E.g., 06/28/2024
E.g., 06/28/2024

Migration Information Source

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.

Iraqis voting abroad from Jordan.
IOM

In recent decades, countries worldwide have expanded voting rights to their diasporas as well as certain resident noncitizens. Voting access in general has grown over time, as barriers based on sex, literacy, and other characteristics have fallen, and migrants' increasingly expansive rights to vote are part of that trend worldwide. This article provides a global overview of the dynamics.

U.S. Border Patrol agents transporting migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border
Jerry Glaser/CBP

Once an obscure section of U.S. law, Title 42 was used to expel unauthorized migrants reaching U.S. borders nearly 3 million times from March 2020 to May 2023. Despite idealized depictions of its impact by some politicians, the order was largely ineffective in deterring irregular migration. Instead, it represented a dramatic break with decades of law providing protection to asylum seekers, as this article details.

A returned migrant with his family in Bangladesh
IOM

For a young country, Bangladesh has a complex migration history, with periods of forced migration during the partition of India and Pakistan as well as the 1971 war of independence. In recent years, labor emigration has proved a major economic boon to the country. This country profile reviews trends and the impact of emigration, with a particular focus on the effects of remittance sending and receipt.

Recent Articles

Banderas de las naciones centroamericanas en una marcha en San Diego.

Los centroamericanos representan menos de una décima parte de la población de inmigrantes en Estados Unidos. Pero su número se ha multiplicado por diez desde 1980. Este artículo proporciona una mirada integral a esta población.

A double border wall leads to a boat launch in Yuma, Arizona.

Budgets for border security and interior immigration enforcement have been on the rise in places including the United States and the European Union. The spending is a result of the heightened focus on securitization by the Global North and has led to a ballooning private industry. This article explains the trend.

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.

Paintings of the Algerian and Moroccan flags on a brick wall

Algeria and Morocco sit along a crucial migration corridor between Africa and Europe and have often been defined by their rivalry. Although both have been reluctant to welcome large numbers of sub-Saharan African migrants, their motivations have been different. And historically, their approaches to emigration have been a study in contrasts. This article explores the factors driving migration policy in these two countries.

People hold flags of Central American nations at a march in San Diego.

Central Americans comprise less than one-tenth of the overall U.S. foreign-born population, but their numbers have grown tenfold since 1980, amid economic challenges, political crises, and natural disasters in their region. This article provides a comprehensive look at this population.

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A word cloud showing terminology used to refer to people crossing borders.

What’s in a name? Terms used to refer to people crossing international borders are frequently debated and often evolve, amid efforts to shape the narrative and changing political realities. This article explores the history and evolving use of terms such as "migrant," "refugee," "illegal immigrant," "unauthorized immigrant," and more.

A construction crew works on a wall the U.S.-Mexico border.

The number of border walls globally has multiplied at a rapid clip, from fewer than five at the end of World War II to more than six dozen now, with more under construction. Most of the world's border fortifications have been built since the turn of the millennium, and are intended to accomplish a range of functions. This article charts the remarkable growth and normalization of border walls globally.

A man and child at a naturalization ceremony outside Washington, DC.

The 4.3 million Black immigrants in the United States come largely from the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa. This article offers insights about rates of poverty, health insurance, and other metrics for Black immigrants both nationally and in the top five major cities of residence, finding that policies at federal and local levels, as well as the legacy of historical Black disenfranchisement, can exaggerate or reduce some of the gaps with U.S.-born White residents.

A U.S. government supercomputer.

Artificial intelligence systems that promise speedier travel and improved tools to halt smuggling and detect illegal entry have been embraced by border officials across the globe. But critics contend they also pose serious privacy concerns, which may become more pronounced as technologies evolve. This article examines the challenges and promises.

Merchants sell items on a busy street in San José, Costa Rica.

Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans have fled their country since 2018, amid repression and a renewed government crackdown. In neighboring Costa Rica, many migrants have encountered a robust system for protection and integration, yet they still face stigma and discrimination in their daily lives. This article explores this dynamic along one of Central America's most important migratory routes.

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A young Venezuelan girl

Until recently, the Venezuelan immigrant population in the United States was relatively small compared others from South America. But it has grown significantly, reaching 394,000 in 2018, as Venezuela's destabilization has driven large-scale emigration. Compared to other immigrants in the United States, Venezuelans have higher levels of education but are also more likely to live in poverty, as this Spotlight explores.

