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Mar 20 2014

Latest news from Migration Policy Institute

The issue brief, the latest in a joint series launched by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the International Organization for Migration’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, evaluates the current human-rights framework and its implementation.

The brief, Human Rights, Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration: A New Paradigm, reviews legal options available to the international community to protect environmental migrants and recommends approaches for strengthening the current “soft law” approach. It also touches upon the situation in Asia and the Pacific, looking specifically at the legal challenges posed by the submergence of small island states and effects on other climate-vulnerable countries, such as Bangladesh.

To read the earlier briefs in the series, which offer succinct insights on migration issues affecting the Asia-Pacific region today, click here.



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Feb 25 2014

Latest news from Migration Policy Institute

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) today announced the launch of a completely redesigned website for MPI and its online journal, the Migration Information Source. The new website provides a significantly more user-friendly experience with improved navigation, richer visualization of data offerings and the ability to find research, multimedia content and articles by topic, region and other criteria.

The website, www.migrationpolicy.org, offers a clean, contemporary design with powerful search capabilities, as well as a new section for commentaries written by MPI and MPI Europe policy analysts. Users will be able to select MPI and Migration Information Source resources by topic, region, content type, analyst and program activity.

The website includes a revamped MPI Data Hub that offers a wealth of international and U.S. data, charts and maps. The Data Hub provides current and historical data on immigrant populations by size, origin, place of residence, educational attainment, language proficiencies and workforce participation; as well as trends in remittance flows, emigration and more.



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Feb 07 2013

Latest Resources from Migration Informatio​n Source

MPI Issues Handy Compilation of Sought-After Data on Immigrants in the U.S.

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) released its annual compilation of statistics on immigrants in the United States, offering some of the most sought-after data on current and historical immigration trends, as well as the current size of the foreign-born population, employment rates, geographic concentrations and more. The U.S. immigrant population of 40.4 million in 2011 is the world’s largest immigrant population.


The data article in the Migration Information Source, MPI’s online journal, provides data to answer the following questions and more:

  • How many immigrants are in the United States today?
  • What are the historical numbers and shares of immigrants in the United States?
  • How many unauthorized immigrants are here? Where are they from?
  • What percentage of the immigrant population is college educated?
  • How many immigrants work in the labor force?
  • What kinds of jobs do they have?
  • What is the unemployment rate among immigrants?
  • Which states and counties have the largest and fastest-growing foreign-born populations?
  • Which states have the highest/lowest percentages of Mexican-born immigrants?
  • How many of the foreign born came as refugees and asylees?


The Spotlight draws on data from MPI, the Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) and decennial Census, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Information Technology.


The complete article can be found online at: http://my.migrationpolicy.org/salsa/track.jsp?v=2&c=7TwGVL8a5aoscMZQ%2BMRJG9lxoRE07hzO


MPI’s Data Hub offers significant current and historical demographic, educational, workforce, linguistic, and income and poverty data on immigrants nationally and by state. To access the data by state, visit: www.migrationinformation.org/DataHub/acscensus.cfm.


[Source: Migration Information Source]


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Dec 06 2011

Top 10 Migration Issues of 2011

  1. Arab Spring and Fear of Migrant Surge Expose Rift in EU Immigration Policy Circles
  2. Economic Malaise Makes Immigrants a Target for Restrictive Legislation, Public Backlash
  3. Immigration in United States and Parts of Europe Gives Way to Increased Emigration
  4. Highly Skilled Migrants Seek New Destinations as Global Growth Shifts to Emerging Economies
  5. Substantial Investments to Court Diaspora Entrepreneurs for Development Gains
  6. Heading into the 2012 Elections, Republican Presidential Candidates Walk the Immigration Policy Tightrope
  7. Immigrant Detention under Scrutiny in Australia, United Kingdom, and United States
  8. The Arab Spring and Other Crises in Africa Displace More Than 1 Million People
  9. A Decade after 9/11, Enforcement Focus Prevails in the United States; Broader Immigration Reforms Remain Stalled
  10. Caught between Two Migration Realities, Mexico Passes New Immigration Legislation


[Source: Migration Policy Institute]


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May 03 2011

MPI Report: Pay-to-Go Return Programs Have History of Failure But Could Be Improved

For decades, some immigrant-receiving countries have experimented with policies designed to encourage (typically) unauthorized immigrants to leave without the cost, legal barriers, and political obstacles that result from removals or forced returns.

