E.g., 06/24/2024
E.g., 06/24/2024
North America

North America

North America is a dynamic migration region, with the United States home to more immigrants than any other country in the world, the Mexico-U.S. corridor the globe's top migration corridor, and Canada a leading destination for migrants. Research collected here focuses on everything from visa policy and border management to immigrant integration, national identity, the demographics of immigrants in the region and their educational and workforce outcomes, and ways to more effectively use migration policy as a lever for national and regional competitiveness.

Recent Activity

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Cover image for The State of Global Mobility in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Reports
April 2024
By  Meghan Benton, Lawrence Huang, Jeanne Batalova and Tino Tirado
Cover image for How Immigrants and Their U.S.-Born Children Fit into the Future U.S. Labor Market
Reports
April 2024
By  Jeanne Batalova, Julia Gelatt and Michael Fix
Cover image for Supporting Immigrant and Refugee Families through IECMH Services
Policy Briefs
April 2024
By  Maki Park, Lillie Hinkle, Katherine Habben and Emma Heidorn
Cover image for A New Way Forward for Employment-Based Immigration
Policy Briefs
February 2024
By  Julia Gelatt and Muzaffar Chishti
Cover image for Outmatched: The U.S. Asylum System Faces Record Demands
Reports
February 2024
By  Kathleen Bush-Joseph
Cover image for Immigrants’ Eligibility for U.S. Public Benefits: A Primer
Reports
January 2024
By  Valerie Lacarte, Julia Gelatt and Ashley Podplesky
Cover image for Refining State Accountability Systems for English Learner Success
Reports
January 2024
By  Megan Hopkins, Pete Goldschmidt, Julie Sugarman, Delia Pompa and Lorena Mancilla
Cover image for Migration at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Reports
January 2024
By  Alan D. Bersin, Nate Bruggeman and Ben Rohrbaugh

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An immigrant from Iraq living in Michigan.

Immigration to the United States from the Middle East and North Africa is longstanding and multifaceted. Compared to other immigrants, those from the Middle East and North Africa are more likely to be proficient in English, have graduated college, and be a U.S. citizen. This article provides an overview of this population, more than one-quarter of which lives in the greater New York, Detroit, or Los Angeles areas.

Banderas de países sudamericanos.

La población inmigrante sudamericana en Estados Unidos ha crecido a un ritmo superior al de la población total nacida en el extranjero, en base a las crisis de Venezuela, Colombia y otros países. Aun así, los sudamericanos representan sólo uno de cada diez inmigrantes estadounidenses. Aunque se asemejan a la población inmigrante general de Estados Unidos en varias características demográficas, existen algunas diferencias notables, como se detalla en este artículo.

People in South Sudan fleeing conflict in Sudan.

The international humanitarian protection system built amid the ashes of World War II has come under increasing strain, as record numbers of people flee internationally and travel farther distances. New barriers to protection in destination countries have captured public attention, but governments are also experimenting with ways to offer sanctuary, which could signal a remaking of the global system, as this article explains.

Dancers at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

Mexico is the source of the world’s second-largest migrant population. In recent years the country has found itself at an unexpected crossroads: Managing the transit of growing numbers of asylum seekers and other migrants headed to the United States. Meanwhile, the Mexican-born population in the United States has declined significantly since 2010. This article provides an overview of the major trends and policies.

Immigrants arriving on a ferry near Ellis Island.

The Immigration Act of 1924 shaped the U.S. population over the course of the 20th century, greatly restricting immigration and ensuring that arriving immigrants were mostly from Northern and Western Europe. The century-old law was one of the most restrictive in U.S. history and helped create the framework for key provisions of the U.S. immigration system that remain in place a century later. This article analyzes the effect and legacy of the 1924 law.

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Image of female worker at the Boqueria market in Barcelona making a crepe
Commentaries
March 2024
By  Anna Terrón Cusí and Andrew Selee
CBP personnel process and screen migrants for possible entry into the U.S.
Commentaries
October 2023
By  Colleen Putzel-Kavanaugh and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
Vice President Kamala Harris participates in a DACA roundtable
Commentaries
September 2023
By  Jennifer Van Hook, Julia Gelatt and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
President Biden meets with DACA recipients
Commentaries
September 2023
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto and Julia Gelatt
Graphic image of man's hand touching screen with word skills
Commentaries
July 2023
By  Kate Hooper, Jeanne Batalova and Julia Gelatt

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Explainer IllegalImmigration Art
Explainers
April 2019

How has the size of the unauthorized population in the United States changed over time? How is illegal immigration changing, and where do unauthorized immigrants come from? This explainer answers basic questions about illegal immigration, the changing patterns from Mexico, and more.

