E.g., 10/05/2015
E.g., 10/05/2015

Migration Information Source

Sarah Sosiak

The annual inflow of new lawful permanent residents (LPRs), also known as green-card holders, has ebbed and flowed with changes in U.S. immigration policy and processing backlogs. This data Spotlight delves into legal immigration in the United States, covering class of admission, country of origin, destination states, and more.

Stephen Ryan/IFRC

As Europe struggles to reach a consensus on how to respond to the refugee crisis, the seemingly unending flow of migrants and refugees arriving on its shores is bringing national asylum systems to their breaking point. This article analyzes the context of the crisis, discussing the root causes of the flows, why they are spiking now, and growing protection challenges.

Charles Reed/ICE

Facing legal setbacks and political opposition, the Obama administration may be required to overhaul its policy of detaining families in immigration custody. Recent court decisions have undermined the government's justification of the policy as a deterrent to future illegal immigration and may result in the release of more than 1,400 unauthorized immigrant women and children.

Lee Phelps

From ongoing emigration flows and a surge in asylum seekers, to more than 150,000 returnees, this country profile examines contemporary and historical migration trends in Albania. Driven by extreme poverty and unemployment, more than one-third of Albania's population has emigrated in the last 25 years. The government now seeks to capitalize on diaspora resources by linking migration and development policies.

Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Shutterstock

The Central American immigrant population in the United States has grown dramatically since 1980 to reach 3.2 million or 7 percent of the country's total foreign-born population. Central Americans were significantly less educated, but more likely to be employed than all immigrants and U.S. born. From income to health coverage and more, this Spotlight explores key indicators of the Central American immigrant population.

Ingmar Zahorsky
With the growing urbanization and consolidation of Nicaraguan immigrants in sectors such as construction and domestic service, Costa Rica has shifted its focus from immigration enforcement to integration. Tension has emerged between the government and private sector as a new mechanism for regularizing unauthorized immigrant workers has failed to gain traction.

Recent Articles

A number of interlocking concerns have emerged in recent months regarding the rights of mobile EU citizens, fueled in part by euroskeptic parties (such as the UK Independence Party), and more hard-line anti-immigration parties such as the Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands.
This year has seen greater focus by policymakers in countries around the world on the balance between two enduring, complex migration management imperatives: maintaining secure and credible borders while separating out unauthorized immigrants from the most vulnerable populations in need of humanitarian protection, particularly those seeking refuge from conflict and persecution.

The murder of an anti-fascist rapper in 2013 dealt a severe blow to Greece's extremist, virulently anti-immigrant political party Golden Dawn, whose popularity had been increasing (relatively unchecked) since 2010. The party, which rejects the neo-Nazi label that many have applied to it, provoked a national outcry in September after a party sympathizer confessed to killing Pavlos Fyssas.

Qatar's dependence on foreign workers is expected to intensify over the coming decade as it steps up its preparations to host the World Cup in 2022. Migrant workers already dominate Qatar's labor force, comprising 94 percent of all workers and 86 percent of the country's total population of nearly 2 million — the world's highest ratio of migrants to citizens.

As immigrant-destination countries emerge from the economic crisis at varying speeds, ensuring that the national labor force has the skills needed to fuel recovery has been high on the policy agenda. Migration has long been part of countries' skills strategies, but weak economies have created an additional impetus to maximize the economic benefits that skilled immigration can provide.


Migration from Latin America to the United States and Europe appears to have slowed in the wake of the recent global financial crisis. As Jacqueline Mazza and Eleanor Sohnen of the Inter-American Development Bank report, flows between Latin American countries expanded in the 1990s and are still growing, crisis or not, and some countries are taking a more regional approach to managing migration.
Beyond traditional remittances, migrants bring with them and send back social remittances: ideas, know-how, practices, and skills. Peggy Levitt and Deepak Lamba-Nieves explain how social remittances work, their benefits and disadvantages, and how they can scale up.
Those caught trying to enter the United States illegally in portions of five Southwest border sectors face criminal prosecution under Operation Streamline, which the Department of Homeland Security launched in 2005. MPI's Donald Kerwin and Kristen McCabe examine how Operation Streamline works, highlight trends in the prosecution of immigration offenses, and evaluate the program's outcomes.
Five factors, including wages and professional development, drive skilled people to migrate, and three reasons encourage them to return. Laura Chappell and Alex Glennie of ippr in London look at all of these factors and how motivations vary across different contexts and groups of migrants.


In 2006, about 1.6 million Chinese immigrants resided in the United States. MPI's Aaron Matteo Terrazas and Bhavna Devani examine their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the legal and unauthorized population from China.
About 65,000 immigrants serve across the U.S. military's four branches, and more than two-thirds are naturalized citizens. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines where these immigrants are from and the policies that grant them citizenship.
In 2006, more than 11.5 million Mexican immigrants resided in the United States, accounting for 30.7 percent of all US immigrants. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines the number of Mexican immigrants in the United States, their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the Mexican-born unauthorized population.
There were nearly 34 million temporary admissions to the United States in 2006, twice the number in 1990. MPI's Jeanne Batalova outlines the definition of nonimmigrants and takes a detailed look at admissions data and data limitations.
In 2006, about 271,000 foreign born of Pakistani origin were residing in the United States. MPI's Jeanne Batalova and Uriah Ferruccio examine the geographic distribution and socioeconomic characteristics of this population.


Marco Martiniello and Andrea Rea examine how immigration has made Belgium a multicultural society in perpetual renewal.
Kenya is looking to its educated diaspora to meet development goals and achieve global competitiveness, according to MPI’s Ken Okoth.
Waves of emigrants from the Federated States of Micronesia are building new lives abroad, according to MPI Data Manager Elizabeth Grieco.
Brij V. Lal of the Australian National University explains the link between Fiji's recent political turbulence and the increasing numbers of Fijian emigrants.
Recent policies — some more restrictive, some more liberal — reflect Austria's continuing ambivalence about immigration.


MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the virtual border fence in Arizona, House immigration talks, increased fines for employers of unauthorized immigrants, and more.
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the USCIS naturalization application backlog, final Real ID regulations, proposed H-2A visa changes, and more.
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on Arizona's employer sanctions law, a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative passport provision delay, H-2B caps, and more.
MPI's Gretchen Reinemeyer, Aaron Matteo Terrazas, and Claire Bergeron report on USCIS backlogs, actions to limit access to driver's licenses in Oregon and Maine, the latest on "no-match" letters, and more.
MPI's Aaron Matteo Terrazas and Trinidad Macias report on driver's licenses for the unauthorized in New York State, H-2A reform, a material support bar exemption for Hmong, and more.