Known by a wide variety of names — noncoercive return, pay-to-go return, or voluntary, assisted voluntary, or nonforced return — these initiatives generally offer paid travel and/or a financial incentive in order to persuade target populations to cooperate with immigration authorities. Some also offer migrants assistance re-establishing themselves in their home countries, with the goal of making their return “sustainable” — that is, enabling them to succeed at home and discouraging them from returning immediately to the host country.

In a new MPI report funded by European Union, Pay-to-Go Schemes and Other Noncoercive Return Programs: Is Scale Possible?, authors Richard Black, Michael Collyer, and Will Somerville examine how such pay-to-go initiatives have a long history of failure on the ground despite appealing to host-country governments for several reasons, including cost.

Voluntary return programs implemented since the 1970s in countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, and France, as well as more recent pilots in the United Kingdom, have persistently failed to attract substantial numbers of participants (with the notable exception of a late 1990s program returning migrants from Germany to Bosnia).

Pay-to-go return programs will always face barriers to achieving high levels of participation, not least because many unauthorized migrants simply are not willing to return and are prepared to take substantial risks in order to remain in the host country. Still, the experience of some countries suggests that voluntary return can reach a larger scale than is typically the case and could be an important part of the policy toolkit to reduce illegal immigration.

However, the authors conclude that persistent experimentation (and crucially, evaluation) will be needed in order to overturn barriers to the effective implementation and success of noncoercive return policies.

Click here for access.


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Jan 19 2011

New MPI Report Assesses Economic Benefits, Costs of Low-Skilled Immigration to the United States

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, D.C. dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national and international levels.

WASHINGTON — In contrast to the broad consensus that exists regarding the benefits of highly skilled immigration, the economic role of low-skilled immigrants remains one of the most controversial questions in the immigration debate. Economists continue to disagree about the costs and benefits of less-skilled immigrants, as well as the policies that govern their admission to the United States.

In a new report for the Migration Policy Institute, Immigration Policy and Less-Skilled Workers in the United States: Reflections on Future Directions for Reform, Georgetown Public Policy Institute Professor Harry Holzer assesses the research literature and finds that the benefits of low-skilled immigration accrue primarily to employers, who benefit from paying lower wages; and to both higher- and lower-income consumers, who purchase the goods and services less-skilled immigrants produce. The costs are borne by low-skilled native and earlier-arrived immigrant workers who must compete with these immigrants for jobs; though there is little consensus on the exact magnitudes of these costs, they generally appear to be quite modest. There are also both fiscal costs and benefits to federal, state and local governments but these generally turn more positive over the long run and across generations…

The report was commissioned to inform the work of MPI’s Labor Markets Initiative, which has been conducting a comprehensive, policy-focused review of the role of legal and illegal immigration in the labor market. Earlier reports have examined middle-skilled immigrant workers, the effects of illegal immigration on the U.S. economy, how immigrants fare during periods of boom and bust, their impact on the economy throughout the economic cycle and the effects of the global economic crisis on immigrants in the United States and around the world.


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Nov 02 2009

Migration and Human Development

The United Nations Development Program has released the Human Development Report 2009 which considers international migration, internal migration, and refugee flows as well as voluntary movement, and how all these forms of mobility contribute to — or detract from — the ability of migrants to lead the kind of life that they have reason to value.

In addition, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) produced two of the expert background papers for the report: one on the role of recruitment agencies and other intermediaries in the migration process by Dovelyn R. Agunias, and another on the interaction of circular migration and human development by Kathleen Newland.

Guiding the Invisible Hand: Making Migration Intermediaries Work for Development by Dovelyn R. Agunias, traces the legitimate role of intermediaries in providing information and extending critical services in various stages of migration, thereby expanding migrants’ range of choices. However, the value of intermediaries is, in many cases, overshadowed by the costs they impose on migrants, from exorbitant fees to outright abuse of basic human rights. Clearly, there is room for intervention to regulate intermediaries and shape their operations in more positive directions.

Circular Migration and Human Development by Kathleen Newland, discusses various conceptions and definitions of circular migration, and concludes that circular migration is not intrinsically positive or negative in relation to human development; its impact depends upon the circumstances in which it occurs, the constraints that surround it and — above all — the degree of choice that individuals can exercise over their own mobility. The human-development lens distinguishes between spontaneous circular migration and circular migration projects or programs designed by governments.


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Oct 30 2009

US Historical Immigration Trends

From its inception, the United States has been a country of immigrants. These charts focus on immigration patterns and characteristics of the immigrant population through time. By placing immigration to the United States in its broader historic context, the characteristics of today’s migration flows and the immigrant communities they establish can be better understood.

