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E.g., 01/21/2022

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

JeffSessions2018

In less than two years as Attorney General, Jeff Sessions oversaw wide-reaching changes to the U.S. immigration system. Even as the zero-tolerance policy, fights with "sanctuary" cities, and DACA termination might be more visible, Sessions' enduring legacy may be his muscular use of a little-noted authority, which he wielded to significantly reshape immigration and asylum policy by referring immigration cases to himself.

BraziliansinDC

South Americans represent a small, but growing share of immigrants in the United States, composing 7 percent of country’s total foreign-born population. Recent growth has been marked by an uptick in arrivals from increasingly failing Venezuela, with an increase of 61,000 Venezuelan immigrants from 2016 to 2017. This article offers an interesting data snapshot of South American immigrants in the United States.

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Uganda is the third largest refugee-hosting nation in the world, with more than 1 million refugees arriving in the last two years. Amid strong public solidarity for displaced neighbors, the government has emphasized the right to employment, enterprise, and free movement for refugees despite the country's poverty and limited resources. Can this generous "Uganda model" be sustained? This article explores the challenges and opportunities.

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Legal and political controversy surrounds the Trump administration's decision to include a question on citizenship status in the 2020 decennial census, the first such inclusion since the 1950 census. This article examines the administration's conflicting statements about the genesis of the plan, concerns that the decision could affect the accuracy of the census, and legal challenges pending in a number of states.

TunisiaPort

In the face of an uptick in unauthorized arrivals in Italy from Tunisia in 2017, the European Union dusted off earlier policy proposals such as funding to increase Tunisia’s border-control capabilities and the creation of disembarkation platforms. This article explores why contemporary developments, including a fragile Tunisian political system, suggest the need for a different approach.

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The United Arab Emirates has the fifth-largest international migrant stock in the world, with 7.8 million migrants out of a total population of 9.2 million. Heavily reliant on foreign labor to sustain economic growth, the UAE government in 1971 introduced a temporary guest worker program. This article examines the economic, social, and political challenges and implications of the program for the government, Emirati nationals, and migrant workers in the UAE.

This article examines common challenges and factors influencing the development of local labor-market integration initiatives targeting immigrant youth, based on four city case studies conducted in the United States and the European Union.

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Although many observers point out that China's dealings in Africa are driven by natural resources, since the mid-2000s Beijing has also shown interest in Senegal, which does not sit on major deposits of oil, gold, diamonds, or timber. This West African nation — a strategic ally for China, a reliable partner in the area of development cooperation, and above all, a promising market for selling made-in-China goods — has a rapidly growing Chinese migrant community. This article explores the growing presence of Chinese traders in Dakar's Centenaire neighborhood, investigating their backgrounds and motives for migrating. It also discusses how the decision to migrate affects their families, hometowns, and the local community in Dakar.

The region encompassing Central and Eastern Europe as well as the former Soviet Union is the source of a sizeable share of international migrants today, yet many of these countries' development efforts do not benefit from strong diaspora ties.

The expansion of access to credit through microfinance—now a multibillion-dollar sector—has resulted in profound shifts across the developing world. This article, using Cambodia as its example, discusses the ways in which households are using microcredit in coordination with migration, and addresses critical questions about who benefits from these linkages—and what vulnerabilities they might create for migrants.

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About 65,000 immigrants serve across the U.S. military's four branches, and more than two-thirds are naturalized citizens. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines where these immigrants are from and the policies that grant them citizenship.

Spotlight on Mexican Immigrants April 2008 map

In 2006, more than 11.5 million Mexican immigrants resided in the United States, accounting for 30.7 percent of all US immigrants. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines the number of Mexican immigrants in the United States, their socioeconomic characteristics, where they live, and the size of the Mexican-born unauthorized population.

There were nearly 34 million temporary admissions to the United States in 2006, twice the number in 1990. MPI's Jeanne Batalova outlines the definition of nonimmigrants and takes a detailed look at admissions data and data limitations.

In 2006, about 271,000 foreign born of Pakistani origin were residing in the United States. MPI's Jeanne Batalova and Uriah Ferruccio examine the geographic distribution and socioeconomic characteristics of this population.

In 2006, nearly 15.2 million naturalized citizens were eligible to vote in the United States. MPI's Claire Bergeron and Jeanne Batalova examine naturalization trends.

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MPI's Dawn Konet and Julia Gelatt report on the Strive Act and a White House plan for immigration reform, the delay in implementing Real ID requirements, the Child Citizen Protection Act, and more.

MPI's Dawn Konet and Julia Gelatt report on postponement of Real ID Act requirements, Senator Barack Obama's citizenship bill, a passport exemption for U.S. and Canadian children, and more.

MPI's Julia Gelatt reports on immigration and integration funding in the 2008 budget, plans to raise immigration and naturalization application fees, reports of substandard conditions in immigrant detention facilities, and more.

Julia Gelatt reports on legislation plans of the new Congress, a proposal to revise and expand the Visa Waiver Program, the postponement of tracking visitor exits, the Swift & Co. raids, new cost estimates for a border fence, and more.

MPI’s Julia Gelatt reports on the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform in 2007, the role of immigration reform in the November elections, plans to raise fees for immigration benefits, the first phase of Boeing’s border control strategy, and more.

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