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

AsylumIV

Buoyed by initial successes challenging Trump administration immigration actions such as the travel ban in federal court, many critics expected the judiciary to act as a brake on major changes to the immigration system. Yet the Supreme Court has repeatedly shown a willingness to affirm the executive branch's immigration policies, most recently permitting what is arguably the most significant asylum policy change in four decades to proceed.

Displaced Ukrainians

With nearly 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), Ukraine is home to one of the largest IDP populations in the world. Five years after Russia's annexation of Crimea, displaced Ukrainians continue to face challenges related to national identity, social cohesion, and political participation. While the Ukrainian government has had some success integrating IDPs, the conflict’s end remains uncertain, and many are unlikely to return to their communities of origin no matter the outcome.

MoriaLesvos

As Greece's Aegean islands continue to grapple with migrants arriving on their shores, decisions regarding the needs of newcomers are negotiated in Brussels and Athens, far removed from the situation on the ground. Meanwhile, local communities have had successes in hosting migrants, as this article drawing on observations from the hospitality center and refugee camp on Lesvos explores.

WallofFlowers

New Zealand drew global attention for its unity and support for the Muslim community targeted during the horrific Christchurch attacks. Yet the country's road to inclusion has been far from straightforward, and amid rising diversity it is grappling with the best way to achieve inclusion for its multiethnic population, including indigenous Māori peoples and migrants. This article outlines the opportunities and challenges to fostering multiculturalism against a backdrop of bicultural policies.

BraziliansStreet

Approximately 450,000 Brazilian immigrants resided in the United States in 2017, an increase of nearly one-third since 2010. Representing 1 percent of the nation's 44.5 million immigrants, Brazilians tend to have higher educational attainment and household incomes compared to the overall foreign-born population. Get the latest data on Brazilians immigrants, including flows over time, geographic distribution, and more in this Spotlight.

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Nauru NWright UNHCR

Two years on, the Australia-Cambodia refugee relocation agreement—the first of its kind involving a traditional resettlement country relocating refugees to a country with no resettlement track record—has proven to be underwhelming in its outcomes. Only five refugees have been voluntarily relocated under the deal, of whom just one remains in Cambodia. This article explores where the deal went wrong and what lies ahead for Australia’s detained asylum seekers.

HeadStart PascoCountySchools

The Head Start program—a model for early childhood education programs nationwide—has served more than 33 million children since its inception half a century ago, many from immigrant families. This article examines the role of Head Start in the education of Dual Language Learners, who now comprise one-third of enrollees, and discusses how recent policy changes may affect this population.

worldbank bogota traffic

In contrast to increasingly restrictive approaches to migration in the global North—and recent skepticism towards Europe's free mobility project—South America is taking steps in the other direction, toward free movement for regional migrants. This article examines the emerging South American model and discusses its implications for migration in the region and for free movement in general.

JamaicanDeportees NODM

More than 100 Jamaicans are deported on average each month from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, and are returned to a country grappling with high levels of crime and poverty. This article explores the constructive role that deported migrants, who are often socially stigmatized upon return, can play in rebuilding their lives while contributing to the larger project of national development in Jamaica.

VisaApplicant USConsulate GeneralChennai Flickr

As many as half of all unauthorized immigrants in the United States entered legally and overstayed a visa. This article explores a possible way to refine visa policies: Examine the economic growth of travelers' home countries. The author examines the correlation between economic growth and the rate at which a country’s nationals are denied visas, and explores how this might inform visa policy.

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In 2011, the United States granted humanitarian protection to nearly 81,000 immigrants, including some 56,000 refugees and 25,000 asylum seekers. This article takes a detailed look at the most recent refugee and asylum data in the United States – finding that asylum grants in 2011 reversed a downward trend observed since 2007.

In the past 50 years, the number and share of European immigrants in the United States have declined significantly. A look at the population's size, geographic distribution, admission categories, and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.

There were 1.8 million immigrant health care workers employed in the United States in 2010, accounting for 16 percent of all civilians working in health care occupations. MPI's Kristen McCabe examines the demographic and labor characteristics of this population, including countries of origin, occupations, gender, and educational and linguistic proficiency.

The nearly 5 million immigrants age 65 and older residing in the United States in 2010 accounted for 12 percent of all elderly as well as 12 percent of the total immigrant population. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the elderly immigrant population, including where they live, countries of origin, and their sources of income.

After decades of pressure, the Mexican government passed a law in 2005 allowing Mexicans living outside the country to vote in presidential elections in Mexico. The upcoming election scheduled for July 1, 2012 will be the second time voting-eligible Mexican expatriates throughout the world will exercise their vote-from-abroad privilege. This Spotlight discusses the history and process of external voting in Mexico, voter participation rates inside and outside of Mexico, and several key characteristics of voting-age Mexicans in the United States.

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Marco Martiniello and Andrea Rea examine how immigration has made Belgium a multicultural society in perpetual renewal.
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Kenya is looking to its educated diaspora to meet development goals and achieve global competitiveness, according to MPI’s Ken Okoth.
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Waves of emigrants from the Federated States of Micronesia are building new lives abroad, according to MPI Data Manager Elizabeth Grieco.
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Brij V. Lal of the Australian National University explains the link between Fiji's recent political turbulence and the increasing numbers of Fijian emigrants.
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Recent policies — some more restrictive, some more liberal — reflect Austria's continuing ambivalence about immigration.

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MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the recent Supreme Court decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, the ongoing controversy surrounding states' participation in Secure Communities, the extension of TPS for Haitian nationals, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the termination of the NSEERS program, legal challenges to the new Utah laws, the continued controversy surrounding Secure Communities, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the 9th Circuit Court ruling on SB 1070, current trends in immigration legislation at the state level, President Obama's recent comments on executive action and immigration reform, and more.

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MPI's Muzaffar Chishti, Claire Bergeron, and Lang Hoyt report on the Secure Communities program, a new State Department initiative allowing the same-sex partners of U.S. diplomats to apply for J-1 visas, additional funding for immigration agencies in the proposed 2012 Homeland Security budget, and more.
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In this month's policy beat, MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the termination of the Secure Border Initiative Network, the status of the USCIS Transformation project, and more.

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