Click on the bullet points below for more information:

Immigration to the United States: A Historical Perspective

Immigrant Source Countries Since 1960

Immigrants in the US Labor Force

Children in Immigrant Families

Region of Birth of the Foreign Born

Age and Sex Distribution

Source: MPI


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Oct 30 2009

New Maps of Residence of Mexican and Other Immigrants, Updated National and State Immigration Trends, and Immigrants in the Labor Market.

The fall brings not only colorful foliage and pumpkin pies but also much-awaited data from the US Census Bureau, providing a treasure trove of figures that quantify and help explain the lives of people living in this country, whether native or foreign born. This month, we are pleased to update three of our tools with just-released data from the 2008 American Community Survey.

Did you know:

* There were 37,960,935 foreign born in the United States — only slightly lower than the 38,059,694 reported in 2007. This is a dramatic departure from previous years when the number of immigrants in the United States increased by about one million persons per year.

* The share of immigrants in the total population also dropped slightly — from 12.6 percent in 2007 to 12.5 percent in 2008.

* Though immigrants in recent years have fanned out beyond the traditional gateway states, two out of every three immigrants lived in six states — California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey — in 2008. In 1990, those same states accounted for 72.9 percent of all immigrants residing in the United States.

* North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, and Arkansas were among 15 states that experienced more than 200 percent growth of their immigrant population between 1990 and 2008.

Check out our State Rankings Tables and the map of States with the Largest and Fastest-Growing Immigrant Populations that capture changes in the size of the immigrant population at the national and state levels between 1990 and 2008.

* In 2008, two in three immigrants (or 24.9 million) lived in just 20 metropolitan areas. There were 5.3 million immigrants in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA metro area and 4.4 million immigrants in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA metro area. Together, these two metropolitan areas accounted for one quarter of all immigrants in the United States.

Check out our updated map showing the State Proportion of the Immigrant Population and Metropolitan Areas with 400,000 Immigrants or More to find out in which metropolitan areas nearly two in three immigrants lived in 2008.

* California was home to 37.3 percent of the 11.4 million Mexican immigrants living in the United States in 2008, followed by Texas, which accounted for 21 percent. About 1.8 million Mexican immigrants lived in one metropolitan area: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA.

Check out our updated map showing the State Proportion of the Mexican Immigrant Population and Metropolitan Areas with 150,000 Mexican Immigrants or More to find out where else Mexican immigrants are concentrated. We also have maps showing other top origin groups Filipino, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Salvadorean, and Korean born. There were at least 1 million immigrants from each of these six countries residing in the United States in 2008.

The pie chart Ten Source Countries with the Largest Populations: 2008 shows the top ten countries of origin and the chart Foreign-Born Population by Region of Birth: 1960 to 2008 displays the change over time by world region.

* The 16.3 million children of immigrants — both foreign and US born — accounted for nearly one in four children under age 18 in the United States in 2008. The share of children of immigrants among all children was double the national average (23.2 percent) in a traditional immigrant state California (49.6 percent) and 1.6 times higher in a new-growth state Nevada (37 percent). The Children Age 17 and under in Immigrant and Native Families by State table shows the change in size and share of children of immigrants in the nation and by state between 1990 and 2008.

* While immigrants accounted for 12.5 percent of the entire US population, they represented 15.7 percent (or 24.5 million) of the 156.2 million adults engaged in the civilian labor force in 2008. Since 1980 the share of immigrants in the US civilian labor force has more than doubled (from 6.7 percent to 15.7 percent).

Use our chart Foreign Born as a Percentage of the Total Population and of the Civilian Labor Force, 1970 to 2008 to display the changes over time. Click on “Download data as Excel file” to download the state-level data to create your own charts.

[Source: Migration Information Source–October 28, 2009]


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Sep 18 2009

Kennedy and US Immigration Policy, Mobility Partnerships

  1. With Kennedy’s Death, Loss of Major Figure in US Immigration Policy
  2. MPI’s Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on Senator Edward Kennedy’s contributions to US immigration policy …

  3. EU Mobility Partnerships: Expression of a New Compromise
  4. In recent years, the European Union has come to recognize that it cannot prevent migration and that it needs a different approach to managing flows from its poorer neighbors …

  5. Immigrants in the United States and the Current Economic Crisis
  6. Immigration flows to the United States have noticeably slowed in the last year, raising fundamental questions for policymakers and analysts about the effect the economic crisis is having on inflows and return migration …

  7. Rethinking the Last 200 Years of US Immigration Policy
  8. Contrary to popular belief, the United States actively devised policies and laws that shaped the country’s population from the colonial period onward…

[Source: Migration Policy Institute]


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