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Two podcasts of interest Aug 9th, 2017 - On UN Day in 1959, Eleanor Roosevelt hosted a radio program honoring World Refugee Year.  Her featured guests included Doris Day, Joseph Schildkraut and Gregory Peck. Mrs. Roosevelt called the situation of refugees in Europe "a blot on the conscience of all mankind."

Opening the Door to a New Solution Jul 27th, 2017 - Today, there are over 65.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. Of those, over 21 million are refugees. 21 million individuals have been forced to move from their homes in search of safety elsewhere. In our world today, refugees move through borders and swim through oceans; in Mohsin Hamid’s world in Exit West, refugees move by stepping through doors.

Migrants and Mafia: Forced Migration and Organized Crime in Sicily Jul 24th, 2017 - As debate on the European migrant crisis shifts from the voyage of migrants and their initial arrival in Europe to the long-term experiences of migrants in host countries, we must reexamine the issue of organized crime and forced migration.

Refugee EO Update: The Supreme Court Hands Each Side a Partial Victory Jul 20th, 2017 - The Supreme Court issued an order yesterday regarding President Trump’s revised Refugee Executive Order (EO) that provided comfort to both the Administration and Hawaii, which has challenged the EO. The Court left in place the portion of Hawaii U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson’s injunction barring application of the EO to foreign nationals abroad with U.S. relatives such as grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Syrian war and the plight of Afghan refugees: Iran coercing Afghans to fight in the conflict Jul 13th, 2017 - The massive influx of Afghan refugees to Iran started in 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Until 1992, Iran was exemplary in welcoming refugees. It granted 3-4 million Afghans work permits, free education and subsidized healthcare. Afghans could stay in Iran indefinitely. In 1992 Iran stopped granting permanent residence rights to Afghans, even though in the subsequent years, civil war and the reign of the Taliban have caused an increase in involuntary migration.
Since 2004 Iran has undertaken different measures to curb and decrease the number of refugees.

The legal battle over refugee admissions Jul 1st, 2017 - The State Department has issued guidance regarding the admission of refugees following the Supreme Court's decision in the Trump Executive Order cases. The guidance includes the narrow interpretation of "bona fide relationship with a person" adopted for the visa ban provision (fiancés are in; grandparents are out).

Casablanca—a refugee story par excellence—celebrates its 75th birthday Jun 29th, 2017 - If Casablanca were made today—at the height of the greatest refugee crisis World War II—what would it look like? To celebrate 75 years of the classic, The New School hosted a screening and discussion of the film titled, “Casablanca at 75: A Refugee Story.” Noah Isenberg, a professor at Lang College and author of, We’ll Always Have Casablanca: The Life, Legend, and Afterlife of Hollywood’s Most Beloved Movie, was joined by Alexander Aleinikoff, the director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, and New York Times film critic, A.O. Scott. In their discussion, the particular focus on the refugee aspect of the film brought up several topical and intriguing points that asked attendees to imagine what the film would look like and whether or not it would have the same impact.

What does the Supreme Court’s decision on the Trump Executive Order mean for refugees? Jun 27th, 2017 -  The commentary on the Supreme Court’s decision on the Trump Executive Orders has largely focused on the part of the Orders that imposed the travel ban on six predominantly Muslim countries.  Less noticed has been the paragraphs at the end of the decision that discuss the Orders’ suspension of the refugee program.

It’s All About that Stay (and Its Surprising Limits) Jun 26th, 2017 - Here's a thoughtful take from Marty Lederman on the Supreme Court's decision today on the Trump Executive Orders. We will have a post soon on the implications of the decision for the refugee program.

Why Are There No Syrian Refugee Camps in Lebanon? Jun 22nd, 2017 - Since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, its neighbor Lebanon quickly became the country that hosts the highest number of refugee per capita; today one in four is a refugee. Initially, Lebanon had an open-border with Syria. Between 2013 and 2014, UNHCR registered on average over 48,000 refugees per month. Despite the massive influx, Lebanon did not create refugee camps for Syrians.