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Though recognized as a separate category in the Methods of Work, administrative detention for refugees and asylum seekers were originally noted as a concerning practice and added to the mandate of the WGAD by Resolution 1997/50 of the Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR).2
The language of Section 212(e) of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §1182(f), contains a sweeping authorization of presidential discretion to suspend and restrict alien entry into the United States. Senator Pat McCarran (D-NV) first introduced the subsection in 1950 as part of the omnibus immigration bill drafted by his Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee. The specific origins of the language and the original intent behind the subsection remain missing pieces in the extensive scholarly literature on the 1952 INA and legislative history as explored by the courts. This article reveals that the subcommittee modeled the subsection on the sixth proviso of the 1917 Immigration Act, the May 1918 Wartime Measure, and a selective interpretation of Supreme Court precedent. The article reveals further that the original intent behind the subsection was to close perceived loopholes in existing law enabling entry by displaced persons and Communist governmental officials.
Refugees are confronted with the task of adapting to the long-term erosion of psychosocial systems and institutions that in stable societies support psychological well-being and mental health. We provide an overview of the theoretical principles and practical steps taken to develop a novel psychotherapeutic approach, Integrative Adapt Therapy (IAT), which aims to assist refugees to adapt to these changes. This paper offers the background informing ongoing trials of IAT amongst refugees from Myanmar.
A systematic process was followed in formulating the therapy and devising a treatment manual consistent with the principles of the Adaptation and Development After Persecution and Trauma (ADAPT) model. The process of development and refinement was based on qualitative research amongst 70 refugees (ten from West Papua and 60 Rohingya from Myanmar). The therapeutic process was then piloted by trained interventionists amongst a purposively selected sample of 20 Rohingya refugees in Malaysia.
The final formulation of IAT represented an integration of the principles of the ADAPT model and evidence-based techniques of modern therapies in the field, including a transdiagnostic approach and the selective use of cognitive behavioural treatment elements such as problem-solving and emotional regulation techniques. The steps outlined in refining the manual are outlined in relation to work amongst West Papuan refugees, and the process of cultural and contextual modifications described during early piloting with Rohingya refugees in Malaysia.
IAT integrates universal principles of the ADAPT model with the particularities of the culture, history of conflict and living context of each refugee community; this synthesis of knowledge forms the basis for participants gaining insights into their personal patterns of psychosocial adaptation to the refugee experience. Participants then apply evidence-based techniques to improve their capacity to adapt to the serial psychosocial changes they have encountered in their lives as refugees. The overarching goal of IAT is to provide refugees with a coherent framework that assists in making sense of their experiences and their emotional and interpersonal reactions to the challenges they confront within the family and community context. As such, the principles of a general model (ADAPT) are used as a springboard for making concrete, manageable and meaningful life changes at the individual level, a potentially novel approach for psychosocial interventions in the field.
Despite the frequency that refugees suffer bereavement, there is a dearth of research into the prevalence and predictors of problematic grief reactions in refugees. To address this gap, this study reports a nationally representative population-based study of refugees to determine the prevalence of probable prolonged grief disorder (PGD) and its associated problems.
This study recruited participants from the Building a New Life in Australia (BNLA) prospective cohort study of refugees admitted to Australia between October 2013 and February 2014. The current data were collected in 2015–2016, and comprised 1767 adults, as well as 411 children of the adult respondents. Adult refugees were assessed for trauma history, post-migration difficulties, probable PGD, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental illness. Children were administered the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.
In this cohort, 38.1% of refugees reported bereavement, of whom 15.8% reported probable PGD; this represents 6.0% of the entire cohort. Probable PGD was associated with a greater likelihood of mental illness, probable PTSD, severe mental illness, currently unemployed and reported disability. Children of refugees with probable PGD reported more psychological difficulties than those whose parents did not have probable PGD. Probable PGD was also associated with the history of imprisonment, torture and separation from family. Only 56.3% of refugees with probable PGD had received psychological assistance.
Bereavement and probable PGD appear highly prevalent in refugees, and PGD seems to be associated with disability in the refugees and psychological problems in their children. The low rate of access to mental health assistance for these refugees highlights that there is a need to address this issue in refugee populations.
Disaster, conflict, and forced migration are rising around the world, generating alarm about the long-term effects of trauma and devastation on child development. This chapter reviews theory and findings on risks, challenges, and resilience of children confronted with trauma and displacement in the context of conflict, terror, and disaster.
