November 17 2022: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 129


[Open Access] Grabska, K., & Horst, C. (2022). Special Section: Art and Conflict. Conflict and Society, 8(1), 172-191. The special section explores the role of art practice in transformation in contexts of violent conflict and displacement. The articles focus on artists that either create in the context of oppression and control or respond to these contexts by creating spaces of resistance, life in and with violent conflict, transformation, and inspiration. The articles discuss a range of initiatives and artistic practices that take place in various contexts, from artists involved in societal transformation in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Syria, to artists working in Palestine, Chad, Sri Lanka, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

[Open Access] Neureiter, M. (2022). The Effect of Immigrant Integration Policies on Public Immigration Attitudes: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in the United Kingdom. International Migration Review56(4), 1040–1068. Drawing on intergroup threat theory, this article argues that immigrant integration policies can improve public attitudes toward immigrants and, particularly, toward refugees and asylum-seekers. Examining evidence from an original survey experiment conducted in the United Kingdom, the author found that support for admitting asylum-seekers increases when respondents are made aware that prospective asylum-seekers will be required to partake in language and civic education courses. Similarly, support for admitting asylum-seekers increases when respondents are told that future asylum-seekers will only have limited access to welfare.

[Open Access] Riva, R. (2022). Tracing Invisibility as a Colonial Project: Indigenous Women Who Seek Asylum at the U.S.-Mexico Border. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, 20(4), 584-597. Central American Indigenous women seeking asylum in the United States are officially classified as Latinas or Hispanic. However, the erasure and consequent invisibility of Indigenous identity causes assimilation and jeopardizes Central American Indigenous women’s procedural rights. The author addresses the complex relationships of migrants whose identities are intertwined with geography, different states, and racial representations while claiming that the invisibility of Indigenous women from Abya Yala who cross borders responds to the white settler colonial project.

[New Book] Arar, R., & FitzGerald, D. (2022). The Refugee System: A Sociological Approach, Polity. This book tells how one Syrian family, spread across several countries, tried to survive the civil war and live in dignity. This story forms a backdrop to explore and explain the refugee system. Departing from studies that create siloes of knowledge about just one setting or “solution” to displacement, the book’s sociological approach describes a global system that shapes refugee movements. Changes in one part of the system reverberate elsewhere. Feedback mechanisms change processes across time and place.

Sorrell-Medina, Z. (2022). A strategy typology: Unearthing how U.S.-immigrant-serving nonprofits contribute to immigrant inclusion outcomes. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, 1-14. Literature reveals that immigrant-serving nonprofits enact strategies contributing to local policy and other immigrant inclusion outcomes. However, this empirical relationship has yet to be systemically and holistically examined across contexts. Drawing on 30 qualitative interviews with immigrant-serving nonprofit practitioners operating throughout various U.S. cities, the author specified over 100 strategies organizations employ to contribute to immigrants’ rights and legal and cultural inclusion in society. Research, policy, and practice implications are discussed.

Carlson, E., & Hou, F. (2022). Cultural involvement and preference in ethnic accommodationInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations91, 191-199. Ethnic identity often entails a strong migration component bringing people from disparate cultures into new interaction and generating awareness of group distinctions. This close link between migration and ethnic identity suggests that social science tools used to study one of these subjects may help study the other. In this spirit, the authors apply concepts originating in the study of immigrant acculturation to the broader subject of ethnic accommodation. A continuous-case approach applies Berry’s bi-dimensional theoretical perspective on acculturation using measures of cultural involvement and cultural preference for respondents from different ethnic groups. These groups are defined by visible minority status, linguistic contrasts, and different national origins. These results give us new insights into comparative ethnic accommodation patterns, applicable in a wide range of other societal contexts beyond the Canadian data examined here.

[New Book] Bisaillon, L. (2022). Screening Out: HIV Testing and the Canadian Immigration Experience. UBC Press. The immigration system – a core social institution in Canada – includes mandatory HIV screening within a medical inadmissibility regime designed to exclude people with HIV. This is a narrative-driven analysis of the medico-legal and administrative practices governing immigration to Canada. Following the sequence of events in the application process of a woman from sub-Saharan Africa in her interactions with an immigration doctor of western European descent, this book is an institutional ethnographic mapping of the Canadian immigration process from the perspective of the very people to whom the exclusionary health policy is directed.

[New Report] Dennler, K., & Garneau, B. (2022) Deporting Refugees: Hidden injustice in Canada. The first half of the report sheds light on the removals process, success rates of legal options, and how timing affects individual cases. The second half examines how CBSA’s structure and mandate allow poor practices by CBSA officers to persist, which means people who face risk upon return may be removed. Finally, the report ends with recommendations for the federal government and service providers. While this report is aimed at policymakers and frontline organizations, additional resources relating to the removal process were compiled in partnership with Romero House Toronto, including a guide for people on the deportation process, and a data repository of government documents and data relating to removals and legal options.

[Report] Supplementary Protection Pathways to the United States: Lessons from the Past for Today’s Humanitarian Parole Policies by Yael Schacher, Refugees International, November 10, 2022. This report, informed by research trips, discussions with legal experts, and interviews with people seeking protection pathways to the United States, recommends ways the administration should reform its current use of parole. The author concludes that the administration should take inspiration from past uses of parole that supplemented refugee protection, expand innovative approaches to additional populations, and better account for the needs of parolees after arrival.


Laura Madokoro, Migrants deserve the right to make decisions about where they live, The Conversation. October 31, 2022. People do not give up their right to be mobile or make decisions about their lives simply because they are forced to flee untenable circumstances. Human rights are inevitably constrained, but they still exist. Recent government actions would have people believe otherwise. However, sacrificing the capacity of some people to be treated as fully-fledged human beings puts that right at risk for everyone.

Abul Rizvi, Is the Pacific Engagement Visa Australia’s first climate change humanitarian visa? Pearls and Irritations. November 4, 2022. The new Pacific Engagement Visa (PEV) has more similarities to a humanitarian visa than a labor supplementation visa. At 3,000 permanent resident places per annum, it could be Australia’s first climate change humanitarian visa.

Kenan Malik, Sealed borders are a fantasy, and talk of invasion is toxic. There is an alternative, The Guardian. November 6, 2022. The system is broken, but the reasons proposed for it being so have been grievously wrong. The cause of the brokenness is not a surge of migrants and asylum seekers, still less an “invasion”, but the result of a policy that has deliberately and accidentally turned a manageable situation into a crisis.

Geoffrey Cameron & Shauna Labman, How Canada plans to break records with its new refugee targets, The conversation. November 15, 2022. Every November, Canada’s immigration minister presents an annual report to Parliament that includes immigration targets for the next three years. This year,  these immigration targets have grabbed headlines for their goal of admitting 500,000 permanent immigrants a year by 2025. While most news reports focused on the significant rise in economic immigrants, the refugee targets are record-breaking.


[Seminar Recording] Local Integration: A Durable Solution in need of Reinvigoration? Dr. Nicholas Maple – Refugee Law Initiative, University of London. November 8, 2022. Based on recent work co-authored with Dr. Lucy Hovil, this talk will examine how states seek to evade local integration: from the multiple tactics used by wealthier governments to elude responsibility; to how countries hosting the greatest numbers of refugees (such as those in Africa) have allowed significant numbers of refugees into their territory but have then maintained a short-term approach to hosting. As a result, a mix of global, national, and local processes and forces have effectively conspired to diminish local integration to the point that it has vanished from the political arena.

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