E.g., 01/30/2023
E.g., 01/30/2023
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

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Cover image for Immigrants’ U.S. Labor Market Disadvantage in the COVID-19 Economy: The Role of Geography and Industries of Employment
Policy Briefs
September 2021
By  Randy Capps, Jeanne Batalova and Julia Gelatt
Cover image for Migration Management and Border Security: Lessons Learned
Policy Briefs
September 2021
By  Alan D. Bersin
Cover image for Refugee Resettlement and Complementary Pathways: Opportunities for Growth
Reports
September 2021
By  Susan Fratzke, Maria Belen Zanzuchi, Kate Hooper, Hanne Beirens, Lena Kainz, Nathan Benson, Eliza Bateman and Jessica Bolter
Cover image for Solidarity in Isolation? Social Cohesion at a Time of Physical Distance
Reports
July 2021
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Aliyyah Ahad
Cover image for Immigrant and Other U.S. Workers a Year into the Pandemic: A Focus on Top Immigrant States
Policy Briefs
June 2021
By  Julia Gelatt, Jeanne Batalova and Christopher Levesque

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Photo of U.S. President Joe Biden delivering remarks in front of 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.

A Dutch family at Ellis Island between 1915 and 1920.

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.

Migrants enrolled in the Migrant Protection Protocols are processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.

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.

New U.S. citizens take an oath during a naturalization ceremony.

More than half of all immigrants in the United States are naturalized citizens. The number of new naturalizations has fluctuated from year to year, hitting a decade-long low in fiscal year 2020, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic and rising processing times. This article provides information on naturalized citizens in the United States, including historical trends and socioeconomic characteristics.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers consult in New York City.

U.S. immigration arrests have declined to the lowest level in years. Going forward, new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement guidelines could further shape how authorities arrest and deport unauthorized immigrants and noncitizens who have committed crimes. This article describes how the Biden administration prosecutorial discretion guidance marks a sharp turn from the approach taken by the Trump administration.

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Video, Audio
June 16, 2021

MPI experts discuss a framework describing the most critical elements that should be included in standardized, comprehensive DLL identification and tracking processes for early childhood systems, based on program and policy needs.

Video, Audio
April 21, 2021

MPI analysts discuss their analysis comparing key sociodemographic characteristics of immigrant and U.S.-born parents of young and school-age children, along with the two-generational implications of these findings.

Video, Audio
April 15, 2021

This report release event examines migration management in Mexico and Central America, and the growing government attention to migration functions, enhanced immigration enforcement, increased investments in asylum systems and existing protection frameworks, as well as labor migration policies.

2021.4.8 IOM Muse Mohammed Syrian Refugees Leaving Lebanon   Covid
Video, Audio
April 8, 2021

Marking the release of an IOM-MPI report, this two-panel discussion, features introductory remarks by IOM Director General António Vitorino and examines how the pandemic has reshaped border management and human mobility in 2020 and what the lasting impacts may be throughout 2021 and beyond.

changing climate changing migration podcast episode 9 tile
Expert Q&A, Audio
March 26, 2021

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have left Central America in recent years, and climate extremes have been identified as one of the factors that might be driving this movement, along with elements such as political instability and violence.

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Recent Activity

Reports
June 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic recession have affected the lives of all U.S. residents, but immigrants have been among the hardest hit, with evidence of disproportionately high rates of death as well as a particularly high spike in unemployment. This report takes a look back at how the COVID-19 crisis has affected U.S. immigration policies and levels and the country’s immigrant communities.

Video, Audio, Webinars
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.

Video, Audio, Webinars
May 17, 2022

Marking the release of a report examining the assessment of English Learner (EL) students after pandemic-induced disruptions, this webinar examines ELs’ learning experiences during the 2020-21 academic year and their performance and participation in statewide testing, and how schools are using data to inform interventions and instruction this year. 

Articles

A recent uptick in the number of unauthorized migrants attempting to reach the United States by sea has been largely overshadowed by tensions on the southwest border but serves as an echo of eras past. This article explains why migrant interdictions have risen to recent highs, especially among Cubans and Haitians.

Policy Briefs
May 2022

Para la mayoría de las personas centroamericanas que se ven forzadas a abandonar sus hogares, viajar a México o Estados Unidos para solicitar refugio o asilo es la única opción para buscar protección internacional. A la fecha, el reasentamiento de personas refugiadas ha sido utilizado de manera limitada en la región. Este informe explora el papel que el reasentamiento y otras vías de protección humanitarias desempeñan en atender estas necesidades.

Video, Audio, Webinars
May 10, 2022

Marking the launch of an IOM-MPI report, this webcast examines the state of mobility across world regions into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic—what travel restrictions remain, what policy adaptations have occurred, and how do systems improve for the next public-health crisis.

Policy Briefs
May 2022

For most Central Americans forced to flee their homes, traveling to Mexico or the United States to apply for asylum is their only option to seek international protection. To date, refugee resettlement has been used only sparingly in the region. This brief explores what role resettlement and other humanitarian pathways play in meeting these protection needs, and whether and how they could be scaled up.

Articles

The population of sub-Saharan African immigrants in the United States is relatively small, but it has grown substantially over the last four decades and is likely to continue to increase. This group of 2.1 million people is highly diverse, including individuals with a range of ethnic, linguistic, and other backgrounds, as this article explains.

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