Explainer_LegalImmigrationSystem Legal Immigration Pie_small
Explainers
April 2019

Through which visa categories can immigrants move temporarily or permanently to the United States? What are the main channels by which people come, and who can sponsor them for a green card? Are there limits on visa categories? And who is waiting in the green-card backlog? This explainer answers basic questions about temporary and permanent immigration via family, employment, humanitarian, and other channels.

Video, Audio
April 25, 2024

Speakers discuss the importance of infant and early childhood mental health services, highlighting approaches that have successfully connected immigrant and refugee families with beneficial and culturally relevant services. Speakers also offer recommendations to expand accessibility and responsiveness of these services.

Secretary Antony J. Blinken meets with recently resettled Afghans and with staff members and volunteers from local refugee resettlement agencies
Video, Audio
November 30, 2023

Coordination and communication among key stakeholders in the resettlement network have never been more critical. This conversation focuses on how consultation supports capacity building and where it can, at times, fall short.

USDA language access services website screenshot
Video, Audio
October 11, 2023

White House and Department of Health and Human Services officials join a leading language access advocate and MPI's Margie McHugh in a conversation exploring executive-branch efforts related to language access provision, upcoming actions, and opportunities to improve the provision of information and services in languages other than English in federal programs.

WoM-podcast-episode-tile
Expert Q&A, Audio
September 26, 2023

How is refugee resettlement evolving? As more countries turn to private or community sponsorship, MPI speaks with Erin Schutte Wadzinski, who leads one of the pioneering private sponsorship groups in Worthington, Minnesota, under the Welcome Corps initiative.

Video
September 18, 2023

The 20th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by MPI, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center, features fresh, thoughtful policy and legal analysis, and discussion of some of the top immigration issues by leading government officials, attorneys, researchers, advocates, and other experts. 

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Recent Activity

Reports
January 2024

All eyes are on the U.S.-Mexico border, where shifting migration trends and record migrant arrivals have stretched the U.S. border management system beyond its capabilities. As the Biden administration continues to implement its new regime of incentives for orderly arrivals and disincentives for unauthorized crossings, this report analyzes the rapidly changing policy and migration realities and outlines recommendations for a more effective, durable system of border control.

Commentaries
November 2023

The $13.6 billion border emergency supplemental spending bill the Biden administration is seeking lays out the elements for resourcing immigration functions to full capacity across the entire border enforcement system. Without resourcing the system across all its parts, including adjudications and management, no administration, present or future, will be able to effectively manage spontaneous border arrivals, this commentary argues.

Reports
July 2023

With a backlog of nearly 2 million cases, years-long wait times for decisions, and overwhelmed judges whose productivity has declined, the U.S. immigration court system is in urgent need of repair. This report examines the factors that have driven the courts to crisis. It then outlines recommendations that promise to advance the goal of delivering timely and fair decisions, and to support the health of the U.S. immigration system more broadly.

Commentaries
April 2023

Facing a dramatically different reality arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border with the end of a pandemic-era policy that resulted in more than 3 million expulsions, the Biden administration unveiled a policy vision that marries expanded legal pathways with stiff consequences for those seeking to enter without authorization. The strategy can succeed, but speedier while still fair border asylum decisionmaking must be an essential component, this commentary argues.

Commentaries
March 2023

The border asylum proposed rule the Biden administration unveiled in February represents a bid to save the U.S. asylum system, not shut it down, as some contend. Whether it can succeed, however, depends on how it is implemented and on other steps that are beyond the bounds of the proposed rule, as this commentary explains.

Commentaries
March 2022

Dating to the 1950s, Congress on multiple occasions has provided a direct path to permanent residence for Hungarians, Vietnamese, Cubans, and others fleeing upheaval in their countries. Given this precedent, this commentary suggests Congress should act to provide a more secure future for the more than 72,000 Afghans who were airlifted to the United States under an uncertain immigration status known as parole.

Reports
October 2021

Nearly two decades since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was founded in 2003, U.S. immigration governance is buckling from breakdowns in performance across key immigration components and partner agencies. This report advances ideas for DHS to fix its governance to manage immigration as a system, focusing on challenges in mission and structure, intra-DHS and interdepartmental collaboration, funding, and institutional culture.

Reports
August 2021

The U.S. immigration detention system is sprawling, expensive, and has long been criticized for its prisonlike conditions and health risks. The pandemic has brought these risks into even sharper focus. This report examines detention’s role in the U.S. immigration enforcement system and proposes a different approach centered on release with supervision and case management—tools that are less costly, more humane, and ensure compliance with immigration proceedings.

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