US policies regarding unauthorized immigration, temporary visas, and humanitarian migrants as examples of incoherence and inconsistency. Lastly, this paper explores key features of an integrated, coherent immigration policy from an economic perspective and how policymakers could better attempt to achieve policy consistency across laws and over time.
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.
Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, Research Director at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and adjunct Professor of Law at Aarhus University, discusses his paper, “The End of the Deterrence Paradigm? Future Directions for Global Refugee Policy.” The paper...
On March 7, 2016, the European Union (EU) and Turkey drew up an agreement for cooperation with the aim of reducing the flow of migrants and refugees — mostly Syrian — crossing the Aegean Sea and taking the Balkan route to arrive in Europe. This essay discusses how the EU-Turkey agreement violates the body of rights and obligations that apply to all EU member states and the international conventions regarding asylum.
This essay addresses the issue of how best to insert migration concerns into development planning, as a part of a process of thinking more broadly about US migration policies and interests.
Father David Hollenbach, Pedro Arrupe Distinguished Research Professor at Georgetown University''s School of Foreign Service and senior fellow at the Berkley Center, discusses his paper, "Borders and Duties to the Displaced: Ethical Perspectives on the Refugee Protection System."
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.
A few days before the 15th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) is releasing a new in-depth report examining refugee protection and national security. The paper, titled “How Robust Refugee...