E.g., 12/10/2022
E.g., 12/10/2022
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 El relanzamiento del Programa de Menores Centroamericanos: Oportunidades para realzar la protección infantil y la reunificación familiar
Reports
December 2021
By  Mark Greenberg, Stephanie Heredia, Kira Monin, Celia Reynolds and Essey Workie
Cover image for Relaunching the Central American Minors Program: Opportunities to Enhance Child Safety and Family Reunification
Reports
December 2021
By  Mark Greenberg, Stephanie Heredia, Kira Monin, Celia Reynolds and Essey Workie
Cover image for The Complex Motivations and Costs of Central American Migration
Reports
November 2021
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Rossella Bottone, Jaret Waters, Sarah Williams, Ashley Louie and Yuehan Wang
Cover image for Medicaid Access and Participation
Policy Briefs
October 2021
By  Valerie Lacarte, Mark Greenberg and Randy Capps

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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.

A pile of documents on a desk.

President Joe Biden has made efforts to overhaul the U.S. immigration system, but could see his administration's agenda slowed by massive backlogs across the immigration system. Case application wait times and immigration court queues have swelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, slowing legal arrivals to the United States and undermining the entire immigration system.

A couple celebrating carnival at home.

South Americans make up a relatively small share of all U.S. immigrants. But their numbers have been growing in recent years and flows are diversifying, particularly with new arrivals from Venezuela. This article offers key statistics on the South American immigrant population in the United States.

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SNAP commentary USDA Flickr
Commentaries
August 2019
By  Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix and Mark Greenberg
MigrantCaravanMXCity2018_Wotancito_WikiCommons
Commentaries
July 2019
By  Andrew Selee, Silvia E. Giorguli-Saucedo, Claudia Masferrer and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
MigrantsTijuanaRiverBed_BBCWorldService2014
Commentaries
July 2019
By  Andrew Selee, Silvia E. Giorguli-Saucedo, Claudia Masferrer and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
DREAMERS Justin ValasFlickr
Commentaries
March 2019
By  Julia Gelatt
BorderWall CBP ManiAlbrecht
Commentaries
January 2019
By  Doris Meissner and Sarah Pierce
NationalGuardSouthernBorder
Commentaries
November 2018
By  Doris Meissner
UnauthorizedMethodologyCommentary Photo
Commentaries
September 2018
By  Julia Gelatt, Michael Fix and Jennifer Van Hook

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Video, Audio
November 2, 2021

This webinar examines how the pandemic upended school life, the challenges for high school English Learners (ELs), state- and district-level efforts that can help ELs recover academically and address mental health needs, and the results of new research on the postsecondary aspirations of immigrant-background Latina/o students following the pandemic. 

World of Migration Podcast Episode 4
Expert Q&A, Audio
October 29, 2021

The architecture of the U.S. legal immigration system rests on a 1965 law and was last significantly updated in 1990. While there is widespread agreement that the existing framework does not align with the needs and realities of the 21st century, Congress has proven unable to enact significant legislative reform over the past two decades. How have debates on immigration changed and is achieving bipartisan consensus on this highly charged issue possible today?

World of Migration podcast episode 3 tile
Expert Q&A, Audio
October 20, 2021

People on all sides of the policy debate largely agree that the current U.S. immigration system is broken. What should a 21st century immigration system that works in the national interest look like? And is this vision achievable amid current political realities?

World of Migration Episode 1
Expert Q&A, Audio
October 13, 2021

MPI co-founder Demetrios G. Papademetriou takes on many questions, including whether the role of think tanks has evolved over the last two decades, in this conversation with MPI’s Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan. They also look ahead to the challenges that will dominate immigration policymaking in the years ahead.

CCCM episode 13 tile
Expert Q&A, Audio
October 12, 2021

Global warming and extreme heat are behind many of the phenomena linked to climate change. Hotter weather also has an impact on migration and on migrants, ranging from destinations such as the Middle East to parts of the United States. In recent years, there has been more attention paid to cases of migrant workers dying from the heat.

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Recent Activity

Reports
June 2022

The number of people who work from home or another location other than a traditional office has been growing for decades, but the pandemic has accelerated this shift—with important implications for immigration policy. This report examines trends in remote work, challenges digital nomads and employers face when navigating immigration systems, and opportunities to adapt immigration policies to keep pace with changes in the world of work.

Video, Webinars
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.

Video, Audio, Webinars
June 14, 2022

This webcast presents research findings on temporary employment pathways for Central American migrants in Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Speakers offer an analysis of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Canada, the Border Worker Visa in Mexico, and Costa Rica’s Binational Agreement with Nicaragua, providing recommendations to improve these pathways and promote safe, orderly, and regular migration.

Commentaries
June 2022

La Declaración de Los Ángeles sobre Migración y Protección, firmada por los líderes de los países del hemisferio occidental al concluirse la Cumbre de las Américas, supone un importante paso progresivo en la creación de un lenguaje común y un coherente conjunto de ideas para gestionar, de forma cooperativa, los flujos migratorios en las Américas, una región que ha sido testigo de una gran movilidad en años recientes.

Articles

The adoption of immigration measures by state and local governments can affect the sense of belonging not just for immigrants but also for the U.S. born, with impacts on individuals’ wellbeing, their engagement with others, and political participation. As the number of subfederal immigration measures has proliferated in recent years, research suggests this growth could have wider-ranging repercussions than commonly understood.

Reports
June 2022

La migración irregular desde El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras se ha convertido en una de las principales características del panorama migratorio en Centroamérica y Norteamérica, pero existen pocas vías legales para los centroamericanos que se ven presionados a emigrar. Este informe explora cómo Canadá, México y Costa Rica podrían utilizar los programas de trabajo temporal existentes para ampliar las opciones de migración legal.

Reports
June 2022

Irregular migration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has become a dominant feature of the migration landscape in Central and North America, yet few legal pathways exist for Central Americans facing pressure to emigrate. This report explores how Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica could use existing temporary worker programs to expand legal migration options while also helping fill their labor shortages.

Commentaries
June 2022

The Los Angeles Agreement on Migration and Protection signed by leaders from 20 countries across the Western Hemisphere at the 2022 Summit of the Americas marks a significant step forward in creating a common language and a coherent set of ideas for more cooperatively managing migration movements across a region that has seen very significant mobility in recent years, as this commentary explains.

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