Panel Video: Gatekeeper Countries

Key to Stopping Illegal Immigration


Panel Transcript

Presentation:Viktor Marsai

Presentation: Nikolett Penzvalto

Panel Press Release

Event Summary

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”.


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

Mark Krikorian: Executive Director, Center for Immigration Studies (moderator).

Date and Location:

April 26, 2023

Washington, DC

Panel Video



Viktor Marsai


Nikolett Pénzváltó


Christopher Landau


Question and Answer Session