E.g., 06/23/2024
E.g., 06/23/2024
Legalization/Regularization

Legalization/Regularization

_Legalization Regularization

Millions of unauthorized immigrants have been given legal status in Europe and the United States since the mid-1980s through programs and mechanisms variously referred to as legalization or regularization. The policy tool has been used variously to address rising numbers of unauthorized immigrants, regulate underground labor markets, or for humanitarian purposes. Viewed by critics as a spur for more illegal migration, such policies are touted as a humanitarian means of addressing the status of workers and residents living in limbo and of regulating the informal labor market.

Recent Activity

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Cover image for Expanding Protection Options?
Reports
January 2024
By  Andrew Selee, Susan Fratzke, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Luisa Feline Freier
Cover image for A Winding Path to Integration...
Reports
October 2023
By  Diego Chaves-González and Natalia Delgado
Cover image for Migration, Integration, and Diaspora Engagement in the Caribbean
Reports
March 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte, Jordi Amaral, Diego Chaves-González, Ana María Sáiz and Jeremy Harris
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 El estado de la política migratoria y de integración de Costa Rica
Reports
November 2021
By  Diego Chaves-González and María Jesús Mora

Pages

A man with potatoes in Ecuador

Ecuador has emerged as a significant destination for Venezuelan migrants, and is also a sizable origin for people heading to the United States and Spain. The Andean nation has found itself enmeshed in the Americas' evolving mobility trends and has responded with a mix of policies that have produced some unforeseen outcomes. This country profile evaluates recent trends and puts them in historical context.

Un hombre con patatas en Ecuador

Ecuador se ha convertido en un destino importante para los migrantes sudamericanos, un país de tránsito para quienes se dirigen al norte y una fuente renovada de emigración. El pequeño país andino se ha visto enredado en las tendencias cambiantes de movilidad de la región y ha respondido a las circunstancias cambiantes con una combinación de políticas que ha producido algunos resultados imprevistos.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams meeting with asylum seekers.

U.S. cities have spent billions of dollars to provide shelter, health care, and other resources to migrants recently arrived from the U.S.-Mexico border. The exceptional costs, which the New York mayor has described as existential, are due to a unique combination of factors, this article explains, including the large numbers of migrants arriving without local connections and long waits for work permits.

Farmworkers in Murcia, Spain

Historically a country of emigration, Spain rapidly transitioned to become one of Europe’s major immigration destinations in just a few years. Remarkably, this evolution occurred with minimal political backlash, even as the country suffered through a crippling economic and labor crisis. This country profile examines the trends and policies that led to this astonishing development.

Venezuelan migrants at the Colombian border.

Political and economic crises, new free-movement arrangements, and other trends are transforming countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, a region once known primarily for its emigration. The number of immigrants living in the region has nearly doubled since 2010, an incredible change in a short period of time. This article makes sense of a profound transition underway in the Western Hemisphere.

Pages

Image of female worker at the Boqueria market in Barcelona making a crepe
Commentaries
March 2024
By  Anna Terrón Cusí and Andrew Selee
A Haitian child looks over his mother's shoulder in Panama
Commentaries
October 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte
A woman in a winter coat receives food from a woman in an orange safety vest at a train station in P
Commentaries
May 2022
By  Meghan Benton and Andrew Selee
IOm_Colombia_Passport_Woman_smaller
Commentaries
March 2021
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Diego Chaves-González
IOm_Colombia_Passport_Woman_smaller
Commentaries
February 2021
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Diego Chaves-González
BreadforWorld_DACA_3
Commentaries
February 2021
By  Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
DREAMERS Justin ValasFlickr
Commentaries
March 2019
By  Julia Gelatt
goodlatte
Commentaries
June 2018
By  Jessica Bolter and Sarah Pierce
Deferred Action Summit
Commentaries
June 2018
By  Julia Gelatt and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto

Pages

2023 Immigration Law and Policy Conference
Video
September 18, 2023

The 20th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by MPI, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center, features fresh, thoughtful policy and legal analysis, and discussion of some of the top immigration issues by leading government officials, attorneys, researchers, advocates, and other experts. 

Picture of female Venezuelan migrant in Colombia, leaning over balcony railing
Video
June 7, 2022

The presidents of Colombia and Ecuador speak at this high-level event held on the sidelines of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, focusing on the critical need for succcessful integration of Venezuelans in the Americas.

Displaced Ukrainians who have just crossed the Medyka border in Poland getting assistance from IOM
Video, Audio
May 4, 2022

Experts consider what is known about public opinion and narratives on refugees, looking at the Ukrainian and Syrian crises, and how post-crisis solidarity can be harnessed towards sustainable protection.  

Video, Audio
January 19, 2022

This MPI discussion with leading experts, advocates, and a top official from the administration examines the Biden track record on immigration and what lays ahead

World of Migration Podcast Episode 4
Expert Q&A, Audio
October 29, 2021

The architecture of the U.S. legal immigration system rests on a 1965 law and was last significantly updated in 1990. While there is widespread agreement that the existing framework does not align with the needs and realities of the 21st century, Congress has proven unable to enact significant legislative reform over the past two decades. How have debates on immigration changed and is achieving bipartisan consensus on this highly charged issue possible today?

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Recent Activity

Commentaries
March 2024

Spain and the United States both receive their greatest number of immigrants from Latin America, and have worked collaboratively together on displacement crises and other migration issues. As shared immigration challenges dominate debate on both sides of the Atlantic, Spain can serve as a vital bridge in the policy conversation, this commentary notes.

Reports
January 2024

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.

Video
September 18, 2023

The 20th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by MPI, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center, features fresh, thoughtful policy and legal analysis, and discussion of some of the top immigration issues by leading government officials, attorneys, researchers, advocates, and other experts. 

Commentaries
October 2023

The next major displacement of people in the Americas is in the making, and it is going unnoticed. The response to the steady emigration from Haiti seen since a devastating 2010 earthquake has been largely haphazard and may not stand the test of new spikes as the country unravels further. This commentary suggests a way forward, based on a model used for the Venezuelan displacement crisis.

Articles

Ecuador se ha convertido en un destino importante para los migrantes sudamericanos, un país de tránsito para quienes se dirigen al norte y una fuente renovada de emigración. El pequeño país andino se ha visto enredado en las tendencias cambiantes de movilidad de la región y ha respondido a las circunstancias cambiantes con una combinación de políticas que ha producido algunos resultados imprevistos.

Articles

Ecuador has emerged as a significant destination for Venezuelan migrants, and is also a sizable origin for people heading to the United States and Spain. The Andean nation has found itself enmeshed in the Americas' evolving mobility trends and has responded with a mix of policies that have produced some unforeseen outcomes. This country profile evaluates recent trends and puts them in historical context.

Reports
October 2023

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.

Reports
October 2023

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.

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