E.g., 03/04/2021
E.g., 03/04/2021

Migration Information Source

President Joe Biden signs executive orders on immigration in the White House.
Adam Schultz/White House

President Joe Biden has grand ambitions to reshape the U.S. immigration system, but his administration has run into early stumbling blocks in rolling back the strict enforcement regime of his predecessor. Administrative resistance, a tangled web of legal agreements signed by the Trump administration, and anxieties about a possible uptick in immigrants and asylum seekers at the border have posed early challenges to Biden’s agenda.

A man leans against the fence in the Dry Corridor of Honduras.
Angels Masó/World Bank

Climate change has had a devastating impact on many poor Central American farmers, which can contribute to food insecurity and may be prompting migration from the region's Dry Corridor. But the process is not straightforward. As this article explains, most poor farmers rely on a combination of buying, cultivating, and foraging for their food, which makes it difficult to predict how people will react to individual climate events.

New U.S. citizens attend a naturalization ceremony in Washington, DC.
Kelsey Bell/National Archives

Have a question about U.S. immigration trends and the country's immigrant population? This article collects in one place the most sought-after information about the world's largest immigrant population and how it has changed over time. Drawing from a wide array of authoritative data sources, this article provides an up-to-date snapshot of the immigrant population, visa and enforcement statistics, and information on emerging trends, including slowing immigration and changing origins.

Arrivals from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, depart a train in Moscow.
IOM/Elyor Nematov

In recent decades Russia has been increasingly reliant on Central Asian migrant workers. Those workers, in turn, have sent back remittances that have been crucial for their countries of origin. Since 2015, many of these ex-Soviet countries have come together in the Eurasian Economic Union to solidify their bonds and ease migrants' passage to Russia. This article explores the bloc and how it reflects Russia's role in the region.

Joe Biden attends a pre-election event in Nevada.
Gage Skidmore

The Biden administration has set the pace for what could be the most active first 100 days on immigration policy by any White House in recent memory—even that of predecessor Donald Trump. The efforts, which represent a dramatic break from the Trump administration's view of immigration as threat, are likely to meet stiff opposition on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. This article evaluates Biden's early actions and what they suggest about the White House's ambitions on immigration.

Riders on a bus in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Hendri Lombard/World Bank

While intraregional migration is a pillar of the African Union's focus on enhancing regional integration and economic development, visa-free travel or visas upon arrival are a reality for only about half of the countries on the continent. Progress towards free movement for Africans has occurred mostly at a subregional level, as this article explores.

Recent Articles

Troops at the border

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.

Fishing boats

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.

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. 

San Jose diner

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.

Rio de Janeiro

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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The region encompassing Central and Eastern Europe as well as the former Soviet Union is the source of a sizeable share of international migrants today, yet many of these countries' development efforts do not benefit from strong diaspora ties.

The expansion of access to credit through microfinance—now a multibillion-dollar sector—has resulted in profound shifts across the developing world. This article, using Cambodia as its example, discusses the ways in which households are using microcredit in coordination with migration, and addresses critical questions about who benefits from these linkages—and what vulnerabilities they might create for migrants.

The Tuareg, a nomadic group of Berber origin located in several countries across North and West Africa, have been enmeshed in a complicated struggle against the Malian state since January 2012. This article explores the unique role that migration plays in shaping Tuareg grievances in the context of this crisis.

The immigration debate in the United States often focuses on how many foreign born enter and reside in the country. Much less attention is paid to Americans who live abroad—a population estimated at anywhere from 2 million to 7 million. This article examines the challenges of enumerating this population and also explores top destinations for American expats, their livelihoods, and motivations for leaving the United States.

Muslim integration is one of the most contentious issues in the immigration debate in Europe, and one that gets to the heart of public anxieties about immigration. This article explores public perception toward Muslims in Western Europe and the array of integration policies that countries in the region have adopted during the past several years.

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In 2006, 1.1 million Vietnamese immigrants resided in the United States, accounting for 3.0 percent of all U.S. immigrants. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the Vietnamese-born unauthorized population.

The 1.5 million Indian immigrants residing in the United States accounted for 4.0 percent of all U.S. immigrants in 2006. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the Indian-born unauthorized population.

In 2006, about 1.6 million Chinese immigrants resided in the United States. MPI's Aaron Matteo Terrazas and Bhavna Devani examine their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the legal and unauthorized population from China.

About 65,000 immigrants serve across the U.S. military's four branches, and more than two-thirds are naturalized citizens. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines where these immigrants are from and the policies that grant them citizenship.

In 2006, more than 11.5 million Mexican immigrants resided in the United States, accounting for 30.7 percent of all US immigrants. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines the number of Mexican immigrants in the United States, their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the Mexican-born unauthorized population.

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MPI's Aaron Matteo Terrazas and Claire Bergeron report on the halting of DHS plans to crack down on unauthorized employment, Iraqi refugee admissions, the extended deployment of the National Guard on the Southwest border, and more.

MPI's Aaron Matteo Terrazas reports on ongoing litigation around immigration enforcement rules, immigration enforcement and the decennial census, new estimates of the unauthorized population, and more.

MPI's Aaron Matteo Terrazas reports on the decision to increase enforcement of existing immigration law, the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill, employment-based green cards, and more.

MPI's Aaron Matteo Terrazas reports on the death of the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill, employment visa suspension, delays to land and sea border entry passport requirements, and more.

MPI's Aaron Matteo Terrazas, Dawn Konet, and Julia Gelatt report on the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill, Iraqi refugee resettlement, temporary changes to U.S. passport requirements, and more.

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