E.g., 06/16/2022
E.g., 06/16/2022
Temporary Workers

Temporary Workers

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Temporary worker programs and the treatment of migrant workers have gained increased international attention in recent years. In some countries, the temporary worker system acts as a transition to permanent immigration. Other countries have highly regulated temporary worker systems with no pathway to permanent immigration. The research here examines temporary worker programs, policies that bridge from temporary to permanent status, and efforts by sending-country governments to protect their workers overseas.

Recent Activity

Cover image for COVID-19 and the State of Global Mobility in 2021
Reports
May 2022
By  Meghan Benton, Samuel Davidoff-Gore, Jeanne Batalova, Lawrence Huang and Jie Zong
Image of Central American migrant caravan passing through Chiapas, Mexico
Commentaries
April 2022
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto and Andrew Selee
An image of an immigration boarding line.
Articles
Cover image for Migración de Huehuetenango en el Altiplano Occidental de Guatemala
Reports
March 2022
By  Andrew Selee, Luis Argueta and Juan José Hurtado Paz y Paz
A pile of documents on a desk.
Articles
Cover image for Four Years of Profound Change: Immigration Policy during the Trump Presidency
Reports
February 2022
By  Jessica Bolter, Emma Israel and Sarah Pierce
A Dutch family at Ellis Island between 1915 and 1920.
Cover image for How Can Europe Deliver on the Potential of Talent Partnerships?
Policy Briefs
December 2021
By  Kate Hooper

Pages

Cover image for COVID-19 and the State of Global Mobility in 2021
Reports
May 2022
By  Meghan Benton, Samuel Davidoff-Gore, Jeanne Batalova, Lawrence Huang and Jie Zong
Cover image for Migración de Huehuetenango en el Altiplano Occidental de Guatemala
Reports
March 2022
By  Andrew Selee, Luis Argueta and Juan José Hurtado Paz y Paz
Cover image for Four Years of Profound Change: Immigration Policy during the Trump Presidency
Reports
February 2022
By  Jessica Bolter, Emma Israel and Sarah Pierce
Cover image for How Can Europe Deliver on the Potential of Talent Partnerships?
Policy Briefs
December 2021
By  Kate Hooper
Cover image for El estado de la política migratoria y de integración de Costa Rica
Reports
November 2021
By  Diego Chaves-González and María Jesús Mora
Cover image for The State of Costa Rican Migration and Immigrant Integration Policy
Reports
November 2021
By  Diego Chaves-González and María Jesús Mora

Pages

An image of an immigration boarding line.

Need information about U.S. immigration trends or the makeup of the country's immigrant population? This useful, stats-rich article answers the most common questions about the size, shape, and changing nature of the U.S. foreign-born population. It also offers data on immigration enforcement actions, backlogs, and other elements of the U.S. immigration system.

A pile of documents on a desk.

President Joe Biden has made efforts to overhaul the U.S. immigration system, but could see his administration's agenda slowed by massive backlogs across the immigration system. Case application wait times and immigration court queues have swelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, slowing legal arrivals to the United States and undermining the entire immigration system.

A Dutch family at Ellis Island between 1915 and 1920.

As host to more immigrants than any other country, the United States has been shaped and reshaped by immigration over the centuries, with the issue at times becoming a flashpoint. This article covers the history of U.S. immigration and the major laws governing immigration, and provides a comprehensive overview of the present-day immigrant population.

Two boys pose in an informal settlement east of Johannesburg largely populated by immigrants.

South Africa hosts the most immigrants of any African country. Yet it faces conflicting pressures, including the legacy of apartheid, a steady outflow of well-educated South Africans, and the need to juggle bilateral labor mobility schemes at a time of economic insecurity and high unemployment. This article traces these pressures and how they have developed over time.

Refugees prepare to be resettled in the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom was once a country primarily of emigration, but in recent decades many more migrants have arrived at its borders than have left. This decades-long transition was interrupted by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, and this article describes the inflection point at which the country finds itself.

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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.

World of Migration episode 7 tile
Expert Q&A, Audio
November 24, 2021

With migration a dynamic phenomenon in the Americas, the U.S. government increasingly is realizing that migration management should be viewed in a regional context. This requires a new set of policies and ways of engagement with countries in North and Central America, and beyond, as MPI President Andrew Selee discusses with colleague Andrea Tanco in this episode of our World of Migration podcast.

