E.g., 03/04/2021
E.g., 03/04/2021

Migration Information Source

A child walks by a destroyed building in Syria.
© UNICEF/Grove Hermansen

Millions of people flee civil wars for safety elsewhere, but predicting precisely when refugees and asylum seekers will be displaced is not as easy as it seems. There is not always a direct correlation between episodes of violence and patterns of migration. This article explores how civilians require both motivation and opportunity to leave conflict zones.

President Joe Biden signs executive orders on immigration in the White House.
Adam Schultz/White House

President Joe Biden has grand ambitions to reshape the U.S. immigration system, but his administration has run into early stumbling blocks in rolling back the strict enforcement regime of his predecessor. Administrative resistance, a tangled web of legal agreements signed by the Trump administration, and anxieties about a possible uptick in immigrants and asylum seekers at the border have posed early challenges to Biden’s agenda.

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.

Recent Articles

Venezuelans on streets of Cucuta

With an estimated 3 million people having fled the failing Venezuelan state, and predictions another 2 million could join them in 2019, the capacity of South American neighbors to welcome the arrivals became increasingly stretched in 2018. While the region has largely maintained generous reception policies, there were signs during the year that its tolerance was being tested.

2018 proved a banner year for far-right populist movements in Europe and the Americas. They claimed the presidency of Brazil, sparked the collapse of the Belgian government, and—whether in or out of office—put a harder-edged stamp on migration and asylum policies in Austria, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, and beyond.

U.S. Marine secures barbed-wire fencing at the California-Mexico border.

The Trump administration took sweeping action in 2018 to slow legal immigration, make life harder for some immigrants already in the United States, rebuff would-be asylum seekers, and reduce refugee resettlement. Shaping a narrative of crisis at the border, the administration significantly changed the U.S. asylum system, deployed troops and tear gas, and separated families—yet Central American migrants continued to arrive.

Hardline migration and asylum policies in the United States and Australia in 2018 hit turbulence when their effects on the most vulnerable—young children—provoked widespread public revulsion and prompted a retreat, at least temporarily. Still, public outcry over the treatment of child migrants and asylum seekers often runs up against the intractability of the problems facing governments and the lack of good solutions.

Sign left by No More Deaths activists in Arizona

As industrialized countries are adopting harder-edge immigration and asylum policies to deal with real and perceived crises, humanitarian actors have sought to blunt the effects of those policies by launching rescue missions at sea, rendering direct aid to migrants in need, and offering legal assistance. A concerted pushback to this resistance emerged in 2018, with governments using legislative, legal, and other tools to fight back.

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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.

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.

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.

Drawn by generous asylum policies and the region's welcoming reputation, hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers arrived in Scandinavia in 2015. As the unprecedented flow overwhelmed the asylum systems of Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark, lawmakers began to recalibrate their policies, tightening asylum benefits in a number of significant ways, as this article explores.

Lesvos became a major focal point in Europe's migration crisis as more than half a million migrants and asylum seekers transited the Greek island in 2015. Describing the work of ad hoc volunteer-led efforts and professional aid organizations, this article delves into the evolution of the aid response across the island and the challenges of integrating humanitarian operations.

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Comprising only a small share of all immigrants in the United States, the foreign born from Taiwan seem to embody the very spirit of the Asian Tiger. As of 2010, Taiwanese immigrants exhibited extremely high levels of educational attainment; a notable tendency toward homeownership; and elevated rates of employment in management, business, information technology, and certain other professional, science, and engineering fields compared to the foreign-born population overall.

From rather humble beginnings, the Chinese immigrant population in the United States has grown steadily since the 1960s to reach about 1.8 million in 2010. Compared to the foreign born overall, Chinese immigrants report higher levels of educational attainment, are less likely to live in households with an annual income below the poverty line, and are substantially more likely to have naturalized as U.S. citizens.

More than 1 million people became legal permanent residents (LPRs) in the United States in 2010. Nearly two-thirds of new LPRs are immigrants with family ties in the United States, report MPI’s Carola Balbuena and Jeanne Batalova in this updated look at the latest statistics on legal immigration.

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.

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Long a country of emigration, immigration, and asylum, Turkey has also become a country of transit for immigrants, according to Kemal Kirisci of Boagazici University.

Marco Martiniello and Andrea Rea examine how immigration has made Belgium a multicultural society in perpetual renewal.
Kenya is looking to its educated diaspora to meet development goals and achieve global competitiveness, according to MPI’s Ken Okoth.
Waves of emigrants from the Federated States of Micronesia are building new lives abroad, according to MPI Data Manager Elizabeth Grieco.
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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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.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the rise in state-level action on immigration enforcement, the resuming deportations of Haitians, Mexico's inclusion in the Global Entry trusted traveler program, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti, Claire Bergeron, and Kristen McCabe report on the passage of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act in the House, Supreme Court oral arguments on the Legal Arizona Workers Act, the record number of diversity visa applicants, and more.

The results of the 2010 elections seem likely to ensure a standoff on any immigration legislation and more immigration enforcement measures at the state level, as MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report. Also in this edition: Boeing no longer working on virtual fence, temporary protected status extended for Somalis, ban on unauthorized immigrant students at certain Georgia state universities, and more.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron examine why the Senate recently considered the DREAM Act and two other immigration bills, as well as whether local governments can opt out of Secure Communities, immigration cases before the Supreme Court, and more.

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