E.g., 02/23/2024
E.g., 02/23/2024
Illegal Immigration & Interior Enforcement

Illegal Immigration & Interior Enforcement

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lllegal immigration is a phenomenon confronted by many major immigrant-receiving countries, one that vexes policymakers and publics alike. While much of the focus may be on border enforcement, there are an array of interior enforcement policies aimed at identifying unauthorized immigrants for removal, including worksite enforcement, employment verification, jail-house screening, and state and local law enforcement activity. The research below delves into many facets of illegal immigration and enforcement occcuring away from national borders.

Recent Activity

A loan officer in Kenya.
Cover image for Immigration and Integration in the Ever More Diverse Houston Area
Reports
November 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte, Michael Fix and Jeanne Batalova
A Haitian-American book fair in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood
Articles
The U.S. Coast Guard interdicts a vessel with Cuban migrants.
Articles
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

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Cover image for At the Breaking Point report
Reports
July 2023
By  Muzaffar Chishti, Doris Meissner, Stephen Yale-Loehr, Kathleen Bush-Joseph and Christopher Levesque
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
Cover image for Migration, Integration, and Diaspora Engagement in the Caribbean
Reports
March 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte, Jordi Amaral, Diego Chaves-González, Ana María Sáiz and Jeremy Harris
Cover image for A Profile of Low-Income Immigrants in the United States
Fact Sheets
November 2022
By  Julia Gelatt, Valerie Lacarte and Joshua Rodriguez

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The U.S. Coast Guard interdicts a vessel with Cuban migrants.

Amid the highest Caribbean maritime migration levels in a generation, the Biden administration is relying on a carrot-and-stick strategy it honed amid record unauthorized migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. The approach, combining limits on asylum, expanded legal pathways, and international enforcement partnerships, could be increasingly important if maritime migration rises, as this article explains.

A man with potatoes in Ecuador

Ecuador has emerged as a significant destination for Venezuelan migrants, and is also a sizable origin for people heading to the United States and Spain. The Andean nation has found itself enmeshed in the Americas' evolving mobility trends and has responded with a mix of policies that have produced some unforeseen outcomes. This country profile evaluates recent trends and puts them in historical context.

Un hombre con patatas en Ecuador

Ecuador se ha convertido en un destino importante para los migrantes sudamericanos, un país de tránsito para quienes se dirigen al norte y una fuente renovada de emigración. El pequeño país andino se ha visto enredado en las tendencias cambiantes de movilidad de la región y ha respondido a las circunstancias cambiantes con una combinación de políticas que ha producido algunos resultados imprevistos.

A Vietnamese family in the kitchen.

The more than 1.3 million Vietnamese immigrants in the United States are the result of nearly 50 years of migration that began with the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. While early generations of Vietnamese immigrants tended to arrive as refugees, the vast majority of recent green-card holders obtained their status through family reunification channels. This article takes a look at the sixth-largest U.S. immigrant population.

Migrantes en la aldea de Canaán Membrillo, en el Tapón del Darién, Panamá.

El paso por el Tapón del Darién ha transformado la migración en las Américas. Cada día, más de 1.000 personas cruzan lo que no hace mucho era un tramo de selva poco transitado entre Colombia y Panamá, la mayoría con la esperanza de llegar a Estados Unidos o Canadá. Es un viaje increíblemente arriesgado. Los gobiernos se han esforzado por responder al creciente movimiento, que se espera que supere los 500.000 cruces en 2023.

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Image of Central American migrant caravan passing through Chiapas, Mexico
Commentaries
April 2022
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto and Andrew Selee
Home Secretary Priti Patel & Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta hold asylum accord
Commentaries
April 2022
By  Hanne Beirens and Samuel Davidoff-Gore
IOm_Colombia_Passport_Woman_smaller
Commentaries
March 2021
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Diego Chaves-González

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Central american migrants resting at Casa del Migrante in Tecun Uman, Guatemala.
Video
June 7, 2023

Marking release of a report, experts on this webinar examine migration narratives since 2018 and how they have been used to justify policy approaches or incentivize mobility decisions.

Expert Q&A, Audio
April 24, 2023

How are U.S. border operations and policies evolving at the U.S.-Mexico border to address rising and diversifying flows? And what is driving increasing immigration from across Latin America, the Caribbean, and beyond? MPI President Andrew Selee speaks with two colleagues who traveled from one end of the nearly 2,000-mile boundary to the other, touring U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities and interviewing U.S. and Mexican officials, NGO leaders, and others.

Attorney General William Tong
Video
September 20, 2022

Focusing on top immigration policy issues at federal and state levels, this 2022 Immigration Law and Policy Conference featured keynotes by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson exploring the growing role states are taking in the national immigration debate.

A food and goods distribution to returned migrants in Burkina Faso
Video, Audio
June 27, 2022

This MPI Europe webinar examines how referral mechanisms can be designed so that returnees receive the core services they need, while also ensuring support is embedded within the local community. 

The border area of Haquillas is home to several Venezuelans waiting of their documentation to be formally processed in order to enter in Peru regularly.
Video
June 9, 2022

On the sidelines of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, this event co-sponsored by MPI examines tools and concrete actions taken on regional migration governance, best practices and lessons learned, and the role of regional mechanisms to respond to migration and forced displacement.

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Recent Activity

Articles

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.

Reports
November 2023

Nearly one-quarter of residents of the Houston metro area are immigrants. These foreign-born Houstonians come from an ever-wider range of countries and are well represented in high-demand industries, and make up a sizeable share of parents. This report sketches a profile of the Houston area’s immigrant population overall, and takes a closer look at the number and characteristics of those eligible to naturalize.

Articles

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.

Commentaries
November 2023

The $13.6 billion border emergency supplemental spending bill the Biden administration is seeking lays out the elements for resourcing immigration functions to full capacity across the entire border enforcement system. Without resourcing the system across all its parts, including adjudications and management, no administration, present or future, will be able to effectively manage spontaneous border arrivals, this commentary argues.

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. 

Articles

Amid the highest Caribbean maritime migration levels in a generation, the Biden administration is relying on a carrot-and-stick strategy it honed amid record unauthorized migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. The approach, combining limits on asylum, expanded legal pathways, and international enforcement partnerships, could be increasingly important if maritime migration rises, as this article explains.

Commentaries
October 2023

There is a deeper story behind the U.S. government's fiscal 2023 border encounters numbers than that the year marked a new record high. The pivot from the pandemic-era Title 42 expulsions policy and sharp diversification in nationalities have reshaped migrant arrivals unlike any year before. This commentary goes beyond the headlines to focus on the more enduring—and challenging—realities occuring at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Expert Q&A, Audio
October 19, 2023

African migrants turn to the strength of kinship-based support systems in pursuit of stability as they settle in a European landscape that is sometimes made precarious by their legal status and shifting policies. This episode discusses use of the kinship networks, including to exchange or broker identity documents between migrants along the migration journey and at destination.

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