ISIM-affiliated faculty teach and carry out independent research and are active participants in national and global debates on important policy issues. A few examples of such engagement include:
ISIM teamed up with Voice for Refuge to support advocacy and increase transparency by developing a Refugee Scorecard that records all 535 members of Congress on their actions with regard to refugees. The scorecard provides a way of comparing U.S. Senators’ and Representatives’ actions with each other and over time. Kate Fin (Georgetown SFS Class of 2021) led the project with support from Professors Katharine Donato and Elizabeth Ferris. https://www.voiceforrefuge.org/scorecards/
Professor Ferris is currently serving as one of four expert advisors to the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement and has contributed several background papers to support the Panel’s work. Currently, over 40 million people have been displaced by conflict and violence but remain within the borders of their own countries. Although there are almost twice as many internally displaced persons (IDPs) as refugees and although they are often more vulnerable because they are closer to the violence, the international community has struggled to find appropriate ways to protect and assist refugees and to find solutions for their displacement. The High-Level Panel is charged with making bold recommendations to raise the visibility of internally displaced persons and to find new ways to support concrete solutions to internal displacement. The Panel will issue its final report by September 2021.
Professors Donato and Ferris co-edited the July 2020 volume of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, “Refugee and Immigrant Integration: Unpacking the Research, Translating it into Policy.” (https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/anna/690/1) This volume sheds light on the complex and different forms of integration taking place, and it highlights the ways in which local policies and institutions enhance successful integration. To set the stage for the papers in this volume, Professors Donato and Ferris also wrote the introduction, Refugee Integration in Canada, Europe, and the United States: Perspectives from Research. The volume brings together contributions of scholars from different disciplines to reflect on the process of refugee integration in the US and around the world.
Professor Donato, in collaboration with economist Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (from the University of California-Merced), co-edited an issue of the RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences (https://www.rsfjournal.org/content/6/3). The issue presents work from an interdisciplinary group of scholars who trace the history and contemporary landscape of legal immigration to the United States. Professors Donato and Amuedo-Dorantes outline immigration policies from 1880 to the present. They document an increase in the use of presidential executive orders and practices, rather than Congressional legislation, to shift the U.S. legal immigration system, making many immigrant families and workers who enter the country especially vulnerable.
Professor Emerita Susan Martin is also active in shaping the U.S. policy debate by offering her views on the US Refugee Resettlement program in a recent report published by the Center for Migration Studies. U.S. refugee admissions have declined dramatically in the past few years and she offers suggestions on ways to re-invigorate refugee resettlement by changing the narrative about resettlement and implementing concrete measures to increase the number of resettled refugees.