Experts & Staff
Michael Fix is a Senior Fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, and previously served as its President. He joined MPI in 2005, as Co-Director of MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy and later assumed positions as Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and CEO.
Mr. Fix’s research focus is on immigrant integration and the education of immigrant children in the United States and Europe, as well as citizenship policy, immigrant children and families, the effect of welfare reform on immigrants, and the impact of immigrants on the U.S. labor force.
Prior to joining MPI, Mr. Fix was Director of Immigration Studies at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, where his focus was on immigration and integration policy, race and the measurement of discrimination, and federalism.
Mr. Fix is a Policy Fellow with IZA in Bonn, Germany. In December 2013, he was nominated to be a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on the Integration of Immigrants into U.S. Society, which produced a seminal study on the integration of immigrants in the United States.
Previously, he served on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Redesign of U.S. Naturalization Tests and on the Committee on the Health and Adjustment of Immigrant Children. He also served as a member of the Advisory Panel to the Foundation for Child Development’s Young Scholars Program. In 2005 he was appointed to the State of Illinois’ New Americans Advisory Council, and in 2009 to the State of Maryland’s Council for New Americans.
Mr. Fix received a JD from the University of Virginia and a bachelor of the arts degree from Princeton University. He did additional graduate work at the London School of Economics.
The pandemic-recovery stimulus package that passed Congress in December rectified what many had viewed as a significant oversight in the earlier CARES Act: Its exclusion of U.S. citizens and legal immigrants in mixed-status families. MPI researchers estimate nearly 3 million U.S. citizens and legal immigrants excluded from the earlier legislation can receive the later relief, as well as qualify retroactively for the CARES Act payment, as this commentary explores.
Researchers, service providers, and others have long predicted that sweeping revisions by the Trump administration to the definition of who constitutes a public charge would deter large numbers of immigrant-led households from using federal means-tested public benefits for which they are eligible. Recently released Census Bureau data show they were right: During the administration's first three years, program participation declined twice as fast among noncitizens as citizens.
The prevalence of mental-health symptoms among Latino high school students, immigrant and U.S. born alike, is closely related to their fears of immigration enforcement. And the situation may have worsened since the researchers sampled this population, given the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic hardship have increased the stress on Latino communities that have been hit disproportionately hard, as this commentary explores.
With the U.S. health-care system buckling under the resurgent COVID-19 outbreak, policymakers could undertake efforts to enable skilled, underemployed international health-care professionals to practice. This would both make the health system more resilient and flexible, as well as introduce critical language and cultural skills important during the contact-tracing and vaccine rollout phases of the pandemic response, as this commentary explores.
This study explores the relationship between immigration enforcement and the mental health of Latino high school students, finding that majorities surveyed in both high- and low-enforcement environments reported fear that someone close to them could be deported, with resulting symptoms of conditions such as depression and PTSD. The report provides examples of how schools are responding to support the mental health and engagement of these students.
Across the United States, the skills of an estimated 263,000 immigrants and refugees with health-related degrees are going underutilized during a time of pandemic, with these health professionals either in low-skilled jobs or out of work. This fact sheet offers the first-ever state profiles of this population, including the states in which they live, the languages they speak, their fields of study, and legal statuses.
In a time of critical shortages of U.S. health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, retired doctors are being called back to work and medical students are graduating on a fast track. There is another important pool that could be tapped: Immigrants and refugees who have college degrees in health fields but are working in low-skilled jobs or out of work. MPI estimates 263,000 immigrants are experiencing skill underutilization and could be a valuable resource.
The public-charge rule issued by the Trump administration in August 2019 will have profound effects on future immigration and on use of public benefits by millions of legal noncitizens and their U.S.-citizen family members. Complex standards for determining when an immigrant is likely to become a public charge could cause a significant share of the nearly 23 million noncitizens and U.S. citizens in benefits-using immigrant families to disenroll, as this commentary explains.