WomanAndChild UNSplash_jhon david

Immigrant women and girls constituted slightly more than half of the 44.7 million immigrants in the United States in 2018. This is higher than the global average, likely because immigrants are more likely to enter the United States through family reunification channels rather than labor migration ones (which globally are predominantly male). This article offers a rich data profile on immigrant women and girls in the United States including age, education, employment, and poverty levels.

_Flags Chicago Airport

Interested in answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about immigration and immigrants in the United States? This incredible resource collects in one place top statistics from authoritative government and nongovernmental sources, offering a snapshot of the immigrant population, visa and enforcement statistics, and data on emerging trends, including the slowing of growth of the foreign-born population, changing origins, and increasing educational levels.

Group of people sit in a park in New York's Chinatown

Nearly 2.5 million Chinese immigrants lived in the United States in 2018—the third largest foreign-born population in the country. Chinese immigration has grown nearly seven-fold since 1980, and China became the top sending country of immigrants in the United States in 2018, replacing Mexico. Chinese immigrants tend to be highly educated and employed in management positions, as this Spotlight article explores.

TimesSquareTourists

In fiscal year 2018, the U.S. State Department issued 9 million temporary visas, a 7 percent decrease from the previous year. Temporary visa issuance has been declining in recent years, and the Trump administration’s immigration priorities may help explain this trend. This Spotlight explores visa issuance and admission, and highlights key demographic information on visitors for pleasure and business, temporary workers, and foreign students.

 

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Once known for large-scale emigration, Greece has become the main point of entry for unauthorized migrants heading toward Europe. The country must now — amid economic turmoil — grapple with issues related to its highly porous borders, mounting asylum applications, and inadequate immigrant-detention system.

In a highly selective way, flows of internal migrants within Taiwan have responded quickly to political, economic, and social changes throughout the nation’s history, and have spurred development of the country’s industrial, services, and technological industries. In the past 20 years, however, international migration has reemerged in relevance and now includes the immigration of foreign workers and wives and the emigration of some of Taiwan’s best and brightest.

Canada has long been a country of net immigration and has designed its current immigration policy around attracting highly educated and skilled migrants for entry into its labor force. In this country profile, Ashley Challinor discusses the challenges associated with this approach and provides a sense of the actual scale and nature of migration into Canada.

The realities of poverty, underemployment, and a large working-age population mean that international labor migration is an expected and necessary part of life for many Bangladeshi men and women. Nazli Kibria of Boston University explains the challenges and opportunities facing Bangladesh as the small nation struggles to balance the need for economic migration and its resulting remittances with the protection of its citizens abroad.

Ronald Skeldon of the University of Sussex maps out the past and present migration patterns of China — the source of tens of millions of migrants around the globe — and discusses the country's budding status as an immigrant-receiving nation.

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President Trump's May 2019 Rose Garden speech

The Trump administration’s plan to create a "merit-based" U.S. immigration system, lessening the longstanding focus on family reunification in favor of more economic migrants, has met with a lackluster response from Democrats and Republicans alike. This Policy Beat article explores how the Trump proposal would reshape immigration to the United States, and how it compares to selection systems in other countries and past debates about changing the U.S. system.

President Trump and a Customs and Border Patrol officer stand together

Though it has achieved success in some areas, the Trump administration’s many efforts to stiffen immigration enforcement in the U.S. interior and at the Southwest border are being consistently stymied by court injunctions, existing laws and settlements, state and local resistance, congressional pushback, and migration pressures that are beyond the government’s ability to swiftly address, as this article explores.

HaitianInterdictions

Remain in Mexico—the Trump administration policy aimed at deterring the rising numbers of migrants from Central America by requiring them to stay in Mexico through most of their U.S. asylum adjudication process—bears striking similarities to U.S. policy in the 1980s and 1990s that sought to discourage Haitians from making the sea journey to the United States. This article explores the parallels and differences between Remain in Mexico and the earlier narrowing of asylum for Haitians.

Eloy Detention Center

Though a faceoff between the U.S. executive and legislative branches is now in the courts, with President Trump's decision to declare a national emergency so he can allocate more money for construction of a border wall, a less-noted dispute has been taking place over the Department of Homeland Security's decision to add thousands more immigration detention beds than Congress provides annually, as this article explains.

A man holds a sign protesting the travel ban at an airport

Two years after the Trump administration’s much-litigated travel ban was created, the policy has demonstrated a significant impact on the admission of foreigners from the banned countries, while also reshaping U.S. security vetting procedures and the refugee resettlement process in enduring ways, as this article explores on the second-year anniversary.

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