E.g., 10/07/2022
E.g., 10/07/2022
COVID-19 Analysis, Data, and Commentary

COVID-19 Analysis, Data, and Commentary

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Governments around the world beginning in January 2020 turned to migration management tools—such as border closures, travel restrictions, and bars on asylum—initially in hopes of keeping COVID-19 from entering their countries, and later as part of a wider suite of mobility restrictions to contain the spread.
 
These fast-moving policy changes, some short term, others leaving a permanent mark on immigration systems, are being analyzed by MPI and MPI Europe researchers. All research and analysis they generate on point to the novel coronavirus pandemic is gathered here.

Recent Activity

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Reports
April 2021
By  Meghan Benton, Jeanne Batalova, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Timo Schmidt
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Policy Briefs
February 2021
By  Camille Le Coz and Kathleen Newland
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Policy Briefs
December 2020
By  Lena Kainz, Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Kathleen Newland
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Fact Sheets
November 2020
By  Julia Gelatt, Jeanne Batalova and Randy Capps

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Bangladesh is one of the world’s largest migrant-origin countries, and money sent home by its workers abroad is crucial to an economy that has become one of the more vibrant ones in South Asia. Against this backdrop, the COVID-19 pandemic has injected turmoil into the economy as Bangladeshi migrants have lost their jobs, families are seeing reduced remittances, and would-be migrant workers have had to shelve their plans to work abroad.

President Trump signs an immigration proclamation at the White House

The U.S. in April became the first country to explicitly justify immigration curbs not on grounds of COVID-19, but to protect the jobs of U.S. workers at a time of skyrocketing unemployment. A Trump administration proclamation limiting green cards for new arrivals was greeted coolly by the president's base, with many expecting the White House would issue new limits for nonimmigrant workers—which could have a more significant impact.

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Immigrants make up a disproportionately high number of U.S. health-care workers, from doctors and nurses to home health aides. In 2018, more than 2.6 million immigrants worked in the U.S. health-care field. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, immigrants have played a key role in the frontline response. This article explores the demographics of this group of essential workers by occupation, origin, language, education, and more.

Grape pickers in France

Border closures and lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic have put a chill on intra-EU labor mobility, most immediately with the difficulty for European farmers to gain access to much-needed seasonal workers and for health-care institutions to get care workers. This article explores how these workers, who often face difficult situations, may be more vulnerable now. It also takes on implications for intra-EU labor mobility post-pandemic.

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On the frontlines of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic yet also more disproportionately affected by the virus and with reduced health-care access, immigrants in the United States have largely found themselves blocked from federal economic relief. As states and philanthropic groups seek to plug the gap, this article examines conditions and changing policies around immigration and the coronavirus response.

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Video, Audio
October 21, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of education, and it is expected that English Learners (ELs) will suffer disproportionate impacts. In this webcast, panelists discuss how weaknesses in existing EL teacher education and professional development policies have played into schools’ uneven response to the pandemic. They also offer lessons for future reform.

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Expert Q&A, Audio
October 21, 2020

As COVID-19 chilled global mobility, harmed economies, and sparked border closures and travel bans around the world, the pandemic has had an effect on the shadow migration world.

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Expert Q&A, Audio
October 6, 2020

Austria’s Vienna airport was an early adopter for in-airport COVID-19 tests, with results turned around within a few hours, sparing those with medical certificates from a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Can this serve as a model for restarting business travel and tourism? We talk to Vienna airport official Peter Kleemann to learn more.

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Expert Q&A, Audio
September 30, 2020

Australia has worked to develop a “biosecure” border, using hard travel lockdowns, internal borders, and quarantine to stem spread of the COVID-19 virus. Is it working? In this episode of our Moving Beyond Pandemic podcast, host Meghan Benton talks to Brendan Dowling of the Australian Department of Home Affairs.

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Video, Audio
July 16, 2020

Marking the launch of a report on changed USCIS procedures that appear to be adding hurdles to the citizenship process, this discussion featuring a former USCIS Director also examines the effects that the pandemic-related shutdown and a possible furlough of two-thirds of USCIS staff could have on the ability of would-be Americans to take the oath of citizenship.

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Recent Activity

Expert Q&A, Audio
December 9, 2021

How has the business world responded to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic? In this episode of Moving Beyond Pandemic, we speak with two former government officials who are now in the private sector—Ian Robinson of the immigration law firm Fragomen and Brendan Ryan, CEO of Nomadic, about the trends and policy environment shaping business mobility decisions.

Commentaries
December 2021

The world is once again engaging in a mad scramble to close borders after emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. While the response bears the hallmarks of the initial response to COVID-19 and the Delta variant, with an uncoordinated and single-minded focus on travel restrictions alone, international cooperation and long-term planning are critical to a more equitable and sustainable system of global mobility and pandemic preparedness.

Video, Webinars
November 15, 2021

MPI’s 20th Anniversary Conference featured the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration, António Vitorino, in an armchair conversation with MPI co-founder and President Emeritus Demetrios G. Papademetriou, as well as a panel discussion with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and MPI co-founder Kathleen Newland and KIND President Wendy Young.

Policy Briefs
October 2021

Medicaid has seen a surge in enrollment since the pandemic began, as millions of U.S. workers lost jobs and health coverage. But many noncitizens are ineligible for Medicaid due to their status as recent recipients of green cards, international students, or temporary workers, for example. This issue brief examines the size and characteristics of this population, including state-to-state differences in eligibility and participation.

Commentaries
October 2021

While there were more encounters of migrants seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization during fiscal 2021 than any prior year, this does not necessarily mean that more migrants were intercepted or illicitly entered the country than was the case 21 years ago, a new commentary explains.

Commentaries
October 2021

The U.S. decision to lift border restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers represents the latest move by governments around the world to loosen COVID-19-era travel restrictions. Yet it underscores a major policy shift that has gone almost unnoticed: with vaccination moving from being a fast track to travel to becoming a required ticket. This raises significant equity and technical considerations, as this commentary explores.

Expert Q&A, Audio
October 11, 2021

Meghan Benton speaks with Dr. Kelley Lee, head of the Pandemics and Borders initiative at Simon Fraser University in Canada, about what the future holds after COVID-19, and whether decisionmakers truly learn to adapt or instead pull out the playbook from the last crisis.

Commentaries
October 2021

As European countries seek to revive their economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, acute labor shortages in a variety of sectors risk stopping the recovery in its tracks. This commentary explores why these shortages are emerging and how immigration policy can form one part of the broader strategy to meet labor market needs.

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