E.g., 06/21/2024
E.g., 06/21/2024
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

Immigrants arriving on a ferry near Ellis Island.
An immigrant from Rwanda serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Articles
Iraqis voting abroad from Jordan.
Cover image for Competing for Talent policy brief
Policy Briefs
April 2024
By  Kate Hooper and Ravenna Sohst
Cover image for The State of Global Mobility in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Reports
April 2024
By  Meghan Benton, Lawrence Huang, Jeanne Batalova and Tino Tirado
U.S. Border Patrol agents transporting migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border
Articles
Cover image for How Immigrants and Their U.S.-Born Children Fit into the Future U.S. Labor Market
Reports
April 2024
By  Jeanne Batalova, Julia Gelatt and Michael Fix
A returned migrant with his family in Bangladesh
Articles

Pages

Cover image for Competing for Talent policy brief
Policy Briefs
April 2024
By  Kate Hooper and Ravenna Sohst
Cover image for The State of Global Mobility in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Reports
April 2024
By  Meghan Benton, Lawrence Huang, Jeanne Batalova and Tino Tirado
Cover image for How Immigrants and Their U.S.-Born Children Fit into the Future U.S. Labor Market
Reports
April 2024
By  Jeanne Batalova, Julia Gelatt and Michael Fix
Cover image for Lessons from COVID-19
Policy Briefs
March 2024
By  Meghan Benton and Lawrence Huang
Cover image for Converging Crises
Reports
March 2024
By  Luisa Feline Freier, Andrea Kvietok and Leon Lucar Oba

Pages

Immigrants arriving on a ferry near Ellis Island.

The Immigration Act of 1924 shaped the U.S. population over the course of the 20th century, greatly restricting immigration and ensuring that arriving immigrants were mostly from Northern and Western Europe. The century-old law was one of the most restrictive in U.S. history and helped create the framework for key provisions of the U.S. immigration system that remain in place a century later. This article analyzes the effect and legacy of the 1924 law.

An immigrant from Rwanda serving in the U.S. Air Force.

Immigrants have served in the U.S. armed forces since the nation's founding. In recent years, a growing share of U.S. military veterans are immigrants, due to shrinking numbers of veterans overall and a rising number of foreign born. This article offers details about the composition of the immigrant population with U.S. military service.

Iraqis voting abroad from Jordan.

In recent decades, countries worldwide have expanded voting rights to their diasporas as well as certain resident noncitizens. Voting access in general has grown over time, as barriers based on sex, literacy, and other characteristics have fallen, and migrants' increasingly expansive rights to vote are part of that trend worldwide. This article provides a global overview of the dynamics.

U.S. Border Patrol agents transporting migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border

Once an obscure section of U.S. law, Title 42 was used to expel unauthorized migrants reaching U.S. borders nearly 3 million times from March 2020 to May 2023. Despite idealized depictions of its impact by some politicians, the order was largely ineffective in deterring irregular migration. Instead, it represented a dramatic break with decades of law providing protection to asylum seekers, as this article details.

A returned migrant with his family in Bangladesh

For a young country, Bangladesh has a complex migration history, with periods of forced migration during the partition of India and Pakistan as well as the 1971 war of independence. In recent years, labor emigration has proved a major economic boon to the country. This country profile reviews trends and the impact of emigration, with a particular focus on the effects of remittance sending and receipt.

Pages

Image of female worker at the Boqueria market in Barcelona making a crepe
Commentaries
March 2024
By  Anna Terrón Cusí and Andrew Selee
Image of EU and Member State flags flapping in wind
Commentaries
December 2023
By  Hanne Beirens and Camille Le Coz
A Haitian child looks over his mother's shoulder in Panama
Commentaries
October 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte
President Biden meets with DACA recipients
Commentaries
September 2023
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto and Julia Gelatt
Graphic image of man's hand touching screen with word skills
Commentaries
July 2023
By  Kate Hooper, Jeanne Batalova and Julia Gelatt
Photo of a teacher from Ukraine organizing activities for refugee children in Moldova
Commentaries
February 2023
By  Hanne Beirens, Lucía Salgado and Jasmijn Slootjes
Photo of a preschool teacher reading to students.
Commentaries
November 2022
By  Jacob Hofstetter, Alexis Fintland and Maki Park

Pages

Explainer_LegalImmigrationSystem Legal Immigration Pie_small
Explainers
April 2019

Through which visa categories can immigrants move temporarily or permanently to the United States? What are the main channels by which people come, and who can sponsor them for a green card? Are there limits on visa categories? And who is waiting in the green-card backlog? This explainer answers basic questions about temporary and permanent immigration via family, employment, humanitarian, and other channels.

