E.g., 06/20/2024
E.g., 06/20/2024

Migration Information Source

Immigrants arriving on a ferry near Ellis Island.
National Archives

The Immigration Act of 1924 shaped the U.S. population over the course of the 20th century, greatly restricting immigration and ensuring that arriving immigrants were mostly from Northern and Western Europe. The century-old law was one of the most restrictive in U.S. history and helped create the framework for key provisions of the U.S. immigration system that remain in place a century later. This article analyzes the effect and legacy of the 1924 law.

An immigrant from Rwanda serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Samuel King Jr./U.S. Air Force

Immigrants have served in the U.S. armed forces since the nation's founding. In recent years, a growing share of U.S. military veterans are immigrants, due to shrinking numbers of veterans overall and a rising number of foreign born. This article offers details about the composition of the immigrant population with U.S. military service.

Iraqis voting abroad from Jordan.
IOM

In recent decades, countries worldwide have expanded voting rights to their diasporas as well as certain resident noncitizens. Voting access in general has grown over time, as barriers based on sex, literacy, and other characteristics have fallen, and migrants' increasingly expansive rights to vote are part of that trend worldwide. This article provides a global overview of the dynamics.

U.S. Border Patrol agents transporting migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border
Jerry Glaser/CBP

Once an obscure section of U.S. law, Title 42 was used to expel unauthorized migrants reaching U.S. borders nearly 3 million times from March 2020 to May 2023. Despite idealized depictions of its impact by some politicians, the order was largely ineffective in deterring irregular migration. Instead, it represented a dramatic break with decades of law providing protection to asylum seekers, as this article details.

A returned migrant with his family in Bangladesh
IOM

For a young country, Bangladesh has a complex migration history, with periods of forced migration during the partition of India and Pakistan as well as the 1971 war of independence. In recent years, labor emigration has proved a major economic boon to the country. This country profile reviews trends and the impact of emigration, with a particular focus on the effects of remittance sending and receipt.

Flags of South American countries.
iStock.com/fumumpa

The South American immigrant population in the United States has grown at a faster rate than that of the overall foreign-born population, amid crises in Venezuela, Colombia, and elsewhere. Yet South Americans still account for only about one in ten U.S. immigrants. While they mirror the overall U.S. immigrant population in several demographic characteristics, there are some notable differences, as this article details.

Recent Articles

A woman crying in her room.

An unknown number of women and girls from Southeast Asia have gone to China to marry Chinese men. Many go voluntarily, hoping for a better quality of life for themselves and their families. But some are deceived into their situation and are victims of human trafficking. This article takes a look at the phenomenon of marriage migration spurred by China's gender imbalance.

A health worker from the Philippines.

Countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany are increasingly relying on immigrant health-care workers to fill gaps in their workforce and care for aging populations. That has created opportunities for many foreign-born doctors and nurses, but could harm their origin countries. This article examines the dynamics of global health-care worker migration, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Joe Biden signs an executive order.

In three years, President Joe Biden has surpassed the number of immigration-focused executive actions taken by the Trump administration throughout its entire four-year term, making his the most active U.S. presidency ever on immigration. Yet the Biden administration has been repeatedly accused of inaction at the U.S.-Mexico border, where record levels of migrant encounters have occurred. This article reviews the Biden track record on immigration.

A celebration for the Feast of San Gennaro in New York's Little Italy

One-tenth of all immigrants in the United States come from Europe, a vast decline from the mid-20th century, as migration within Europe has grown and more U.S. immigrants arrive from other destinations. This article provides an overview of contemporary European immigration to the United States, as a region and by top European countries of origin.

Photo of returning Filipino migrant workers.

Fifty years after the birth of the Philippines' strategy to use emigration as a tool for development, the government is doubling down on labor migration. While deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) slumped during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the government and civil society pivoting to assist with return migration and reintegration for hundreds of thousands of Filipinos, emigration has since rebounded, as this article details.

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Protests at a refugee compound in Nauru.

For two decades, asylum seekers seeking to reach Australia by boat were diverted to Nauru, a small Pacific Island nation that made a hefty profit off the extraterritorial asylum arrangement. But attitudes among local Nauruans have been mixed, with some fearing their economy revolved around Australia and the foreign workers who shuttled in and out of the processing center. As more countries seek to strike offshore asylum deals, this article examines the effects on local communities.

Boys on a fishing boat on the shores of Lake Tanganyika

Tanzania’s previously generous policies towards refugees have been growing more restrictive. Many refugees are confined to camps separated from the rest of the community, and authorities have been accused of pressuring thousands of migrants to return to Burundi and Mozambique. In border communities, however, relations between natives and foreign nationals are much calmer, as this article details.

Venezuelan migrants charge their phones and other devices at a power point in Boa Vista, Brazil.

While smartphones and other technologies can assist decision-making, they do not always improve migrants’ journeys or lives. Forcibly displaced populations can face barriers in the form of limited internet access and low levels of digital literacy. Digital tools may also expose them to government surveillance and raise anxiety about social relations with loved ones. This article underscores refugees' complex relationships with technology.

A man pulls a boat on the low-lying Carteret Islands in Papua New Guinea

Researchers often seek to predict how many people will move due to climate change, but beyond the inherent forecasting difficulties, their work is complicated by the fact that terms such as "climate migrant" are nebulous and migration drivers are often multifaceted. Instead, this article explains why analysts might ask how climate change will reshape existing patterns of migration and immobility.

