E.g., 06/24/2024
E.g., 06/24/2024

Migration Information Source

Dancers at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
Laura Elizabeth Pohl for Bread for the World

Mexico is the source of the world’s second-largest migrant population. In recent years the country has found itself at an unexpected crossroads: Managing the transit of growing numbers of asylum seekers and other migrants headed to the United States. Meanwhile, the Mexican-born population in the United States has declined significantly since 2010. This article provides an overview of the major trends and policies.

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.

Recent Articles

A returned migrant with his family in Bangladesh

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.

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.

People walk through the streets of Hong Kong

Hong Kong finds itself in the middle of opposing trends. Amid political unrest, Beijing's increasing security pressure, and pandemic disruptions, many Hong Kongers have left and been replaced by a new group of immigrants, largely from mainland China. The dynamic has raised questions whether Hong Kong will remain a global cosmopolitan hub or instead turn inward to Asia, as this article discusses.

President Joe Biden in Mexico City.

The U.S. immigration enforcement system increasingly depends on other countries to help halt irregular movements through the Americas and accept the return of unauthorized migrants. Foreign governments play a crucial and yet underappreciated role in migration management, and can either aid or frustrate U.S. border-control aims, as this article explores.

Housing construction site in California.

One-fifth of the planet lacks adequate housing. That scarcity, expected to affect 3 billion people by 2030, is a problem for native-born and immigrant communities alike. The global housing shortage can aggravate tensions over immigration and lead to integration challenges for new arrivals, as this article details.

Pages

A temple in Dharamsala, India.

The number of Tibetan refugees in India, Nepal, and Bhutan has been on a steady decline since the mid-2000s, posing a threat to the future of an exile community that has developed a robust governance, cultural, educational, and religious structure. While the Tibetan government-in-exile has become a model for displaced communities, a series of factors have contributed to the shrinking population in South Asia, as this article describes.

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.

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.

A loan officer in Kenya.

Credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial services are often critical in order to fully participate in the modern world. Yet many refugees and other forced migrants have trouble obtaining these seemingly simple tools, preventing them from full integration. This article outlines humanitarian migrants’ needs for financial services and the barriers that can arise.

Pages

A Haitian-American book fair in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood

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.

A Vietnamese family in the kitchen.

The more than 1.3 million Vietnamese immigrants in the United States are the result of nearly 50 years of migration that began with the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. While early generations of Vietnamese immigrants tended to arrive as refugees, the vast majority of recent green-card holders obtained their status through family reunification channels. This article takes a look at the sixth-largest U.S. immigrant population.

Calle Ocho en el barrio de la Pequeña Habana de Miami.

Los cubanos constituyen el mayor grupo de inmigrantes caribeños en Estados Unidos. La población está creciendo, ya que en los últimos años se ha producido la mayor oleada de emigración de la historia moderna de Cuba. Este artículo ofrece estadísticas clave sobre los 1.3 millones de inmigrantes cubanos en Estados Unidos.

A sign for Calle Ocho in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.

Cubans comprise the largest Caribbean immigrant group in the United States, and for decades have benefitted from uniquely preferential immigration programs. The population is growing, as recent years have seen the largest wave of emigration in Cuba's modern history. This article offers key statistics about the 1.3 million Cuban immigrants in the United States.

A nurse looks at a baby.

Immigrants from the Philippines make up the fourth largest foreign-born group in the United States, numbering nearly 2 million people. Compared to other U.S. immigrants, Filipinos are more likely to have strong English skills, be naturalized U.S. citizens, and hold a college degree. This article provides statistics about these and other elements of the Filipino immigrant population.

Pages

Farmworkers in Murcia, Spain

Historically a country of emigration, Spain rapidly transitioned to become one of Europe’s major immigration destinations in just a few years. Remarkably, this evolution occurred with minimal political backlash, even as the country suffered through a crippling economic and labor crisis. This country profile examines the trends and policies that led to this astonishing development.

Migrants and natives dance at a multicultural celebration in La Vega, Chile.

In the years since its return to democracy, Chile has emerged as a major immigration destination within South America. Yet recent large-scale migrant arrivals from Haiti and Venezuela have shaken the country’s politics and at times overwhelmed a decades-old immigration framework that critics contended was woefully out of date. New reforms could tighten immigration, but many questions remain. This country profile analyzes migration to Chile particularly since 1990.

People in France rally for far-right politician Marine Le Pen on May Day.

Over recent decades, France has sought to build a more selective immigration system that welcomes students and well-educated workers but enacts restrictions for asylum seekers. This country profile examines France's immigration policies and trends, including the rise of far-right political parties that have used immigration as a wedge to increase their base and their influence.

A tuk tuk driver in India.

With nearly 18 million nationals abroad, India is the origin of more international migrants than any other country and claims the world's largest diaspora. Indian emigration can be traced back to the colonial era, with the British empire dispatching Indian workers across the globe, and has evolved for more than a century in response to global labor demands and geopolitical events. This article offers a comprehensive profile of migration from and to India.

Image of man on steps in front of China Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou, China

China has a long history of international migration. Movement was sharply interrupted following the 1949 revolution but has rebounded in recent decades. Since 1979, the country has developed from one of mostly limited migration into one that is in many ways defined through its global interactions, although it continues to treat migration warily, as this country profile explains.

Pages

Image of USCIS employees at work

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.

The U.S. Coast Guard interdicts a vessel with Cuban migrants.

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.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams meeting with asylum seekers.

U.S. cities have spent billions of dollars to provide shelter, health care, and other resources to migrants recently arrived from the U.S.-Mexico border. The exceptional costs, which the New York mayor has described as existential, are due to a unique combination of factors, this article explains, including the large numbers of migrants arriving without local connections and long waits for work permits.

Afghan parolees wait in line at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

An estimated 1.9 million migrants are in the United States or have been authorized to enter with a twilight immigration status that does not automatically lead to to permanent residence but temporarily shields them from deportation for at least one year. Use of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and immigration parole has been a hallmark of the Biden administration as it seeks to address record border arrivals and protection needs.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at a conference in Tampa.

Renewed U.S. state activism on immigration has echoes of the early 2010s, when Arizona’s SB 1070 defined a Republican-led push to increase enforcement that was ultimately muted by the courts and public backlash. Newer strategies rely on a novel array of tactics including migrant busing, litigation, and lawmaking. States are also moving in opposite directions, with some expanding rights for unauthorized immigrants, as this article details.

Pages