E.g., 08/08/2020
E.g., 08/08/2020

Immigration Policy & Law

Immigration Policy & Law

Immigration legislative and administrative policies, legal statutes and court decisions, and regulations collectively shape nations' immigration systems—from visa allotments and immigrant-selection mechanisms to immigrant integration programs, border controls, and more. As international migration has increased in size and spread and as a number of nations are more flexibly adjusting their immigration systems, the research offered here examines the many permutations of immigration policy and law, often with a comparative lens.

Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
April 2017
By Faye Hipsman and Doris Meissner
Commentaries
March 2017
By Elizabeth Collett and Meghan Benton
Articles
Policy Briefs
March 2017
By Sarah Pierce and Doris Meissner
Reports
March 2017
By Dovelyn Rannveig Mendoza and Guntur Sugiyarto
Reports
March 2017
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Meghan Benton, and Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan

Pages

Reports
February 2012
By Randall Hansen
Policy Briefs
December 2011
By Kate Brick
Reports
December 2011
By Christal Morehouse and Michael Blomfield
Reports
November 2011
By Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
Reports
October 2011
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Madeleine Sumption
Reports
October 2011
By Kathleen Newland

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After years of gridlock, increasing pressure from immigrant advocates, and several delays in 2014, President Obama announced sweeping executive actions to provide deportation relief to as many as 5.2 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States. The plan sparked a political firestorm among Republicans who vowed to use all tools at their disposal to block the actions, ensuring that immigration will continue to be a flashpoint for the remainder of the president's term.

Fears regarding the spread of the deadly Ebola virus following an outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone prompted governments around the world to regulate travel from and within West Africa. Travel bans, airport health screenings, closed borders, and traveler quarantines were among the policies implemented. International organizations argue such restrictions drive possibly symptomatic travelers to illegally bypass borders and encourage dishonesty in the exit screening process.

Mass cases of exploitation and abuse of migrant workers have drawn international scrutiny and criticism of the kafala system in Gulf Cooperation Council countries and private recruitment practices in Southeast Asia. With Qatar under scrutiny amid a frenzied construction boom in advance of the 2022 World Cup, international organizations and human-rights groups in 2014 stepped up their campaign for worker protection reforms.

Increasing numbers of Westerners heading to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist organizations like ISIS have governments concerned about possible attacks at home by returning fighters. Several thousand fighters from Europe and other Western countries are believed among the foreign nationals involved in conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Lawmakers scrambled in 2014 to respond with new policies, including seizing passports, stripping citizenship, and criminalizing travel to "no go" zones.

In recent years emigration from Mexico has declined, the country's stable economy has drawn an increasing number of international migrants, and the pace of transmigration to the United States has quickened. Amid these changing realities, punctuated by a spike in migration of unaccompanied minors from Central America in 2014, Mexico is confronting a new role as migration manager: balancing increasing enforcement and protection of migrants' rights.

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Recent Activity

Audio
April 24, 2017

As the 100-day milestone for the Trump administration approaches, MPI's Doris Meissner and Muzaffar Chishti are joined by the former Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Julie Myers Wood, and former DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning C. Stewart Verdery for a discussion of the administration's track record to date on immigration, the policies articulated in its executive orders, legal challenges, reactions by publics and policymakers, and the possible long-term effects of these policies.

Video, Audio, Webinars
April 12, 2017

Public anxiety about immigration and the fast pace of social change has reached a boiling point in many parts of Europe, contributing (in part) to the ascent of populist far-right parties. This discussion focuses on how the French election is unfolding, what we can learn from Brexit and the Dutch elections, and what these results portend (if anything) for the next round of political contests in Europe. Experts consider how governments can manage broader public concerns about rapid social change, economic opportunity, and security in ways that can reduce public anxiety over immigration and restore the public's trust. 

Policy Briefs
April 2017

On January 25, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order laying out a series of border enforcement mandates, including constructing a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and expanding the use of expedited removal. This brief summarizes and analyzes key provisions of the executive order and accompanying Department of Homeland Security implementation guidance, comparing them to earlier policy and practice.

Commentaries
March 2017

As the process of removing the United Kingdom from the European Union gets underway, the rights of the 1.2 million UK citizens or “Brexpats” who have chosen to live in one of the 27 other EU countries have been largely overshadowed. This MPI Europe commentary explores some of the many complexities ahead in negotiating rights for these individuals in a post-Brexit world.

Articles

One of the most rapidly aging societies in the world, Japan is looking to immigration to address increased labor shortages—albeit slowly and largely without public debate. This country profile offers a brief overview of Japan’s migration history and examines the current immigration system, in particular policies and programs to bring in foreign workers, particularly on a temporary basis.

Policy Briefs
March 2017

This brief examines President Trump's revised executive order issued in March 2017, replacing an earlier legally contested version suspending travel from certain majority-Muslim countries and pausing the U.S. refugee resettlement program. The brief compares the revised executive order to provisions of the original one, as well as to prior policy and practice.

Reports
March 2017

While it has been years since the Association of Southeast Asian Nations signed accords to facilitate the movement of professionals in seven occupations, implementation of these Mutual Recognition Arrangements remains "painfully slow and uneven across countries." This final report in an MPI-Asian Development Bank series explores MRA implementation by sector, and offers recommendations to help achieve the goal of greater skill mobility in Southeast Asia.

Reports
March 2017

This Transatlantic Council Statement explores the integration questions that the recent refugee and migration crisis in Europe has brought to the fore and their effect on broader governance structures for managing migration. As the immediate pressures have abated, policymakers have refocused their energies on preventing the next crisis and ensuring that newcomers—and the communities in which they settle—have the tools to thrive.

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