E.g., 02/25/2021
E.g., 02/25/2021

Migration Information Source

A man leans against the fence in the Dry Corridor of Honduras.
Angels Masó/World Bank

Climate change has had a devastating impact on many poor Central American farmers, which can contribute to food insecurity and may be prompting migration from the region's Dry Corridor. But the process is not straightforward. As this article explains, most poor farmers rely on a combination of buying, cultivating, and foraging for their food, which makes it difficult to predict how people will react to individual climate events.

New U.S. citizens attend a naturalization ceremony in Washington, DC.
Kelsey Bell/National Archives

Have a question about U.S. immigration trends and the country's immigrant population? This article collects in one place the most sought-after information about the world's largest immigrant population and how it has changed over time. Drawing from a wide array of authoritative data sources, this article provides an up-to-date snapshot of the immigrant population, visa and enforcement statistics, and information on emerging trends, including slowing immigration and changing origins.

Arrivals from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, depart a train in Moscow.
IOM/Elyor Nematov

In recent decades Russia has been increasingly reliant on Central Asian migrant workers. Those workers, in turn, have sent back remittances that have been crucial for their countries of origin. Since 2015, many of these ex-Soviet countries have come together in the Eurasian Economic Union to solidify their bonds and ease migrants' passage to Russia. This article explores the bloc and how it reflects Russia's role in the region.

Joe Biden attends a pre-election event in Nevada.
Gage Skidmore

The Biden administration has set the pace for what could be the most active first 100 days on immigration policy by any White House in recent memory—even that of predecessor Donald Trump. The efforts, which represent a dramatic break from the Trump administration's view of immigration as threat, are likely to meet stiff opposition on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. This article evaluates Biden's early actions and what they suggest about the White House's ambitions on immigration.

Riders on a bus in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Hendri Lombard/World Bank

While intraregional migration is a pillar of the African Union's focus on enhancing regional integration and economic development, visa-free travel or visas upon arrival are a reality for only about half of the countries on the continent. Progress towards free movement for Africans has occurred mostly at a subregional level, as this article explores.

International students wave flags of their origin countries at a commencement address at Northeastern University
U.S. State Department

For the first time in a decade, fewer international students were studying in the United States during the 2019-20 school year than the year before. This decline, brought about in part by changing U.S. policy, has been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This article profiles the international student population in the United States, including their origins and fields of study.

Recent Articles

Syrian family on a plane

The global refugee resettlement landscape changed dramatically in 2017, as the United States began to step back from its role as global leader on resettlement. The Trump administration reduced the 2018 refugee admissions ceiling to the lowest level since the program began in 1980. While other countries increased their commitments or launched new programs, this was not enough to make up for the gap left by the United States.

Governments on the receiving end of migrants and refugees reinforced their commitment to returns in 2017, sending or coercing migrants to move back to impoverished or violent homelands. The Dominican Republic pushed out some 70,000 Haitians and native born of Haitian descent, while more than 500,000 Afghans left Iran and Pakistan. Though many of these migrants chose to return, in practice the line between forced and voluntary returns is blurry.

British and EU flags

As Brexit negotiations move forward, the issue of the future rights for EU nationals resident in the United Kingdom and UK nationals living on the continent has emerged as a sticking point. Though negotiators in early December 2017 agreed to a skeletal deal on citizens' rights, countless details remain to be worked out, leaving the future of some 4 million people unresolved—with implications for them, their families, employers, and others.

In 2017, nationalists in Europe and the United States continued seizing on public concerns about immigration and diversity, making gains in pushing their agendas. While their success at the polls was mixed, nativist politicians have succeeded in reshaping broader migration debates, with growing political fragmentation and mistrust of establishment parties making it easier for them to break through.

Metro in Caracas

Migration surged throughout South America in 2017, challenging governments to keep up with inflows. Brazil, Colombia, and Peru worked to process record numbers of Venezuelan asylum applications, and launched special visa programs for some new arrivals. While the government responses have been largely welcoming, the illegal immigration of Haitians provoked more restrictive policy reactions in Chile and Argentina.

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Immigrant legalizations in the United States and Europe ("regularizations" in the EU context) have been used repeatedly for broad and discrete groups of immigrants. A look at how these programs have been implemented historically and the political and policy implications they face today.

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.

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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.

The majority of South American born counted in the 2000 census were from Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. MPI's David Dixon and Julia Gelatt look at the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from this region.

Over half of all Central American foreign born in the United States are from El Salvador and Guatemala. MPI's Megan Davy examines the numbers as well as events and policies that have shaped Central American migration.

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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.

MPI's Julia Gelatt reports on President Bush's renewed call for immigration reform, appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for 2006, leadership changes within DHS, and more.
MPI's Julie Murray and Julia Gelatt report on immigration enforcement following Hurricane Katrina, increased immigration prosecutions along the border, recent rulings on benefits for immigrants, the expansion of expedited removal, and more.
MPI's Julia Gelatt and Megan Davy reports on CAFTA's immigration effects, local immigration enforcement tactics, immigrants' access to healthcare, H-1B visa caps, new technology for border security, and more.

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