Haitians at a medical site in Jeremie, Haiti.

The Haitian diaspora has swelled since a massive earthquake in 2010 and in the wake of violent riots that culminated in a political crisis in 2018 and the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Poverty, natural disasters, political crisis, and insecurity have historically driven Haitian migration. Destination countries have often rejected these arrivals and sought to deport Haitian migrants in large numbers.

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An intern examines a newborn baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Nearly 2.8 million immigrants worked in the U.S. health-care sector in 2021, representing disproportionately high shares of physicians, surgeons, and home health aides. This article offers a demographic and socioeconomic profile of foreign-born workers in health care.

A flag hangs at the vice president's residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, DC.

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.

Asylum seekers from Venezuela in Texas.

Venezuelans comprise one of the fastest-growing immigrant groups in the United States, nearly tripling in size from 2010 to 2021. Much of this migration has been fueled by crisis in Venezuela, where political unrest and economic strife have caused millions to flee since 2015, most remaining in Latin America. Venezuelan immigrants are far more likely than the overall foreign- and U.S.-born populations to have a college degree. Take an in-depth look at this immigrant population.

People in a business meeting.

The number of Chinese immigrants in the United States had grown swiftly for decades but shrank amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As a whole, Chinese immigrants tend to have more education and higher salaries than other immigrants, although they are less likely to be fluent in English. This article provides a sociodemographic profile of Chinese immigrants in the United States, their top destination globally.

A guest takes a photo at a Diwali reception at the White House.

Significant immigration from India to the United States began only after 1965, when the United States dropped national-origin quotas that favored Europeans. Today, Indians make up the nation's second largest foreign-born group. On average, they tend to be very well educated: 80 percent have a college degree and nearly half hold a graduate or professional degree. This article offers a useful sociodemographic profile of the Indian population.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

The recent rise in xenophobia in Hungary stands in marked contrast with the country's rich migration history. After 390,000 migrants and asylum seekers arrived in 2015, the government of Viktor Orbán issued policies to significantly limit migration and enacted a law criminalizing humanitarian assistance to migrants. This country profile examines Hungary’s migration past and present, tracing the country’s multicultural heritage to the current wave of anti-immigrant sentiment.

A view of Prague

Since regaining its independence in 1989, the Czech Republic has transformed from a country of emigration to one of rising immigration, amid growing labor market needs. Even as Czechia received few asylum seekers during the 2015-16 European migration crisis, the country has taken a harder line on immigration, and public opinion and political stances have grown more negative towards immigrants and refugees.

Canal in Amsterdam

The Netherlands has witnessed a rise in far-right populism, challenging its reputation as a humanitarian haven. Yet, public fears equating immigration with a rise in religious extremism do not necessarily reflect the facts. This profile explores historical and contemporary migration in a country where population growth relies largely on immigration, and analyzes to what extent policymaking has been shaped by rising populism.

SwedenImmigrants

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.

us peace corps indonesia

Indonesia, which has a long history as a major origin for migrant labor in the Asia-Pacific and beyond, more recently has reluctantly found itself a transit and destination country, including for asylum seekers. Still, policymakers remain focused on protection of its nationals abroad rather than on assuring the status of Chinese and other foreigners in the country. This country profile explores Indonesia's rich migration history. 

 

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A person walks with luggage in John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

Legal immigration to the United States fell to its lowest level in years during the COVID-19 pandemic, but preliminary data suggest it is returning to previous levels, belying predictions that the public-health crisis had allowed the Trump administration to make lasting, deep cuts. Yet the patterns have changed and persistent case processing backlogs could spell long-term problems, as this article explores.

Venezuelan migrants at a reception center in Brazil.

The Biden administration’s policy to expel some Venezuelan border arrivals to Mexico marks a significant reversal. For the first time, the U.S. government is invoking the controversial Title 42 expulsions policy not on public-health grounds but as an explicit immigration enforcement measure. The expulsions are being paired with a new humanitarian parole program for up to 24,000 Venezuelans. This article assesses the policy and the uneven treatment of humanitarian migrants by nationality.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks before a briefing on border security.

Operations by Texas, Florida, and Arizona to bus or fly asylum seekers and other migrants to Washington, DC, Martha's Vineyard, and other cities have succeeded in drawing attention to the unprecedented pace of U.S.-Mexico border arrivals. Described by some as political pawns, many migrants say the trips have upsides. Consequences aside, the transport of migrants by Republican governors raises the question whether a new era has begun: state-on-state fights over immigration.

Image of young Afghan girls.

The sluggishness of an overwhelmed U.S. immigration system and long lead times for refugee resettlement pushed government officials to use ad hoc pathways for Afghans and Ukrainians to enter the United States, with a two-year parole status given to most. This article examines the use of parole, the Uniting for Ukraine sponsorship program, and how the use of ad hoc statuses could evolve for future crises.

Image of aspiring pastor and DACA recipient speaking at DACA event in Minneapolis

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program reached its 10th anniversary in June 2022. This article reviews the evidence on DACA’s impacts for Dreamers and the broader society, looks at the increased reliance on similar limited legal statuses to help segments of the unauthorized immigrant population, and examines the legal challenges the program has and is continuing to face.

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