E.g., 10/17/2017
E.g., 10/17/2017

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

Online Journal
Policy Briefs
January 2014
By Muzaffar Chishti and Charles Kamasaki
Reports
January 2014
By Elizabeth Collett and Will Somerville
Online Journal

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Online Journal
After years of gridlock, increasing pressure from immigrant advocates, and several delays in 2014, President Obama announced sweeping executive actions to provide deportation relief to as many as 5.2 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States. The plan sparked a political firestorm among Republicans who vowed to use all tools at their disposal to block the actions, ensuring that immigration will continue to be a flashpoint for the remainder of the president's term.
Online Journal
While immigration and the Latino vote may not have been decisive in the 2014 midterm elections, the Republican takeover of the Senate come January 2015 and increased majority in the House have significant implications for the outcome of the immigration debate. This article examines the changing dynamics and the president's intent to proceed with executive action to shield some of the unauthorized immigrant population from deportation.
Online Journal

When Congress returns from recess in September, lawmakers will need to pick up where they left off on approving an emergency spending bill to address unaccompanied migrant children at the border. This article previews upcoming battles in Congress and analyzes how the recent border crisis is changing the broader immigration debate in the United States.

Online Journal

About 757,000 immigrants took U.S. citizenship in 2012, a 9 percent increase from the year before. As of 2012, 46 percent of the nation’s 40.8 million immigrants were naturalized Americans. This article examines the latest naturalization data available for the United States, including historical trends, data by country of origin and state of residence, as well as socioeconomic characteristics of the 18.7 million naturalized U.S. citizens residing in the United States in 2012.

Online Journal
Immigrant legalizations in the United States and Europe ("regularizations" in the EU context) have been used repeatedly for broad and discrete groups of immigrants. A look at how these programs have been implemented historically and the political and policy implications they face today.

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Video
June 24, 2010
The conference, co-sponsored by Georgetown Law, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and the Migration Policy Institute, focused immigration and refugee law and policy.
Video, Audio
April 12, 2010
Public Policy Institute of California researchers Magnus Lofstrom and Laura Hill discuss their research examining the potential labor market outcomes and other possible economic effects of a legalization program.
Video
June 24, 2009

This conference offers law and policy analysis and discussion on cutting-edge immigration issues.

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Video, Audio
April 12, 2010
Public Policy Institute of California researchers Magnus Lofstrom and Laura Hill discuss their research examining the potential labor market outcomes and other possible economic effects of a legalization program.

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Recent Activity

Fact Sheets
April 2013

MPI has completed an analysis of the major provisions in the 2013 framework, comparing them to provisions of the legislation the Senate considered in 2006 and 2007. 

Fact Sheets
April 2013

This fact sheet compares key components of immigration reform outlined in the 2013 Senate immigration bill against provisions included in bills considered by the Senate in 2006 and 2007: border security, detention, and enforcement; worksite enforcement; visa reforms; earned legalization of unauthorized immigrants; strengthening the U.S. economy and workforce; and integration of new Americans.

Video, Audio
March 19, 2013

This discussion covers some of the most difficult issues that must be addressed if the United States is to reform its immigration system in ways that work not only for today’s reality but tomorrow’s future.

Fact Sheets
March 2013

A timeline of all major U.S. immigration laws from 1790 - 2013.

Fact Sheets
March 2013

A timeline of key immigration laws and policy developments between 1986 and 2013.

Policy Briefs
March 2013
This brief demystifies the technical meaning of going to the “back of the line”—a phrase adopted by lawmakers to convey the intent to grant legal status to unauthorized immigrants only after existing backlogs have been cleared—by explaining what “the line” refers to, who is in it, and what it means to be at the back of it.
Video, Audio
January 7, 2013
MPI has released a major study that describes and analyzes today’s immigration enforcement programs, as they have developed and grown in the 25 years since IRCA launched the current enforcement era.
Policy Briefs
October 2012

Thailand is well positioned to take advantage of the benefits of migration. This brief examines the country’s migration challenges and two basic approaches to regularizing labor migration: Memoranda of Understanding with migrant-sending neighbors and nationality verification as a preliminary step for work permit application by unauthorized immigrants.

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