Models of resilience are described, with a focus on contemporary perspectives grounded in developmental systems theory. Resilience is defined as the capacity of a system to adapt successfully to challenges that threaten its functioning, survival, or future development. Evidence on the threats, adaptation, and protective processes that shape adjustment and the future development of young people displaced by life-threatening community-level crises are highlighted. Ethical, methodological, and practical issues and controversies in the research are discussed. The conclusion summarizes research progress, implications for intervention, and future directions of this body of research.
In this chapter, we argue that the timing of societal events in an individual’s life plays a major role in shaping that life through interacting developmental processes at multiple levels. We focus on classic research by Elder showing how two such events in historical proximity dramatically altered the lives of California children who were born at opposite ends of the 1920s, 1920–21 and 1928–29, the Great Depression of the 1930s followed by World War II (1941–45) and the Korean War (1950–53). We employ insights from both Elder’s cohort historical life course approach and developmental science including recent work on developmental neuroscience to understand the life-long impact of exposure to events that occur at different times in life, and the mechanisms through which these exposures may influence development, as well as experiences that may provide turning points in development.
The author presents a necessarily brief summary of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) regarding immigration, featuring especially Pius XII's much neglected apostolic constitution Exsul familia. He also sets out some of the philosophical presuppositions of CST as it pertains to immigration. These presuppositions are to be found, he maintains, especially in the writings of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas. He then examines in some detail Francisco de Vitoria's ideas regarding immigration, based as they are upon Aristotelian and Thomistic principles. Finally, he offers answers to questions that have arisen over the course of the essay.
The common good (bonum commune) has, since antiquity, referred to the aim of social and political association, and was particularly prominent in medieval Christian political theology. Since St. John XXIII’s 1961 encyclical letter, Mater et magistra, ecclesiastical statements about social teaching have employed a formulation of the common good, usually in the version that appeared in the Second Vatican Council’s 1965 Pastoral Constitution for the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes, as “the sum of those conditions of social life that allow social groups and their individual members relatively thorough and ready access to their own fulfillment.” This chapter discusses the origins and development of this formulation as well as the ways that it has been used in subsequent Catholic Social Teaching. While it has sometimes been interpreted as an “instrumental” account of the common good, the sources and uses of the notion suggest that it is the particularly modern political component of a fuller notion of the common good continuous with the tradition. In particular, the recent formulation is concerned to limit the power of the modern state and protect the dignity of the human person in the challenging conditions of political modernity.
National identities are often conceived of as factors that lend structure and stability to citizens’ political opinions on issues such as immigration. While citizens who define national membership in ethno-cultural terms are less likely to support immigration, those with a civic conception are more likely to do so. The authors propose that defining national identity along both ethno-cultural and civic lines may give rise to conflicting considerations, leading people to experience ambivalence, implying that national identities may serve less as a stabilizing force than suggested by previous research. Findings from heterogeneous choice models and a unique survey experiment show that German citizens with mixed conceptions of national identity had more variable and more malleable opinions than individuals with ideal-type conceptions during the 2015/2016 European refugee crisis. The findings point to an identity-based source of ambivalence and extend current understandings of how people form attitudes towards immigration.
In 1967, European and Katangese mercenaries revolted against the rule of Mobutu Sese Seko in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) intervened to try to have the rebels peacefully leave the DRC. Katangese troops who fled to Rwanda with white mercenaries were forced by the Organization of African Unity and the Rwandan government to return to the DRC, where they were eventually executed. White mercenaries, under the protection of the ICRC and Rwanda, ultimately escaped Mobutu's wrath. Congolese and Rwandan leaders skillfully employed the ideal of African sovereignty and humanitarian rhetoric with its Western and African allies to ensure their consolidation of power.
Access to primary health care (PHC) is very important for refugees. The aim of this study was to illuminate lived experience of Afghan refugees in Iran regarding PHC delivery.
This qualitative study was conducted in 2016–2017 by using the content analysis technique. Data were collected through individual deep interviews with Afghan refugees who lived in Iran. The data were analyzed by using a method by Graneheim and Lundman.
