Immigration to the United States continued steadily from the 1970s until the recent recession, which also diminished a sense of urgency to enact immigration reform legislation. MPI's Kristen McCabe and Doris Meissner provide a comprehensive look at major legislation and events affecting U.S. immigration, the size and attributes of the immigrant population, and policy changes under the Obama administration.
The 535,000 Haitian immigrants residing in the United States in 2008 accounted for 1.4 percent of all U.S. immigrants and the fourth-largest immigrant group from the Caribbean. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the Haitian-born unauthorized population.
In its newest five-year "roadmap" for justice and home affairs policy, the European Union has made migration a priority area. But while the Stockholm program offers plenty of detail on issues like illegal migration and asylum, it offers few specifics as to the final goal. MPI's Elizabeth Collett analyzes the program's action points and looks at challenges facing its implementation.
The 1.1 million Salvadoran immigrants residing in the United States in 2008 accounted for 2.9 percent of all U.S. immigrants, making them the second-largest immigrant group from Latin America. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the Salvadoran-born unauthorized population.
The 18.9 million immigrant women in the United States in 2008 made up 12 percent of all women in the country. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines which countries they come from, their labor force participation, and their socioeconomic status.
The recession that began in the United States two years ago and spread to most other parts of the worlds has had a deeper and more global effect on migration than any other economic downturn in the post-World War II era. Among the immigrants most affected are those in North America, Asia, and Europe.
Over the past year, long-standing discussions and negotiations have resulted in several new information-sharing initiatives that seek to boost security while facilitating travel for legitimate travelers.
Swiss voters strongly approved a popular initiative to ban the construction of minarets in Switzerland. Julie Schindall reports on reaction to the vote and explains how the Swiss system makes such lawmaking possible.
Some speculated that increasing unemployment could prompt thousands of immigrants to head home and citizens of hard-hit countries to assault immigrants for taking "their" jobs and causing other problems. However, no country in 2009 has seen a mass exodus of immigrants due to the recession, and immigrants have not been systematically attacked.
As violence flared from Afghanistan to Iraq to Mexico this year, hundreds of thousands fled over land and by boat in search of safety. Asylum seekers' main destinations—Europe, Australia, and Canada—were not new, but the governments in these countries took a harder line in 2009.
Discussions about climate change and migration ramped up in 2009, in large part due to a number of conferences and reports surrounding the highly anticipated United Nations (UN) Climate Change conference in Copenhagen.
The global recession has caused countries that once welcomed foreign workers by the tens and hundreds of thousands — particularly Spain — to rethink generous immigration policies as unemployment rates have risen.
Many countries relied on low-skilled immigrant workers during good times. But Japan, Spain, and the Czech Republic have recently introduced "pay-to-go" programs to reduce the number of unemployed immigrants. MPI's Kristen McCabe, Serena Yi-Ying Lin, and Hiroyuki Tanaka, and Piotr Plewa of the European University Institute examine these programs and the larger policy questions they raise.
For many developing countries, migrants are considered valuable contributors to future development. As proof of their commitment, they have invested in diaspora institutions with responsibilities ranging from protecting migrants to encouraging investment. MPI's Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias analyzes 45 such institutions across 30 countries and breaks them down by type.
The world's second most populous country also has a vast diapora spread across nearly every continent. Daniel Naujoks provides a broad overview of Indian migration flows and major populations worldwide, and discusses India's diaspora policies, refugees and asylum seekers from the region, and illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on immigrant provisions in current health-care reform legislation, ICE's plans to make detention more "civil," a small drop in the size of the U.S. foreign-born population, and more.
Intermarriage is considered a test of integration: the higher the rate, the more integrated the group. Olga Nottmeyer of DIW Berlin finds that while immigrants from Turkey, by far Germany's largest immigrant group, have had low rates of intermarriage in the first generation, intermarriage rates among second-generation Turkish men are increasing.