E.g., 03/08/2021
E.g., 03/08/2021

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

In 2017, nationalists in Europe and the United States continued seizing on public concerns about immigration and diversity, making gains in pushing their agendas. While their success at the polls was mixed, nativist politicians have succeeded in reshaping broader migration debates, with growing political fragmentation and mistrust of establishment parties making it easier for them to break through.

Metro in Caracas

Migration surged throughout South America in 2017, challenging governments to keep up with inflows. Brazil, Colombia, and Peru worked to process record numbers of Venezuelan asylum applications, and launched special visa programs for some new arrivals. While the government responses have been largely welcoming, the illegal immigration of Haitians provoked more restrictive policy reactions in Chile and Argentina.

Salvadoran family

The Trump administration’s announcement that it will end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan has brought unprecedented attention to the program and its future. Established in 1990, TPS offers work authorization and deportation relief to foreign nationals already in the United States unable to return to countries embroiled in conflict or the effects of a natural disaster. This Policy Beat explores past and current TPS designations and debates surrounding the program.

Nearly 6 million Afghans fled after violence erupted in the late 1970s, primarily to Iran and Pakistan. While millions returned after the collapse of the Taliban in 2001, the security situation has since deteriorated and the government struggles to meet the needs of vulnerable populations, particularly the internally displaced. This country profile explores Afghanistan’s complex migration and displacement history as well as ongoing challenges.

Elderly Cuban man with flag

Owing to their uniquely preferential treatment under U.S. immigration law, Cubans for decades have been among the largest immigrant groups in the United States. In 2016, nearly 1.3 million Cubans lived in the United States. This Spotlight provides a data snapshot of this immigrant group, which is highly concentrated in Florida, significantly older than the overall U.S. population, and less likely to be proficient in English.

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Rarely is migration among the Chinese from Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China, and Taiwan to the countries of the Pacific Rim as cut and dry as the labels "immigrant," "emigrant," and "returnee" suggest. In fact, Chinese migrants from each of these areas of origin share a tendency for traversing between their homeland; country of work, study, or residence; and even a third country as the needs of the family dictate. This article examines these contemporary migration patterns using Chinese migrants in New Zealand as a case study.

The past decade has brought tens of thousands of Chinese migrants to Africa, and well over half of all Chinese migrants to the continent head to South Africa. Yoon Jung Park of Rhodes University discusses the history of Chinese migration to South Africa, the various communities of Chinese currently residing in the country, and their levels of political, social, and economic integration.

Most of China's roughly 145 million rural-to-urban migrants were born after 1980, making this population the "new generation" of internal migrant workers. Having been directly influenced by China's rapid economic growth and recent sociodemographic policy changes, this cohort of rural-urban migrants offers much to learn with respect to their motivations. This article discusses survey data indicating that new-generation migrants have somewhat different motivations and expectations than their more traditional counterparts, such as the desire for excitement, fun, and career development independent of the needs of the family back home.

Diaspora entrepreneurs have several advantages over other entrepreneurs or investors because they have social, political, and economic connections in two or more countries. Kathleen Newland and Hiroyuki Tanaka discuss the conditions and commitments on the part of countries of origin that can help attract and support diaspora entrepreneurs.

Europe's Schengen agreement eliminated border controls between 25 countries for over 400 million people. Schengen cooperation has come under intense pressure of late, however, and EU Member States are currently considering whether the rules under which it operates ought to be adjusted. Elizabeth Collett provides background and explains what the current debate means for the future of Schengen.

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The Asian born accounted for more than a quarter of the total U.S. foreign-born population in 2000. MPI's David Dixon looks at the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from Eastern, Southeastern South Central and Western Asia.

About five million students with limited proficiency in English were enrolled in U.S. public schools in the 2003-2004 school year. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines their characteristics.

MPI's David Dixon looks at the social and economic profiles of the foreign born from Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Africa.

The U.S. federal government has spread immigration-related responsibilities among six agencies. MPI’s Megan Davy, Deborah Meyers, and Jeanne Batalova explain which agencies handle such tasks as assisting refugees, issuing visas, and handling interior enforcement.
According to the 2000 census, more than 150,000 foreign born lived in the counties affected by Hurricane Katrina. MPI's Jeanne Batalova takes a detailed look at the foreign-born population in the areas hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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MPI's Julia Gelatt and Megan Davy reports on CAFTA's immigration effects, local immigration enforcement tactics, immigrants' access to healthcare, H-1B visa caps, new technology for border security, and more.
MPI's Julia Gelatt reports on Senators Cornyn and Kyl's comprehensive immigration reform bill, Secretary Chertoff's announcement on changes to the DHS, voting rights for Mexican citizens abroad, and more.
Julia Gelatt and Jennifer Yau report on resumption of free flights for undocumented border crossers, Senators Kyl and Cornyn's immigration enforcement proposals, and the use of immigration laws in national security investigations.
MPI's Jennifer Yau outlines the main points of the McCain-Kennedy bill and reports on the passage of the Real ID Act, medical costs of the undocumented, and more.
MPI’s Betsy Cooper reports on the new U.S. passport requirements, the Arizona Minuteman project, the latest REAL ID Act developments, and more.

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