A Nation of Immigrants with Denis McDonough – CGD Podcast

June 13, 2018

Late last month, the New York Times reported that “the flow of refugees to the United States has slowed nearly to a halt” and that if the trickle of refugees admitted continues at its current pace, only 20,000 refugees are projected to enter the United States by the end of this year. That’s the lowest number since the resettlement program began in 1980.

In the last episode of the CGD Podcast, we introduced you to a new CGD project called Migration Is What You Make It, based around the idea that migration isn’t inherently good or bad; instead, policy choices determine whether migration becomes a crisis or an opportunity. In that episode, you heard from UN Special Representative Louise Arbor on what’s at stake in the ongoing negotiations for the Global Compact for Migration.

In this episode, you’ll hear from former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, who spoke with Cindy Huang, co-director of CGD’s Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy program, about refugee resettlement, the economics of immigration, the relationship between aid and migration, and more.

On the topic of refugee resettlement in the US, McDonough says:

There is no evidence that it’s meant an increase in terrorism. There’s no evidence that it’s meant an increase in crime. And in fact, I think there’s a lot of evidence to show that it’s meant an increase in opportunity—economic opportunity. So I think we’ve just got to use the data and make the arguments.

Learn more about Migration is What You Make It here.


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.