As immigrant-destination countries emerge from the economic crisis at varying speeds, ensuring that the national labor force has the skills needed to fuel recovery has been high on the policy agenda. Migration has long been part of countries' skills strategies, but weak economies have created an additional impetus to maximize the economic benefits that skilled immigration can provide.
2013 proved a year of significant highs and lows in the quest to reform the U.S. immigration system, with enough political and legislative twists to keep even veteran observers of Congress guessing and leave politicians and pundits confused about the prospects for enacting reform in 2014.
This year has seen greater focus by policymakers in countries around the world on the balance between two enduring, complex migration management imperatives: maintaining secure and credible borders while separating out unauthorized immigrants from the most vulnerable populations in need of humanitarian protection, particularly those seeking refuge from conflict and persecution.
More than 1 million people became lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the United States in 2012, with family-sponsored immigrants accounting for two-thirds of those gaining a green card. This Spotlight examines federal statistics on foreign nationals who gained LPR status during 2012.
With the state of Alabama's recent legal settlement ensuring that key portions of its highly contested immigration enforcement law will never take effect, an important chapter of heightened activism by states in immigration enforcement has drawn to a near close. This article explores Alabama's decision, which traces its roots to the Supreme Court's 2012 ruling in Arizona v. United States, as well as the Infosys civil settlement with federal prosecutors over its use of foreign workers, new refugee admission numbers, extension of Temporary Protected Status for Somalis, and more.
United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees T. Alexander Aleinikoff talks to MPI about the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis and the role of UNHCR in assisting countries that have taken in large numbers of Syrian refugees. One looming concern: how will UNHCR and other actors change their refugee crisis-response models and mechanisms to adapt to this and future emergencies?
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.
While budget issues and the debt ceiling dominated the congressional agenda and public attention last week, thousands of activists in Washington were stepping up civil disobedience and mobilization tactics to pressure lawmakers into voting to overhaul the nation’s immigration system. This article explores this growing trend and its possible implications for immigration reform in the 113th Congress. It also provides an update on other national, state, and local developments in immigration policy.
The recent special session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, labeled the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD), was the UN's second-ever discussion devoted solely to international migration. This article examines the implications and outcomes of the HLD, identifies some of the issues that garnered widespread support, and assesses whether the international community is inching toward greater multilateral engagement on migration.
Land is the basis of nearly all economic activities from farming to financial speculation on cotton production — in and along the periphery of an internationally protected park that spans parts of Benin, Burkina Faso, and Niger. Recognized as the "W" Transboundary Biosphere Reserve in 2002, this vast territory and surrounding areas are experiencing a land-management crisis in which seasonal and long-term migration has played a major role. This article examines these challenges through the use of reflexive maps, which capture data relating not only to migrants' paths and motivations, but also the social values and knowledge that they carry with them.
Immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region residing in the United States are part of a migration flow that dates back several decades. The highly diverse MENA immigrant population has grown from about 50,000 in 1920 to nearly 961,000 in 2012. This article examines the latest data on immigrants from the MENA region in the United States, including population size, geographic distribution, admission categories, and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.
The United Arab Emirates has the fifth-largest international migrant stock in the world, with 7.8 million migrants out of a total population of 9.2 million. Heavily reliant on foreign labor to sustain economic growth, the UAE government in 1971 introduced a temporary guest worker program. This article examines the economic, social, and political challenges and implications of the program for the government, Emirati nationals, and migrant workers in the UAE.
Iowa has just become the third state to gain access to federal SAVE immigration data for the purpose of removing noncitizens from its voter lists. This practice, which signifies a major departure from the system's intended purposes, comes amid renewed focus over voting rights. This article explores the recent surge in state activism regarding the possibility of noncitizen voting and also examines the current leadership vacuum in the Department of Homeland Security, new guidance for immigration benefits for same-sex couples, and more.
This article examines common challenges and factors influencing the development of local labor-market integration initiatives targeting immigrant youth, based on four city case studies conducted in the United States and the European Union.
