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U.S. employment-based visa policies, last updated in 1990, are not aligned with the country’s current and future labor market needs. This policy brief outlines MPI’s proposal for a new visa pathway that could help the United States better leverage immigration to meet its labor market needs, boost protections for both U.S.- and foreign-born workers, and flexibly adapt to future economic and demographic changes.
The U.S. humanitarian protection system, known for its long history of assisting those in need, has come under incredible pressure in recent years. The asylum adjudications system, which is under-resourced, is struggling to keep up with record asylum seeker arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border. This report examines the state of the asylum system, including changes under the Biden administration and potential lessons for other countries.
Travel documents are critical facilitators of mobility. But for refugees, who cannot safely use a passport issued by their origin country, the lack of a usable travel document can shut them out of work, study, or other opportunities beyond their first country of asylum. This policy brief examines alternative documents that can facilitate refugees’ movement, key barriers to acquiring them, and strategies for overcoming these challenges.
Immigrants’ eligibility for public benefits in the United States is governed by a complex patchwork of rules that make many groups of noncitizens eligible for some benefits but not others, while other noncitizens are excluded completely. This report provides an overview of immigrants’ eligibility for programs related to general assistance, health and nutrition, employment and income, education, housing, driver’s licenses, and more.
State accountability systems are designed to identify and close student achievement gaps. Yet most do not report and interpret English Learner (EL) outcomes in a way that paints a full picture of how different instructional services have contributed to academic development. This report sketches a vision for reimagined accountability systems that can support better understanding of ELs’ learning and inform school improvement strategies.
Unauthorized migration at the U.S.-Mexico border has been a high-profile and politically divisive issue for decades. But as the nature of migration at the border has changed profoundly, U.S. policy responses have struggled to keep up. This report explores the changing nature of migration flows and migration policy at the border from the early 1990s until today, highlighting key lessons for contemporary policy-making.
The massive and rapid displacement of Syrians, Venezuelans, and Ukrainians presented neighboring countries with an impossible task: providing legal status and assistance, even though their asylum systems lacked the capacity to handle such a large influx. This report examines the costs and benefits of the flexible approaches taken to providing status in these three cases, identifying lessons for future crises.
All eyes are on the U.S.-Mexico border, where shifting migration trends and record migrant arrivals have stretched the U.S. border management system beyond its capabilities. As the Biden administration continues to implement its new regime of incentives for orderly arrivals and disincentives for unauthorized crossings, this report analyzes the rapidly changing policy and migration realities and outlines recommendations for a more effective, durable system of border control.
Large-scale displacement can trigger instability and feelings of threat in refugee host countries. But in certain cases, it can also uncover deep wells of solidarity that create space for generous policy responses. This report explores factors that can foster and erode public support for forced migrants, drawing examples from attitudes towards Syrians in Turkey, Venezuelans in Colombia, and Ukrainians in Europe.
With EU migration systems under strain, many observers have high hopes that the New Pact on Migration and Asylum will be able to help Europe address pressing challenges. This policy brief explores how digital technologies could support the implementation of the pact, should it be approved, as well as areas where caution is merited.
With more people moving abroad for work and events such as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar highlighting the risks migrant workers can face, questions about how international recruitment occurs have received increased scrutiny. This policy brief explores the notable progress that has been made in establishing fair and ethical recruitment standards, and identifies key areas for future attention by governments, employers, and recruiters.
As humanitarian migrant arrivals in the United States increase, via refugee resettlement and channels such as temporary parole, communication between the national, state, and local actors involved in supporting their reception and integration is critical. This report examines the goals and design of quarterly resettlement consultations, as well as opportunities to refine these processes to boost their impact and relevance in a changing policy landscape.
Small and mid-sized cities are some of the fastest growing in many parts of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa. Yet life in these cities can present a variety of challenges for migrants and displaced persons. This report examines these challenges in secondary cities in Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda, and how local, national, and civil-society actors are working to address them.
Nearly one-quarter of residents of the Houston metro area are immigrants. These foreign-born Houstonians come from an ever-wider range of countries and are well represented in high-demand industries, and make up a sizeable share of parents. This report sketches a profile of the Houston area’s immigrant population overall, and takes a closer look at the number and characteristics of those eligible to naturalize.
In community sponsorship and other programs that directly involve communities and individuals in supporting refugees’ arrival and integration, where and with whom refugees are matched matters a great deal. This policy brief explores the ongoing evolution of approaches taken to matching refugees with sponsors or receiving communities, highlighting innovations and opportunities for further improvements.
A significant increase in the number of immigrant children in U.S. schools over the last decade has challenged K-12 educators to expand their capacity to serve students with different backgrounds and educational needs. This fact sheet sketches a profile of recently arrived immigrant children, presenting data on top states of residence, national origins, household characteristics, and more.
As millions of people fled Ukraine and sought safety in countries across Europe after Russia's 2022 invasion, community-led projects emerged to help newcomers find temporary housing in private homes. These hosting initiatives have helped quickly address a pressing housing need, fill gaps in official reception services, and engage communities in welcoming refugees. But they have also posed challenges, as this policy brief discusses.
El desplazamiento de venezolanos ha llevado a países de toda América Latina y el Caribe a poner en marcha políticas y programas para registrar, regularizar y apoyar la integración de los venezolanos. Sin embargo, la medida en que la regularización ha ayudado a los venezolanos a encontrar trabajo ha variado de un país a otro, como se analiza en este informe.
Venezuelan displacement has prompted countries across Latin America and the Caribbean to launch policies and programs to register, regularize, and support the integration of arriving Venezuelans. However, the extent to which regular status has helped Venezuelans find work has varied from country to country, as this report discusses.
Immigrants make significant contributions to the U.S. economy and social fabric, but many also face barriers to integration. Adult education and workforce development programs offer services intended to help address such challenges yet can be mismatched to immigrants' needs. This issue brief sketches a profile of U.S.-born and immigrant adults, highlighting key similarities and differences relevant to the design of adult skills programs.