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The U.S. immigration system is notorious for persistent backlogs and antiquated processes. In recent months, under-the-radar changes have made a dent in the logjam and helped bring the system into the 21st century. But some pandemic-era changes are set to expire, potentially undoing the incremental reforms. This article details the quiet technological and efficiency improvements in U.S. immigration operations.
There is a deeper story behind the U.S. government's fiscal 2023 border encounters numbers than that the year marked a new record high. The pivot from the pandemic-era Title 42 expulsions policy and sharp diversification in nationalities have reshaped migrant arrivals unlike any year before. This commentary goes beyond the headlines to focus on the more enduring—and challenging—realities occuring at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The pandemic and move to remote learning affected students across the United States, and certain groups—including the nation’s 5 million English Learners (ELs)—were hit particularly hard. At the same time, the federal government made unprecedented investments in public K-12 education to counter the pandemic’s adverse impacts. This issue brief explores the ways school districts have invested these funds to support ELs.
El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have long histories of emigration, but are seeing increasing transit and return migration as well. This report explores the stories told within these three countries about migration in all its forms, how these narratives intersect with (and at times, contradict) each other, and how they influence policy decisions and public opinion.
The United States entered a new era with the end of the pandemic-era Title 42 expulsions policy. The government’s hopes of maintaining order at the U.S.-Mexico border post-Title 42 may be complicated by factors including authorities’ limited capacity, ongoing litigation, and cooperation from other countries. This article reviews the Biden administration's changing border policies and possible challenges ahead.
MPI's Lawrence Huang discusses COVID-19 mobility restrictions in China and the Asia Pacific—and what this all means for future public health crises—with Dr. Karen Grépin, a health policy professor at the University of Hong Kong.
The United States has seen notable declines in overall and child poverty since 2009, continuing even into the period of pandemic-driven economic upheaval. This issue brief takes a closer look at how these trends have played out for immigrants and their children, by citizenship status and race/ethnicity. It also explores factors that have contributed to these poverty declines.
Facing a dramatically different reality arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border with the end of a pandemic-era policy that resulted in more than 3 million expulsions, the Biden administration unveiled a policy vision that marries expanded legal pathways with stiff consequences for those seeking to enter without authorization. The strategy can succeed, but speedier while still fair border asylum decisionmaking must be an essential component, this commentary argues.
Nearly 2.8 million immigrants worked in the U.S. health-care sector in 2021, representing disproportionately high shares of physicians, surgeons, and home health aides. This article offers a demographic and socioeconomic profile of foreign-born workers in health care.
The labor shortages many countries are grappling with have reignited debates over the role immigration can and should play in meeting workforce needs—and how to balance this approach with investments in education and training, labor, and social policy. This brief explores these questions, plus opportunities for governments to refine how they factor shortages into economic immigration policies.
Pandemic-related U.S. policies have led to more than 2.6 million migrant expulsions at the U.S.-Mexico border, expanded public benefits to cover millions more U.S. residents, and offered free COVID-19 vaccines and treatment. Many of these policies are now likely to end as the Biden administration in May 2023 formally declares the pandemic to be over, although what comes next remains unclear.
Although nearly all countries adopted travel measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, national approaches have varied considerably and often been controversial. In many cases, decisionmakers failed to clearly communicate the rationale for using certain measures. This report looks at how governments and international organizations approached travel-related risk analysis, and what it would take to do this more strategically in future public-health emergencies.
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.
Migrant workers can pay a range of costs when they are recruited and relocate for jobs abroad, accruing significant debt. While many countries, international organizations, and other stakeholders have sought to reduce or eliminate recruitment costs, the pandemic has exacerbated and added to these expenses. This policy brief explores how the costs migrant workers face have changed, and what these developments mean for efforts to promote fair and ethical recruitment.
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.
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.
COVID-19 and restrictive policies from the Trump administration led to the most dramatic slowdown of temporary immigration to the United States in years, as fewer tourists, temporary workers, and international students arrived. This article reviews the trends in issuance of nonimmigrant visas and arrivals of temporary visitors, including the numbers issued annually over the past five years and the top countries of origin.
Disinformation and misinformation about migrants, refugees, and minority groups adapts to the shifting news cycle while also appealing to people’s pre-existing convictions and current worries. Events such as the war in Ukraine act as a catalyst, enabling coordinated groups to grab people’s attention, stoke fears, and in some cases even dictate political discourse. This article traces the long history of conspiracy theories around immigrants and how they spread today.
Digital innovations—including automatic verification of health and vaccination results—are reopening economies and global mobility while setting the standard for new ways of managing mobility and health that will outlast the pandemic. Dr. Pramod Varma, chief architect of India's COVID pass system, DIVOC; Dr. Edem Adzogenu, founder of the Afro Champions Initiative; and MPI's Lawrence Huang discuss these innovations on this episode of Moving Beyond Pandemic.
U.S. cities and towns have responded to COVID-19 in ways that are as diverse as the communities they aim to support. This report looks at how two very different locations—Worthington, MN, and the greater Houston area—incorporated immigrants into their relief efforts, through partnerships, strategic outreach, targeted assistance, and more. The report also highlights useful lessons for responses to future emergencies.