CMS Essays

CMS Essays

Nationalism in an Era of Record Migration
Omar al-Muqdad – a prominent journalist, documentary filmmaker, and former Syrian refugee – writes a bi-monthly blog for CMS titled, “Dispatches from the Global Crisis in Refugee Protection.” This series covers the Syrian Civil War, the experiences of Syria’s immense...

Read More

The Role of Faith-Based Organizations in Immigrants’ Health and Entrepreneurship
This paper highlights the potential of faith-based organizations to improve the health and work outcomes of vulnerable migrants. First, the paper describes how faith-based organizations expand health care to underserved populations and play a vital role in building trust between healthcare providers and migrant communities. Next, the paper describes obstacles to migrant employment and explains how faith-based organizations are promoting migrant entrepreneurship through training, referrals, and targeted microloans, among other services. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of how the international community might support faith-based organizations’ efforts in these areas. In particular, the Global Compact on Migration should recognize faith-based organizations’ unique resources and credibility among vulnerable migrant populations. It should also emphasize the potential for productive cooperation between international organizations and faith-based organizations in the areas of migrant health care and entrepreneurship.

Read More

Meeting the Needs of Women and Girl Migrants and Refugees in the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework: The Unique Role of Faith-Based Organizations
This paper illustrates the unique role of faith-based organizations (FBOs) in supporting vulnerable women and girl migrants and refugees and provides frameworks for FBOs in taking action. First, it outlines the major challenges that women and girl migrants and refugees face in their countries of origin as well as in transit, reception, and destination countries. Then, it argues that FBOs can play a unique and vital role in supporting vulnerable women and girl migrants and refugees due to their fluidity among stakeholders, their ability to distance themselves from the power dynamics of humanitarian aid, and their long-term and grounded presence. It provides the following approaches for FBOs in supporting vulnerable women and girl migrants and refugees: 1) addressing root causes through their presence in countries of origin, 2) opening the hearts and minds of people in host communities, 3) using the moral authority of faith leadership to subvert gender paradigms and make women and girls leaders and teachers.

Read More

Protecting Families and Facilitating Their Integration
“Our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees.” – Pope Francis I, August 2017 Who Are the Migrants? Where Do They Come From? Where Are They Going? Individuals and families around...

Read More

Blockading Asylum Seekers at Ports of Entry at the US-Mexico Border Puts Them at Increased Risk of Exploitation, Violence, and Death
Although the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has insisted that asylum-seekers pass through ports-of-entry (POEs), rather than between them, it has denied potential non-Mexican asylum seekers access to the inspection area at POEs, and left them stranded in Mexico. This essay examines the implications of the turn away approach CBP has adopted in responding to those seeking asylum at POEs on the international boundary line.

Read More

My Life as a Refugee
Omar al-Muqdad describes the circumstances in his home country of Syria that led to him becoming a refugee, and the kindness he encountered when resettled in the United States.

Read More