E.g., 06/20/2024
E.g., 06/20/2024
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

Cover image for Migration at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Reports
January 2024
By  Alan D. Bersin, Nate Bruggeman and Ben Rohrbaugh
A health worker from the Philippines.
Cover image for Expanding Protection Options?
Reports
January 2024
By  Andrew Selee, Susan Fratzke, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Luisa Feline Freier
President Joe Biden signs an executive order.
Articles
A celebration for the Feast of San Gennaro in New York's Little Italy
Articles
Cover image for Confronting Compassion Fatigue
Reports
January 2024
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, M. Murat Erdoğan and Lucía Salgado
Photo of returning Filipino migrant workers.
Articles

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Policy Briefs
October 2023
By  Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
Cover image for Green Reintegration
Policy Briefs
September 2023
By  Camille Le Coz and Ravenna Sohst
Cover imgage for ESSER brief
Policy Briefs
July 2023
By  Jazmin Flores Peña, Julie Sugarman and Lorena Mancilla
Cover image for Linking Migrant Reintegration Assistance ...
Policy Briefs
June 2023
By  Camille Le Coz and Ravenna Sohst
Cover image for Migration Narratives in Northern Central America
Reports
June 2023
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Aaron Clark-Ginsberg, Alejandra Lopez and Alejandro Vélez Salas

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A loan officer in Kenya.

Credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial services are often critical in order to fully participate in the modern world. Yet many refugees and other forced migrants have trouble obtaining these seemingly simple tools, preventing them from full integration. This article outlines humanitarian migrants’ needs for financial services and the barriers that can arise.

Image of USCIS employees at work

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.

A woman and child walk in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

Is climate change a major driver of migration and displacement? From where are people leaving, and where are they going? This informative primer, a Climate Migration 101 of sorts, provides answers to basic questions about climate change and migration, starting with how and where climate change triggers human movement.

A Haitian-American book fair in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood

The United States is the world’s top destination for Haitian migrants, who in recent years have fled an array of disasters and crises. Compared to other immigrant groups in the United States, the nearly 731,000 Haitians are more likely to be naturalized citizens, arrive through family-based pathways, and work in the service industry, as this data-rich article details.

A Syrian woman in Turkey

Turkey is home to the world’s largest refugee population, a fact that has been a source of pride, a geopolitical tool, and a logistical challenge. This article shows how the millions of Syrians who have arrived since 2011 comprise just one aspect of Turkey’s rich and complex migration history. The country has been a significant host, a transit point for individuals heading to Europe, and a source of migrant laborers.

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Commentaries
February 2021
By  Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
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Commentaries
February 2021
By  Doris Meissner and Sarah Pierce
HealthCare BrainWaste Commentary CDC
Commentaries
December 2020
By  Michael Fix, Jeanne Batalova and José Ramón Fernández-Peña
Covid SchengenBorderClosures Falk Lademann Flickr
Commentaries
August 2020
By  Hanne Beirens, Susan Fratzke and Lena Kainz
USCISBudgetWoes WikimediaCommonsGulbenk
Commentaries
June 2020
By  Sarah Pierce and Doris Meissner
Covid Mobility Commentary Flickr JensOlafWalter
Commentaries
May 2020
By  Meghan Benton
CoronavirusCommentary Art
Commentaries
March 2020
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Meghan Benton and Susan Fratzke
SeasonalWorkerCommentary ClausBunks Flickr
Commentaries
March 2020
By  Kate Hooper and Camille Le Coz

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Image of USCIS Director Ur Jaddou
Video, Audio
April 11, 2023

Marking the launch of MPI’s Global Skills and Talent Initiative, this webcast features senior policymakers and other experts discussing the extent to which labor market needs should shape future immigration policy decisions, and how countries are adjusting—and could adjust—their immigration systems to meet human capital and competitiveness needs.

Expert Q&A, Audio
March 30, 2023

How could humanitarian migrants with skills and experience use existing work or study visa pathways to fill labor market needs in destination countries? MPI’s Susan Fratzke speaks with Betsy Fisher, U.S. Director of the nonprofit Talent Beyond Boundaries, about complementary pathways as an innovative addition to refugee resettlement and asylum.

Expert Q&A, Audio
March 15, 2023

Investor visa programs have become popular for countries seeking to attract foreign investment and stimulate economic growth. But how exactly do these programs work, and what are the potential benefits and drawbacks? MPI’s Kate Hooper speaks with Madeleine Sumption, the director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, about the range of investment visa programs, applicants’ motives, and more.

Expert Q&A, Audio
February 2, 2023

Should countries extend legal protections to people displaced by climate change? This episode of Changing Climate, Changing Migration contemplates the merits of such an approach, featuring Ama Francis, a climate displacement project strategist with the International Refugee Assistance Project and Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

EU Migration and Home Affairs DG Pariat at MPI event
Video, Audio
December 13, 2022

Monique Pariat, the European Commission’s Director General for Migration and Home Affairs, spoke to the DC policy community on Europe’s rapid response to the Ukrainian displacement crisis, lessons learned, and considerations for future policies.

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Recent Activity

Expert Q&A, Audio
January 24, 2024

What can the rest of the world learn from climate migration legal experiments in the Pacific? This episode of the Changing Climate, Changing Migration podcast features insights from renowned legal scholar Jane McAdam, who directs the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW.

Reports
January 2024

Unauthorized migration at the U.S.-Mexico border has been a high-profile and politically divisive issue for decades. But as the nature of migration at the border has changed profoundly, U.S. policy responses have struggled to keep up. This report explores the changing nature of migration flows and migration policy at the border from the early 1990s until today, highlighting key lessons for contemporary policy-making.

Articles

Countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany are increasingly relying on immigrant health-care workers to fill gaps in their workforce and care for aging populations. That has created opportunities for many foreign-born doctors and nurses, but could harm their origin countries. This article examines the dynamics of global health-care worker migration, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reports
January 2024

The massive and rapid displacement of Syrians, Venezuelans, and Ukrainians presented neighboring countries with an impossible task: providing legal status and assistance, even though their asylum systems lacked the capacity to handle such a large influx. This report examines the costs and benefits of the flexible approaches taken to providing status in these three cases, identifying lessons for future crises.

Articles

In three years, President Joe Biden has surpassed the number of immigration-focused executive actions taken by the Trump administration throughout its entire four-year term, making his the most active U.S. presidency ever on immigration. Yet the Biden administration has been repeatedly accused of inaction at the U.S.-Mexico border, where record levels of migrant encounters have occurred. This article reviews the Biden track record on immigration.

Articles

One-tenth of all immigrants in the United States come from Europe, a vast decline from the mid-20th century, as migration within Europe has grown and more U.S. immigrants arrive from other destinations. This article provides an overview of contemporary European immigration to the United States, as a region and by top European countries of origin.

Reports
January 2024

Large-scale displacement can trigger instability and feelings of threat in refugee host countries. But in certain cases, it can also uncover deep wells of solidarity that create space for generous policy responses. This report explores factors that can foster and erode public support for forced migrants, drawing examples from attitudes towards Syrians in Turkey, Venezuelans in Colombia, and Ukrainians in Europe.

Articles

Fifty years after the birth of the Philippines' strategy to use emigration as a tool for development, the government is doubling down on labor migration. While deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) slumped during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the government and civil society pivoting to assist with return migration and reintegration for hundreds of thousands of Filipinos, emigration has since rebounded, as this article details.

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