E.g., 10/21/2020
E.g., 10/21/2020

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

Commentaries
January 2017
By Kathleen Newland and T. Alexander Aleinikoff
Articles
Articles

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Reports
September 2009
By Donald M. Kerwin and Serena Yi-Ying Lin
Reports
July 2009
By Doris Meissner and Marc R. Rosenblum
Reports
July 2009
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Doris Meissner, Marc R. Rosenblum, and Madeleine Sumption
Reports
June 2009
By Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan
Reports
June 2009
By Randy Capps, Michael Fix, Margie McHugh, and Serena Yi-Ying Lin
Reports
June 2009
By Michael Fix and Margie McHugh
Reports
June 2009
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Madeleine Sumption, and Will Somerville

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Haitian immigrants

Between 1990 and 2012, the U.S. population of immigrants born in Haiti tripled in size, from 200,000 to 606,000. This article provides the most up-to-date demographic information available for Haitian immigrants in the United States, including statistics on distribution by state and metro area, educational and professional attainment, income levels, health care coverage, and more.

Marshallese watch a jepta dance competition

Approximately one-third of the population of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, a series of islands and atolls in the Pacific, has relocated to the United States, with Hawaii, Guam, and Arkansas key destinations. Lack of economic and employment opportunities are among the leading factors that have prompted this migration. Access to education and health care, which are critically important for a population that has reduced life expectancy and significant negative health indicators, also represent key factors.

The U.S. immigrant population—estimated at 40.8 million in 2012 — is the nation’s historical numerical high, and it is also the largest foreign-born population in the world. About 20 percent of all international migrants reside in the United States, even as the country accounts for less than 5 percent of global population. This article presents the latest, most sought-after data on immigrants in the United States—by origin, residence, legal status, deportations, languages spoken, and more—in one easy-to-use resource.

In a decision that received little notice, the Supreme Court in mid-March declined to review federal appellate decisions that struck down controversial local immigration ordinances in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and Farmers Branch, Texas—bringing to a close a contentious chapter in immigration litigation. This article also explores President Obama’s decision to order a review of deportation policies, Chile’s admission into the Visa Waiver Program, and more.
The small window for enactment of a major U.S. immigration overhaul during 2014 seems to have closed. A trial balloon testing House Republicans’ willingness to proceed this year was quickly floated and dropped. Amid a focus on politics and timing, less noted was the reality that for the first time, House Republican leaders have affirmed support for a policy that would move the party closer to compromise over the most vexing question holding up immigration reform: what to do with the nation’s unauthorized immigrants.

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Recent Activity

Commentaries
February 2017

A draft executive order apparently under consideration by the Trump administration could have widespread chilling effects for legal immigrants—both those already in the United States as well as prospective ones who seek to reunify with U.S. relatives. It proposes restricting green cards for low-income immigrants and making legal permanent residents more vulnerable to deportation if they use federal means-tested public benefits.

Commentaries
January 2017

The executive order halting the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days and cutting refugee placements has identified a singularly unsuitable target. None of the more than 3 million refugees who have entered the United States through the resettlement program has killed anyone in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Singling out refugees is a classic case of blaming the victim and will not make America safer, as this commentary explores.

Video, Audio
January 27, 2017

As the Trump administration assumes office and the DACA program faces an uncertain future, University of California President Janet Napolitano; Donald Graham, cofounder of TheDream.Us; and Ike Brannon, Visiting Fellow at the CATO Institute join MPI's Doris Meissner for a discussion on the possible impacts of rescinding DACA, particularly in the areas of higher education, philanthropy, and the economy.  

Articles

President Obama faced criticism over his administration's handling of immigration enforcement from both the left and the right, labeled "deporter in chief" even as he was also accused of lax enforcement. A closer examination of his administration's record paints a more nuanced picture. This article explores how immigration enforcement practices shifted to achieve two key goals over the course of the Obama era.

Commentaries
January 2017

The Obama administration has taken a bold action to end the decades-old "wet foot, dry foot" policies that have for too long drawn Cubans to the United States in dangerous ways and sizeable numbers. The time has come when building a more normal U.S.-Cuba relationship must include updating migration and immigration policies to reflect today's realities, as this commentary by MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner explains.

Articles

More than 18,000 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the United States since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011. Nearly half of Syrian refugees are under age 14, and this population is more dispersed geographically across the country than the overall Syrian immigrant population. This article offers a demographic profile of Syrian refugees, including age, gender, language, and religion, as well as top state and city destinations.

Articles

More than 1 million international students were in the United States in 2015-16, a significant share of them in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) fields. While countries increasingly are vying for this population, these individuals face a complex choice upon graduation: to stay or leave? This article examines international STEM students in the United States and the motivations underlying their postgraduation plans.

Commentaries
December 2016

As states work to build high-quality early childhood systems and implement the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), having detailed knowledge of the characteristics of immigrant parents can help maximize the effectiveness of programs that seek to improve child and family outcomes, as this commentary explains.

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