E.g., 04/25/2018
E.g., 04/25/2018

Legalization/Regularization

Legalization/Regularization

Millions of unauthorized immigrants have been given legal status in Europe and the United States since the mid-1980s through programs and mechanisms variously referred to as legalization or regularization. The policy tool has been used variously to address rising numbers of unauthorized immigrants, regulate underground labor markets, or for humanitarian purposes. Viewed by critics as a spur for more illegal migration, such policies are touted as a humanitarian means of addressing the status of workers and residents living in limbo and of regulating the informal labor market.

Recent Activity

Reports
April 2018
By Meghan Benton, Aliyyah Ahad, Michaela Benson, Katherine Collins, Helen McCarthy, and Karen O’Reilly
Department of Justice
Online Journal
Commentary
January 2018
By Julia Gelatt and Sarah Pierce
Policy Briefs
December 2017
By Sarah Pierce and Andrew Selee
Commentary
December 2017
By Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
Metro in Caracas
Commentary
November 2017
By Julia Gelatt and Randy Capps

Pages

Reports
April 2018
By Meghan Benton, Aliyyah Ahad, Michaela Benson, Katherine Collins, Helen McCarthy, and Karen O’Reilly
Reports
January 2014
By Elizabeth Collett and Will Somerville
Reports
May 2013
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Doris Meissner, and Eleanor Sohnen
Reports
December 2011
By Christal Morehouse and Michael Blomfield
Reports
November 2011
By Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
Reports
August 2011
By Marc R. Rosenblum and Kate Brick
Reports
October 2010
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Madeleine Sumption, and Aaron Terrazas

Pages

Pages

Policy Briefs
December 2017
By Sarah Pierce and Andrew Selee
Policy Briefs
January 2014
By Muzaffar Chishti and Charles Kamasaki
Policy Briefs
August 2013
By Jeanne Batalova, Sarah Hooker, and Randy Capps
Policy Briefs
May 2013
By Randy Capps, Michael Fix, Jennifer Van Hook, and James D. Bachmeier
Policy Briefs
October 2012
By Jerry Huguet, Aphichat Chamratrithirong , and Claudia Natali
Policy Briefs
December 2011
By Kate Brick

Pages

Books
May 2002
By T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Douglas Klusmeyer
Online Journal

The Trump administration has been steadily building a case to penalize "sanctuary" cities—those jurisdictions that in some way limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities—after threatening to cut federal funding. Despite court rulings that seemed to strike a blow against these efforts, the Justice Department is moving forward with its strategy, relying on a broad interpretation of a federal statute, as this article explores.

Online Journal

Migration surged throughout South America in 2017, challenging governments to keep up with inflows. Brazil, Colombia, and Peru worked to process record numbers of Venezuelan asylum applications, and launched special visa programs for some new arrivals. While the government responses have been largely welcoming, the illegal immigration of Haitians provoked more restrictive policy reactions in Chile and Argentina.

Online Journal

Thailand has become a key destination for migrant workers, primarily from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos. Many lack authorization, however, and as their numbers have grown, so has the government's intent in regulating their movement—sometimes provoking unintended results. This article explores recent patterns in labor migration to Thailand and examines the likely impacts of a 2017 decree criminalizing illegal employment.

Online Journal

The history of dynamic migration flows throughout the Soviet Union pre- and post-collapse has significantly shaped the current migration reality in Russia. Even as borders have shifted and policies changed, inflows and outflows still occur mostly within the former Soviet space. As this article explores, Russia has worked in recent decades to strengthen its migration management system and update its residence and citizenship policies.

Online Journal

Donald Trump has made a series of postelection statements suggesting he may backtrack on several campaign pledges on immigration, including building a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border and deporting all 11 million unauthorized immigrants. Still, his choice of top advisors points to a hard-line agenda. This Policy Beat article examines what some of the better known elements of Trump's immigration policy might look like.

Pages

Video, Audio
September 28, 2016

The 13th annual Immigration Law & Policy Conference offered policy and legal analysis on key immigration topics, including: the election and the future of immigration policy; refugee resettlement in the United States; immigration detention and enforcement; and the impacts of the Supreme Court opinion in the important U.S. vs Texas case

Video, Audio
December 3, 2014
A discussion with MPI experts of the less-examined aspects of President Obama's executive actions on immigration, with respect to immigration enforcement, legal immigration, and immigrant integration.
Video, Audio
October 21, 2014
This conference, keynoted by USCIS Director León Rodríguez, featured panels on local immigrant integration policies; expected executive action on immigration; the treatment of unaccompanied children from Central America; and innovations in government-funded legal counsel and accelerated court cases.
Video, Audio
October 31, 2013

The 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference featured keynotes by U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, as well as panel discussions covering a range of key immigration topics.

