Panel Podcast: Gatekeeper Countries

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 105

Listen to "Panel Podcast: Gatekeeper Countries" on Spreaker.


The Center for Immigration Studies hosted a panel discussion on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, discussing the present and future role of “gatekeeper countries” in controlling illegal immigration to destination countries in both Europe and North America.

The number of illegal arrivals to a country is partly determined by the policies of its neighbors (the “gatekeepers”) in trying to stop, or at least slow, the transit of migrants. In the age of mass illegal migration, gatekeeper states must be part of any durable solution – even if it requires attention, and sometimes financial investment, from the destination country.

From Turkey and Egypt to Niger, Senegal, and Morocco, Europe has an extended network of agreements, cooperation, and common policies with states that have tools to stem illegal migration toward the European Union. Perhaps the most famous example is Turkey, which hosts at least 3.6 million Syrian nationals and hundreds of thousands of other refugees. In comparison, the United States has had more limited agreements with its gatekeeper countries – for instance, the Migrant Protection Protocols, better known as “Remain in Mexico”.

Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, moderates this rebroadcast of the Center's panel.


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Christopher Landau: former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (2019-2021)

Viktor Marsai: Director, Budapest-based Migration Research Institute and Visiting Fellow, Center for Immigration Studies

Nikolett Pénzváltó: Director of Research, Migration Research Institute


Panel Video

Panel Transcript

Presentation:Viktor Marsai

Presentation: Nikolett Penzvalto

Panel Press Release


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".