E.g., 10/31/2020
E.g., 10/31/2020

Migration Information Source

Federal immigration officers make an arrest during an operation in Virginia.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Before entering office, President Donald Trump promised to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants. Yet despite his general successes in creating a more restrictive and punitive immigration system, this goal has eluded his administration. So-called “sanctuary” policies implemented by state and local governments to limit their cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been a key reason why arrests and removals have not reached earlier peaks.

A family in Pakistan walks through flooded streets
Asian Development Bank

Climate change is affecting human movement now, causing internal displacement and international migration, and will do so in the future. But the impact is often indirect, and rarely is the process as straightforward as one might think. This article provides an overview of research on how climatic hazards drive and affect migration, reviewing which types of people might migrate and under what conditions.

A family in New Jersey celebrates the Hindu festival of Janmashtami.
ISKCON of Central New Jersey

There are 2.7 million Indian immigrants in the United States, making them the second-largest immigrant group after Mexicans. This number has increased dramatically in recent years, growing 13-fold between 1980 and 2019. This article provides an overview of this population, which is more highly educated, more likely to work in management positions, and higher-earning than the U.S. born and overall immigrant population.

Sailors and marines on the HMS Bulwark help migrants ashore in Italy.

Even as the number of people making the dangerous journey through the Central Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe has declined since the migration and refugee crisis of 2015-16, the rate of deaths has increased. This article evaluates the role of Europe's hardening approach to trans-Mediterranean migration and the criminalization of search-and-rescue operations by nongovernmental organizations.

A supporter holds a sign reading "Finish the Wall" during a rally for President Donald Trump in Mesa, Arizona.
Gage Skidmore

In the United States, Republicans and Democrats are deeply divided on immigration. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have offered sharply diverging policy positions, and the outcome of the election is sure to have profound consequences for the U.S. immigration system. Yet this partisan divide is relatively new. Just two decades ago, the parties were much more united on immigrants’ role in the U.S. economy and society.

A woman looks out over tents being used by migrants and asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesvos
Amanda Nero/IOM

When he was elected prime minister in 2019, Kyriakos Mitsotakis promised what he called “strict but fair” reforms to secure Greece's borders and speed up transfers of asylum seekers crowding Aegean islands. Yet domestic and geopolitical tensions continued to roil the islands, later joined by a global pandemic, culminating in a fire that destroyed most of Lesvos's Moria refugee camp. This article examines Greece's efforts to strike a delicate balance on migration in a complex era.

Recent Articles

Nearly 6 million Afghans fled after violence erupted in the late 1970s, primarily to Iran and Pakistan. While millions returned after the collapse of the Taliban in 2001, the security situation has since deteriorated and the government struggles to meet the needs of vulnerable populations, particularly the internally displaced. This country profile explores Afghanistan’s complex migration and displacement history as well as ongoing challenges.

Elderly Cuban man with flag

Owing to their uniquely preferential treatment under U.S. immigration law, Cubans for decades have been among the largest immigrant groups in the United States. In 2016, nearly 1.3 million Cubans lived in the United States. This Spotlight provides a data snapshot of this immigrant group, which is highly concentrated in Florida, significantly older than the overall U.S. population, and less likely to be proficient in English.

Citizenship ceremony in Edmonton

Even as the United States and countries in Europe have made a right turn on immigration in recent years, Canada has remained a largely welcoming country. Underlying this resilience is an approach to immigration focused on active management and refinement of policies as well as long-term economic, social, and political integration, as this article explores.

South Sudanese child

Nearly 4 million South Sudanese have been driven from their homes by violence or food insecurity since late 2013, roughly half seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Drought and conflict have converged in the young country to fuel one of the world's most severe humanitarian emergencies. This article examines refugee flows from South Sudan, underlying drivers, and regional and international responses to the crisis.

Trump at a rally in Phoenix.

The Trump administration has released a list of hardline immigration demands—including border wall funding, restrictions on federal grants to “sanctuary” cities, and cuts to legal immigration—in exchange for legislation protecting DREAMers. This article examines the prospects for these proposals and more broadly for a legislative fix to resolve the status of unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as children.

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An estimated 7 percent of people in Mexico were not registered with the government at birth and thus lack official record of their name, age, parentage, and citizenship. Without a birth certificate, unregistered Mexican children lack access to education, health care, and basic social services, while unregistered adults face significant economic and civic-integration challenges. Both groups are more vulnerable to being trafficked, exploited, or recruited into criminal groups. This article provides a primer on this important issue, with insight into the experiences of unregistered, unauthorized Mexican immigrants in the United States.

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.

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.

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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The total number of nonimmigrants admitted to the U.S. more than tripled between 1985 and 2005. MPI's Jeanne Batalova outlines the definition of nonimmigrants and takes a detailed look at admissions data.

The number of new immigrant arrivals has remained relatively stable since 1986. MPI’s Jeanne Batalova looks at data on permanent immigration to the U.S..

In 2005, the United States admitted almost 54,000 refugees for resettlement and granted asylum to more than 25,000 people. MPI’s Jeanne Batalova takes a detailed look at refugee and asylum statistics in the United States.

The Caribbean born accounted for almost 10 percent of the total U.S. foreign-born population in 2000. MPI's Julia Gelatt and David Dixon look at the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from this region.

The size of the Iranian born population in the United States has more than doubled since Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1978-1979. MPI’s Shirin Hakimzadeh and David Dixon provide background and statistics.

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MPI's Julia Gelatt reports on the Judiciary Committee's proposals for immigration reform, which set the stage for Senate debate on the topic, plus other immigration news.

MPI’s Julia Gelatt reports on funding for immigration in Bush’s 2007 budget proposal, the State of the Union Address, upcoming immigration debate in the Senate, expedited removal along the northern border, and more.

MPI's Julia Gelatt reports on immigration leadership appointments, changes to the citizenship test, criticism of immigration judges, new border initiatives, and more.

MPI's Julia Gelatt reports on House passage of immigration enforcement legislation, immigration measures in budget legislation, upcoming regulations for worksite enforcement, new government reports, and more.

MPI’s Julia Gelatt reports on Bush's latest immigration reform speeches in Arizona and Texas, new proposals for immigration reform, calls for the merger of immigration agencies, and more.

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