Video, Audio
August 14, 2013
During this online chat, MPI researchers discuss their findings in an MPI brief, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals at the One-Year Mark: A Profile of Currently Eligible Youth and Applicants, that provides the most up-to-date estimates of the current and prospective DACA population by educational attainment, English proficiency, state of residence, country of origin, age, gender, labor force participation, poverty, and parental status.

Pages

Video, Audio
September 28, 2016

The 13th annual Immigration Law & Policy Conference offered policy and legal analysis on key immigration topics, including: the election and the future of immigration policy; refugee resettlement in the United States; immigration detention and enforcement; and the impacts of the Supreme Court opinion in the important U.S. vs Texas case

Video, Audio
December 3, 2014
A discussion with MPI experts of the less-examined aspects of President Obama's executive actions on immigration, with respect to immigration enforcement, legal immigration, and immigrant integration.
Video, Audio
October 21, 2014
This conference, keynoted by USCIS Director León Rodríguez, featured panels on local immigrant integration policies; expected executive action on immigration; the treatment of unaccompanied children from Central America; and innovations in government-funded legal counsel and accelerated court cases.
Video, Audio
October 31, 2013

The 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference featured keynotes by U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, as well as panel discussions covering a range of key immigration topics.

Video, Audio
August 14, 2013
During this online chat, MPI researchers discuss their findings in an MPI brief, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals at the One-Year Mark: A Profile of Currently Eligible Youth and Applicants, that provides the most up-to-date estimates of the current and prospective DACA population by educational attainment, English proficiency, state of residence, country of origin, age, gender, labor force participation, poverty, and parental status.

Pages

Video, Audio
December 3, 2014
A discussion with MPI experts of the less-examined aspects of President Obama's executive actions on immigration, with respect to immigration enforcement, legal immigration, and immigrant integration.
Video, Audio
August 7, 2013
MPI experts participate in a video chat shortly after the Migration Policy Institute released an analysis comparing the major provisions of the Senate bill to those of the individual House bills considered to date in House committees. 
Commentary
January 2018
By Julia Gelatt and Sarah Pierce
Commentary
December 2017
By Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
Commentary
November 2017
By Julia Gelatt and Randy Capps

Recent Activity

Reports
April 2018

Even with an EU-UK deal on citizens' rights post-Brexit, there is much uncertainty for Britons living abroad in Europe. This report takes stock of what has (and has not) been agreed—from questions of continued residence and family rights to health-care and labor-market access. It breaks down the looming—and urgent—challenges EU Member States face in designing systems to adjust the legal status of their British residents.

Commentary
February 2018

Even as the 1.8 million number swirls in the discussion of how many DREAMers would be placed on a path to citizenship, proposals debated in the Senate in February 2018 would have resulted in the legalization of smaller numbers, as this commentary explains. It offers estimates of potential beneficiaries of several Senate proposals, including one backed by the White House, and analysis of key criteria.

Commentary
January 2018

The White House immigration plan offered as a solution to resolve the fate of DREAMers seeks legal immigration cuts unlike any seen since 1924. In addition to a decrease of up to 40 percent in family-sponsored immigration, the proposal demands vast increases in enforcement and a retrenchment in protections for those seeking humanitarian relief. In exchange, one-sixth of the unauthorized population could gain legal status.

Policy Briefs
December 2017

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump made immigration the centerpiece of his campaign, offering a more detailed policy agenda than on any other issue. In the year since the election that propelled the Republican into the White House, how has the Trump administration’s record matched up with the rhetoric? This policy brief examines the executive orders and other changes to existing policy and practice made during 2017.

Commentary
December 2017

The debate over the future of DACA participants and the passage of legislation to legalize them and a broader cohort of DREAMers features a number of arguments pro and con. Opposition centers in part on the premise of widespread labor market competition between DREAMers and the U.S. born, particularly minorities. But as as this commentary explains, analysis shows that the case is a weak one.

Commentary
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.

Fact Sheets
October 2017

2017 saw the introduction of several bills—two of them by Senate Republicans in the weeks following the Trump administration’s announcement that it would terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—that would provide a pathway to conditional and then legal permanent residence to unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as children, if they meet a range of edu

Fact Sheets
October 2017

With the Trump administration having announced the end of the DACA program, Congress is facing growing calls to protect unauthorized immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. This fact sheet examines DREAM Act bills introduced in Congress as of mid-2017, offering estimates of who might earn conditional legal status—and ultimately legal permanent residence—based on educational, professional, and other requirements in the legislation.

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