E.g., 11/27/2021
E.g., 11/27/2021

Migration Information Source

Two boys pose in an informal settlement east of Johannesburg largely populated by immigrants.
John Hogg/World Bank

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.

New U.S. citizens take an oath during a naturalization ceremony.
U.S. National Archives

More than half of all immigrants in the United States are naturalized citizens. The number of new naturalizations has fluctuated from year to year, hitting a decade-long low in fiscal year 2020, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic and rising processing times. This article provides information on naturalized citizens in the United States, including historical trends and socioeconomic characteristics.

Merchants sell items on a busy street in San José, Costa Rica.
Cynthia Flores/World Bank

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.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers consult in New York City.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

U.S. immigration arrests have declined to the lowest level in years. Going forward, new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement guidelines could further shape how authorities arrest and deport unauthorized immigrants and noncitizens who have committed crimes. This article describes how the Biden administration prosecutorial discretion guidance marks a sharp turn from the approach taken by the Trump administration.

Somali refugees in Ethiopia attend a class.
Jesuit Refugee Service

There are more refugees than ever globally, but each year only a tiny share get selected for resettlement to new countries. This “resettlement gap” has grown due to political pressures in resettlement countries and procedural challenges throughout the process, as this article explains.

A woman stands onboard the U.S. Navy vessel on which she was born after her parents had been rescued at sea while fleeing Vietnam in 1979.
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class N. Brett Morton/U.S. Navy

Vietnamese immigrants are among the largest foreign-born groups from Asia in the United States. The first significant arrivals came at the end of the Vietnam War; more recent immigrants from Vietnam have been more likely to come through family sponsorship programs. This article examines different dimensions of this immigrant population.

Recent Articles

KoreanMarchingBand

Approximately 1 million Korean immigrants—the vast majority from South Korea—resided in the United States in 2017. Korean immigrants tend to be highly educated and of high socioeconomic standing. Get the latest data on this population, including flows over time, geographic distribution, employment, and more in this Spotlight.

BritishForeignFighters

Even with the collapse of the Islamic State's "caliphate," thousands of Western foreign fighters are estimated to remain in the Middle East. Deciding how to handle the return of the radicalized—and their dependents—is no easy issue. Some countries seek to revoke their citizenship. Yet citizenship revocation has unclear impact and raises deep questions about the limits of a state’s responsibility to its citizens, 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.

MexicansinCanada

Mexicans migrate to Canada in much smaller numbers than to the United States, yet over the last 30 years the country has become an increasingly attractive destination. Canada prioritizes highly skilled, educated Mexicans for permanent residency, but also attracts temporary workers from Mexico. This article examines Mexican migration to Canada and how it has been shaped by visa requirements, trade policy, and more.

Statue of Liberty from boat

Immigrant arrivals to the United States and the makeup of the foreign-born population have been changing in significant ways: Recent immigrants are more likely to be from Asia than from Mexico and the overall immigrant population is growing at a slower rate than before the 2008-09 recession. This useful article collects in one place some of the most sought-after statistics on immigrants in the United States.

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DirectRelief MalawiMangochiDistrict Flickr

The emigration of health-care professionals from Malawi led to drastic labor shortages in the impoverished nation in the early 2000s. To combat this brain drain, the government launched an action plan that has largely stabilized the outflow. However, human resource challenges to Malawi's health-care system remain acute and complex, as discussed in this feature article.

IOM IOMandJapanhelpSyrians Flickr

Japan is one of the world's most generous contributors to humanitarian appeals, yet accepts a very small number of asylum seekers—indeed only 11 were granted refugee status in 2014. Even as Japan has witnessed a record number of asylum applications, the approval rate has declined. This feature explores Japan's low acceptance of asylum seekers, including institutional barriers and negative public perceptions.

RefugeesinFYRM StephenRyanIFRC Flickr

As Europe struggles to reach a consensus on how to respond to the refugee crisis, the seemingly unending flow of migrants and refugees arriving on its shores is bringing national asylum systems to their breaking point. This article analyzes the context of the crisis, discussing the root causes of the flows, why they are spiking now, and growing protection challenges.

NicaraguanCoffeePickers IngmarZahorsky Flickr

With the growing urbanization and consolidation of Nicaraguan immigrants in sectors such as construction and domestic service, Costa Rica has shifted its focus from immigration enforcement to integration. Tension has emerged between the government and private sector as a new mechanism for regularizing unauthorized immigrant workers has failed to gain traction.

YoungImmigrantLineUp1 WBEZPeterHolderness Flickr

This article explores differences in application and renewal rates for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program among unauthorized immigrants from Latin America and Asia. Based on interviews with immigrant advocates and service providers, it appears participation in the deportation relief program may be different among origin groups based on varying perceptions of lack of trust in government and shame over legal status, as well as political barriers.

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Interested in information on annual naturalization trends, illegal immigration, the geographical distribution of immigrants in the United States, current and historical shares, and a host of other topics? MPI's Jeanne Batalova and Aaron Terrazas have assembled the latest, most interesting data on immigrants and immigration into one easy-to-use resource.

spot nov10 300

While the number of people detained reached a five-year high of over 383,000, apprehensions hit a 34-year low of 613,000 in 2009. MPI's Jeanne Batalova and Kristen McCabe examine the latest immigration enforcement data in this updated Spotlight.

Few visas in the U.S. alphabet soup of visa types have become as well-known — or controversial — as the H-1B has in its 20-year history. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines the program's background and the numbers and characteristics of those granted H-1B visas in 2009.

spot sep10 300

Compared to the foreign born overall, the 1.1 million Vietnamese immigrants in the United States were less likely to hold a bachelor's degree but had much higher naturalization and homeownership rates. MPI's Aaron Terrazas and Cristina Batog look at the population's size, geographic distribution, and socioeconomic characteristics.

spot aug10 300

The nation's 1.0 million Korean immigrants have settled in greater numbers in new destination states like Georgia, Washington, and Virginia. They are also more likely than immigrants overall to have a college degree and be naturalized citizens. MPI's Aaron Terrazas and Cristina Batog look at the population's size, geographic distribution and socioeconomic characteristics.

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MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the expansion of the 287(g) immigration enforcement program, ICE's planned detention overhaul, immigration from Mexico and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on immigration enforcement policy changes, Obama's immigration summit, grants to states for incarcerating unauthorized immigrants, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the Secure Communities program, suspension of a rule for temporary agricultural workers, the decline in arrests along the U.S. border, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on a recent Supreme Court decision, hearings on comprehensive immigration reform, new worksite enforcement operation guidelines, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the Obama administration and immigration reform, the shift in enforcement policy, additional resources for the U.S.-Mexico border, fewer requests for H-1B visas, and more.

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