The U.S. immigration system is notorious for persistent backlogs and antiquated processes. In recent months, under-the-radar changes have made a dent in the logjam and helped bring the system into the 21st century. But some pandemic-era changes are set to expire, potentially undoing the incremental reforms. This article details the quiet technological and efficiency improvements in U.S. immigration operations.
Is climate change a major driver of migration and displacement? From where are people leaving, and where are they going? This informative primer, a Climate Migration 101 of sorts, provides answers to basic questions about climate change and migration, starting with how and where climate change triggers human movement.
The United States is the world’s top destination for Haitian migrants, who in recent years have fled an array of disasters and crises. Compared to other immigrant groups in the United States, the nearly 731,000 Haitians are more likely to be naturalized citizens, arrive through family-based pathways, and work in the service industry, as this data-rich article details.
Turkey is home to the world’s largest refugee population, a fact that has been a source of pride, a geopolitical tool, and a logistical challenge. This article shows how the millions of Syrians who have arrived since 2011 comprise just one aspect of Turkey’s rich and complex migration history. The country has been a significant host, a transit point for individuals heading to Europe, and a source of migrant laborers.
Amid the highest Caribbean maritime migration levels in a generation, the Biden administration is relying on a carrot-and-stick strategy it honed amid record unauthorized migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. The approach, combining limits on asylum, expanded legal pathways, and international enforcement partnerships, could be increasingly important if maritime migration rises, as this article explains.
Ecuador has emerged as a significant destination for Venezuelan migrants, and is also a sizable origin for people heading to the United States and Spain. The Andean nation has found itself enmeshed in the Americas' evolving mobility trends and has responded with a mix of policies that have produced some unforeseen outcomes. This country profile evaluates recent trends and puts them in historical context.
Whether as migrant-sending or migrant-receiving locations—or both—many countries have rich, complex international and internal migration histories. MPI's online journal, the Migration Information Source, offers resources on more than 100 nations. Written by leading scholars, these articles delve into countries' migration histories, demographics, policymaking, and more.
Want to check a fact about U.S. immigration? Interested in putting recent trends into perspective? This article compiles authoritative, up-to-date information about the U.S. immigrant population and how it has changed over time. Data cover immigrants' demographic, educational, and linguistic characteristics; their top states of residence; enforcement activities; refugees and asylum seekers; naturalization trends; visa backlogs; and more.
Severe weather, rising seas, and other consequences of global climate change are affecting the way people live, work, and move around the planet. While there is no clear, direct line between the impacts of climate change and changing human movement, there are indications that the warming planet is indirectly creating or altering patterns of migration. Our podcast Changing Climate, Changing Migration dives deep into the intersection of climate change and migration to separate fact from fiction.
The United States entered a new era with the end of the pandemic-era Title 42 expulsions policy. The government’s hopes of maintaining order at the U.S.-Mexico border post-Title 42 may be complicated by factors including authorities’ limited capacity, ongoing litigation, and cooperation from other countries. This article reviews the Biden administration's changing border policies and possible challenges ahead.
Algeria and Morocco sit along a crucial migration corridor between Africa and Europe and have often been defined by their rivalry. Although both have been reluctant to welcome large numbers of sub-Saharan African migrants, their motivations have been different. And historically, their approaches to emigration have been a study in contrasts. This article explores the factors driving migration policy in these two countries.
Central Americans comprise less than one-tenth of the overall U.S. foreign-born population, but their numbers have grown tenfold since 1980, amid economic challenges, political crises, and natural disasters in their region. This article provides a comprehensive look at this population.
Palestinians constitute the world’s longest protracted refugee situation and largest stateless community. Yet their plight has often been eclipsed by more recent displacement crises and dismissed as unsolvable. Other factors have contributed to Palestinian refugees’ situation, including the near impossibility of obtaining citizenship in many host countries and precarious funding for support, as this article explains.
The revised U.S.-Canada Safe Third Country Agreement closes what critics call a loophole that incentivizes unauthorized border crossings of asylum seekers. While responding to Canadian concerns of increasing irregular arrivals from the United States, the change—taken in tandem with U.S. moves at the U.S.-Mexico border—suggests that the Biden administration increasingly wants to rely on neighboring countries to respond to rising asylum claims.
Romanians comprise the second largest immigrant community in Spain. This population grew at a dramatic rate during the early 2000s, driven by a variety of economic, policy, and other factors. The number of Romanian immigrants peaked in 2012 and has steadily declined ever since. This article analyzes the drivers behind the growth and relative decline of this population and its role in the Spanish labor force.
Disinformation and misinformation about migrants, refugees, and minority groups adapts to the shifting news cycle while also appealing to people’s pre-existing convictions and current worries. Events such as the war in Ukraine act as a catalyst, enabling coordinated groups to grab people’s attention, stoke fears, and in some cases even dictate political discourse. This article traces the long history of conspiracy theories around immigrants and how they spread today.
