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

Cover image for Four Strategies to Improve Community Services for Unaccompanied Children in the Unit
Policy Briefs
December 2022
By  Jonathan Beier, Lauren Farwell, Rhonda Fleischer and Essey Workie
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

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coverthumb_biden starting gate
Policy Briefs
November 2020
By  Doris Meissner and Michelle Mittelstadt
Coverthumb DataMatters2018
Reports
November 2020
By  Jeanne Batalova, Andriy Shymonyak and Michelle Mittelstadt
coverthumb_future work us
Reports
October 2020
By  Julia Gelatt, Jeanne Batalova and Randy Capps
coverthumb_io students factsheet
Fact Sheets
October 2020
By  Jeanne Batalova and Miriam Feldblum
Educating English Learners during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Policy Ideas for States and School Districts
Policy Briefs
September 2020
By  Julie Sugarman and Melissa Lazarin

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A woman in Italy is vaccinated before travel in 1951.

Requirements that international travelers and migrants prove vaccination against certain diseases are about as old as vaccines themselves. In some cases, vaccine certificates predated the existence of government-issued passports. This article explores the history of these requirements, which began with smallpox and have since been applied for diseases including cholera, polio, yellow fever, and, recently, COVID-19.

U.S. Border Patrol agents prepare to transport unauthorized migrants to Mexico under Title 42.

The United States’ controversial Title 42 migrant expulsions policy will come to an end in May 2022, after more than 1.7 million expulsions over two years. The COVID-19-era public-health restriction ushered in an unprecedented period of mass expulsions, including of would-be asylum seekers, at the U.S.-Mexico border. Unwinding the policy will be complicated amid predictions of a significant increase in unauthorized migration.

A word cloud showing terminology used to refer to people crossing borders.

What’s in a name? Terms used to refer to people crossing international borders are frequently debated and often evolve, amid efforts to shape the narrative and changing political realities. This article explores the history and evolving use of terms such as "migrant," "refugee," "illegal immigrant," "unauthorized immigrant," and more.

An image of an immigration boarding line.

Need information about U.S. immigration trends or the makeup of the country's immigrant population? This useful, stats-rich article answers the most common questions about the size, shape, and changing nature of the U.S. foreign-born population. It also offers data on immigration enforcement actions, backlogs, and other elements of the U.S. immigration system.

A construction crew works on a wall the U.S.-Mexico border.

The number of border walls globally has multiplied at a rapid clip, from fewer than five at the end of World War II to more than six dozen now, with more under construction. Most of the world's border fortifications have been built since the turn of the millennium, and are intended to accomplish a range of functions. This article charts the remarkable growth and normalization of border walls globally.

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flickr KOMUnews Columbia School Board to Discuss English Language Learners Program
Video, Audio
February 12, 2020

Experts share how states have approached Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation, areas where the law and state efforts to support English Learners can be improved, and findings from the compendium, The Patchy Landscape of State English Learner Policies under ESSA. 

flickr Seattle OIRA August 2015 Ready to Work Graduation Celebration Credit Nate Gowdy Photography
Video, Audio
January 23, 2020

On this webinar, experts and state refugee resettlement program leaders discuss activities that can be key parts of a broader strategy for sustaining and improving employment services for refugees, including partnerships with experts in workforce development strategies, access to federal workforce development funding, and other policies and resources.

EVENT PHOTO 2019.10.7.2 Law and Policy Conference
Video, Audio
October 7, 2019

With immigration a central plank of the Trump administration, the 16th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, held in October 2019, featured analysis by top experts regarding changing policies at the U.S.-Mexico border, narrowing of asylum, cooperation with migrant-transit countries, and actions that could reduce legal immigration, including revisions to the public-charge rule.

Flickr SweetwaterISDCowen Early Childhood CenterNationalTeddyBearDay
Video, Audio
August 28, 2019

Marking a policy brief's release, this webinar explores the promise of home visiting services that support new parents alongside their infants and toddlers, plus strategies for improving how these programs work with immigrant and linguistically diverse families.

Andrew Selee and Jason DeParle
Video, Audio
August 20, 2019

Marking the launch of New York Times reporter Jason DeParle's book tracing the arc of migration and its impacts through the life of an extended family of Filipino migrants over a three-decade period, from Manila and through Dubai to the Houston area, this conversation with MPI's Andrew Selee and the World Bank's Dilip Ratha explores migration at both a global and very personal level.

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Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
December 2022

For unaccompanied children leaving federal custody to live with parents or other sponsors, the transition into U.S. communities can be a difficult one. And although a patchwork of services exist to help these children and to address medical, mental health, and other needs, their capacity varies widely by location. This issue brief explores promising practices for improving these critical forms of support.  

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.

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