Every day, organizations worldwide are engaged in a collective two steps forward, one step back march toward improved immigration services and policies. What hard-earned lessons are these nonprofits, and the foundations that support them, learning from their persistent efforts? This collection of evaluations, case studies, and lessons learned exposes and explores the nuances of effective collaboration, the value of coordinated messaging, the bedrock of ongoing advocacy efforts, and the vital importance of long-term and flexible funding.

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Pushing Back Protection: How Offshoring And Externalization Imperil The Right To Asylum

August 3, 2021

The 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Refugee Protocol created the framework for asylum law at a global level. Key to this framework is the principle of non-refoulement, which prevents countries from returning asylum seekers to places where they may face persecution or torture. Most nations, including affluent countries such as the United States, Australia, and European Union Member States, ratified these treaties, incorporating the core principle of non-refoulement into their domestic laws. However, in recent decades, with the goal of preventing asylum seekers and migrants from reaching their borders, these nations have chipped away at the principle, claiming compliance with legal obligations while in practice rendering safety elusive for refugees fleeing harm.These nations turned to two mechanisms to achieve their goals: offshoring or transferring asylum seekers to other nations for processing or detention under tenuous bilateral agreements; and/or externalization or interfering with the journey of asylum seekers and seeking to halt their arrival through pushbacks by public or private proxy entities.This report traces restrictions on the ability of vulnerable people to seek asylum across three continents in recent history and describes the deadly impact these policies have had on people seeking protection around the world. The U.S.-based authors of the report conclude with recommendations for the United States government to draw from these global lessons.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Crossing borders in the next 15 years: How should and will border management develop?

February 1, 2018

Border management is a complex and challenging field, whose aims are as varied as they are vital. In a world where passenger numbers are increasing, large numbers of goods are crossing borders and serious security issues have arisen, border management is tasked with contributing to a high level of security and facilitating legitimate crossborder flows (of both people and goods). In recent years, the large-scale collection of information and the implementation of technology for border management tasks have been key developments aimed at supportingthese goals. At the same time, these developments have elicited challenges from fundamental rights defenders who have outlined the potential ways such information could be misused or lead to detrimental consequences on fundamental rights. Moreover, the impact of forced displacement and the knock-on effects large-scale flows had on the EU (especially on the integrity of the Schengen area) have underlined how such a crisis can reverberate from a border management issue across other policy areas and into the political arena.As such, border management has been and will continue to be a touchstone in a debate on how to equally ensure both security needs and fundamental rights. This policy brief outlines the main issues that have arisen in this debate, and provides a number of potential policy options for future border management strategies. While this brief isbased on information collected in the European context, the findings can be applied at a global scale. 

Mainstreaming 2.0: How Europe’s Education Systems Can Boost Migrant Inclusion

February 1, 2018

This report examines the steps European education systems are taking (or might take) to give all students an equitable shot at academic and future labor-market success. It also considers the role schools are increasingly playing in efforts to support the integration of new and longstanding immigrant communities. From ensuring that all school staff are equipped to support diverse classrooms to improving governance structures to prepare for future demographic and social changes, the authors highlight key lessons learned in the education and adjacent policy fields.