E.g., 01/27/2022
E.g., 01/27/2022

Migration Information Source

Photo of U.S. President Joe Biden delivering remarks in front of White House.
Katie Ricks/White House

While Donald Trump’s presidency is perceived as being the most active on immigration, touching nearly every aspect of the U.S. immigration system, President Joe Biden’s administration has far outpaced his predecessor in the number of executive actions taken during his first year in office—even as the pace of change has gone largely unnoticed, as this article explores.

Mother and daughter from Middle Eastern background
iStock/Phynart Studio

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.

A Dutch family at Ellis Island between 1915 and 1920.
Library of Congress

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.

Articles
Family members take a selfie at an airport in Greece.
IOM/Konstantina Mintzoli

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.

Migrants enrolled in the Migrant Protection Protocols are processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
Glenn Fawcett/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

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.

Two boys pose in an informal settlement east of Johannesburg largely populated by immigrants.
John Hogg/World Bank

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.

Recent Articles

A number of interlocking concerns have emerged in recent months regarding the rights of mobile EU citizens, fueled in part by euroskeptic parties (such as the UK Independence Party), and more hard-line anti-immigration parties such as the Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands.

This year has seen greater focus by policymakers in countries around the world on the balance between two enduring, complex migration management imperatives: maintaining secure and credible borders while separating out unauthorized immigrants from the most vulnerable populations in need of humanitarian protection, particularly those seeking refuge from conflict and persecution.

The murder of an anti-fascist rapper in 2013 dealt a severe blow to Greece's extremist, virulently anti-immigrant political party Golden Dawn, whose popularity had been increasing (relatively unchecked) since 2010. The party, which rejects the neo-Nazi label that many have applied to it, provoked a national outcry in September after a party sympathizer confessed to killing Pavlos Fyssas.

Qatar's dependence on foreign workers is expected to intensify over the coming decade as it steps up its preparations to host the World Cup in 2022. Migrant workers already dominate Qatar's labor force, comprising 94 percent of all workers and 86 percent of the country's total population of nearly 2 million — the world's highest ratio of migrants to citizens.

As immigrant-destination countries emerge from the economic crisis at varying speeds, ensuring that the national labor force has the skills needed to fuel recovery has been high on the policy agenda. Migration has long been part of countries' skills strategies, but weak economies have created an additional impetus to maximize the economic benefits that skilled immigration can provide.

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Global remittances by migrants seem to be on the rise, and Richard Black of the University of Sussex maps out the issues this presents for researchers and policymakers.

Migration and development are high on the international agenda, and Sharon Stanton Russell of MIT highlights emerging features of the policy debate.

Nicholas Van Hear of the Institute for International Studies presents some of the distinct features of refugee diasporas, as well as their impact on development policy.

The Source presents three tables ranking countries around the world by total remittances received, by remittances per capita, and by remittances per GDP, based on the latest International Monetary Fund data.

MPI Co-Director Kathleen Newland provides a concise overview of the impact of rich country migration policies on poor country development.

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