E.g., 01/28/2022
E.g., 01/28/2022

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

AlbanianKids

Faced with a lack of employment opportunities and recurrent poverty, Albanian youth migrate to Italy alone in the hopes of improving their educational prospects or making money for their families. Yet upon arrival, they face many vulnerabilities. While some protections for unaccompanied minors exist in the Italy, the system is greatly fragmented and challenges, including how to return them to Albania, remain persistent.

SeatedNaturalizationCeremony

Nearly 22 million immigrants—about half of the overall immigrant population—were naturalized U.S. citizens in fiscal year 2017. In the same year, more than 707,000 immigrants became U.S. citizens. Naturalized citizens tend to have higher incomes and educational attainment compared to other immigrants, as this data-rich article explores.

CongoleseMigrants

Long a country of emigration and a springboard for migrants aiming to reach Europe, Morocco has emerged as a destination for many sub-Saharan Africans. As more migrants remain in Morocco, the kingdom has implemented policies to aid with integration. But challenges remain, with most of the estimated 700,000 sub-Saharan Africans living in precarious conditions and irregular status despite some legalization programs.

ElPasomigrantkids

Approximately 11,500 unaccompanied children were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border in May, putting this year on track to exceed 2014's surge. As the U.S. government struggles to care for these child migrants, with public outrage mounting over reports of unsafe, filthy conditions in initial Border Patrol custody, the failure of the executive branch and Congress to plan for increased shelter and care demands are increasingly apparent, as this article explores.

MPI Source Digital Litter with Text V2 01 cropped

Several years after a flurry of tech innovations arose to respond to the 2015-16 European migration crisis and assist asylum seekers, "digital litter"—now-dormant websites, broken links, and poor-quality information spread through apps and social media—is floating around. At best, digital litter is a nuisance. At worst, it can place refugees and migrants in harm's way and undermine their decision-making, as this article explores.

Pages

uk gov_cameron speech downing street

Against a backdrop of anxieties about migration, the United Kingdom's government set a referendum for June 2016 on whether to withdraw from the European Union. This article explores the role played by migration in the decision to call the referendum, how immigration might influence the result, and finally the implications of both referendum outcomes (Leave and Remain) in terms of migration policy and regulation.

BurkinabeWomenGoldMine HeleneCaux UNHCR

At least 10 million people worldwide are stateless, including 1 million in West Africa, though experts believe the true number may be much higher. West Africa's colonial heritage and nationality laws have increased the risk of statelessness, particularly for vulnerable social groups including migrants and their descendants, refugees, and children. Governments across the region have recently initiated action plans to eradicate statelessness, as this feature explores.

AbrilArmenianBookstoreBooth KentKanouse Flickr

The Armenian diaspora, which significantly exceeds the country's resident population, has played an instrumental role in Armenia's political and economic development since independence in 1991. Yet a picture emerges of divergent currents within the diaspora, often seen from above as a unified entity. Delve into differences in engagement among Armenia's "old" and "new" diasporas with this feature article.

HosnaShewly TwoMenEnclaveBorder

In August 2015, India and Bangladesh officially exchanged 162 enclaves, marking the end of a 300-year old anomaly that saw the fragmented territory of one sovereign power located inside another sovereign territory. Enclave residents have lived in virtual statelessness since partition in 1947, without identity documents or access to essential services. As part of the deal, India and Bangladesh allowed residents to choose their country of citizenship.

Afghanistan2008 RArnold UNHCR

Afghanistan, once the world's largest origin of refugees, is increasingly experiencing mixed migration, including seasonal and permanent outflows for both economic and humanitarian reasons, internal displacement, and refugee returns. This feature article examines the current trends with a focus on return migration and the development impacts at the intersection of displacement and urbanization.

Pages

spot oct11 300

At just under 517,000, immigrant apprehensions in 2010 were the lowest they have been in nearly 40 years. Sheida Elmi and Kristen McCabe analyze the most recent immigration enforcement data on apprehensions, detentions, removals, and returns of noncitizens in the United States.

Of the 14.8 million union members in 2010, 12 percent were foreign born. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines the data on immigrant participation in the U.S. labor force and unions.

In 2010, the United States granted humanitarian protection to nearly 95,000 immigrants, including some 73,000 refugees and 21,000 asylum seekers. MPI's Monica Li and Jeanne Batalova take a detailed look at the most recent refugee and asylum data in the United States.

The 1.5 million African immigrants residing in the United States in 2009 accounted for 3.9 percent of all U.S. immigrants. MPI's Kristen McCabe examines the origins, socioeconomic characteristics, and legal status of the African-born immigrant population.

Nearly 620,000 immigrants — one-third from Mexico, India, the Philippines, and China — became U.S. citizens in 2010. MPI's Anne Nielsen and Jeanne Batalova take a detailed look at the latest naturalization trends in the United States.

Pages

As Russia enters the 21st century, it is confronting a set of migration issues unimaginable just a decade ago. Timothy Heleniak of the World Bank and Georgetown University's Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies maps out the complex past and difficult present of the world's largest country.

it map
Italy has struggled to find the right tone and approach toward immigration. In this newly updated profile, Managing Editor Kim Hamilton tackles the dilemmas facing Italian policymakers today.

Pages

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron break down the injunction against Arizona's immigration law and report on the debate over birthright citizenship, the passage of a $600 million border security bill, and more.

pb jul10 300
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the Justice Department's suit against Arizona's newest immigration law and the Supreme Court's decision to hear a case challenging the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act. Also in this edition: Haitian nationals get more time to file for Temporary Protected Status, the House approves $701 million for border security measures, Tennessee enacts an immigration enforcement bill, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on President Barack Obama's decision to send 1,200 National Guard troops to the Southwest border, the continued debate over Arizona's immigration law, the State Department's 2010 trafficking report, increased U.S. immigration application fees and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron take an in-depth look at Arizona's SB 1070, from the range of responses to what it means for federal immigration reform. Also in this edition: a bill that would revoke the U.S. citizenship of those found helping terrorists, more delays for the "virtual fence," increased approvals for Mexican nationals' asylum applications, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on Padilla v. Kentucky, Arizona's passage of a controversial immigration bill, Senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham's immigration reform blueprint, the latest H-1B application numbers, and more

Pages