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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Climate change promises to profoundly impact all aspects of human society. This special issue of the Migration Information Source and a companion podcast, Changing Climate, Changing Migration, examine how the effects of environmental change are shaping migration across the globe, now and in the future.
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 profiles of more than 70 nations. Written by leading scholars, these profiles delve into countries' migration histories, demographics, policymaking, and more.
Despite the major focus by media and publics on a handful of refugee crises around the world, displacement situations worsened during 2018 in a number of countries that received much less attention, including the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan—where unending conflict, new displacement, rising starvation, and an Ebola outbreak made already complex situations even more dire.
Swedish asylum policy has taken a restrictionist turn since the country received a record-breaking number of asylum seekers in 2015 and after electoral gains by the nationalist, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats pushed the governing coalition to a harder line. Still, other aspects of the country’s migration policy remain welcoming, as this country profile explores.
The Trump administration’s latest effort to narrow the ability to apply for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border hit a legal roadblock within days of implementation, as has been the pattern for much of its immigration agenda. This article examines the actions on asylum, which alongside deployment of active-duty military to the border, are among measures taken to seek to reduce the flow of Central Americans to the United States.
Despite long study of famine, there is a remarkable lack of research about the linkages between mass starvation and migration. Among the unanswered questions: Does migration mitigate starvation or worsen it? With famines returning, most notably in war-torn Yemen, after a period of decline, the need for knowledge is essential. This article examines the causes and migration patterns of great famines from the 19th century onward.
In less than two years as Attorney General, Jeff Sessions oversaw wide-reaching changes to the U.S. immigration system. Even as the zero-tolerance policy, fights with "sanctuary" cities, and DACA termination might be more visible, Sessions' enduring legacy may be his muscular use of a little-noted authority, which he wielded to significantly reshape immigration and asylum policy by referring immigration cases to himself.
Internal migration spurred primarily by employment and marriage helps shape the economic, social, and political life of India’s sending and receiving regions. Labor migrants face myriad challenges, including restricted access to basic needs such as identity documentation and social entitlements. This article describes the barriers to integration that labor migrants face, and details the policy environment surrounding their integration challenges.
This article explores the underlying causes of the May 2013 riots across several Stockholm suburbs that have high proportions of foreign-born residents, and asks whether rapid increases in the size of Sweden's immigrant population or the government's integration efforts played a central role.
United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees T. Alexander Aleinikoff talks to MPI about the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis and the role of UNHCR in assisting countries that have taken in large numbers of Syrian refugees. One looming concern: how will UNHCR and other actors change their refugee crisis-response models and mechanisms to adapt to this and future emergencies?
The recent special session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, labeled the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD), was the UN's second-ever discussion devoted solely to international migration. This article examines the implications and outcomes of the HLD, identifies some of the issues that garnered widespread support, and assesses whether the international community is inching toward greater multilateral engagement on migration.
Land is the basis of nearly all economic activities from farming to financial speculation on cotton production — in and along the periphery of an internationally protected park that spans parts of Benin, Burkina Faso, and Niger. Recognized as the "W" Transboundary Biosphere Reserve in 2002, this vast territory and surrounding areas are experiencing a land-management crisis in which seasonal and long-term migration has played a major role. This article examines these challenges through the use of reflexive maps, which capture data relating not only to migrants' paths and motivations, but also the social values and knowledge that they carry with them.
In 2006, Department of Homeland Security immigration officials made over 1.2 million apprehensions of immigrants at points of entry along the U.S. border and within the United States. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines the most recent data on immigration enforcement.
The 1.6 million Filipino immigrants residing in the United States in 2006 accounted for 4.4 percent of all U.S. immigrants. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the Filipino-born unauthorized population.
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.
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, 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.
MPI's Dawn Konet and Julia Gelatt report on the beginning of new Senate debates on immigration and the events leading up to this debate; a breakdown in negotiations over a U.S.-Canada program for land-border crossers; TPS extensions; and more.