E.g., 03/08/2021
E.g., 03/08/2021

Citizenship & Civic Engagement

Citizenship & Civic Engagement

Citizenship brings many benefits to immigrants and to their country of settlement, and represents a dynamic policy vehicle for promoting the political incorporation of immigrants and, by extension, their more complete integration. Naturalization allows immigrants to participate fully in the civic life of their new country, and is a powerful symbolic gesture of their commitment to their host society. The research collected here examines citizenship policies in a number of countries, the economic effects of citizenship, dual citizenship, citizenship by descent or birth in the territory, and the application and processing of citizenship applications.

Recent Activity

Immigration Data Matters
Reports
November 2020
By  Jeanne Batalova, Andriy Shymonyak and Michelle Mittelstadt
Designing Civic Education for Diverse Societies
Reports
February 2018
By  Per Mouritsen and Astrid Jaeger
British and EU flags
Commentaries
November 2017
By  Julia Gelatt and Randy Capps
Citizenship ceremony in Edmonton
In Search of Common Values amid Large-Scale Immigrant Integration Pressures
Reports
June 2017
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Meghan Benton
A father and son wave flags at the Estonian Song Festival in Tallinn.

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Signed into law 50 years ago, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 had several unintended consequences that have had a profound effect on the flow of immigrants to the United States and contributed to the transformation of the U.S. demographic profile. This Policy Beat explores the law's lasting impact and lessons for policymaking today.

While many countries are increasing engagement with their diasporas, U.S. policy has chiefly focused on U.S.-based diasporas from other countries, despite its own estimated overseas population of 7.6 million. This feature explores results from a survey of more than 1,400 U.S. citizens and 140 former citizens living abroad, many of whom are critical of limited U.S. government engagement with them even as restrictive financial reporting regulations have been imposed.

An estimated 41.3 million immigrants lived in the United States in 2013, about 13 percent of the total U.S. population, constituting the world's largest foreign-born population. This Spotlight from MPI's Jie Zong and Jeanne Batalova offers the most current and sought-after data on immigrants in the United States—including origin, educational attainment, the unauthorized, deportations, and more—in one easy-to-use resource.

The U.S. immigrant population—estimated at 40.8 million in 2012 — is the nation’s historical numerical high, and it is also the largest foreign-born population in the world. About 20 percent of all international migrants reside in the United States, even as the country accounts for less than 5 percent of global population. This article presents the latest, most sought-after data on immigrants in the United States—by origin, residence, legal status, deportations, languages spoken, and more—in one easy-to-use resource.

In recent years, many governments have tightened their citizenship requirements as a way to promote better immigrant integration. In examining citizenship policy in the United States, Canada, and countries in the European Union, this article considers the balance policymakers face between requirements that may be too difficult for immigrants to meet and ones that will better help them find success in their new countries of residence.

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Recent Activity

Reports
November 2020

This useful online guide links users directly to the most credible, high-quality data on immigrants and immigration in the United States and internationally. The easy-to-use guide includes more than 250 data resources compiled by governmental and nongovernmental sources, covering topics ranging from population stock and flow numbers to statistics on enforcement, public opinion, religious affiliation, and much more.

Reports
February 2018

Across Europe, civic education programs are being asked to solve a range of social challenges—from dwindling political participation to the protection of immigrant and refugee youth from alienation and radicalization. While these challenges are shared across countries, the programs designed to address them vary considerably. This report explores differing models in Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Articles

As Brexit negotiations move forward, the issue of the future rights for EU nationals resident in the United Kingdom and UK nationals living on the continent has emerged as a sticking point. Though negotiators in early December 2017 agreed to a skeletal deal on citizens' rights, countless details remain to be worked out, leaving the future of some 4 million people unresolved—with implications for them, their families, employers, and others.

Commentaries
November 2017

Amid growing calls for Congress to pass DREAM Act-type legislation, critics are arguing that legalization would spur vast new "chain migration" because DREAMers could eventually sponsor their relatives for green cards. MPI estimates the numbers who could receive legal permanent residence as a result of sponsorship by DREAMers would be far lower, for a range of reasons explained in this commentary.

Reports
November 2017

Amid ongoing Brexit negotiations, much remains uncertain for the roughly 1 million UK citizens living elsewhere in the European Union. This report offers a demographic profile of these Brexpats, considering what form an EU-UK deal on citizens’ rights might take and identifying key challenges many Britons are likely to face—including difficulty securing legal status and accessing labor markets, social security, and health-care systems.

Articles

Even as the United States and countries in Europe have made a right turn on immigration in recent years, Canada has remained a largely welcoming country. Underlying this resilience is an approach to immigration focused on active management and refinement of policies as well as long-term economic, social, and political integration, as this article explores.

Reports
June 2017

Amid high levels of immigration, the roles of religion, culture, and identity in liberal democratic societies in Europe have come under the microscope. Few have found it easy to identify a core set of shared values and to communicate them evenhandedly to newcomers. Amid clashes over burqas and belonging, this report explores the tradeoffs policymakers face in defining, instilling, and managing disagreement over values.

Articles

What happens when a country reverts to an earlier citizenship policy? When Estonia did just that after gaining independence in 1991, a new class of stateless residents emerged, comprised of Soviet-era Russian-speaking migrants and their descendants. This article explores the effects of Estonia's post-Soviet citizenship policy on its Russian-speaking population, particularly with regard to political participation and civic engagement.

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