For over forty years, Cold War concerns about the threat of communism shaped the contours of refugee and asylum policy in the United States, and the majority of those admitted as refugees came from communist countries. In the post-Cold War period, a wider range of geopolitical and domestic interests influence which populations policymakers prioritize for admission.
The Refugee Challenge in Post-Cold War America examines the actors and interests that have shaped refugee and asylum policy since 1989. Policymakers are now considering a wider range of populations as potentially eligible for protection: victims of civil unrest, genocide, trafficking, environmental upheaval, and gender-based discrimination, among others. Many of those granted protected status since 1989 would never have been considered for admission during the Cold War.
Among the challenges of the post-Cold War era are the growing number of asylum seekers who have petitioned for protection at a port of entry and are backlogging the immigration courts. Concerns over national security have also resulted in deterrence policies that have raised important questions about the rights of refugees and the duties of nations. María Cristina García evaluates the challenges of reconciling international humanitarian obligations with domestic concerns for national security.
Friday, September 1, 2017
Garcia's "Refugee Challenge in Post-Cold War America"
Released today from the Oxford University Press is The Refugee Challenge in Post-Cold War America by María Cristina García, the Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies in the Department of History at Cornell University: