The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) is pleased to announce the release of New Demographic Directions in Forced Migrant and Refugee Research, a special collection of the Journal on Migration and Human Security (JMHS). This special collection aims to advance forced migrant and refugee research. It considers refugee resettlement and integration in the United States within the broader framework of the literature on migrant integration and reflects on the role that population research can play in promoting successful and healthy refugee resettlement in the United States. Articles in this special collection also explore the ethical challenges of forced migration research, humanitarian work with children and adolescents, the resilience of forced migrant communities, the value of computer modeling for human migration and health, demographic methods for estimating and forecasting migration, and research priorities for US refugees and refugee communities.
This introduction to this special issue of the Journal on Migration and Human Security discusses the background and focus of two meetings precursory to this collection, considers refugee resettlement and integration in the United States within the broader framework of the literature on migrant integration, and reflects on the role that population research can play in promoting successful and healthy refugee resettlement in the United States. Other contributions to the special issue are based on five of the presentations at a scientific workshop held in May 2019 in Washington, DC, entitled, “Forced Migration Research: From Theory to Practice in Promoting Migrant Well-Being.” A sixth article evolved from a virtual stakeholder meeting held as a follow-up activity in December 2020, entitled, “Refugee Resettlement in the United States: The Role of Migration Research in Promoting Migrant Well-being in a Post-Pandemic Era.” Both the workshop and the virtual meeting were hosted by the Committee on Population of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, with dedicated support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Migration research poses particular ethical challenges because of legal precarity, the criminalization and politicization of migration, and power asymmetries. This paper analyzes these challenges in relation to the ethical principles of voluntary, informed consent; protection of personal information; and minimizing harm. It shows how migration researchers — including those outside of academia — have attempted to address these ethical issues in their work, including through the recent adoption of a Code of Ethics by the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM). However, gaps remain, particularly in relation to the intersection of procedural and relational ethics; specific ethical considerations of big data and macrocomparative analyses; localized meanings of ethics; and oversight of researchers collecting information outside of institutional ethics boards.
Modeling and Simulation (M&S) is a relatively unused research approach in forced migration studies. In most of its application areas, M&S is applied in several broad thematic policy-oriented topics: predicting human movement, humanitarian logistics, communicable diseases, healthcare, policing, and economics. More recently, there has been increased use of M&S in predicting human movement and health impacts resulting from climate change. Computer modeling has benefits for both policy and theoretical advancements in the field.
Globally, large numbers of children and adolescents are displaced by armed conflict, which poses significant threats to their mental health, psychosocial well-being, and protection. Although humanitarian work to support mental health, psychosocial well-being, and protection has done considerable good, this paper analyzes how humanitarian action is limited by excessive reliance on a top-down approach. Although the focus is on settings of armed conflict, the analysis offered in this paper applies also to the wider array of humanitarian settings that spawn increasing numbers of refugees globally.
This article explores the current state of the principal literature relevant to resilience and vulnerability within and among communities of forced migrants. It highlights strengths, gaps, and weaknesses in these literatures, utilizing a case study to illustrate the importance of what we deem to be essential omitted variables. It makes recommendations for moving these literatures—and their associated underlying conceptual frameworks—forward.
Among demographic events (birth, death, and migration), migration is notably the most volatile component to forecast accurately. Accounting for forced migration is even more challenging given the difficulty in collecting forced migration data. Knowledge of trends and patterns of forced migration and its future trajectory is, however, highly relevant for policy planning for migrant-sending and receiving areas. This paper aims to review existing methodological tools to estimate and forecast migration in demography and explore how they can be applied to the study of forced migration. It presents steps towards estimation of forced migration and future assessments, which comprise: (1) migration flows estimation methods using both traditional and nontraditional data; (2) empirical analysis of drivers of migration and migration patterns; and (3) forecasting migration based on multidimensional population projections and scenarios approach. The paper then discusses how these demographic methods and tools can be applied to estimate and forecast forced migration.
This paper summarizes the presentations and discussions of a virtual stakeholder meeting on Refugee Resettlement in the United States which built on the foundation of the May 2019 workshop represented in this special issue. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and hosted by the Committee on Population (CPOP) of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on Dec 1–2, 2020, the meeting convened migration researchers, representatives of US voluntary resettlement agencies, and other practitioners to consider the role of migration research in informing programs serving refugees and migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing an emphasis on bringing global learning to those on the ground working with refugees. The goal of CPOP’s work in this area has always been to build bridges between communities of research and practice and to create a dialogue for a shared agenda.
On August 31, 2021, President Joe Biden announced the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history. By the end of August, the United States completed one of the biggest airlifts to date, evacuating more than 120,000 people out of Afghanistan, including US citizens and permanent residents. As of September 14, 2021, approximately 64,000 Afghan evacuees have arrived in the United States.
Since the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program’s inception in 2007, approximately 75,700 Afghans – 21,500 principal applicants and their 54,200 family members – have been granted SIVs as of June 2021. About 18,000 principal SIV applications are pending, but there are only 13,000 unclaimed SIVs available for principal applicants.