Four main categories and 12 subcategories were emerged, including (1) challenges before PHC delivery: large number of children, high service cost, not having medical insurance, access to health centers, appointment to get services, simultaneity of breastfeeding, and pregnancy; (2) challenges during PHC delivery: understanding Iranian words, health care provider’s behavior, delay in getting service in PHC centers; (3) challenges after delivery PHC: referral patient, high costs of paraclinics; and (4) free and good services.
Our results showed that Afghan refugees have several challenges in every stage of PHC delivery. Awareness of such problems can help medical personnel improve delivery of service to Afghan refugees, as well as using trained Afghani nurses to serve the refugees.
Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Djibouti's Markazi camp for refugees from Yemen between 2016 and 2018, this article examines the complex motivating factors that drove a subset of Yemenis to seek refuge in the Horn of Africa. Although the primary reason for their flight to the Horn of Africa was the ongoing war, a secondary but not inconsequential driver of many of these Yemeni refugees’ current displacement was their family histories of transnational migrations and interethnic marriages. This article argues that, for this group, it was their “mixed” (muwallad) Arab and African parentage and resulting alienation in Yemen that made their flight imaginable—and, in their view, imperative. Although “mixed motive migration” is not unusual, this example underscores how spatial and social (im)mobilities in Yemen and the Horn of Africa region have been co-constituted across generations. More importantly, it has critical implications for the recently adopted Global Compact on Refugees, which promotes (among other solutions) the “local integration” of refugees in their proximate host societies.
In-migration embodies the liberal-democratic paradox: the tension between the right of an individual and the collective will of a polity. This is well illustrated by escalating conflicts over admission of the “special category” of international migrants: refugees. Taking Japan as a notoriously difficult case, this paper analyzes recent developments in Japan's embattled refugee policy and argues that grassroots efforts by civil society provide a way to move beyond the current gridlock of the state-centric paradigm of refugee admission. Specifically, empirical evidence available to date suggests that private refugee sponsorship that enables individuals and community organizations to voluntarily sponsor the resettlement of UN-recognized refugees offers a viable policy instrument in Japan's context. While retaining the democratic communitarian outlook on admission of foreigners, the model injects liberal universalist qualities into immigration policy that are capable of motivating positive change domestically and, potentially, across East Asia at large.
Refugees report elevated rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but are relatively unlikely to seek help for their symptoms. Mental health stigma is a key barrier to help-seeking amongst refugees. We evaluated the efficacy of an online intervention in reducing self-stigma and increasing help-seeking in refugee men.
Participants were 103 refugee men with PTSD symptoms from Arabic, Farsi or Tamil-speaking backgrounds who were randomly assigned to either receive an 11-module online stigma reduction intervention specifically designed for refugees (‘Tell Your Story’, TYS) or to a wait-list control (WLC) group. Participants completed online assessments of self-stigma for PTSD and help-seeking, and help-seeking intentions and behaviors at baseline, post-intervention, and at a 1 month follow-up.
Intent-to-treat analyses indicated that, compared to the WLC, TYS resulted in significantly smaller increases in self-stigma for seeking help from post-treatment to follow-up (d = 0.42, p = 0.008). Further, participants in the TYS conditions showed greater help-seeking behavior from new sources at follow-up (B = 0.69, 95% CI 0.19–1.18, p = 0.007) than those in the WLC. The WLC showed significantly greater increases in help-seeking intentions from post-intervention to follow-up (d = 0.27, p = 0.027), relative to the TYS group.
This is the first investigation of a mental health stigma reduction program specifically designed for refugees. Findings suggest that evidence-based stigma reduction strategies are beneficial in targeting self-stigma related to help-seeking and increasing help-seeking amongst refugees. These results indicate that online interventions focusing on social contact may be a promising avenue for removing barriers to accessing help for mental health symptoms in traumatized refugees.
Worldwide, growing numbers of refugees are pushed from their homes. At the same time, fewer and fewer are able to access so-called “durable solutions” to their displacement. This has prompted a flurry of efforts to repair the foundering refugee regime. Many such efforts attempt, implicitly or explicitly, to resolve tensions between legal principles, moral duties, and national interests surrounding refugees. As part of a roundtable on “Balancing Legal Norms, Moral Values, and National Interests,” this essay questions the drive toward oversimplification that has characterized these debates, recognizing that some such tensions are “baked into” the problem of refugeehood. While debates have typically focused on the obligation to admit refugees, and on “responsibility sharing,” I advance the conversation by exploring how law, morality, and national interests are entangled in efforts to support durable solutions for refugees, focusing on voluntary repatriation. What does recognition of the intrinsic and in some senses irreconcilable tensions in the refugee regime mean for efforts to support solutions? I argue that advancing durable solutions, however imperfect, for refugees does not mean definitively overcoming these tensions, but rather navigating them to identify context-specific opportunities to reposition refugees as full and equal citizens as a critical step toward reducing their precarity.
