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United States

United States

Historically a nation of immigrants, the United States is home to nearly 44 million immigrants, who represent 13.5 percent of the total population and play a key role in the economic, civic, and cultural life of the country. The research collected here covers many facets of immigration to the United States, by the numbers and how immigrants fare in the country's classrooms and workplaces, the policies and regulations that shape the admission of new immigrants, the enforcement programs and polices in place at U.S. borders and within the interior, and integration policies and efforts taking place in local communities, in states, and at the federal level.

Recent Activity

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Reports
August 2014
By Jeanne Batalova, Sarah Hooker, and Randy Capps
Reports
April 2014
By Marc R. Rosenblum and Doris Meissner
Reports
March 2014
By Sarah Hooker, Michael Fix, and Margie McHugh
Reports
January 2014
By Randall Hansen and Demetrios G. Papademetriou
Reports
December 2013
By Madeleine Sumption, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, and Sarah Flamm

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Policy Briefs
February 2003
By Elizabeth Grieco
Policy Briefs
June 2002
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Deborah W. Meyers

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Online Journal

Owing to their uniquely preferential treatment under U.S. immigration law, Cubans for decades have been among the largest immigrant groups in the United States. In 2016, nearly 1.3 million Cubans lived in the United States. This Spotlight provides a data snapshot of this immigrant group, which is highly concentrated in Florida, significantly older than the overall U.S. population, and less likely to be proficient in English.

Online Journal

The Trump administration has released a list of hardline immigration demands—including border wall funding, restrictions on federal grants to “sanctuary” cities, and cuts to legal immigration—in exchange for legislation protecting DREAMers. This article examines the prospects for these proposals and more broadly for a legislative fix to resolve the status of unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as children.

Online Journal

The Chinese represent the third-largest immigrant population in the United States, their numbers having grown rapidly in recent decades. The population is atypical in some respects: Far more highly educated and likely to have come via student and employment pathways than the overall U.S. foreign-born population. This article offers key data on Chinese immigrants, including top destinations, incomes, and English proficiency.

Online Journal

The Trump administration’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) deportation-relief program launched in 2012 has sparked new urgency to find a longer-term fix for "DREAMers," the unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as children. This Policy Beat article examines movement in the courts and in Congress on the DREAM Act and similar proposals, exploring likely paths forward.

Online Journal

The changing nature of conflict has brought an uptick in gender-based violence in war-torn countries, with instances of rape particularly common in conflict zones. While many women leave their countries to escape such violence, setting off on the journey is no guarantee of safety, as they are vulnerable to further gender-based abuse in transit and at destination. This article explores the rates of gender violence among refugee, asylee, and migrant women, and examines supports available to survivors in the United States.

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Recent Activity

Commentary
December 2017

The debate over the future of DACA participants and the passage of legislation to legalize them and a broader cohort of DREAMers features a number of arguments pro and con. Opposition centers in part on the premise of widespread labor market competition between DREAMers and the U.S. born, particularly minorities. But as as this commentary explains, analysis shows that the case is a weak one.

Commentary
November 2017

Amid growing calls for Congress to pass DREAM Act-type legislation, critics are arguing that legalization would spur vast new "chain migration" because DREAMers could eventually sponsor their relatives for green cards. MPI estimates the numbers who could receive legal permanent residence as a result of sponsorship by DREAMers would be far lower, for a range of reasons explained in this commentary.

Fact Sheets
November 2017

An average of 915 DACA recipients every day will lose their work authorization and protection from deportation once the phaseout of the program moves into full force in spring 2018, MPI estimates. This fact sheet also offers U.S. and state estimates of the school enrollment and educational attainment, workforce participation, and industries and occupations of employment for the nearly 690,000 current DACA holders.

Video, Audio, Webinars
November 2, 2017

Marking the release of an MPI report, this webinar explores some of the responses made by school districts to bring immigrant and refugee newcomer students up to speed in English and basic academic skills, all while focused on the educational system’s ultimate goal of high school completion with the skills necessary for today’s college and career demands. The discussion focuses on how schools create and expand systems around the identification of students’ immediate and ongoing academic and socioemotional needs, and how they design programs and curricular pathways to balance these needs with state policy constraints. 

Reports
November 2017

Immigrant and refugee students who arrive in the United States during their secondary school years face daunting hurdles as they seek to juggle learning a new language and culture while also trying to quickly close knowledge gaps and get on track to pass the coursework required to graduate high school. This report explores effective program models and services developed by school districts to support newcomer students.

Fact Sheets
October 2017

2017 saw the introduction of several bills—two of them by Senate Republicans in the weeks following the Trump administration’s announcement that it would terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—that would provide a pathway to conditional and then legal permanent residence to unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as children, if they meet a range of edu

Video, Audio, Webinars
October 12, 2017

Dual Language Learners (DLLs) now make up nearly one-third of all children ages 8 and under in the United States, and on this webinar, MPI analysts outline key findings from a national demographic and policy profile and series of state fact sheets highlighting characteristics of the growing DLL population and the policy context they encounter in state early childhood education and care (ECEC) systems. Panelist discuss the implications for the ECEC programs and systems that seek to provide equitable access and quality for DLLs, and highlight California's response to the growing population of DLLs in the ECEC system. 

Fact Sheets
October 2017

With the Trump administration having announced the end of the DACA program, Congress is facing growing calls to protect unauthorized immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. This fact sheet examines DREAM Act bills introduced in Congress as of mid-2017, offering estimates of who might earn conditional legal status—and ultimately legal permanent residence—based on educational, professional, and other requirements in the legislation.

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