In 2011, India was the third largest country of origin for immigrants in the United States, after Mexico and China. The close to 1.9 million Indian immigrants in the United States accounted for almost 5 percent of the country’s total foreign-born population of 40.4 million. This article examines the latest data on Indian immigrants in the United States, including population size, geographic distribution, admission categories, and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.
Economic turmoil has been a primary driver of emigration from The Gambia, located in West Africa and the smallest country on the African continent. Despite having a decades-old, extensive diaspora mainly in Spain, the United States, Nigeria, Senegal, and the United Kingdom, the Gambian government has only very recently begun to reach out to its citizens abroad. This article explores The Gambia's migration history, emigration and immigration trends, remittances, economic impacts of skilled emigration, and recent efforts by the government to reach out to The Gambian diaspora.
In 2011, there were 25.3 million Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals residing in the United States, or roughly 9 percent of the nation's population ages 5 and older. Although most LEP individuals were foreign born, nearly one-fifth of this population was native born, about three-quarters of whom were children ages 5 to 17. This article provides a demographic and socioeconomic profile of LEP individuals residing in the United States, including the population's size, geographic distribution, and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.
Although many observers point out that China's dealings in Africa are driven by natural resources, since the mid-2000s Beijing has also shown interest in Senegal, which does not sit on major deposits of oil, gold, diamonds, or timber. This West African nation — a strategic ally for China, a reliable partner in the area of development cooperation, and above all, a promising market for selling made-in-China goods — has a rapidly growing Chinese migrant community. This article explores the growing presence of Chinese traders in Dakar's Centenaire neighborhood, investigating their backgrounds and motives for migrating. It also discusses how the decision to migrate affects their families, hometowns, and the local community in Dakar.
On June 27, the U.S. Senate passed legislation to overhaul the U.S. immigration system on a scale not seen in decades. Despite this major breakthrough, it is clear that immigration reform faces an uphill battle in the House of Representatives, where the dynamics are much different than in the Senate. This article assesses the prospects for immigration reform in the House, explores provisions of the Senate bill, the implications for U.S. immigration policy of the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, and more.
The region encompassing Central and Eastern Europe as well as the former Soviet Union is the source of a sizeable share of international migrants today, yet many of these countries' development efforts do not benefit from strong diaspora ties.
As the U.S. Senate continues its debate over a bill to overhaul the nation's immigration system, the fiscal impacts associated with enactment of such legislation have emerged as a divisive issue. Following the release of an official congressional cost estimate on Tuesday, this article examines the crucial question of how immigrants' contributions to the tax base compare to the public benefits they would receive under S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.
The expansion of access to credit through microfinance—now a multibillion-dollar sector—has resulted in profound shifts across the developing world. This article, using Cambodia as its example, discusses the ways in which households are using microcredit in coordination with migration, and addresses critical questions about who benefits from these linkages—and what vulnerabilities they might create for migrants.
Immigrants from the Philippines made up 4.5 percent of the 40.4 million immigrants in the United States in 2011. Although this population—1.8 million strong in 2011—has grown 17 times its size since 1960, its share among Asian immigrants overall has decreased since that year. This article examines the latest data on Filipino immigrants in the United States, including population size, geographic distribution, admission categories, and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.
The Tuareg, a nomadic group of Berber origin located in several countries across North and West Africa, have been enmeshed in a complicated struggle against the Malian state since January 2012. This article explores the unique role that migration plays in shaping Tuareg grievances in the context of this crisis.
State-level immigration laws have gradually softened in tone since the Supreme Court in 2012 affirmed federal primacy in immigration enforcement in a landmark Arizona case — a trend further solidified by a changed post-election political calculus on immigration reform. This article examines this unanticipated shift away from restrictive state immigration actions as well as the recent new trend in the passage of immigrant-friendly laws regarding in-state tuition and the granting of driver's licenses to unauthorized immigrants.