Expert List: European Migrants & Refugees

The migrant crisis in Europe and globally is a complex issue with many facets. These expert sources are available to provide comment and context for this ongoing issue:


Andrea Stanton, assistant professor for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Denver, says the bigger and longer crisis is in the Middle East — particularly Lebanon and Jordan.  “I’m not surprised that the recent EU meeting ended with proposals to support those countries,” she says. “But I think we need to examine the reasons for this: is it to help the refugees there, or to prevent Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey from shifting from being receiving/host countries to being transit countries with Europe as the refugees’ ultimate goal.”  CONTACT:


Nick Clark, assistant professor of political science at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa., studies public opinion, voting behavior and political knowledge in Europe and the European Union. He says he can provide insight and information about laws and institutions governing immigration and asylum-seeking in the European Union. CONTACT:


Vera Eccarius-Kelly, professor of political science at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. Vera traveled to Turkey last month and also spent the summer interviewing Kurdish refugees in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan and in Kurdistan. She is on sabbatical this semester and is in the process of several publications regarding the situation. Regarding the effects of migration on the E.U., she says though structural reforms will be necessary, the refugees will be a plus in the coming years.  "Recent arrivals are from the educated middle class, including professionals, scientists, physicians, etc.,” she says. "They are determined to educate their children and will be highly productive in Europe. ... Syrian refugees who remain in Europe will be part of the entrepreneurial and scientific engine of the region. It may take 20 years, but many refugees will greatly contribute to a successful future in a number of countries.”


CONTACT: or 518-727-2069 (cell).


Sheila I. Velez Martinez teaches in the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She has also spoken on human rights issues related to immigration. CONTACT:


Kavita Daiya is the visiting NEH Chair in the Humanities at Albright College in Reading, Pa., whose specialty is migration studies, peace and conflict studies and globalization. Daiya writes often on the cultural and national effects of large-scale migrations in the 20th and 21st centuries. She is especially interested in the refugee experience—why people migrate or what forces them to become refugees. She also studies how that migration is portrayed across media, such as in journalism, literature and film.


"If you call them migrants, you can turn them away: it implies they are ‘voluntary' migrants,” she says. "But if you acknowledge they are refugees, then by international law, as per the 1951 Convention which most of the EU countries signed, you cannot turn them back, you must give them refuge and protection. ...The sociologist Saskia Sassen has said this very forcefully: the fact is, people are being pushed off the land [by war, by government's land grab, etc.]—let's not call this ‘migration.'"




Source Contact Information