Explainer WhoIsAnImmigrant Rotator
Explainers
February 2019

Who is an immigrant? Does that status change if, for example, a foreigner marries a native-born resident or serves in his or her adopted country's military? This explainer answers basic questions about international migrants—who they are, their top destinations, where they come from, how they are counted, and more.

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.

Secretary Antony J. Blinken meets with recently resettled Afghans and with staff members and volunteers from local refugee resettlement agencies
Video, Audio
November 30, 2023

Coordination and communication among key stakeholders in the resettlement network have never been more critical. This conversation focuses on how consultation supports capacity building and where it can, at times, fall short.

Twin sisters from Syria shared their experience of living in exile. -  Jesuit Refugee Service International
Video, Audio
November 14, 2023

With the Global Refugee Forum approaching, this webcast explores how municipalities and other key stakeholders can be engaged in informing and delivering on the 2024 resettlement and complementary pathways pledges. 

Expert Q&A, Audio
October 27, 2023

Former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff talks about the security implications of climate change and migration in this episode of the podcast Changing Climate, Changing Migration.

USDA language access services website screenshot
Video, Audio
October 11, 2023

White House and Department of Health and Human Services officials join a leading language access advocate and MPI's Margie McHugh in a conversation exploring executive-branch efforts related to language access provision, upcoming actions, and opportunities to improve the provision of information and services in languages other than English in federal programs.

Pages

Recent Activity

Articles

The Immigration Act of 1924 shaped the U.S. population over the course of the 20th century, greatly restricting immigration and ensuring that arriving immigrants were mostly from Northern and Western Europe. The century-old law was one of the most restrictive in U.S. history and helped create the framework for key provisions of the U.S. immigration system that remain in place a century later. This article analyzes the effect and legacy of the 1924 law.

Articles

Immigrants have served in the U.S. armed forces since the nation's founding. In recent years, a growing share of U.S. military veterans are immigrants, due to shrinking numbers of veterans overall and a rising number of foreign born. This article offers details about the composition of the immigrant population with U.S. military service.

Articles

In recent decades, countries worldwide have expanded voting rights to their diasporas as well as certain resident noncitizens. Voting access in general has grown over time, as barriers based on sex, literacy, and other characteristics have fallen, and migrants' increasingly expansive rights to vote are part of that trend worldwide. This article provides a global overview of the dynamics.

Policy Briefs
April 2024

In the global race for talent, governments in Europe and beyond are exploring ways to attract workers with needed skills. At the same time, some lower- and middle-income countries are seeking to expand their nationals’ access to economic opportunities abroad. This policy brief examines employment- and skills-based mobility projects that seek to facilitate the movement of workers with in-demand skills, including their unique value-add and common challenges.

Reports
April 2024

While human mobility globally has largely recovered from its pandemic-era drop, it is undergoing considerable change. The causes are diverse, from climate shocks and shifting economic conditions to conflict-induced displacement. This report explores how the scale and characteristics of cross-border movement are evolving post-pandemic, featuring case studies from different world regions.

Articles

Once an obscure section of U.S. law, Title 42 was used to expel unauthorized migrants reaching U.S. borders nearly 3 million times from March 2020 to May 2023. Despite idealized depictions of its impact by some politicians, the order was largely ineffective in deterring irregular migration. Instead, it represented a dramatic break with decades of law providing protection to asylum seekers, as this article details.

Reports
April 2024

The level of education and training expected of workers in the United States has increased considerably in recent decades, and this trend looks set to continue. This report explores the forces driving this change and how the education levels of immigrant-origin and other workers compare to those likely to be needed in the future U.S. workforce, overall and in key occupational groups.

Articles

For a young country, Bangladesh has a complex migration history, with periods of forced migration during the partition of India and Pakistan as well as the 1971 war of independence. In recent years, labor emigration has proved a major economic boon to the country. This country profile reviews trends and the impact of emigration, with a particular focus on the effects of remittance sending and receipt.

Pages