E.g., 06/18/2024
E.g., 06/18/2024

Migration Information Source

An immigrant from Iraq living in Michigan.
Jetta Disco/DHS

Immigration to the United States from the Middle East and North Africa is longstanding and multifaceted. Compared to other immigrants, those from the Middle East and North Africa are more likely to be proficient in English, have graduated college, and be a U.S. citizen. This article provides an overview of this population, more than one-quarter of which lives in the greater New York, Detroit, or Los Angeles areas.

Dublin street scene in Temple Bar area.
iStock.com/kelvinjay

Tens of millions of people globally claim Irish heritage, due to the country’s long history of emigration to places such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. In recent years, many more people have been moving to Ireland than leaving, providing benefits to the country but also posing challenges. This article provides an overview of Ireland's migration trends and policies, past and present.

People in South Sudan fleeing conflict in Sudan.
Jesuit Refugee Service

The international humanitarian protection system built amid the ashes of World War II has come under increasing strain, as record numbers of people flee internationally and travel farther distances. New barriers to protection in destination countries have captured public attention, but governments are also experimenting with ways to offer sanctuary, which could signal a remaking of the global system, as this article explains.

Dancers at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
Laura Elizabeth Pohl for Bread for the World

Mexico is the source of the world’s second-largest migrant population. In recent years the country has found itself at an unexpected crossroads: Managing the transit of growing numbers of asylum seekers and other migrants headed to the United States. Meanwhile, the Mexican-born population in the United States has declined significantly since 2010. This article provides an overview of the major trends and policies.

Immigrants arriving on a ferry near Ellis Island.
National Archives

The Immigration Act of 1924 shaped the U.S. population over the course of the 20th century, greatly restricting immigration and ensuring that arriving immigrants were mostly from Northern and Western Europe. The century-old law was one of the most restrictive in U.S. history and helped create the framework for key provisions of the U.S. immigration system that remain in place a century later. This article analyzes the effect and legacy of the 1924 law.

An immigrant from Rwanda serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Samuel King Jr./U.S. Air Force

Immigrants have served in the U.S. armed forces since the nation's founding. In recent years, a growing share of U.S. military veterans are immigrants, due to shrinking numbers of veterans overall and a rising number of foreign born. This article offers details about the composition of the immigrant population with U.S. military service.

Recent Articles

Flags of South American countries.

The South American immigrant population in the United States has grown at a faster rate than that of the overall foreign-born population, amid crises in Venezuela, Colombia, and elsewhere. Yet South Americans still account for only about one in ten U.S. immigrants. While they mirror the overall U.S. immigrant population in several demographic characteristics, there are some notable differences, as this article details.

People walk through the streets of Hong Kong

Hong Kong finds itself in the middle of opposing trends. Amid political unrest, Beijing's increasing security pressure, and pandemic disruptions, many Hong Kongers have left and been replaced by a new group of immigrants, largely from mainland China. The dynamic has raised questions whether Hong Kong will remain a global cosmopolitan hub or instead turn inward to Asia, as this article discusses.

President Joe Biden in Mexico City.

The U.S. immigration enforcement system increasingly depends on other countries to help halt irregular movements through the Americas and accept the return of unauthorized migrants. Foreign governments play a crucial and yet underappreciated role in migration management, and can either aid or frustrate U.S. border-control aims, as this article explores.

Housing construction site in California.

One-fifth of the planet lacks adequate housing. That scarcity, expected to affect 3 billion people by 2030, is a problem for native-born and immigrant communities alike. The global housing shortage can aggravate tensions over immigration and lead to integration challenges for new arrivals, as this article details.

A naturalization ceremony at the White House.

Immigration touches on many facets of life in the United States. Get the facts with this useful resource, which compiles in one place answers to some of the most often-asked questions about immigration and immigrants in the United States now and historically. This article contains essential data on the immigrant population, immigration levels, trends in immigration enforcement, and much more.

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A loan officer in Kenya.

Credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial services are often critical in order to fully participate in the modern world. Yet many refugees and other forced migrants have trouble obtaining these seemingly simple tools, preventing them from full integration. This article outlines humanitarian migrants’ needs for financial services and the barriers that can arise.

A woman and child walk in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

Is climate change a major driver of migration and displacement? From where are people leaving, and where are they going? This informative primer, a Climate Migration 101 of sorts, provides answers to basic questions about climate change and migration, starting with how and where climate change triggers human movement.

Migrantes en la aldea de Canaán Membrillo, en el Tapón del Darién, Panamá.

El paso por el Tapón del Darién ha transformado la migración en las Américas. Cada día, más de 1.000 personas cruzan lo que no hace mucho era un tramo de selva poco transitado entre Colombia y Panamá, la mayoría con la esperanza de llegar a Estados Unidos o Canadá. Es un viaje increíblemente arriesgado. Los gobiernos se han esforzado por responder al creciente movimiento, que se espera que supere los 500.000 cruces en 2023.

A man walks through a community affected by river erosion in Bangladesh.

Despite the widespread impression that people inevitably migrate away from climate-vulnerable areas, many adapt to environmental changes, choose to remain in their homeland, or simply cannot leave, due to a lack of money, connections, legal avenues, or other means to do so. These “trapped populations” may be among the most affected victims of climate change, this article explains.

Migrants in the Darien Gap village of Canaan Membrillo, Panama.

