Astrid Liden

Student, Columbia University
  • Columbia University
  • People
  • United States of America

About Astrid Liden

I am a rising sophomore at Columbia University where I study Human Rights and Latin American studies, with a focus on migration. My research focuses on the Venezuelan Migration crisis, the second-largest mass exodus in the world behind the Syrian refugee crisis. I will be looking at the evolution of Venezuela, as a country of immigrants to a country to emigrants, caused by the humanitarian crisis facing the nation today. My focus is on the effects of the crisis and the experiences of women, children, and families who face some of the greatest difficulties. Exploring data and accounts from surrounding Latin American nations like Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru as well as high-income European nations like Spain and Italy, I will be investigating the evolution of the family structure in Venezuelan migrant and refugee communities as well as the impact of the recent COVID-19 pandemic on resources, experiences, and for many, the forced return journey to Venezuela.

I am a/an:

Undergraduate Scholar

Area of Expertise

Diversity and Inclusion Humanities Languages Politics Social Sciences

Research Topic

Identity & Belonging Immigration Regional & Area Studies Society & Culture


Columbia University

Intro Content

Video COVID-19 Diversity and Inclusion Ethnic & Racial Studies

Astrid Liden- Laidlaw Summer 2020

In my video, I discuss the research I did on the Venezuelan migration crisis and the experiences of families, specifically women and children. I also discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the Venezuelan diaspora, and I look forward to continuing this work!

Influencer Of

Popular Content


Channels contributed to:

Social Sciences

Rooms participated in:

Columbia University

Recent Comments

May 14, 2021

Week 2: Continuing my work with VIA this week, I was able to see much more into the personalized and human-centered approach that is needed in response to a humanitarian crisis. I was able to help to interpret for Soporte Entre Pares, an initiative that connects Venezuelans to resources in community. I was not just translating but was truly learning from the needs and experiences of these migrants, many of whom are forced migrants. Being able to see the effects of forced migration, not just in the moment, but even years later, shows just how much of an impact the work of VIA has in the lives of migrants and how much of a community-based response is needed. A conversation I had with the co-founders of VIA and my supervisors is the emphasis put on the PERSON of the migrant, beyond just a statistic. Coming into this summer, I wanted to move beyond just the study of migration or academic discussions that see what the future of migration holds. Rather, I wanted to SEE it. I wanted to meet migrants and see their realities. Just in these conversations, I see how even big successes for the Venezuela community, like Temporary Protected Status (TPS), is still not enough because so many either don’t qualify, don’t know how to apply, still live in a limbo, or realize this is only temporary and can be revoked. Seeing this personal impact of legislative decisions is extremely important, not just to my project this summer, but also to my long-term goals.

This week, I also worked more on the bazaar initiative for the end of the summer. VIA is looking to expand from last year’s event. I am using my own knowledge, personal connections and experiences, and language skills to be able to communicate and help plan this amazing event that will both educate the general population about the Venezuelan migration crisis and also support migrants directly. I have been reaching out to the Mayor’s Office, local NGOs, and other possible partners to make this a strong community and educational event for Venezuelans. I have had a great time working with VIA, meeting the community, and learning more about the realities of a situation that is often glossed over.

May 10, 2021

Week 1: For my second summer Laidlaw Project, I have begun an internship with VIANYC (Venezuelans and Immigrants Aid), a non-profit organization here in New York that works with Venezuelan migrants in the area. My research and internship topics have to do with Venezuela migration and the impacts it has had both in Latin America and other regions of the world, specifically in the United States this summer. VIA works to help connect Venezuelan forced migrants with resources in the US, most specifically NYC. Due to the pandemic, however, their resources have been able to spread wider, and the online platform has been expanded to migrants in the United States but also in Spain, Argentina, and other countries. This week, I spent time meeting with the team and sitting in on various aspects of their programming: specifically two tutoring programs for Venezuelan migrant adult and kids, and I will continue to begin my work this week. This is similar to my work last year, which focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on Venezuelan migrants, but this year I am focusing more on the community-based response to a migration crisis. In order to more fully understand the complexities of the crisis, I am really desiring to put the people first. Listening to their stories, understanding their needs, and knowing their desires. In the United States, the recent development of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelans has made legal status a possibility, yet it is not the end. I am excited to get to work with VIA in learning more about immediate response to a migration crisis and the US immigration system as a whole!