Large-scale immigration has led to unprecedented levels of diversity and rapid demographic change, transforming communities across major immigrant-receiving countries in fundamental ways and challenging closely held notions of national identity, particularly in an era of economic uncertainty. The research here focuses on what policymakers can do to mitigate the destabilizing effects of rapid societal change — especially changes tied or perceived to be tied to immigration — in order to create stronger and more cohesive societies.
While Europe and the United States saw terror attacks in 2016 carried out by radicalized immigrants or members of the second generation, policy responses varied on either side of the Atlantic. The perceived security threat posed by refugees was the main concern in the United States. Meanwhile, European debates centered more on concerns over loss of control of migration flows and lack of social cohesion.
With many countries in East Asia facing unfavorable demographic shifts in the form of aging populations, low fertility, and shrinking workforces, governments in 2016 continued to explore immigration as a potential policy solution. However, a tradition of cultural homogeneity and wariness among publics about increased immigration is leading policymakers to test the waters with very small steps.
Although long one of the world's top migrant destinations, only in the recent past has Germany come to acknowledge and adjust to its role as a country of immigration. Its welcoming approach—a relatively new development—has been put to the test amid massive humanitarian inflows beginning in 2015. This country profile examines Germany's history on immigration and highlights current and emerging debates.
While Poland held a generally positive opinion of immigration throughout the early 2000s, public attitudes toward refugees have shifted decidedly rightward since the onset of Europe's migration and refugee crisis. This article explores the complex, intersecting anxieties at play in Poland and the role of political rhetoric in stoking these sentiments
Against a backdrop of anxieties about migration, the United Kingdom's government set a referendum for June 2016 on whether to withdraw from the European Union. This article explores the role played by migration in the decision to call the referendum, how immigration might influence the result, and finally the implications of both referendum outcomes (Leave and Remain) in terms of migration policy and regulation.
Fostering the social and economic inclusion of refugees has long been the domain of governments and NGOs. In the wake of the 2015–16 European migration and refugee crisis, however, new actors have emerged and taken on important roles in integrating newcomers. This report describes key discussions and takeaways from an MPI Europe conference on these developments.
A small, isolated country, Iceland has been home to a largely homogenous population for much of its history. But in recent years, a booming economy and expanding tourism sector have drawn rising numbers of immigrants to the island nation. This article explores Iceland's balancing act of maintaining economic growth through immigration while preserving its culture and language.
While research shows immigrants in the United States become integrated over time, this is only a partial account of the changes that immigration brings. As newcomers reshape their communities, longtime residents themselves adjust to shifting social, economic, and political contexts—sometimes re-engaging with their own ethnic or cultural identities. This article explores this process of relational assimilation in Silicon Valley.
In Brazil, where the majority of colonial-era residents were African slaves and their children, millions of immigrants have joined a conversation about race and identity that continues today. Brazil is home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan, as well as significant European, Latin American, and Middle Eastern populations. This country profile explores historical and contemporary migration patterns in Brazil.
Rising numbers of young immigrants and refugees entering European schools following the 2015–16 migration crisis strained system capacity and injected new urgency into debates about how to support diverse learners and their families. This report examines the challenges facing European education systems and identifies key lessons to improve migrant inclusion in schools and integration more broadly.
Across Europe, civic education programs are being asked to solve a range of social challenges—from dwindling political participation to the protection of immigrant and refugee youth from alienation and radicalization. While these challenges are shared across countries, the programs designed to address them vary considerably. This report explores differing models in Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Chile's immigrant population has more than quadrupled since the country emerged from dictatorship in the early 1990s. As immigration has grown and moved away from its European roots to become more diverse, it has emerged as a hot-button political issue, complicating longstanding efforts to reform the country's 1975 immigration law. This article explores Chile's shift to the right on immigration, and how policies might evolve under the presidency of conservative Sebastián Piñera.
Following the arrival of large numbers of migrants and asylum seekers in Europe from 2015 onwards, many nontraditional actors—from tech start-ups to social enterprises—pioneered solutions to foster the social and economic inclusion of newcomers. This conference reflects on how innovations for refugee inclusion can grow beyond pockets of good practice and inspire large-scale, long-term change.