Passage through the Darien Gap has transformed migration across the Americas. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken the incredibly perilous journey across the remote jungle between Colombia and Panama, risking exposure to hazardous terrain, criminal groups, and other dangers. As this article outlines, governments have struggled to respond to the growing movement, expected to top 500,000 crossings in 2023.

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A sign for Calle Ocho in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.

Cubans comprise the largest Caribbean immigrant group in the United States, and for decades have benefitted from uniquely preferential immigration programs. The population is growing, as recent years have seen the largest wave of emigration in Cuba's modern history. This article offers key statistics about the 1.3 million Cuban immigrants in the United States.

A nurse looks at a baby.

Immigrants from the Philippines make up the fourth largest foreign-born group in the United States, numbering nearly 2 million people. Compared to other U.S. immigrants, Filipinos are more likely to have strong English skills, be naturalized U.S. citizens, and hold a college degree. This article provides statistics about these and other elements of the Filipino immigrant population.

People carry a giant Colombian flag at a parade in Washington, DC.

Colombians comprise the largest group of South American immigrants in the United States. More than half live in Florida, New York, or New Jersey. Compared to the overall immigrant population, Colombians are disproportionately likely to be naturalized U.S. citizens and to have obtained a green card through family pathways.

Varias personas portan una bandera gigante de Colombia en un desfile en Washington, DC.

Cerca de 855,000 inmigrantes colombianos residían en los Estados Unidos, lo que representa alrededor del 2 por ciento de los 45.3 millones de inmigrantes estadounidenses en general y el grupo más numeroso procedente de Sudamérica. Casi uno de cada cuatro inmigrantes de Sudamérica en los Estados Unidos procedía de Colombia.

A refugee family in Phoenix.

U.S. refugee resettlement is slowly increasing after hitting a historic low, rebounding from the Trump administration’s efforts to reduce humanitarian migration as well as pandemic-era restrictions on movement and processing slowdowns. This article offers recent and historical data about refugees resettled in the United States, as well as asylum seekers and asylees.

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Image of man on steps in front of China Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou, China

China has a long history of international migration. Movement was sharply interrupted following the 1949 revolution but has rebounded in recent decades. Since 1979, the country has developed from one of mostly limited migration into one that is in many ways defined through its global interactions, although it continues to treat migration warily, as this country profile explains.

A Dutch family at Ellis Island between 1915 and 1920.

As host to more immigrants than any other country, the United States has been shaped and reshaped by immigration over the centuries, with the issue at times becoming a flashpoint. This article covers the history of U.S. immigration and the major laws governing immigration, and provides a comprehensive overview of the present-day immigrant population.

Two boys pose in an informal settlement east of Johannesburg largely populated by immigrants.

South Africa hosts the most immigrants of any African country. Yet it faces conflicting pressures, including the legacy of apartheid, a steady outflow of well-educated South Africans, and the need to juggle bilateral labor mobility schemes at a time of economic insecurity and high unemployment. This article traces these pressures and how they have developed over time.

A woman and her child in southern Ethiopia.

In 1980, more than 2.5 million Ethiopian refugees lived in other countries. Now, Ethiopians are more likely to migrate for labor reasons, particularly to the Middle East and southern Africa, and meanwhile the country has become a refuge for humanitarian migrants from its neighbors. This article traces the history of migration from, to, and through Ethiopia.

Refugees prepare to be resettled in the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom was once a country primarily of emigration, but in recent decades many more migrants have arrived at its borders than have left. This decades-long transition was interrupted by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, and this article describes the inflection point at which the country finds itself.

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An abandoned shoe lies in the mud along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The United States entered a new era with the end of the pandemic-era Title 42 expulsions policy. The government’s hopes of maintaining order at the U.S.-Mexico border post-Title 42 may be complicated by factors including authorities’ limited capacity, ongoing litigation, and cooperation from other countries. This article reviews the Biden administration's changing border policies and possible challenges ahead.

A border checkpoint between Canada and the United States.

The revised U.S.-Canada Safe Third Country Agreement closes what critics call a loophole that incentivizes unauthorized border crossings of asylum seekers. While responding to Canadian concerns of increasing irregular arrivals from the United States, the change—taken in tandem with U.S. moves at the U.S.-Mexico border—suggests that the Biden administration increasingly wants to rely on neighboring countries to respond to rising asylum claims.

The U.S. Supreme Court.

Virtually all major U.S. immigration policy reforms have faced lawsuits in recent years, giving federal judges wide latitude to shape national policy. The situation, which began during the Obama administration and has escalated, is a byproduct of congressional inaction and the emergence of immigration as a political wedge issue. This article tracks the trend, which has added new volatility to the immigration system, and places it in context.

President Joe Biden in the White House.

Pandemic-related U.S. policies have led to more than 2.6 million migrant expulsions at the U.S.-Mexico border, expanded public benefits to cover millions more U.S. residents, and offered free COVID-19 vaccines and treatment. Many of these policies are now likely to end as the Biden administration in May 2023 formally declares the pandemic to be over, although what comes next remains unclear.

President Joe Biden at the U.S.-Mexico border.

At his term's midpoint, President Joe Biden has relied on executive action to advance his immigration agenda more than his predecessors, including Donald Trump. Yet many of the changes to interior enforcement, humanitarian protection, and other areas have been overshadowed by the record pace of arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border, which has presented the administration with major policy and operational challenges.

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