E.g., 01/18/2022
E.g., 01/18/2022

Migration Information Source

Mother and daughter from Middle Eastern background
iStock/Phynart Studio

Migration from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to the United States doubled between 2000 and 2019, yet these immigrants represented less than 3 percent of the overall U.S. foreign-born population as of 2019. MENA immigrants are more likely than other immigrants to be English proficient, have a college degree, and work in management, business, science, and arts occupations.

A Dutch family at Ellis Island between 1915 and 1920.
Library of Congress

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.

Articles
Family members take a selfie at an airport in Greece.
IOM/Konstantina Mintzoli

The slow and uneven recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic prompted new patterns of movement in parts of the world in 2021. New conflicts also erupted, ongoing crises smoldered, and migrants were often stuck in the middle. Our annual Migration Information Source Top 10 countdown reviews what we consider to be the year's most important migration trends and events.

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.

Recent Articles

7Eleven KimDavies Flickr

An unannounced sweep of 98 convenience stores by U.S. immigration authorities—resulting in the arrest of 21 unauthorized workers—may signal a new approach to worksite enforcement under the Trump administration, moving away from a strategy of paper-based audits that resulted in higher employer fines and fewer worker arrests. This article explores worksite enforcement over recent decades.

PeruviansInChile MunicipalidadDeSantiago Flickr

Chile's immigrant population has more than quadrupled since the country emerged from dictatorship in the early 1990s. As immigration has grown and moved away from its European roots to become more diverse, it has emerged as a hot-button political issue, complicating longstanding efforts to reform the country's 1975 immigration law. This article explores Chile's shift to the right on immigration, and how policies might evolve under the presidency of conservative Sebastián Piñera.

EgyptianWoman BenPiven Flickr

In 2016, nearly 1.2 million immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region lived in the United States. MENA immigration has picked up in recent decades, owing to war and worsening economic prospects. This article offers the latest data on the MENA population in the United States, which is more likely to come via humanitarian routes and less likely via family reunification than the foreign-born population overall.

 

AirportProtest JoePlette Flickr

During its first year, the Trump administration methodically put in place a series of bureaucratic barriers that could significantly reduce opportunities for foreigners to come to the United States legally. Among the actions taken during 2017: Imposition of a much-challenged travel ban suspending the entry of nationals from certain Muslim-majority countries, cuts to refugee admissions, and increased scrutiny for visa applicants.

Rohingya EUECHO

More than 630,000 Rohingya refugees had crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar during the last quarter of 2017, fleeing targeted violence by the Burmese military. This displacement, resulting from what the United Nations called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing," marked the world's fastest-growing refugee crisis. Its speed and scale have challenged governments and aid organizations to effectively respond.

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Migrant networks span the divide between origin and destination countries and profoundly impact the lives of migrants, their families, and their communities. Maritsa Poros of City University of New York explains how these social networks are formed, how they are utilized, and the effects they have on migration and development processes.

Women migrate to Europe for many reasons and through a variety of pathways. Utilizing research carried out for the FeMiPol project, Maria Kontos of the Institute for Social Research at Goethe University explores how various factors affect the social and labor market integration of migrant women in European countries.

In the post-9/11 era, U.S. policymakers have increasingly used migration policy tools to strengthen national security. This piece highlights civil rights and liberties issues that point to the need to re-envision the relationship between security and mobility, and discusses a proposal to "secure human mobility."

Many governments use shortage lists to either facilitate or discourage economically-motivated immigration into particular occupations or fields, but the practice of doing so raises a variety of practical and philosophical questions. MPI's Madeleine Sumption discusses the challenges of maintaining shortage lists and developing immigration policies around them.

Destination countries of unaccompanied child migrants struggle with many questions related to why children migrate, how they should be received and processed, and whether they should be protected, integrated, or returned to their home countries. Amanda Levinson of ThirdSpace Consulting provides the context within which unaccompanied child migration occurs, and analyzes the policy response of the United States and European destination countries.

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MPI Data Manager Elizabeth Grieco provides an overview of the fifth-largest immigrant group in the United States.

MPI Data Manager Elizabeth Grieco provides an overview of the fourth-largest immigrant group in the United States.

MPI Data Manager Elizabeth Grieco provides an overview of the third-largest immigrant group in the United States.

MPI Data Manager Elizabeth Grieco provides an overview of the second-largest immigrant group in the United States.

MPI Data Manager Elizabeth Grieco provides an overview of the largest immigrant group in the United States.

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