E.g., 12/04/2021
E.g., 12/04/2021

Migration Information Source

Migrants enrolled in the Migrant Protection Protocols are processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
Glenn Fawcett/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The Biden administration's court-ordered restart of the controversial Migrant Protection Protocols, known informally as the Remain in Mexico policy, puts it in the awkward position of reviving a program it is simultaneously still trying to end. The Trump-era program forced tens of thousands of migrants to wait out the duration of their U.S. immigration court hearings in Mexico and was only questionably successful at deterring unauthorized arrivals.

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.

Recent Articles

NationalGuardBorder JonSoucy USArmy

Seizing on reports of a migrant “caravan” making its way northward through Mexico, President Donald Trump called for up to 4,000 National Guard troops to deploy to the Southern border. Although previous presidents took similar action in response to upticks in violence and apprehensions, the picture at the border today differs on several metrics. This article examines how the deployment compares to those under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

IcelandPort NickSarebi Flickr

A small, isolated country, Iceland has been home to a largely homogenous population for much of its history. But in recent years, a booming economy and expanding tourism sector have drawn rising numbers of immigrants to the island nation. This article explores Iceland's balancing act of maintaining economic growth through immigration while preserving its culture and language.

DominicanBakery BrianGodfrey Flickr

In 2016, some 1.1 million Dominican immigrants lived in the United States, up from just 12,000 in 1960. Dominicans are highly concentrated in the New York metro area, and they and their descendants comprise the fifth-largest U.S. Hispanic group. This article profiles Dominican immigrants in the United States, finding them more likely to come via family ties and have lower incomes and less education than immigrants overall. 

JoesRestaurantSanJose ThomasHawk Flickr

While research shows immigrants in the United States become integrated over time, this is only a partial account of the changes that immigration brings. As newcomers reshape their communities, longtime residents themselves adjust to shifting social, economic, and political contexts—sometimes re-engaging with their own ethnic or cultural identities. This article explores this process of relational assimilation in Silicon Valley.

RioDeJaneiro RodrigoSoldon Flickr

In Brazil, where the majority of colonial-era residents were African slaves and their children, millions of immigrants have joined a conversation about race and identity that continues today. Brazil is home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan, as well as significant European, Latin American, and Middle Eastern populations. This country profile explores historical and contemporary migration patterns in Brazil.

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Documentary filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini, the team behind the acclaimed How Democracy Works Now series that explores the battle over comprehensive immigration reform in the 2000s, discuss what it was like to experience Washington, DC and the policymaking process from an insider's perspective.

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In 2001, filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini embarked on a journey that took them across the country and into the offices of the U.S. Capitol, local town halls, high-level negotiations, election races, and activist rallies, all to tell one large and complex story: how the U.S. policy process — particularly in immigration reform — really works. Joyce Matthews, editor of the Migration Information Source, recently caught up with Michael and Shari for a candid conversation about their ambitious project and what they took away from their six years filming the U.S. immigration debate. Foreword by Demetrios G. Papademetriou, President of the Migration Policy Institute.

Rarely is migration among the Chinese from Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China, and Taiwan to the countries of the Pacific Rim as cut and dry as the labels "immigrant," "emigrant," and "returnee" suggest. In fact, Chinese migrants from each of these areas of origin share a tendency for traversing between their homeland; country of work, study, or residence; and even a third country as the needs of the family dictate. This article examines these contemporary migration patterns using Chinese migrants in New Zealand as a case study.

The past decade has brought tens of thousands of Chinese migrants to Africa, and well over half of all Chinese migrants to the continent head to South Africa. Yoon Jung Park of Rhodes University discusses the history of Chinese migration to South Africa, the various communities of Chinese currently residing in the country, and their levels of political, social, and economic integration.

Most of China's roughly 145 million rural-to-urban migrants were born after 1980, making this population the "new generation" of internal migrant workers. Having been directly influenced by China's rapid economic growth and recent sociodemographic policy changes, this cohort of rural-urban migrants offers much to learn with respect to their motivations. This article discusses survey data indicating that new-generation migrants have somewhat different motivations and expectations than their more traditional counterparts, such as the desire for excitement, fun, and career development independent of the needs of the family back home.

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According to the 2000 census, more than 150,000 foreign born lived in the counties affected by Hurricane Katrina. MPI's Jeanne Batalova takes a detailed look at the foreign-born population in the areas hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
About one in 10 U.S. immigrants is self-employed. MPI’s Jeanne Batalova and David Dixon explore the importance and dimensions of this phenomenon.

The European born are more likely to be proficient in English, work in higher-level occupations, and have higher earnings than the overall foreign-born population. MPI's David Dixon examines the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Europe.

The importance of knowledge, skills, and technologies in post-industrial economies has beckoned well-educated migrants to the United States. MPI's Jeanne Batalova takes a detailed look at the foreign born with a bachelor's degree or higher.

Over 15,000 Hmong from Laos are being resettled in the U.S., the latest wave of refugees from the era of U.S. involvement in Indochina. This Spotlight by MPI's Jennifer Yau examines the political developments and demographic impact of the Hmong refugee experience.

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MPI’s Jennifer Yau and Betsy Cooper report on Supreme Court rulings, DHS leadership and oversight, and immigrant workers.
MPI's Jennifer Yau and Betsy Cooper report on intelligence reform, the safe third country agreement between the U.S. and Canada, and changes to the H-1B and L-1 visa programs.
MPI's Jennifer Yau reports on Arizona's Proposition 200, U.S.-Mexico migration talks, and continued debate on the Homeland Security Bill.
Policy BeatCongressional Leaders Consider Homeland Security Bill... H-1B Visa Cap for 2005 Reached on First Day of Fiscal Year... USCIS Releases New Immigrant Orientation Guide... Policy Beat In Brief...
Security Clearances Cause DHS to Slow Application Processing... 9/11 Commission Releases Report on Terrorist Travel... Government Reports Encourage Additional DHS Visa Reform...

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