E.g., 02/28/2024
E.g., 02/28/2024
Immigration Policy & Law

Immigration Policy & Law

_ImmigrationPolicy+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

Cover image for A New Way Forward for Employment-Based Immigration
Policy Briefs
February 2024
By  Julia Gelatt and Muzaffar Chishti
A family of Afghan evacuees leaving Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
Articles
Cover image for Outmatched: The U.S. Asylum System Faces Record Demands
Reports
February 2024
By  Kathleen Bush-Joseph
Cover image for Immigrants’ Eligibility for U.S. Public Benefits: A Primer
Reports
January 2024
By  Valerie Lacarte, Julia Gelatt and Ashley Podplesky
Cover image for Migration at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Reports
January 2024
By  Alan D. Bersin, Nate Bruggeman and Ben Rohrbaugh
A health worker from the Philippines.
Cover image for Expanding Protection Options?
Reports
January 2024
By  Andrew Selee, Susan Fratzke, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Luisa Feline Freier

Pages

Cover image for A New Way Forward for Employment-Based Immigration
Policy Briefs
February 2024
By  Julia Gelatt and Muzaffar Chishti
Cover image for Outmatched: The U.S. Asylum System Faces Record Demands
Reports
February 2024
By  Kathleen Bush-Joseph
Cover image for Immigrants’ Eligibility for U.S. Public Benefits: A Primer
Reports
January 2024
By  Valerie Lacarte, Julia Gelatt and Ashley Podplesky
Cover image for Migration at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Reports
January 2024
By  Alan D. Bersin, Nate Bruggeman and Ben Rohrbaugh
Cover image for Expanding Protection Options?
Reports
January 2024
By  Andrew Selee, Susan Fratzke, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Luisa Feline Freier
Cover image for Confronting Compassion Fatigue
Reports
January 2024
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, M. Murat Erdoğan and Lucía Salgado

Pages

A family of Afghan evacuees leaving Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

The Afghan immigrant population in the United States has grown dramatically since 2010, and particularly since the 2021 withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Most Afghans who obtained a green card in recent years have done so through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, reserved for interpreters and other Afghans who worked with the U.S. government. This article offers data on the approximately 195,000 Afghan immigrants in the United States.

A health worker from the Philippines.

Countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany are increasingly relying on immigrant health-care workers to fill gaps in their workforce and care for aging populations. That has created opportunities for many foreign-born doctors and nurses, but could harm their origin countries. This article examines the dynamics of global health-care worker migration, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Joe Biden signs an executive order.

In three years, President Joe Biden has surpassed the number of immigration-focused executive actions taken by the Trump administration throughout its entire four-year term, making his the most active U.S. presidency ever on immigration. Yet the Biden administration has been repeatedly accused of inaction at the U.S.-Mexico border, where record levels of migrant encounters have occurred. This article reviews the Biden track record on immigration.

A celebration for the Feast of San Gennaro in New York's Little Italy

One-tenth of all immigrants in the United States come from Europe, a vast decline from the mid-20th century, as migration within Europe has grown and more U.S. immigrants arrive from other destinations. This article provides an overview of contemporary European immigration to the United States, as a region and by top European countries of origin.

Photo of returning Filipino migrant workers.

Fifty years after the birth of the Philippines' strategy to use emigration as a tool for development, the government is doubling down on labor migration. While deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) slumped during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the government and civil society pivoting to assist with return migration and reintegration for hundreds of thousands of Filipinos, emigration has since rebounded, as this article details.

Pages

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
Image of women and young children from Ukraine arriving at train station in Bucharest
Commentaries
October 2022
By  Maria Vincenza Desiderio and Kate Hooper

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.

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Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
February 2024

U.S. employment-based visa policies, last updated in 1990, are not aligned with the country’s current and future labor market needs. This policy brief outlines MPI’s proposal for a new visa pathway that could help the United States better leverage immigration to meet its labor market needs, boost protections for both U.S.- and foreign-born workers, and flexibly adapt to future economic and demographic changes.

Articles

The Afghan immigrant population in the United States has grown dramatically since 2010, and particularly since the 2021 withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Most Afghans who obtained a green card in recent years have done so through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, reserved for interpreters and other Afghans who worked with the U.S. government. This article offers data on the approximately 195,000 Afghan immigrants in the United States.

Reports
February 2024

The U.S. humanitarian protection system, known for its long history of assisting those in need, has come under incredible pressure in recent years. The asylum adjudications system, which is under-resourced, is struggling to keep up with record asylum seeker arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border. This report examines the state of the asylum system, including changes under the Biden administration and potential lessons for other countries.

Reports
January 2024

Immigrants’ eligibility for public benefits in the United States is governed by a complex patchwork of rules that make many groups of noncitizens eligible for some benefits but not others, while other noncitizens are excluded completely. This report provides an overview of immigrants’ eligibility for programs related to general assistance, health and nutrition, employment and income, education, housing, driver’s licenses, 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.

Reports
January 2024

Unauthorized migration at the U.S.-Mexico border has been a high-profile and politically divisive issue for decades. But as the nature of migration at the border has changed profoundly, U.S. policy responses have struggled to keep up. This report explores the changing nature of migration flows and migration policy at the border from the early 1990s until today, highlighting key lessons for contemporary policy-making.

Articles

Countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany are increasingly relying on immigrant health-care workers to fill gaps in their workforce and care for aging populations. That has created opportunities for many foreign-born doctors and nurses, but could harm their origin countries. This article examines the dynamics of global health-care worker migration, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reports
January 2024

The massive and rapid displacement of Syrians, Venezuelans, and Ukrainians presented neighboring countries with an impossible task: providing legal status and assistance, even though their asylum systems lacked the capacity to handle such a large influx. This report examines the costs and benefits of the flexible approaches taken to providing status in these three cases, identifying lessons for future crises.

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