Refugees commonly experience difficulties with emotional processing, such as alexithymia, due to stressful or traumatic experiences. However, the functional connectivity of the amygdala, which is central to emotional processing, has yet to be assessed in refugees. Thus, the present study investigated the resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala and its association with emotional processing in North Korean (NK) refugees.
This study included 45 NK refugees and 40 native South Koreans (SK). All participants were administered the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Clinician-administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), and differences between NK refugees and native SK in terms of resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala were assessed. Additionally, the association between the strength of amygdala connectivity and the TAS score was examined.
Resting-state connectivity values from the left amygdala to the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) were higher in NK refugees than in native SK. Additionally, the strength of connectivity between the left amygdala and right dlPFC was positively associated with TAS score after controlling for the number of traumatic experiences and BDI and CAPS scores.
The present study found that NK refugees exhibited heightened frontal–amygdala connectivity, and that this connectivity was correlated with alexithymia. The present results suggest that increased frontal–amygdala connectivity in refugees may represent frontal down-regulation of the amygdala, which in turn may produce alexithymia.
In the past few years, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of forcibly displaced migrants worldwide, of which a substantial proportion is refugees and asylum seekers. Refugees and asylum seekers may experience high levels of psychological distress, and show high rates of mental health conditions. It is therefore timely and particularly relevant to assess whether current evidence supports the provision of psychosocial interventions for this population. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the efficacy and acceptability of psychosocial interventions compared with control conditions (treatment as usual/no treatment, waiting list, psychological placebo) aimed at reducing mental health problems in distressed refugees and asylum seekers.
We used Cochrane procedures for conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs. We searched for published and unpublished RCTs assessing the efficacy and acceptability of psychosocial interventions in adults and children asylum seekers and refugees with psychological distress. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive and anxiety symptoms at post-intervention were the primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes include: PTSD, depressive and anxiety symptoms at follow-up, functioning, quality of life and dropouts due to any reason.
We included 26 studies with 1959 participants. Meta-analysis of RCTs revealed that psychosocial interventions have a clinically significant beneficial effect on PTSD (standardised mean difference [SMD] = −0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI] −1.01 to −0.41; I2 = 83%; 95% CI 78–88; 20 studies, 1370 participants; moderate quality evidence), depression (SMD = −1.02; 95% CI −1.52 to −0.51; I2 = 89%; 95% CI 82–93; 12 studies, 844 participants; moderate quality evidence) and anxiety outcomes (SMD = −1.05; 95% CI −1.55 to −0.56; I2 = 87%; 95% CI 79–92; 11 studies, 815 participants; moderate quality evidence). This beneficial effect was maintained at 1 month or longer follow-up, which is extremely important for populations exposed to ongoing post-migration stressors. For the other secondary outcomes, we identified a non-significant trend in favour of psychosocial interventions. Most evidence supported interventions based on cognitive behavioural therapies with a trauma-focused component. Limitations of this review include the limited number of studies collected, with a relatively low total number of participants, and the limited available data for positive outcomes like functioning and quality of life.
Considering the epidemiological relevance of psychological distress and mental health conditions in refugees and asylum seekers, and in view of the existing data on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions, these interventions should be routinely made available as part of the health care of distressed refugees and asylum seekers. Evidence-based guidelines and implementation packages should be developed accordingly.
This article explores what Anglicanism may have to say to a world struggling with a ‘migration crisis’. It begins with the story of the nineteenth-century African martyr, Bernard Mizeki, who was both a migrant and, as a missionary, a place-maker. Using three pairs of words – place and displacement, guest and host, and journey and destination – the article connects Anglicanism’s historic emphasis on parishes and the Incarnation to contemporary thinking on migration. It argues that eschatological thinking is necessary so Christians can consider what sort of destination they offer in their communal life. It concludes by urging more study of the relationship between migration, Anglican identity, and Christian being in the world.