E.g., 01/24/2022
E.g., 01/24/2022

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

EloyDetentionCenter

Though a faceoff between the U.S. executive and legislative branches is now in the courts, with President Trump's decision to declare a national emergency so he can allocate more money for construction of a border wall, a less-noted dispute has been taking place over the Department of Homeland Security's decision to add thousands more immigration detention beds than Congress provides annually, as this article explains.

SyrianRefugeesLebanon

Lebanon is home to more refugees per capita than any other country. The arrival of approximately 1 million refugees from neighboring Syria has created tensions not only with the native population, but also with long-established Palestinian refugee communities in Lebanon. A lack of integration and resources, plus a complex domestic context, suggest further hardship may lie ahead for recent and earlier-arrived refugees alike.

CaribbeanDayDancers

Caribbean immigrants represent 10 percent of the 44.5 million immigrants in the United States, with the vast majority coming from just five countries: Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago. Depending on their origin country and period of arrival, immigrants from the Caribbean have varying skill levels, racial composition, language background, and motivations for migration, as this article explores.

Somali migrant returnees Yemen

War and impending famine in Yemen have captured significant attention. Yet often overlooked is the country’s role as the epicenter of one of the world’s busiest mixed migration routes, linking Africa, Asia, and Europe. This article examines the migration pathways to and through the country, push and pull factors, and the impact of civil war on human movement.

Travel Ban Airport Protest at PHL

Two years after the Trump administration’s much-litigated travel ban was created, the policy has demonstrated a significant impact on the admission of foreigners from the banned countries, while also reshaping U.S. security vetting procedures and the refugee resettlement process in enduring ways, as this article explores on the second-year anniversary.

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FacesofAsylum GordonWeltersUNHCR
The European Court of Human Right's ruling on the transfer of a family of Afghan asylum seekers from Switzerland to Italy has struck a potentially fatal blow to the European Union's Dublin asylum system. Against a backdrop of pressures on EU Member States in the humanitarian protection realm, this article assesses the impact of the ruling and reevaluates the viability of the Dublin Regulation as a key tool in the Common European Asylum System.
UKIP graphicmug FB
The United Kingdom has faced changing immigration patterns over the last two decades driven largely by EU migration, and political upheaval caused by the rise of the United Kingdom Independence Party and the Scottish National Party. Upcoming general elections in May 2015 will have a significant impact not only on immigration policies but the United Kingdom's place in the European Union.
KoreanCenterinChina wwian flickr

Faced with rising numbers of foreign entries (long- and short-term), China in 2012 adopted new legislation to manage its migration flows—the first reform to the country's immigration law since 1985. With an underlying tension in the legal framework between restricting immigrants deemed unwanted and welcoming those viewed as desirable, this feature examines the exit-entry law's key points.

FE ChineseZambia ChingKwanLee cover

Migration has begun to follow the flow of capital after years of Chinese investment in major infrastructure projects in Zambia. This feature article, based on original research including the coding of 25,000 Zambian entry permits, examines the emerging migration pattern from China to Zambia, as Chinese migration to the country has increased 60 percent since 2009.

FE 1965Act 2015
Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, radically altering U.S. policy and reshaping the demographic profile of the United States. Examining the foreign policy and domestic concerns leading to the law's enactment, David S. FitzGerald and David Cook-Martín argue that the demise of the national-origins quota system was driven by geopolitical factors.

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Mexican immigrants have claimed the top spot among all immigrant groups in the United States since the 1980 census. In 2008, the country's 11.4 million Mexican immigrants accounted for 30.1 percent of all U.S. immigrants and 10 percent of all Mexicans. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the Mexican-born unauthorized population.

The 535,000 Haitian immigrants residing in the United States in 2008 accounted for 1.4 percent of all U.S. immigrants and the fourth-largest immigrant group from the Caribbean. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the Haitian-born unauthorized population.

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The 1.1 million Salvadoran immigrants residing in the United States in 2008 accounted for 2.9 percent of all U.S. immigrants, making them the second-largest immigrant group from Latin America. MPI's Aaron Terrazas examines their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the Salvadoran-born unauthorized population.

The 18.9 million immigrant women in the United States in 2008 made up 12 percent of all women in the country. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines which countries they come from, their labor force participation, and their socioeconomic status.

In 2008, there were just under 800,000 apprehensions, the lowest number since 1975. MPI's Kristen McCabe and Jeanne Batalova take a detailed look at the latest immigration enforcement statistics.

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MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano's nomination to head homeland security, changes to the H-2A program, suspension of a refugee family-reunification program, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the 2008 presidential election, two Supreme Court cases on immigration, Arizona Proposition 202, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the decrease in unauthorized immigration, the latest ruling on Arizona's employer-sanctions law, Iraqi refugees, Alabama and Arkansas on the in-state tuition debate, and more.

MPI's Claire Bergeron and Muzaffar Chishti report on the Democratic and Republican platforms, the worksite raid in Mississippi, the new citizenship test, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the Scheduled Departure program, special visas for Iraqi nationals, hospital "deportations," and more.

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