The US Refugee Protection System on the 35th Anniversary of the Refugee Act of 1980

by Donald Kerwin


In 2013, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) initiated a project to bring concentrated academic and policy attention to the US refugee protection system, broadly understood to encompass refugees, asylum seekers and refugee-like populations in need of protection. The initiative gave rise to a series of papers published in 2014 and 2015, which CMS is releasing as a special collection in its Journal on Migration and Human Security on the 35th anniversary of the Refugee Act of 1980. This introductory essay situates the papers in the collection within a broader discussion of state compliance with international law, impediments to protection, US protection programs, vulnerable populations, and due process concerns. The essay sets forth extensive policy recommendations to strengthen the system drawn from the papers, legislative proposals, and other sources.

A PDF download of the full collection is available at http://bit.ly/JMHSrefugeecollection.