E.g., 09/05/2015
E.g., 09/05/2015

Immigration Policy & Law

Immigration Policy & Law

Immigration legislative and administrative policies, legal statutes and court decisions, and regulations collectively shape nations' immigration systems—from visa allotments and immigrant-selection mechanisms to immigrant integration programs, border controls, and more. As international migration has increased in size and spread and as a number of nations are more flexibly adjusting their immigration systems, the research offered here examines the many permutations of immigration policy and law, often with a comparative lens.

Recent Activity

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Policy Briefs
December 2010
By Donald M. Kerwin
Policy Briefs
November 2010
By Donald M. Kerwin and Laureen Laglagaron
Policy Briefs
September 2010
By Michael Fix and Jennifer Van Hook
Policy Briefs
July 2010
By Jeanne Batalova and Margie McHugh
Policy Briefs
October 2008
By Dovelyn Rannveig Mendoza
Policy Briefs
September 2008
By Kathleen Newland, Dovelyn Rannveig Mendoza, and Aaron Terrazas

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Online Journal

Fears regarding the spread of the deadly Ebola virus following an outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone prompted governments around the world to regulate travel from and within West Africa. Travel bans, airport health screenings, closed borders, and traveler quarantines were among the policies implemented. International organizations argue such restrictions drive possibly symptomatic travelers to illegally bypass borders and encourage dishonesty in the exit screening process.

Online Journal

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.

Online Journal

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.

Online Journal

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.

Online Journal

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.

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Video
August 13, 2014

MPI researchers and representatives from London and Detroit discuss the policies and strategies used—at national and local levels—to attract immigrants into local economies.

Video, Audio
June 24, 2014

This MPI panel discussion focuses on a toolkit by the Women's Refugee Commission to provide detained and deported immigrants as well as unauthorized immigrant mothers and fathers with crucial information to protect and maintain their parental rights and make well-informed decisions regarding the care and welfare of their children.

Video, Audio
April 29, 2014

This MPI panel discussion examines the U.S. deportation system with analysis on migrant apprehensions, removals, returns, and criminal prosecutions, and launches the report, "The Deportation Dilemma: Reconciling Tough and Humane Enforcement."

Video, Audio
March 12, 2014

This event with UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres features findings from UNHCR’s report, Children on the Run, which examines the increasing numbers of children from Central America and Mexico who head off alone to find refuge in the United States, fleeing violence, insecurity, and abuse.

Video, Audio
February 27, 2014

This panel discussion on unaccompanied minors focuses on a report by Kids in Need of Defense and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at UC Hastings College of the Law, whose primary conclusion is that children face a U.S. immigration system created for adults that is not required to consider the child’s best interests.

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Audio
September 4, 2014

Estimates of unauthorized immigrant populations that could receive relief from deportation under potential executive action scenarios to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, extend deferred action to other populations, or refine immigration enforcement priorities are discussed during this webinar.

Audio
August 6, 2014

This webinar covers key findings from MPI's report about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative and eligible populations two years after its implementation, and also introduces MPI's data tool that provides national and state-level estimates of the current and potentially eligible DACA populations, as well as detailed profiles for the U.S. and 25 states.

Audio
June 25, 2014

The flow of unaccompanied children from Central America and Mexico to the United States has surged 90 percent since last year, with government officials predicting that it might reach 90,000 by the end of the fiscal year in September—and perhaps 130,000 next year. This telebriefing discusses factors behind the flows as well as short- and longer-term policy options for improving how the U.S. immigration system interacts with this population with distinct needs.

Video, Audio
June 24, 2014

This MPI panel discussion focuses on a toolkit by the Women's Refugee Commission to provide detained and deported immigrants as well as unauthorized immigrant mothers and fathers with crucial information to protect and maintain their parental rights and make well-informed decisions regarding the care and welfare of their children.

Audio
June 18, 2014

This webinar exploring findings from MPI's report, Critical Choices in Post-Recession California: Investing in the Educational and Career Success of Immigrant Youth, which focuses on the implications of California's public education system reforms

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Recent Activity

Reports
March 2015

In 2013 the Houston metro area was home to 1.4 million immigrants—with the nearly 60 percent growth in its immigrant population since 2000 nearly twice the national rate. This report provides an overview of the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of Houston's immigrants, along with their naturalization rates, legal status, and potential eligibility for immigration benefits such as citizenship or deferred action programs.

Policy Briefs
February 2015

In light of the recognition of the need for a new approach to immigrant integration policy in the European Union, policymakers and other actors are beginning to look at the role that origin countries can play in the integration process. This policy brief explores the transnational dynamics at work behind the scenes of integration policy, including wider sociopolitical factors in origin and destination countries.

Reports
February 2015

While a number of major migrant-sending countries like Morocco and Turkey have started to take an active role in the integration of their migrants abroad, the role of subnational authorities has been overshadowed by diaspora engagement initiatives at the national level. This report investigates how the activities of origin countries' regional and local institutions may improve the lives of emigrants to Member States of the European Union.

Policy Briefs
February 2015

While there is growing consensus on the value of immigrant integration support prior to departure, such initiatives generally have not fully realized their potential. This policy brief reviews promising examples of predeparture measures for labor market integration in Europe that are jointly designed and/or run by origin- and destination-country actors, illustrating their potential to help effectively address some of the most stubborn obstacles to successful integration.

Policy Briefs
February 2015

Youth of a migrant background are over-represented among those who leave school early in the European Union. This policy brief discusses empirical findings, theoretical insights, and promising measures that may inform further policy action to address the disproportionately high level of early school leaving among students with a migrant background, which results from socioeconomic and other factors.

Policy Briefs
February 2015

A number of actors outside the formal educational context, including parents, peers, and other community members, can play an important role in the social and educational development of migrant children. This policy brief reviews current measures to promote the integration of migrant students around Europe, focusing on those initiatives that include the family and community as part of the educational process.

Video, Audio
February 12, 2015

A report release examining PIAAC data on the skills of U.S. immigrant adults and whether there is a gap with native-born adults, and discussion of how these skills relate to key immigrant integration outcomes such as employment, income, access to training, and health.

Reports
February 2015

Immigrant adults in the United States lag their native-born peers in literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills, with resulting effects on their income, employment, education, and health, according to MPI analysis of U.S. scores on the 2012 Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). The findings, which reveal wide ethnic and racial gaps in scoring, underscore deep U.S. social inequalities.

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