E.g., 03/31/2015
E.g., 03/31/2015

United States

United States

Historically a nation of immigrants, the United States is home to nearly 41 million immigrants, who represent 13 percent of the total population and play a key role in the economic, civic, and cultural life of the country. The research collected here covers many facets of immigration to the United States, by the numbers and how immigrants fare in the country's classrooms and workplaces, the policies and regulations that shape the admission of new immigrants, the enforcement programs and polices in place at U.S. borders and within the interior, and integration policies and efforts taking place in local communities, in states, and at the federal level.

Recent Activity

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Reports
May 2012
By Randy Capps, Kristen McCabe, and Michael Fix
Reports
April 2012
By Randy Capps, Kristen McCabe, and Michael Fix
Reports
April 2012
By Raymundo Campos-Vazquez and Horacio Sobarzo
Reports
March 2012
By Stella M. Flores , Jeanne Batalova, and Michael Fix
Reports
November 2011
By Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix

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Online Journal

The small window for enactment of a major U.S. immigration overhaul during 2014 seems to have closed. A trial balloon testing House Republicans’ willingness to proceed this year was quickly floated and dropped. Amid a focus on politics and timing, less noted was the reality that for the first time, House Republican leaders have affirmed support for a policy that would move the party closer to compromise over the most vexing question holding up immigration reform: what to do with the nation’s unauthorized immigrants.

Online Journal

In 2012, the United States granted humanitarian protection to more than 87,000 people, with grants of asylum up 19 percent and refugee admissions up 3 percent from a year earlier. This article provides a detailed look at the most recent refugee and asylum data in the United States, including country of origin, top states of settlement, and more.

Online Journal

While some argue that the clock has run out on immigration reform in the 113th Congress, which runs through 2014, others counter that the finish line remains in sight.

Online Journal

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.

Online Journal

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.

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Video
March 26, 2013

MPI's President, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, and the Editor-in-Chief of The American Prospect, Kit Rachlis, engage in a lively Google Hangout discussion about the policies and politics that have created the United States' antiquated, inflexible immigration system and how to create a modern-day, flexible immigration system suited for the competitiveness of the 21st century.

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.

Video
March 14, 2013

Testimony of Demetrios G. Papademetriou, MPI President, before the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives.

Video, Audio
January 17, 2013

MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy convened a major public policy research symposium focused on young children of immigrants in the U.S.

Video, Audio
December 14, 2012

The event discussion, which touched on the intersection of race and immigration, focused on the demographics of Black immigrants (both African and Caribbean) in the United States and their children, their educational success, and the implications of the recently released volume’s findings for research and public policy.

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Audio
July 16, 2013

At this release event in Washington, DC, co-sponsored by MPI, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and ImmigrationWorks USA, the Chicago Council's independent task force on immigration released its report, U.S. Economic Competitiveness at Risk: A Midwest Call to Action on Immigration Reform.

Video, Audio
May 6, 2013

A panel discussion on the release of the Regional Migration Study Group's final report, Thinking Regionally to Compete Globally: Leveraging Migration & Human Capital in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America, outlining its findings and offering recommendations to policymakers in the region.

Video, Audio
April 5, 2013

This discussion with Mexico's new Ambassador to the United States focused on changing dynamics in Mexico, and their implications for both Mexico and the U.S.

Video, Audio
March 27, 2013

With the prospects for immigration reform greater than they have been in more than a decade and the U.S. economy slowly shrugging off the effects of the recession, the United States may be on the cusp of historic changes that make the immigration system a more effective tool for innovation, economic growth and the competitiveness of its firms—large and small. 

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.

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Recent Activity

Video, Audio
February 19, 2014

This discussion explores how the 2014 Greek Presidency of the European Union and the United States can work to address the challenges of managing migration while meeting humanitarian obligations and nurturing economic growth.

Video, Audio
February 7, 2014

This panel discussion offers perspectives on border policy management from leading officials in the Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. governments, and showcases the MPI book, "Managing Borders in an Increasingly Borderless World."

Video
February 5, 2014

During this public briefing in Guatemala City (conducted in both English and Spanish), the Co-Directors of the Migration Policy Institute-convened Regional Migration Study Group, MPI President Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Senior Fellow Doris Meissner, presented the Study Group’s final report, Thinking Regionally to Compete Globally: Leveraging Migration and Human Capital in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America.

Policy Briefs
January 2014

This policy brief traces the successes and failures of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which represented the first and most comprehensive legislation to take on the issue of illegal immigration to the United States. The brief makes the case that IRCA's major flaws were rooted in statutory design more than regulatory challenges and implementation by the administrative agencies.

Reports
January 2014

This report outlines the security-related challenges that borders are intended to address—including terrorism, human smuggling and trafficking, illegal migration, and drug trafficking—and, in turn, the perverse consequences that tighter border enforcement can generate. As states implement extensive border controls and deterrence measures to prevent illegal migration, they indirectly push unauthorized migrants into the hands of smugglers and traffickers.

Video, Audio
December 12, 2013

This panel discussion focuses on the circulation of skilled immigrant professionals and the recognition of foreign qualifications in the United States and Europe.

Video, Audio
December 4, 2013

The winners of the Migration Policy Institute's 2013 E Pluribus Unum Prizes, honoring exceptional immigrant integration initiatives in the United States, discuss their work at an award ceremony on December 4, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Reports
December 2013

This report analyzes mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) between countries, which allow professionals to transfer their skills and experiences across borders more effectively. The report, part of a series on the recognition of foreign credentials, evaluates existing MRAs and discusses the prospects for cooperation between the United States and the European Union.

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