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Expert Q&A, Audio
March 31, 2020

Governments are facing urgent pandemic-related questions. One of the more pressing ones: Who is going to harvest crops in countries that rely heavily on seasonal foreign workers? In this podcast, MPI experts examine ways in which countries could address labor shortages in agriculture, including recruiting native-born workers and letting already present seasonal workers stay longer.

Francis Cissna keynotes 15th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference
Video, Audio
October 1, 2018

At the 15th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, held in October 2018, leading experts and government officials discussed the role that immigration is playing in the mid-term elections; how the courts are handling key immigration questions; and recent changes in the U.S. asylum system, border and interior enforcement, and regulations surrounding legal immigration.   

EVENT PHOTO 2018.3.15 LABOR STANDARDS 3
Audio
March 15, 2018

This discussion, featuring California's Labor Commissioner and the head of the Tennessee Bureau of Workers' Compensation, launched a report that examines state innovations in labor standards enforcement in low-wage, immigrant-dense industries. With wage underpayment, payroll fraud, and other violations widespread in industries such as construction and car-washing, the discussion focused on how targeted enforcement can deter practices that hurt native-born and immigrant workers alike, cost state tax revenue, and disadvantage law-abiding employers. 

2016.10.20 EVENT PH FARM TO LABOR EVENT
Video, Audio
October 20, 2016

A discussion featuring data on immigration trends and the agricultural workforce, and some of the adjustments that farm employers are making, including increased mechanization, improved wages and benefits, and the increased use of the H-2A program. University of California-Davis’s Phil Martin, along with researchers from the the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Labor, present their findings on the foreign agricultural workforce in the United States, which is followed by comments from the President of Farmworker Justice on some of the policy implications.

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Recent Activity

Reports
May 2022

Despite high hopes that international movement would be revived in 2021 after the deep chill in 2020 with designation of a global pandemic, cross-border mobility remained limited as migrants and travelers faced complex rules, high costs, and uncertainty as new COVID-19 variants emerged. This report assesses global mobility in 2021, including changing use of travel restrictions, their impacts on mobile populations, and efforts to safely restart migration and travel.

Commentaries
April 2022

With migration from Central America increasing, the region from Canada to Panama faces an opportunity to build an effective regional approach to migration by focusing on several areas that are ripe for significant policy innovation. This commentary sketches a vision, offering a road map to more detailed research that outlines strategies for cooperation on legal pathways, humanitarian protection, migration management, and sustainable development.

Articles

Need information about U.S. immigration trends or the makeup of the country's immigrant population? This useful, stats-rich article answers the most common questions about the size, shape, and changing nature of the U.S. foreign-born population. It also offers data on immigration enforcement actions, backlogs, and other elements of the U.S. immigration system.

Reports
March 2022

Desde principios de la década de 2010, la migración irregular de Guatemala a Estados Unidos ha aumentado drásticamente. Huehuetenango, un departamento en el Altiplano Occidental de Guatemala, se encuentra entre las principales fuentes de esta emigración. Este estudio examina los patrones y factores impulsores de la emigración de Huehuetenango, así como las posibles estrategias para abordar factores de empuje y creación de alternativas a la migración irregular.

Articles

President Joe Biden has made efforts to overhaul the U.S. immigration system, but could see his administration's agenda slowed by massive backlogs across the immigration system. Case application wait times and immigration court queues have swelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, slowing legal arrivals to the United States and undermining the entire immigration system.

Reports
February 2022

The Trump administration set an unprecedented pace for executive action on immigration, reshaping many aspects of the U.S. immigration system through changes large and small. This report chronicles the 472 administrative changes enacted during this four-year period—ranging from COVID-19 response measures and immigration enforcement, to humanitarian protection, travel bans, legal immigration and DACA changes, and more.

Articles

As host to more immigrants than any other country, the United States has been shaped and reshaped by immigration over the centuries, with the issue at times becoming a flashpoint. This article covers the history of U.S. immigration and the major laws governing immigration, and provides a comprehensive overview of the present-day immigrant population.

Policy Briefs
December 2021

Europe has announced it will launch a set of Talent Partnerships, combining new mobility schemes for workers or students with related investments in capacity-building in partner countries. As the details are being hammered out, this MPI Europe policy brief explores how and under what conditions these partnerships could help meet European labor market needs and provide tangible benefits for partner countries and migrants themselves.

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