Protection of individuals fleeing or at-risk of persecution, torture, or extreme danger is a centerpiece of international law and US immigration law. The US refugee protection system seeks to screen, admit and promote the integration of refugees; to adjudicate political asylum cases; and to offer temporary protection to persons from designated countries. It also, however, seeks to prevent admission and to detect those that raise national security, public safety, and fraud concerns. Over the last 20 years, particularly since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, security and enforcement concerns have driven US refugee programs. Protection policies, in turn, have not kept pace with these developments.
To address the need for concentrated academic and policy attention to US and international refugee protection, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) commissioned a series of papers to offer the most comprehensive assessment of the US refugee protection system in recent years. In advance of the release of this series in the Journal on Migration and Human Security, CMS hosted a dialogue featuring Margaret D. Stock, immigration attorney with Cascadia Cross-Border Law and 2013 MacArthur Fellow, on the barriers to territorial access and the national security, fraud, mass migration and public opposition concerns that drive them.