EU Migration Partnerships: A Work in Progress

EU Migration Partnerships: A Work in Progress. Migration Policy Institute.  Elizabeth Collett and Aliyyah Ahad. December 2017.

 While EU ambitions to cooperate with migrants’ countries of origin and transit stretch back more than two decades, they took on fresh urgency following the 2015–16 European migrant and refugee crisis, when migration management rocketed to the top of the policy agenda. In 2016, the European Union introduced the Migration Partnership Framework to guide EU and Member State engagement with third countries and embed migration objectives within broader foreign and development policy domains. In addition to sharpening existing tools for collaboratively tackling migration objectives, the framework draws on the strength of bilateral relationships between Member States and third countries and reorganizes the bloc’s financial commitments.

 This report critically examines whether this approach has put the European Union on track to reach the framework’s stated aims—strengthening borders, stepping up the return of migrants without authorization to stay in Europe, and addressing the root causes of migration—and, if not, what adjustments are needed.

 By taking a close look at the migration landscapes in four partner countries (Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Mali, and Niger) and how key socioeconomic and political factors in each affect EU engagement, the report illustrates some of the challenges inherent to this new generation of partnerships. Chief among them are identifying the right partners, reconciling divergent EU and partner-country priorities, setting clear benchmarks and conducting robust evaluation, and modulating how progress is communicated to European publics. While EU policymakers acted quickly to launch the framework following the crisis, the authors find a number of areas in need of review if these migration partnerships are to have the desired lasting impact. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 55 pages, 1.61 MB].

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Dual Language Learners: A National Demographic and Policy Profile

Dual Language Learners: A National Demographic and Policy Profile. Migration Policy Institute. Maki Park, Anna O’Toole, and Caitlin Katsiaficas. October 2017.

Dual Language Learners (DLLs)—those under age 8 with at least one parent who speaks a language other than English at home—make up 32 percent of the U.S. young child population and a growing share of children in most states. While these young learners stand to benefit disproportionately from high-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC), they are less likely than their peers to be enrolled in such programs—potentially contributing to lags in kindergarten readiness and later academic achievement.

The fact sheets in this series offer a sociodemographic sketch of the DLL population (and comparison to non-DLL peers) at both the national level and in the 30 states with the most DLLs, providing data on age and enrollment, race/ethnicity, income and poverty levels, parental English proficiency and educational attainment, and top home languages spoken in DLL households.

The fact sheets also provide an overview of the policies states have introduced to support DLLs and their families in accessing quality ECEC programs, drawing from an MPI survey of state ECEC agencies. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

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

Engaging Communities in Refugee Protection: The Potential of Private Sponsorship in Europe. Migration Policy Institute. Susan Fratzke. September 2017.

This policy brief explores the broad spectrum of approaches to refugee settlement that include elements of community-based or private sponsorship—from the large and well-established Canadian program to smaller-scale and ad hoc initiatives in Europe. While these approaches vary widely in scope and the types of responsibilities sponsors take on, the author finds that governments and their civil-society partners generally face three common challenges when implementing them: balancing thorough program design with pressure to act quickly, providing government oversight and support without displacing willing community leaders, and cultivating strong working relationships between all parties involved. When done well, however, such programs hold the potential to foster important relationships between refugees and their neighbors and to improve integration outcomes in the long run. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages, 962.49 KB].

Tracing the Channels Refugees Use to Seek Protection in Europe

Tracing the Channels Refugees Use to Seek Protection in Europe. Migration Policy Institute. Susan Fratzke, Brian Salant. September 2017.

As European policymakers and advocates increasingly express interest in developing managed, legal alternatives to the dangerous, unauthorized journeys many refugees undertake when searching for protection, there is a pressing need to inform the debate with reliable and comprehensive data—both on how protection seekers currently enter Europe and how new pathways are likely to be used.

Yet as this report explains, it is “nearly impossible” at present to obtain a clear picture of how protection seekers enter Europe and what legal channels are available to them. Still, while incomplete, data from EURODAC, Eurostat, Frontex, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and national databases, suggest several important trends. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages, 1.65 MB].

“Like a Prison”: Asylum-Seekers Confined to the Greek Islands

“Like a Prison”: Asylum-Seekers Confined to the Greek Islands. Refugees International. Izza Leghtas. August 14, 2017

Greek government policies, taken to implement the March 2016 EU-Turkey agreement, have left thousands of men, women, and children trapped on Greece’s small islands in appalling circumstances. These policies seek to end the arrivals of asylum-seekers and migrants to Greece by sea, but have left thousands suffering in harsh living conditions, deprived of services and medical care, and often experiencing deteriorating mental health. A number of asylum-seekers refer to their lives confined on the Greek islands as living in a “prison.”

This report examines the impact of the EU-Turkey agreement and the practices of Greek authorities in their handling of thousands of asylum-seekers and migrants. The report is based on findings from an RI mission to the islands of Lesvos, Chios, and Samos in July 2017.

Though the EU-Turkey statement does not explicitly require it, Greece has put in place a containment policy on its Aegean islands with the aim of sending people back to Turkey: as a general matter, asylum-seekers and migrants arriving on these islands are not allowed to leave for the mainland. While the law allows for some people, including those identified as vulnerable to be allowed to leave for the mainland, flaws in the system meant to identify such people results in many people falling through the cracks. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages, 3.50 MB].

State and Local Fiscal Effects of Immigration

State and Local Fiscal Effects of Immigration. Urban Institute. Kim S. Rueben, Sarah Gault. June 5, 2017

In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, immigrants and immigration are at the forefront of the national conversation. Although much of the discussion has focused on national security and who should be able to live in the United States, a key aspect of the issue is what immigrants contribute to or cost this country. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) commissioned a panel of experts to examine this issue and released The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration (NAS 2016) summarizing what we know about this multifaceted topic. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 19 pages, 1.63 MB].

“Hell on Earth”: Abuses Against Refugees and Migrants Trying to Reach Europe from Libya

“Hell on Earth”: Abuses Against Refugees and Migrants Trying to Reach Europe from Libya. Refugees International. May 31, 2017.

As Europe faces its largest movement of refugees and migrants since World War II, the majority of refugees and migrants are reaching its borders by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. While the majority of refugees and migrants arrived in Europe by crossing the sea between Turkey and Greece in 2015 and early 2016, the main route is currently between Libya and Italy. Whether they went to Libya to work or just as a place of transit on their way to safety and protection in Europe, migrants and refugees who have spent weeks, months or years in Libya face abuses that include arbitrary detention, torture, unlawful killings, rape, forced labor, kidnapping, and even slavery. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 20 pages, 7.47 MB].