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Publications and Reports

Take a look at these publications and reports on the issues of statelessness. We encourage students, professors, and other academics to use these resources to develop your own thesis, dissertations, and curriculum around this important issue.



Statelessness in the United States: A Study to Estimate and Profile US Stateless Population

Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS)

In October 2017, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) initiated a study to map the stateless population in the United States (US). This study sought to:

  • Develop a methodology to estimate the US stateless population;

  • ​Provide provisional  estimates  and  profiles  of  persons  who  are  potentially stateless or potentially at risk of statelessness in the United States;

  • Create a research methodology that encouraged stateless persons to come forward and to join a growing network of persons committed to educating the public on and pursuing solutions to this problem; and

  • Establish an empirical basis for public and private stakeholders to develop services, programs, and policy interventions to prevent and reduce statelessness, and to safeguard the rights of stateless persons.

This report describes a unique methodology to produce estimates and set forth the characteristics of US residents who are potentially stateless or potentially at risk of statelessness. The methodology relies on American Community Survey (ACS) data from the US Census Bureau, supplemented by very limited administrative data on stateless refugees and asylum-seekers.

Home sweet home? Not for 200,000+ stateless in U.S., Reuters, January 23rd, 2020
"It's Like Living in Solitary Confinement, but Out in the World", The Nation, 01/23/20



Unmaking Americans: Insecure Citizenship in the United States

Open Society Foundations Justice Initiative

In the United States, citizenship is a unifying force built around a core set of commonly agreed ideals, including the inherent equality of all people. Yet U.S. citizenship law and practice are marked by gaps, weaknesses, and opportunities for arbitrary decision-making. Today, those gaps and weaknesses are being exploited to take U.S. citizenship away from members of marginalized groups. This report and corresponding fact sheet document three techniques currently being used to attack the identity and sense of belonging of U.S. citizens:

  • denaturalizations, which is the stripping of U.S. citizenship from naturalized Americans

  • denial and revocation of U.S. passports, which is the discretionary deprivation of Americans' proof of citizenship

  • political attacks on citizenship by birth, which has normalized policy proposals that would fundamentally alter American society by denying U.S. citizenship to children born in the U.S. to non-citizens


Unmaking Americans looks at the costs of these initiatives, providing first-hand accounts from affected U.S. citizens. The report also shows how current efforts to destabilize the security of citizenship for certain groups fit within historical patterns of politicians seeking to manipulate xenophobia for political gain, and offers recommendations for reform that would prevent further abuse.


Watch the Event, September 17th, 2019

Image by Van Tay Media


Joint Submission to the Human Rights Council
36th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (10/3/2019)
United Stateless, the Americas Network on Nationality and Statelessness (Red-ANA) and the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI) make this joint submission to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), on the right to a nationality and human rights challenges pertaining to statelessness in the United States of America. This submission focuses on gaps in the national legal framework concerning nationality and statelessness, the risk of denaturalization of naturalized Americans, the lack of an identification and protection framework for stateless persons, the arbitrary detention of stateless persons, and the rights of stateless persons.


Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship

Tendayi Bloom and Lindsey N. Kingston

Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship breaks from tradition by relocating the 'problem' to be addressed from one of statelessness to one of citizenship. It problematises the governance of citizenship - and the use of citizenship as a governance tool - and traces the 'problem of citizenship' from global and regional governance mechanisms to national and even individual levels.


Citizens of Nowhere: Solutions for the Stateless in the U.S.

United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees and Open Society Justice Initiative

This report focuses primarily on the especially vulnerable population of stateless individuals residing in the United States who have no path to acquire lawful status or become naturalized U.S. citizens under the current law.


Shapeless Shapes

Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion

Shapeless Shapes is a graphic novel about identity, belonging, history, xenophobia, freedom, racism, discrimination, injustice, activism, citizenship & statelessness.

Shapeless Shapes was imagined into existence and designed by artist and social justice advocate Hanna Kim, with words by Hanna and Amal de Chickera.

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Stateless Persons in Detention: A tool for their identification and enhanced protection

United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees

This practical tool has been developed for the purpose of identifying persons in the context of detention who may be stateless and to support the achievement of solutions to their predicament.

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Representing Stateless Persons Before U.S. Immigration Authorities: A Legal Practice Resource from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees

The purpose of this manual is to empower immigration lawyers in the United States to recognize when a U.S.-based client is stateless and to zealously represent such clients before immigration authorities.


Handbook on Protection of Stateless Persons

United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees

The 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons lies at the heart of the international regime for protection of stateless persons. In the Convention’s 60th anniversary year, UNHCR issued this Handbook.

Life After Limbo: Stateless Persons in the United States and the Role of International Protection in Achieving a Legal Solution

David Baluarte

This article relies on the international law of statelessness as a benchmark for this critique, and argues that that the proposed mechanism may fail to meaningfully address the statelessness problem in the United States if it is not tethered to the international protection framework.

Stateless in the United States: Current Reality and a Future Prediction

Polly J. Price

"...Statelessness exists in the United States — a fact that should be of concern to advocates of strict immigration control as well as those who favor a more welcoming policy. The predominant reasons for statelessness include the presence of individuals who are unable to prove their nationality and the failure of their countries of origin to recognize them as citizens. 

People Without a Country: The State of Statelessness

Bronwen Manby

Bronwen Manby is an independent consultant in the field of human rights, democracy, and good governance. She has worked closely with UNHCR on its global campaign against statelessness, as well as for the Open Society Foundation and Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights for Stateless Persons

David Weissbrodt and Clay Collins

By exploring statelessness through legal, theoretical, and practical lenses, this article presents a broad examination of the human rights of stateless persons. The article delineates the rights of stateless persons as enunciated in various human rights instruments; presents the mechanisms of, and paths to, statelessness; illustrates the practical struggles of stateless persons by highlighting the plights of various stateless populations; examines how the problem of statelessness is being addressed; and considers the complex political and regional forces affecting policies towards stateless persons. The article concludes with recommendations regarding remedies and solutions for statelessness.

The Stateless in the United States

Center for Migration Studies

The report emphasizes that the United States lacks a consistent legal framework for dealing with stateless individuals, leaving many in protracted deportation proceedings and exposing many more to exploitation by employers, landlords and law enforcement officials.

Arbitrary Deprivation of Citizenship

Amnesty International

This document is a collection of summarized contributions presented during a seminar entitled “The International Human Rights Challenge of Arbitrary Revocation of Citizenship”, held in London, UK, on 31 October 2016.

Prosecuting People for Coming to the United States

The American Immigration Council

This overview provides basic information about entry-related offenses, including the significant costs incurred by the government conducting these prosecutions, the individuals who are subjected to them, and how the government’s rationale for carrying them out is not supported by the data.

Are you a student or professor eager to contribute to statelessness?

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