E.g., 10/06/2015
E.g., 10/06/2015

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

The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, with three cases diagnosed in the United States, has generated tremendous public fear and anxiety in the United States and other countries. The Obama administration has restricted air travel from West Africa to five airports with enhanced screening, amid calls for a complete travel ban. The Policy Beat examines the use of U.S. immigration controls to halt the spread of disease.
Recent surges in the arrival of unauthorized migrants with possible humanitarian claims have prompted the United States and the European Union to consider in-country and offshore processing for some refugee and asylum applications. As this article explores, some of the questions raised about the feasibility of such programs include their consistency with humanitarian law and their effectiveness in reducing unwanted entries.
In 2013, 11.6 million Mexican immigrants resided in the United States, accounting for 28 percent of the total foreign-born population, making Mexicans the largest immigrant group in the country. Using the latest data, this Spotlight examines the Mexican immigrant population by size, location, language ability, workforce participation, and more.
Drawing on a case study of two Hmong refugee populations from Laos that were resettled in a major Texas city and a German village, this article explores the different approaches to immigrant integration found in the United States and Germany as well as the outcomes for the Hmong and their sense of belonging in their new communities.
As Central American child migrant flows have returned to their precrisis level, challenges remain concerning the fate of tens of thousands of newly arrived children and families now residing in the United States pending immigration court hearings. Meanwhile, Congress has declined to authorize new funding to address the situation.


For economic and political reasons, more governments are turning to visas to admit select groups of highly skilled immigrants (especially in high-tech and high-growth fields) to their countries to boost entrepreneurship and enhance job creation. A look at the challenges, opportunities, and increasing popularity of these entrepreneur visa programs.
Immigrant legalizations in the United States and Europe ("regularizations" in the EU context) have been used repeatedly for broad and discrete groups of immigrants. A look at how these programs have been implemented historically and the political and policy implications they face today.
An estimated 7 percent of people in Mexico were not registered with the government at birth and thus lack official record of their name, age, parentage, and citizenship. Without a birth certificate, unregistered Mexican children lack access to education, health care, and basic social services, while unregistered adults face significant economic and civic-integration challenges. Both groups are more vulnerable to being trafficked, exploited, or recruited into criminal groups. This article provides a primer on this important issue, with insight into the experiences of unregistered, unauthorized Mexican immigrants in the United States.
Documentary filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini, the team behind the acclaimed How Democracy Works Now series that explores the battle over comprehensive immigration reform in the 2000s, discuss what it was like to experience Washington, DC and the policymaking process from an insider's perspective.
In 2001, filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini embarked on a journey that took them across the country and into the offices of the U.S. Capitol, local town halls, high-level negotiations, election races, and activist rallies, all to tell one large and complex story: how the U.S. policy process — particularly in immigration reform — really works. Joyce Matthews, editor of the Migration Information Source, recently caught up with Michael and Shari for a candid conversation about their ambitious project and what they took away from their six years filming the U.S. immigration debate. Foreword by Demetrios G. Papademetriou, President of the Migration Policy Institute.


Los Estados Unidos es hogar para aproximadamente 2.9 millones de inmigrantes provenientes de los países centroamericanos Belice, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, y Panamá. La migración de Centroamérica ha crecido rápidamente en las recientes décadas, pero más de dos de cada cinco inmigrantes centroamericanos carecen de estatus migratorio legal mientras que alrededor de uno en diez residen en los Estados Unidos bajo la protección temporal humanitaria.
The 2.9 million Central American immigrants living in the United States were more likely than both the native born and the foreign-born population overall to be of working age and to be participating in the U.S. labor force. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines the population's size, geographic distribution, and demographic characteristics.
Interested in information on annual naturalization trends, illegal immigration, the geographical distribution of immigrants in the United States, current and historical shares, and a host of other topics? MPI's Jeanne Batalova and Aaron Terrazas have assembled the latest, most interesting data on immigrants and immigration into one easy-to-use resource.
While the number of people detained reached a five-year high of over 383,000, apprehensions hit a 34-year low of 613,000 in 2009. MPI's Jeanne Batalova and Kristen McCabe examine the latest immigration enforcement data in this updated Spotlight.
Few visas in the U.S. alphabet soup of visa types have become as well-known — or controversial — as the H-1B has in its 20-year history. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines the program's background and the numbers and characteristics of those granted H-1B visas in 2009.


Since its independence in 1991, Ukraine has expanded immigration and emigration rights – but it has also become a neighbor of the expanded European Union, a crossroads for illegal migration, and fertile ground for human traffickers. Olena Malynovksa of the National Institute for International Security Problems in Kyiv reports.
An estimated 8.1 million Filipinos — nearly 10 percent of the country's population — are living in close to 200 countries and territories. Maruja M.B. Asis of the Scalabrini Migration Center-Philippines explains how the country developed its emigration policies and measures to protect its citizens abroad.
A steady stream of research since the 2001 census has highlighted the ways in which Canada is changing socially and demographically. In this updated profile, Brian Ray of the University of Ottawa examines debates over highly skilled migrants, the latest refugee numbers, and integration trends.
Colombia's ongoing armed conflict has caused millions to leave the country, both as economic migrants and as refugees; millions more have been internally displaced. While the government struggles with these issues, it is also courting Colombians abroad. Myriam Bérubé reports.
A source for Europe's labor needs since the 1960s, Moroccan migrants and their remittances are central to the economy back home. But as Hein de Haas of Radboud University Nijmegen explains, Morocco is also becoming a transit and immigration country for migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.


MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on how enforcement now targets criminal aliens, the striking down of immigration ordinances in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, the dismissal of two SB 1070 lawsuits in Arizona, and more.
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron break down the injunction against Arizona's immigration law and report on the debate over birthright citizenship, the passage of a $600 million border security bill, and more.
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the Justice Department's suit against Arizona's newest immigration law and the Supreme Court's decision to hear a case challenging the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act. Also in this edition: Haitian nationals get more time to file for Temporary Protected Status, the House approves $701 million for border security measures, Tennessee enacts an immigration enforcement bill, and more.
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on President Barack Obama's decision to send 1,200 National Guard troops to the Southwest border, the continued debate over Arizona's immigration law, the State Department's 2010 trafficking report, increased U.S. immigration application fees and more.
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron take an in-depth look at Arizona's SB 1070, from the range of responses to what it means for federal immigration reform. Also in this edition: a bill that would revoke the U.S. citizenship of those found helping terrorists, more delays for the "virtual fence," increased approvals for Mexican nationals' asylum applications, and more.