E.g., 07/29/2015
E.g., 07/29/2015

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
August 2012
By Dovelyn Rannveig Mendoza
Policy Briefs
July 2012
By Brian Kelly and Anita Jawadurovna Wadud
Policy Briefs
June 2012
By Jaime Calderon, Barbara Rijks, and Dovelyn Rannveig Mendoza
Policy Briefs
May 2012
By Dovelyn Rannveig Mendoza and Christine Aghazarm
Policy Briefs
December 2011
By Kate Brick
Policy Briefs
February 2011
By Marc R. Rosenblum
Policy Briefs
January 2011
By Marc R. Rosenblum, Randy Capps, and Serena Yi-Ying Lin
Policy Briefs
December 2010
By Donald M. Kerwin

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Online Journal

In 2014 governments in Europe, North America, and Australia reacted to significant mixed flows of humanitarian, economic, and family-stream migrants with a range of new policies. These came as some migrants presented themselves to authorities for processing rather than trying to evade U.S. or European border controls, with the knowledge that backlogs and little political will for the removal of vulnerable populations might allow them to stay for extended periods.

Online Journal

After years of gridlock, increasing pressure from immigrant advocates, and several delays in 2014, President Obama announced sweeping executive actions to provide deportation relief to as many as 5.2 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States. The plan sparked a political firestorm among Republicans who vowed to use all tools at their disposal to block the actions, ensuring that immigration will continue to be a flashpoint for the remainder of the president's term.

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.

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Video, Audio
September 22, 2014

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, who assumed his duties in 2014, lays out his vision and discusses his priorities for the agency as part of MPI's Leadership Visions series.

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September 18, 2014

In this webinar, experts and policymakers from Europe and the United States discuss the relationship between immigration, residential segregation, community relations, and economic opportunities.

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."

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Video, Audio
September 22, 2014

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, who assumed his duties in 2014, lays out his vision and discusses his priorities for the agency as part of MPI's Leadership Visions series.

Audio
September 16, 2014

A discussion and report release on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, how its educational requirements may be impacting application rates, and recommendations for overcoming the education-success challenges that key subgroups of DACA-DREAM youth face.

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.

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Audio
August 26, 2011

With the ten year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks approaching, the Migration Policy Institute held a conference call to discuss the most significant changes that have occurred in the immigration arena in the decade since the attacks.

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Recent Activity

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.

Commentary
January 2015

In a personal tribute published in the Migration Information Source, MPI's online journal, MPI President Emeritus Demetrios G. Papademetriou reflects on the life and career of Graeme Hugo, a world-renowned scholar and Director of the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre at the University of Adelaide, who died in January 2015.

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