Migration Research, Scholarship, and Policy at a Time of Multiple Crises

November 10, 2020
10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. (ET)

2020 Virtual Academic & Policy Symposium

Event Date and Time November 10, 2020 10:00 am
Event Ends November 10, 2020 4:00 pm
Time Zone Eastern Time (GMT-5)
Venue Virtual


Event Types:

The annual academic and policy conference of the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) examined migration scholarship and policy at a time of multiple crises for migrants, refugees, and their communities. These crises include the COVID-19 pandemic and related policies, its disastrous economic fall-out, and the deep social inequalities it has exposed and exacerbated. Other relevant crises include systemic racial injustice, as highlighted by the demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police, the ravages of climate change, rising exclusionary nationalism, the crisis in refugee protection and migration governance, and US immigration and refugee policies under the Trump administration.

Migrants and refugees—many of whom are persons of color—have experienced these crises directly and disproportionately in the form of illness and death; pervasive restrictions on movement; loss of work and economic deprivation; hunger; family separation; forced flight; racial, ethnic and religious discrimination; and barriers to integration. Despite these trends, international, national, and local policy responses to migrants and refugees have not been one-sided. Many localities, for example, have been at the forefront of inclusive policies that recognize migrants and refugees as vital members of their communities, including as essential workers during the pandemic and as key actors in their economic recovery.

This conference explored question such as:

  • How do and should policy-makers and advocates respond to crises that shape migration dynamics? What strategies are effective in this context?
  • How do and should policy-makers and advocates respond to overlapping crises that develop along different timelines — i.e., the immediate crisis of COVID-19, the longer-term economic fall-out, the slowly developing aspects of climate change, as well as sudden environmental crises like increased flooding and stronger monsoons?
  • What kind of academic research agenda is needed to understand the complex interactions among these different crises?
  • What Executive actions and broader immigration and refugee protection reforms should a new US administration prioritize in its first year?