E.g., 02/03/2023
E.g., 02/03/2023
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

A guest takes a photo at a Diwali reception at the White House.
Articles
A person walks with luggage in John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
Articles
Cover image for A Profile of Low-Income Immigrants in the United States
Fact Sheets
November 2022
By  Julia Gelatt, Valerie Lacarte and Joshua Rodriguez
Photo of a preschool teacher reading to students.
Commentaries
November 2022
By  Jacob Hofstetter, Alexis Fintland and Maki Park
Venezuelan migrants at a reception center in Brazil.
Articles

Pages

Cover image for The Missing Link
Reports
July 2022
By  Essey Workie, Lillie Hinkle and Stephanie Heredia
Cover image for Programas de trabajadores temporales en Canadá, México y Costa Rica
Reports
June 2022
By  Cristobal Ramón, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, María Jesús Mora and Ana Martín Gil
Cover image for Temporary Worker Programs in Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica
Reports
June 2022
By  Cristobal Ramón, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, María Jesús Mora and Ana Martín Gil
Cover image for COVID-19’s Effects on U.S. Immigration and Immigrant Communities
Reports
June 2022
By  Julia Gelatt and Muzaffar Chishti

Pages

A person walks with luggage in John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

Legal immigration to the United States fell to its lowest level in years during the COVID-19 pandemic, but preliminary data suggest it is returning to previous levels, belying predictions that the public-health crisis had allowed the Trump administration to make lasting, deep cuts. Yet the patterns have changed and persistent case processing backlogs could spell long-term problems, as this article explores.

Venezuelan migrants at a reception center in Brazil.

The Biden administration’s policy to expel some Venezuelan border arrivals to Mexico marks a significant reversal. For the first time, the U.S. government is invoking the controversial Title 42 expulsions policy not on public-health grounds but as an explicit immigration enforcement measure. The expulsions are being paired with a new humanitarian parole program for up to 24,000 Venezuelans. This article assesses the policy and the uneven treatment of humanitarian migrants by nationality.

A mariachi band performing in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Mexicans are by far the largest immigrant group in the United States, accounting for nearly one-fourth of all immigrants. However their numbers have been declining and in 2021 there were 1 million fewer than a decade ago. At the same time, despite years in which more new migrants came from China and India, Mexicans once again count as the largest group of new arrivals. This article outlines the changing shape and composition of this immigrant population.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks before a briefing on border security.

Operations by Texas, Florida, and Arizona to bus or fly asylum seekers and other migrants to Washington, DC, Martha's Vineyard, and other cities have succeeded in drawing attention to the unprecedented pace of U.S.-Mexico border arrivals. Described by some as political pawns, many migrants say the trips have upsides. Consequences aside, the transport of migrants by Republican governors raises the question whether a new era has begun: state-on-state fights over immigration.

A tourist takes a selfie in New York City.

COVID-19 and restrictive policies from the Trump administration led to the most dramatic slowdown of temporary immigration to the United States in years, as fewer tourists, temporary workers, and international students arrived. This article reviews the trends in issuance of nonimmigrant visas and arrivals of temporary visitors, including the numbers issued annually over the past five years and the top countries of origin.

Pages

Photo of woman walking around a school campus.
Commentaries
November 2021
By  Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
Photo of Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meeting with Afghan evacuees in Germany
Commentaries
September 2021
By  Mark Greenberg, Celia Reynolds and Essey Workie
Commentaries
June 2021
By  Melissa Lazarin and Jazmin Flores Peña
Bhutanese refugee sits on bed in family's apartment in New York
Commentaries
June 2021
By  Essey Workie, Mark Greenberg and Lillie Hinkle

Pages

Farmers working in a maize field framed with avocado plants in the village of San Lorenzo
Video
June 21, 2022

On this webinar, speakers discuss the main challenges faced by countries of origin and destination in ensuring mutual benefits through labor migration and strategies moving forward related to migration and development in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. 

Image of worker in corn field, checking corn
Video, Audio
June 14, 2022

Este seminario web, que presenta el lanzamiento de un informe, examina el potencial de Canadá, México y Costa Rica para expandir los programas de trabajadores temporales para los centroamericanos, ofreciendo un medio importante para convertir algunos flujos irregulares en flujos legales.

Image of Central American worker checking corn in cornfield.
Video, Audio
June 14, 2022

This webcast presents research findings on temporary employment pathways for Central American migrants in Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

The border area of Haquillas is home to several Venezuelans waiting of their documentation to be formally processed in order to enter in Peru regularly.
Video
June 9, 2022

On the sidelines of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, this event co-sponsored by MPI examines tools and concrete actions taken on regional migration governance, best practices and lessons learned, and the role of regional mechanisms to respond to migration and forced displacement.

Seeking the US border, many Central American migrants begin their journey in Mexico on 'La Bestia'
Video, Audio
May 24, 2022

Marking the release of a Migration Policy Institute report on possible protection pathways for Central Americans, this webcast offers analysis on regional resettlement and humanitarian channels and the opportunities and obstacles to expanding these programs, along with specific actions that the United States and Canada could take.

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Recent Activity

Expert Q&A, Audio
December 8, 2022

Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and researcher Justin Gest discuss the confluence of polarization, nationalism, and immigration, as well as how increasingly diverse societies come up with a new definition of "we".

Articles

Significant immigration from India to the United States began only after 1965, when the United States dropped national-origin quotas that favored Europeans. Today, Indians make up the nation's second largest foreign-born group. On average, they tend to be very well educated: 80 percent have a college degree and nearly half hold a graduate or professional degree. This article offers a useful sociodemographic profile of the Indian population.

Articles

Legal immigration to the United States fell to its lowest level in years during the COVID-19 pandemic, but preliminary data suggest it is returning to previous levels, belying predictions that the public-health crisis had allowed the Trump administration to make lasting, deep cuts. Yet the patterns have changed and persistent case processing backlogs could spell long-term problems, as this article explores.

Fact Sheets
November 2022

Immigrants in the United States experience strong economic mobility overall. But for some, limited educational attainment and English proficiency, and the challenges of restarting life in a new country, can result in low incomes and economic hardship. This fact sheet looks at the origins, states of residence, demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, and employment of low-income immigrants.

Commentaries
November 2022

Shortages of workers continue to plague early childhood education and care (ECEC) systems across the United States. With the field already struggling to effectively serve young children in families that speak languages other than English, apprenticeship programs offer a promising solution to bring more—and more multilingual—workers into early childhood careers.

Articles

The Biden administration’s policy to expel some Venezuelan border arrivals to Mexico marks a significant reversal. For the first time, the U.S. government is invoking the controversial Title 42 expulsions policy not on public-health grounds but as an explicit immigration enforcement measure. The expulsions are being paired with a new humanitarian parole program for up to 24,000 Venezuelans. This article assesses the policy and the uneven treatment of humanitarian migrants by nationality.

Reports
October 2022

There has been a flurry of digital activity in the asylum field since the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily halted protection operations, and it has led officials to rethink how everything from registration to case adjudication happens. But what does this increasing use of technology mean for the people and processes involved? This report explores this question, as well as the challenges of balancing technology’s potential benefits with measures to mitigate its risks.

Commentaries
October 2022

Los titulares enfocados en la cifra récord de 2,4 millones de migrantes encontrados en la frontera México-Estados Unidos durante el año fiscal 2022 encubren la historia más importante: Los flujos migratorios se han diversificado rápidamente más allá de México y el norte Centroamérica, y como resultado, las políticas de control migratorio son incongruentes con la realidad de hoy. Esto demuestra la evidente necesitad de nuevos enfoques regionales, argumenta este comentario.

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