Migration Policy Institute

The Global Compact for Migration: How Does Development Fit In?

The links between global development and migration run deep, though only in recent years have their connections been a part of the global debate. Development policies that promote good governance, economic opportunities, and health can shape the decisions individuals make about whether to emigrate or remain where they live, and migration has been shown to contribute to the development of countries of origin and destination alike. These policy areas have recently converged around a common goal of facilitating safe, orderly, and regular migration—articulated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and promised for the Global Compact for Migration to be put forward for UN Member State consideration in 2018.


From Forced Migration to Forced Returns in Afghanistan: Policy and Program Implications

With as many as 1 million people forcibly returned to Afghanistan in 2016 alone, where insecurity and instability greet them, the nature of return policies and reintegration assistance from European governments and others merits significant attention. These returns have significant implications for the individuals returned, Afghan society, and the migration-management and development objectives of the countries initiating returns, as this report explores.


Beyond Transactional Deals: Building Lasting Migration Partnerships in the Mediterranean

Since the 2015–16 refugee crisis, European policymakers have eagerly sought cooperation with origin and transit countries in the hopes of stemming unauthorized migration to Europe. This approach is neither new, nor without its limitations. By examining the evolution of two longstanding Mediterranean partnerships—between Spain and Morocco, and Italy and Tunisia—this report offers insights on what has and has not worked. As maritime arrivals to Europe rose sharply in 2015 and 2016, European policymakers renewed their focus on building partnerships with origin and transit countries in North Africa in an effort to bring Mediterranean crossings under control. Though hardly new—some such partnerships stretch back decades—these efforts have taken on new urgency amid heightened migration to Europe by asylum seekers and migrants. This report examines two prominent examples of bilateral cooperation on migration management in the region: the partnerships that have emerged between Spain and Morocco, and between Italy and Tunisia. Both have their roots in the early 1990s and experienced underwhelming results early on, with the two European countries focused narrowly on closing their borders and stepping up the return of unauthorized migrants—priorities that clashed with those of their North African partners, for whom remittances are an important source of income and a positive relationship with their diasporas paramount. These partnerships have since diverged. Morocco and Spain have expanded their cooperation to include a range of capacity-building, joint border patrols, and legal migration programs, while Italy continues to pursue short-term, transactional deals that rely on the promise of aid and investment to incentivize Tunisian cooperation. As policymakers (re)negotiate agreements to jointly manage routes to Europe, these case studies shed important light on what can be achieved when countries cooperate on the basis of shared objectives, as well as some of the limitations of a relationship built solely around short-term, enforcement priorities.


Safe or Sorry? Prospects for Britons in the European Union after Brexit.

Amid ongoing Brexit negotiations, much remains uncertain for the roughly 1 million UK citizens living elsewhere in the European Union. This report offers a demographic profile of these Brexpats, considering what form an EU-UK deal on citizens’ rights might take and identifying key challenges many Britons are likely to face—including difficulty securing legal status and accessing labor markets, social security, and health-care systems.



Beyond Teaching English: Supporting High School Completion by Immigrant and Refugee Students

Immigrant and refugee students who arrive in the United States during their secondary school years face daunting hurdles as they seek to juggle learning a new language and culture while also trying to quickly close knowledge gaps and get on track to pass the coursework required to graduate high school. This report explores effective program models and services developed by school districts to support newcomer students.


Engaging Communities in Refugee Protection: The Potential of Private Sponsorship in Europe

Across Europe, grassroots efforts have emerged in the wake of crisis that draw members of the public into the process of receiving refugees and supporting their integration. This policy brief examines the many forms community-based or private sponsorship can take,
what benefits such approaches may hold for European communities, and the tradeoffs policymakers face in their implementation.


Tracing the Channels Refugees Use to Seek Protection in Europe.

Following the 2015­–16 crisis that saw record numbers of refugees arrive in Europe, policymakers have shown interest in creating managed, legal alternatives to the dangerous, unauthorized journeys many asylum seekers make. While these discussions should be informed by an understanding of current pathways and protection channels, it is “nearly impossible” to know how protection seekers enter and what legal channels are available to them, as this MPI Europe report explains.



Quality for Whom? Supporting Diverse Children and Workers in Early Childhood Quality Rating and Improvement Systems

For children in U.S. homes where a language other than English is spoken, early childhood programs that are responsive to their needs can be key to later academic success. But as states refine their Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) to assess such programs, immigrant early childhood workers with in-demand language and cultural skills may be left behind. This report examines the challenges these workers face and promising practices to serve diverse communities.



Immigration and Farm Labor: From Unauthorized to H-2A for Some?

Although immigrant workers have long been employed on U.S. farms, shifting migration patterns and employer labor strategies are reshaping the agricultural workforce. Migration from Mexico to the United States has slowed with the the 2008–09 recession, improving conditions in rural Mexico, and stepped-up border enforcement.



Strengthening Mexico’s Protection of Central American Unaccompanied Minors in Transit

(Julio 2017). This report draws on previously unpublished data from Mexican government agencies, interviews with key officials, and accounts from civil society to examine the legal framework for the protection of child migrants in Mexico, its implementation, and the gaps between the two during the apprehension, screening, and housing process. Despite a legal framework that emphasizes the best-interests-of-the-child principle and has a generous definition of who qualifies for refugee status, the author highlights a number of areas where further progress is needed if young migrants are to be adequately screened for international protection needs, housed in age-appropriate facilities, and informed of their right to apply for asylum.