E.g., 10/07/2015
E.g., 10/07/2015

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

Increasing numbers of Westerners heading to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist organizations like ISIS have governments concerned about possible attacks at home by returning fighters. Several thousand fighters from Europe and other Western countries are believed among the foreign nationals involved in conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Lawmakers scrambled in 2014 to respond with new policies, including seizing passports, stripping citizenship, and criminalizing travel to "no go" zones.
Mass cases of exploitation and abuse of migrant workers have drawn international scrutiny and criticism of the kafala system in Gulf Cooperation Council countries and private recruitment practices in Southeast Asia. With Qatar under scrutiny amid a frenzied construction boom in advance of the 2022 World Cup, international organizations and human-rights groups in 2014 stepped up their campaign for worker protection reforms.
In recent years emigration from Mexico has declined, the country's stable economy has drawn an increasing number of international migrants, and the pace of transmigration to the United States has quickened. Amid these changing realities, punctuated by a spike in migration of unaccompanied minors from Central America in 2014, Mexico is confronting a new role as migration manager: balancing increasing enforcement and protection of migrants' rights.
2014 marked the quiet demise worldwide of the traditional points system for selecting skilled immigrants. Canada, which in 1969 invented the points system, in 2015 will join other countries in adopting a hybrid system that places more emphasis on a demand-driven system. This article examines how following the economic crisis, governments have revamped, hybridized, or ended such programs.
With a range of policies in 2014, China sought to address changing large-scale migration patterns within the country and beyond. This year included promises to reform the hukou registration system and thus enable an estimated 100 million internal migrants to access social services in the cities where they live, schemes to entice the return of emigrant professionals, and crackdowns on corrupt officials who send their families and money abroad.


This Q&A explores the dire medical emergency and refugee health concerns resulting from the ongoing Syrian crisis. Source Editor Amber French conducts a Q&A with Dr. Fadi Al Khankan of the Syrian Expatriates Organization and MPI's Kathleen Newland, both panelists at the January 14, 2013 MPI event unveiling the International Rescue Committee's report, Syria: A Regional Crisis.
Many countries, and in particular the United States, have begun granting asylum claims filed on the basis of sexual orientation in the past few decades. Despite the efforts by U.S. and other governments to reinforce protection for LGBT refugees, this community remains a marginalized group.
Refugee resettlement initiatives have extended beyond the traditional provider regions of North America, Western Europe, and Oceania, broadening from 14 states in 2005 to 26 in 2012. However, projected needs are expected to continue to far outpace the number of available spaces. This article investigates the various explanations for why more countries in Latin America, Asia, and other regions are opening resettlement places.
This article dissects the current patchwork of overlapping and potentially conflicting authorities for immigration enforcement and policymaking in the United States, based on unique, country-wide surveys and city case studies.
Immigration and international development policy conversations have become entangled in the U.S. context, not necessarily to the benefit of either debate. This article explores how a contemporary understanding and decoupling of the issues can contribute to more effective policymaking.


More than 1 million people became legal permanent residents (LPRs) in the United States in 2010. Nearly two-thirds of new LPRs are immigrants with family ties in the United States, report MPI’s Carola Balbuena and Jeanne Batalova in this updated look at the latest statistics on legal immigration.
At just under 517,000, immigrant apprehensions in 2010 were the lowest they have been in nearly 40 years. Sheida Elmi and Kristen McCabe analyze the most recent immigration enforcement data on apprehensions, detentions, removals, and returns of noncitizens in the United States.
Of the 14.8 million union members in 2010, 12 percent were foreign born. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines the data on immigrant participation in the U.S. labor force and unions.
In 2010, the United States granted humanitarian protection to nearly 95,000 immigrants, including some 73,000 refugees and 21,000 asylum seekers. MPI's Monica Li and Jeanne Batalova take a detailed look at the most recent refugee and asylum data in the United States.
The 1.5 million African immigrants residing in the United States in 2009 accounted for 3.9 percent of all U.S. immigrants. MPI's Kristen McCabe examines the origins, socioeconomic characteristics, and legal status of the African-born immigrant population.


Social and economic factors are pushing Japan toward a more open immigration policy, while other concerns are prompting the country to adopt stricter immigration controls. Chikako Kashiwazaki of Keio University and Tsuneo Akaha of the Monterey Institute of International Studies provide an overview of Japan’s migration issues.
As Ulf Hedetoft of Aalborg University and the Academy for Migration Studies in Denmark explains, the question of how to handle cultural and religious differences has come to dominate the Danish political agenda.
Iran has long connected the great civilizations of Asia, the Near East and the Mediterranean. But since the Islamic Revolution, hundreds of thousands of highly skilled Iranians have emigrated while millions of refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq have entered the country. Shirin Hakimzadeh takes a detailed look at Iran's past and present migration issues.
One of the poorest countries in Central Asia and a former Soviet Republic, Tajikistan has dealt with Afghan refugees, experienced outward flows of ethnic Russians since its independence, and seen thousands of ethnic Tajiks leave for temporary employment in Russia. MPI’s Aaron Erlich investigates the migration issues facing this understudied country.
Although Sweden was once open to labor migrants from across Europe and refugees from all over the world, its policies have become increasingly restrictive over the last 35 years. Today, the country is wrestling with integration issues, as Charles Westin of the Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations, Stockholm University, explains.


MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the U.S. Justice Department's lawsuit against Alabama's new immigration enforcement law, policy changes in the Secure Communities program, and more.
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the recent Supreme Court decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, the ongoing controversy surrounding states' participation in Secure Communities, the extension of TPS for Haitian nationals, and more.
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the termination of the NSEERS program, legal challenges to the new Utah laws, the continued controversy surrounding Secure Communities, and more.
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the 9th Circuit Court ruling on SB 1070, current trends in immigration legislation at the state level, President Obama's recent comments on executive action and immigration reform, and more.
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti, Claire Bergeron, and Lang Hoyt report on the Secure Communities program, a new State Department initiative allowing the same-sex partners of U.S. diplomats to apply for J-1 visas, additional funding for immigration agencies in the proposed 2012 Homeland Security budget, and more.