Flight Plight: an Examination of Contemporary Humanitarian Immigration from Honduras, Cuba and Syria to the United States with Considerations for National Security

CHDS graduate Catherine Ventura, Immigration Officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, received the March 2016 award for Outstanding Thesis.  In this Viewpoints video, she discusses her work, which examines contemporary U.S. immigration for humanitarian populations from Honduras, Cuba, and Syria. Humanitarian immigration refers to refugees, asylum-seekers, and those who are forcibly displaced from their homelands. The study explores how the United States can balance its identity as a nation of immigrants with its increasing security concerns within forced migrant populations. The research describes various philosophies of and motives for migration and the United States’ role as an international destination for refugees. The study also provides a comprehensive review of all U.S. humanitarian immigration programs available to forced migrants from Honduras, Cuba, and Syria. These unique reviews, or case studies, are introduced with descriptions of each country’s social, political, and historical context for migration and feature fictional scenarios in which immigrant families interact directly with country conditions and the U.S. humanitarian immigration programs available to them. Finally, the thesis reviews national security concerns presented by humanitarian immigration programs and explains how national priorities and legislative remedies can temper public fear.

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