Call for Papers & Addendum .pdf
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Call for Papers
The Center for Migration Studies (CMS), with support from the Open Society Foundations (OSF), has
initiated a project on rethinking US immigration policy entitled “The 21st Century US Immigration
Initiative.” The project will generate a series of papers that seeks to re-conceptualize and offer ideas to
reform US immigration law and policy. An expert advisory group has been established to guide the project,
hone paper topics, identify authors, and provide input and feedback on the papers. CMS will devote part of
its annual academic and policy conference on October 26, 2016 in New York City to this initiative. Authors
and project advisers may also be asked to speak at roll-out and briefing events in 2017.
This initiative will seek to publish a series of forward-looking papers on creating US immigration laws and
policies for the 21st century. The papers will include ideas and analysis that will be relevant and useful to the
legislative process, and will also seek to look beyond current immigration debates to offer analysis, ideas
and proposals that:
Consider not only US interests and needs, but the range of conditions driving and likely to drive
international migration into the foreseeable future;
Address the impact of proposed US immigration and integration policies on immigrants, and on
receiving and sending communities;
Reflect the increasingly inter-dependent and connected global community;
Consider US immigration policies from both a domestic and foreign policy perspective;
Offer an historical perspective on current policies as a touchstone for forward-looking proposals;
Bring to bear a range of evidence and disciplines to this analysis;
Reflect liberal democratic values, including respect for rights and the full participation of all members
in society; and
Benefit from a comparative perspective, lifting up successful policies and thinking from other nations.
A non-exclusive list of organizing themes for the papers includes: (1) historical antecedents; (2) governance;
(3) protection and human rights; (4) labor migration; (5) immigrant integration; (6) family and children; (7)
enforcement and control; (8) accounting for global conditions that drive migration; and (9) public opinion.
The project advisory group has identified potential paper topics (see Addendum), that fit within these
categories and that potential authors may wish to consider or adapt.
The initiative is on a fast timeline. Papers will be due by year-end and will be reviewed and finalized by
February 2017. Individual authors or groups of authors that would like to propose or discuss possible
papers for submission should contact Donald Kerwin (DKerwin@cmsny.org) or Kevin Appleby
(KAppleby@cmsny.org) by October 14, 2016. Please include in any communication two paragraphs on the
proposed paper. CMS will offer modest stipends to authors and will confirm its interest in papers within a
week of speaking to potential authors.
Authors will have the option of submitting their papers to CMS's peer reviewed Journal on Migration and
Human Security, which is edited by Michele Pistone and Jack Hoeffner: http://cmsny.org/jmhs/submissionguidelines/. JMHS papers are typically in the 5,000-7,500 word range. CMS will also accept less formal and
shorter essays, which it will post as CMS essays: http://cmsny.org/cms-essays/. These essays are typically in
the 3,500-7,500 word range and, like JMHS papers, include policy proposals and analysis. CMS will provide
modest stipends for commissioned papers.
Addendum to Call for Papers
While the authors will propose and shape their own papers, the CMS advisory group has identified the
following categories and topics for papers that can serve as a reference point for possible submissions.
Past “blue ribbon” commissions, investigations of earlier legislation, and leading agency proposals (past
and present) regarding the US immigration system: What assumptions did they make? Which
assumptions remain valid? What did they recommend and why? What ideas and proposals are still
relevant? What has changed in the interim?
Governance and Policymaking Issues
A review and critique of the current institutional arrangements for developing and implementing
immigration policy, including by DHS, DOJ (especially EOIR), consular affairs and BPRM in DOS, ORR, the
Domestic Policy Council and the role of Congress. This paper would identify what's working, what's not,
and potential policymaking changes that might be made.
How to create, amend , implement and evaluate laws that reflect the perspectives of the communities
most affected by them (migrants and host communities) and those responsible for carrying them out
(government agencies and NGOs)?
How to construct and shape immigration systems that take account of the difficulty of aligning legal
admission policies with potential flows? How to accommodate unexpected irregular migrants or forcibly
displaced persons, rather than criminalize flows or treat their presence as a crisis? How to build
flexibility into the US immigration system?
Protection and Human Rights
US refugee and humanitarian protection policies and refugee/asylum standards for persons displaced by
war, foreign aggression, persecution by non-state actors, failed states, breakdowns in the rule of law,
human rights violations, natural and man-made disasters, climate change, and generalized violence. Are
US policies and standards in keeping with current refugee and humanitarian situations?
Reconciling immigration policy (admissions, legalization, enforcement, integration) and national security
concerns, with human rights, due process, and rule of law imperatives.
Identifying US labor and economic needs in real time, aligning them with available workers, investing in
status-blind labor standards enforcement and in education and skill-building that will benefit immigrant
Creating the conditions for socially cohesive, inclusive, tolerant, pro-family and participatory
What can be learned from the disparate reception of cities and communities to migrants? What makes
some immigrant-dense cities, for example, different from communities with far smaller immigrant
populations that fear they will not be able to absorb immigrants? What factors lead communities to
decide that a certain rate of migration or immigrant density cannot be absorbed? What steps can be
taken to address these issues?
Rethinking the plenary power doctrine, immigration federalism, and the role of states and localities in
immigration policy making, enforcement and integration.
Family and Children
Family unity from the perspectives of immigrant integration and social cohesion, and family members as
Should the US view children as independent migration actors, with their own needs, rights and
interests? If so, what would this mean for US immigration policy? Should US immigration law treat
children differently than adults, recognizing that minors may require different protections, evidentiary
standards, and mandated counsel?
How has the law evolved related to unaccompanied immigrant children since the creation of DHS? What
are the repercussions of placing children under the care and custody of ORR? What are the limits of
ORR’s mandate? Should the support for Know Your Rights and Legal Orientation for Custodians be
transferred to the Department of Justice’s Office of Access to Justice?
Reconceiving of border communities, particularly the US-Mexico border region, in light of decreased
unauthorized migration, diminished migration from Mexico, increased refugee flows from Central
America, and the effect of enforcement on border communities.
Rethinking privatization, criminalization and immigration enforcement. What role, if any, should private
corporations have in immigration enforcement? When, if at all, should immigration violators be
What can be done to minimize migrant deaths, to build active support to find and identify the dead,
provide their remains to loved ones, and reduce deaths through policy interventions?
Should deterrence policies – which seek to stem migration and pressure immigrants to leave a host
community – be a centerpiece of immigration enforcement? Are they effective? Are there better
How do migrants and migration processes interact with criminal organizations? How can immigration
policies minimize this connection?
Accounting for Global Conditions that Drive Migration
What might it mean to rethink US immigration policy from a global perspective? What conditions will
people likely be leaving, and how should these conditions influence US immigration policy, particularly
admissions decisions? How can indexes and forecasting – on fragile states, human development, rule of
law, human rights, trafficking, etc. – inform US immigration policy?
Should migration policy be mainstreamed into development, rule-of-law, and diplomatic initiatives?
How can the benefits of migrants and expatriate communities be maximized for development, rule-oflaw and reconciliation purposes in source communities?
What do contemporary democracies (particularly the US) want and need from immigration in the 21st
century? What does the US electorate, particularly the disaffected, want from immigrants and US
Nativism and xenophobia in the early 20th and 21st centuries: a historic comparison of the causes of
nativism and policy responses to diminish this phenomenon. How to compare economic situations,
immigrant populations and rates, and political leanings of parties in power in these two eras?
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