Master of Global Affairs students research complex immigration system across borders

In search of ways to better protect the rights of migrants and refugees, four Keough School master of global affairs students traveled to the US-Mexico border, Greece, Germany, and Switzerland last summer to observe immigration enforcement systems. Students partnered with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of Migration and Refugee Services to plan and execute the project.

While in the field, the four students—Patrick Calderon, Kathleen Kollman, Shuyuan Shen, and Mehak Anjum Siddiquei—explored and documented best practices to respect the human rights of migrants as they navigate complex immigration enforcement systems.

Photo of the i-Lab Team USCCB team members


Their travels brought them to migrant shelters, detention centers, refugee camps, government offices, churches, universities, and more. Along the way, they heard from people navigating the different enforcement systems, including asylum-seekers, humanitarian workers, and government employees.



Following their observations in the field, the Keough School team met with policymakers and practitioners in Washington, DC, to convene a roundtable, “Humane Immigration Enforcement: A Way Forward.” Students summarized their research findings in a comparative context and discussed policy implications with roundtable participants. The event was held at the Keough School’s Washington Office.

The immigration research project was a part of classwork in the Master of Global Affairs’ Integration Lab (i-Lab), where graduate students work collaboratively to innovate and imagine interdisciplinary solutions to global challenges.

To read about the students’ journey, visit the Keough Insider blog.

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