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

Border Security

CBPagent mexborder

In an era when countries are increasingly exposed to the opportunities and risks associated with the rising global movement of people, policymakers are rethinking approaches to border controls and border management. These policies and programs run the gamut—from facilitating legitimate mobility of people and trade to thwarting unauthorized movements, the latter a significant preoccupation in the post-9/11 era and as publics have become ever less accepting of unauthorized immigration. The research offered here examines the management of borders, enforcement policies and initiatives, and border security technologies.

Recent Activity

Immigrants arriving on a ferry near Ellis Island.
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
Flags of South American countries.
Articles
Image of female worker at the Boqueria market in Barcelona making a crepe
Commentaries
March 2024
By  Anna Terrón Cusí and Andrew Selee
President Joe Biden in Mexico City.
A naturalization ceremony at the White House.
Cover image for Lessons from COVID-19
Policy Briefs
March 2024
By  Meghan Benton and Lawrence Huang

Pages

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 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
Cover image for Outmatched: The U.S. Asylum System Faces Record Demands
Reports
February 2024
By  Kathleen Bush-Joseph
Cover image for The Mobility Key policy brief
Policy Briefs
February 2024
By  Samuel Davidoff-Gore

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.

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.

Flags of South American countries.

The South American immigrant population in the United States has grown at a faster rate than that of the overall foreign-born population, amid crises in Venezuela, Colombia, and elsewhere. Yet South Americans still account for only about one in ten U.S. immigrants. While they mirror the overall U.S. immigrant population in several demographic characteristics, there are some notable differences, as this article details.

President Joe Biden in Mexico City.

The U.S. immigration enforcement system increasingly depends on other countries to help halt irregular movements through the Americas and accept the return of unauthorized migrants. Foreign governments play a crucial and yet underappreciated role in migration management, and can either aid or frustrate U.S. border-control aims, as this article explores.

A naturalization ceremony at the White House.

Immigration touches on many facets of life in the United States. Get the facts with this useful resource, which compiles in one place answers to some of the most often-asked questions about immigration and immigrants in the United States now and historically. This article contains essential data on the immigrant population, immigration levels, trends in immigration enforcement, and much more.

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
CBP personnel process and screen migrants for possible entry into the U.S.
Commentaries
October 2023
By  Colleen Putzel-Kavanaugh and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
Vice President Kamala Harris participates in a DACA roundtable
Commentaries
September 2023
By  Jennifer Van Hook, Julia Gelatt and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
Photo of CBP One App poster at shelter in Reynosa, Mexico
Commentaries
April 2023
By  Doris Meissner, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto and Colleen Putzel-Kavanaugh
CBP agents process asylum seeker at El Paso, Texas port of entry
Commentaries
March 2023
By  Doris Meissner

Pages

Explainer IllegalImmigration Art
Explainers
April 2019

How has the size of the unauthorized population in the United States changed over time? How is illegal immigration changing, and where do unauthorized immigrants come from? This explainer answers basic questions about illegal immigration, the changing patterns from Mexico, and more.

World of Migration Ep 18 - Adhieu Achuil Kueth and Jackie Keegan.p
Expert Q&A, Audio
November 15, 2023

Travel documents play an important role in international mobility, and for refugees serve as an essential gateway to a world of opportunities, from pursuing education and employment to reuniting with family. This episode unpacks the complexities around travel documents and their pivotal role in refugees' livelihoods. 

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.

2023 Immigration Law and Policy Conference
Video
September 18, 2023

The 20th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by MPI, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center, features fresh, thoughtful policy and legal analysis, and discussion of some of the top immigration issues by leading government officials, attorneys, researchers, advocates, and other experts. 

Image of gavel resting on U.S. flag
Video
July 20, 2023

As the U.S. immigration court system struggles with record case backlogs, decisions take years, immigration enforcement is delayed, and wait times incentivize unauthorized arrivals. This discussion examines the factors that have driven the system to the point of crisis and possible fixes.

Expert Q&A, Audio
June 27, 2023

MPI Senior Policy Analyst Valerie Lacarte speaks with experts Bridget Wooding and Louby George about migration of Haitians to the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.

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.

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.

Articles

The South American immigrant population in the United States has grown at a faster rate than that of the overall foreign-born population, amid crises in Venezuela, Colombia, and elsewhere. Yet South Americans still account for only about one in ten U.S. immigrants. While they mirror the overall U.S. immigrant population in several demographic characteristics, there are some notable differences, as this article details.

Commentaries
March 2024

Spain and the United States both receive their greatest number of immigrants from Latin America, and have worked collaboratively together on displacement crises and other migration issues. As shared immigration challenges dominate debate on both sides of the Atlantic, Spain can serve as a vital bridge in the policy conversation, this commentary notes.

Articles

The U.S. immigration enforcement system increasingly depends on other countries to help halt irregular movements through the Americas and accept the return of unauthorized migrants. Foreign governments play a crucial and yet underappreciated role in migration management, and can either aid or frustrate U.S. border-control aims, as this article explores.

Articles

Immigration touches on many facets of life in the United States. Get the facts with this useful resource, which compiles in one place answers to some of the most often-asked questions about immigration and immigrants in the United States now and historically. This article contains essential data on the immigrant population, immigration levels, trends in immigration enforcement, and much more.

Policy Briefs
March 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic both shocked the global mobility system and reaffirmed the centrality and resiliency of human mobility. Four years on, public and political attention to COVID-19’s unprecedented consequences for cross-border movement has waned. Yet if countries are to manage mobility more effectively in future public-health crises, this is an important moment for reflection and learning, as this issue brief explores.

Pages