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What does the Church teach and ask of everyday Catholics with regard to migrants and refugees? In Pope Pius XII’s words, it teaches us to see in refugee families the “émigré Holy Family of Nazareth, fleeing into Egypt” as “the archetype of every refugee family.” It urges us, in Pope Francis‘s words, to see migrants not as a “secondary issue,” but to “stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children,” as “Jesus demands of us, when he tells us that in welcoming the stranger we welcome him (cf. Mt. 25:35).” It exhorts us to move beyond political rhetoric and to go to the peripheries – whether in our own communities or elsewhere – to “encounter” immigrants and refugees. This may seem a simplistic and insufficient response to such a large problem, but encounter can change hearts and minds. It can allow natives to see newcomers clearly which, to a Catholic, means to see them the way that God does.
While gang violence, community violence, and domestic violence have been recognized as contributing factors to Central American migration, less is known about the intersection between child maltreatment and migration. This article uses secondary data from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees interviews with unaccompanied minors from Central America and Mexico to examine child maltreatment. It provides information on the abused children, their abusers, and the questions that led to their disclosure of maltreatment. It finds that girls reported maltreatment at higher rates than boys; only girls in this sample reported sexual abuse and intimate partner violence; and boys experienced physical abuse more than any other form of maltreatment. Overall, girls experienced all forms of abuse at higher rates than boys. Fewer than half of this sample described maltreatment as an explicit reason for migration, even those who viewed it as a type of suffering, harm, or danger. In addition, some disclosures suggest that childhood transitions, such as in housing, schooling, or work status, warrant further inquiry as a potential consequence of or contributor to maltreatment.
The article recommends that professionals engaged with migrant children in social services, legal services, or migration protection and status adjudications should inquire about maltreatment, recognizing that children may reveal abuse in complex and indirect ways. Protection risks within the home or family environment may provide the grounds for US legal immigration protections, such as Special Immigrant Juvenile Status or asylum. Practitioners working with unaccompanied migrant children should use varied approaches to inquire about home country maltreatment experiences. Maltreatment may be part of the context of child migration, whether or not it is explicitly mentioned by children as a reason for migration.
The Journal on Migration and Human Security requests papers for a special collection on solutions to situations of protracted international and internal displacement. The papers should provide extensive background on one or more situations of protracted displacement and describe the degree to which the affected populations have been able to avail themselves of traditional durable solutions; i.e., safe and voluntary return to their home communities, local integration, and third-country resettlement. The papers should also outline promising complementary approaches to the need for secure, permanent homes, such as expanded mobility and legal migration options, privately sponsored resettlement, self-reliance initiatives, and faith-based programs.
The Colorado School of Mines is crafting one response to the plights of refugees worldwide through a satellite monitoring technology called Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite Lumen Watch. The technology is a prototype developed by the Earth Observation Group in order to monitor changes in nighttime light radiance in geographic locations of interest. Currently, the software monitors the light radiance of two refugee settlements: the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, and Al-Jufaynah Camp in Marib City, Yemen, which hosts thousands of people who have been internally displaced by the civil war.
On December 6, 2021, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reimplemented the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), commonly known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. This post and the accompanying graphic outline policy changes and estimates of people impacted by MPP and their asylum case outcomes.
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.