In 2022, the United States joined a growing list of countries that allow for a third gender option (the “X” marker) in passports. This article examines the introduction of the X marker, the impacts of third gender markers for transgender and nonbinary travelers and migrants as well as border management systems, and the evolving policy landscape ahead.
The discovery of massive oil reserves off the Guyana coast will bring immense riches to this small South American country. This windfall will draw migrant labor and the return of some diaspora members to Guyana, which has one of the world's highest emigration rates. It also could accelerate climate displacement in a country where 90 percent of the population lives in coastal areas below the sea level. This article explores the changes ahead.
Looking for some of the most often-sought information on global migration? This statistics-rich article draws on the most current data sources to offer a primer on international migration, highlighting its types, the size of the migrant population and growth over time, and major sending and receiving countries and regions. Beyond looking at labor and humanitarian migrants and international students, the article examines remittances and more.
The number of Central American immigrants in the United States has grown dramatically, amid political corruption, violence, and natural disasters in their native countries. But recent images of Central Americans arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border do not tell the whole story, with more than half the population arriving in 2000 or earlier. This article offers key data on the 3.8 million Central American immigrants in the United States.
The United States is home to the largest population of Iranian migrants in the world. More than half of Iranian immigrants in the United States live in California. This article explores key details of this immigrant population, which is older, more highly educated, and has significantly higher median household incomes than the U.S.-born and overall immigrant populations.
The United States and Canada share the world's longest land border and similar cultures. But Canadians account for a tiny and shrinking share of all U.S. immigrants. Canadian immigrants tend to have higher educations and be older than other immigrant groups. This Spotlight explores the history and features of the Canadian immigrant population in the United States.
The United States historically led the world in refugee resettlement, but was surpassed by Canada in 2018—and U.S. refugee admissions fell to a record low 12,000 in 2020. With the country now on course to rebuild resettlement capacity, this article examines the U.S. refugee and asylee populations and how they have changed over time, including key demographic characteristics.
Immigrants from the Dominican Republic are the fourth-largest Hispanic immigrant group in the United States, and number nearly 1.2 million people. This population has increased almost tenfold since 1960, but remains mostly concentrated in just a few metro areas. This article provides an overview of Dominican immigrants in the United States.
Faced with labor shortages in key sectors of the economy, South Korea has moved carefully in recent decades toward accepting greater numbers of workers—albeit in temporary fashion. Its Employment Permit System, launched in 2003, earned international accolades for bringing order and legality to immigration in the country, although several challenges remain to be addressed as this Country Profile explores.
Although long one of the world's top migrant destinations, only in the recent past has Germany come to acknowledge and adjust to its role as a country of immigration. Its welcoming approach—a relatively new development—has been put to the test amid massive humanitarian inflows beginning in 2015. This country profile examines Germany's history on immigration and highlights current and emerging debates.
One of the least developed countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has experienced significant migration outflows and inflows tied to political and economic crises in recent decades. While most Congolese migrants head to neighboring countries, destinations have diversified, with an uptick in those leaving for opportunities in Europe and beyond. This country profile explores historical and contemporary patterns of migration to and from DR Congo.
From ongoing emigration flows and a surge in asylum seekers, to more than 150,000 returnees, this country profile examines contemporary and historical migration trends in Albania. Driven by extreme poverty and unemployment, more than one-third of Albania's population has emigrated in the last 25 years. The government now seeks to capitalize on diaspora resources by linking migration and development policies.
With a history of encouraging workers to emigrate to relieve unemployment at home, Tunisia now has 11 percent of its population living abroad. The factors underlying the 2011 revolution that sparked the Arab Spring have also fueled emigration desires for many Tunisians. This country profile explores historical and current trends in Tunisia from colonial settlement to the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and the new focus on migrant rights at home and abroad.
Despite a widespread perception that the Trump administration has drastically slashed legal immigration to the United States, a review of the data shows that temporary and permanent admissions during the period mostly followed previous trends—at least until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. This article examines trends in temporary, permanent, and humanitarian admissions during the administration, and the related policies that could take a more significant bite ahead if left unchanged.
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.
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 looming furlough of 70 percent of staff at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services could halt processing for tens of thousands of green cards, citizenship applications, and other immigrant benefits each month it is in effect. Alongside the long list of Trump administration policies slowing immigration to the United States before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, this could contribute to a precipitous—and likely historic—decline in new arrivals to the United States.
Calls by activists to "defund the police," in the wake of a string of deadly encounters for Black community members, echo earlier demands to "abolish ICE" and reflect broader criticism of enforcement systems perceived as overly aggressive. Budgets have ballooned at federal immigration agencies and within the immigrant detention system as enforcement has become increasingly muscular in the post-9/11 period.