Every day, organizations worldwide are engaged in a collective two steps forward, one step back march toward improved immigration services and policies. What hard-earned lessons are these nonprofits, and the foundations that support them, learning from their persistent efforts? This collection of evaluations, case studies, and lessons learned exposes and explores the nuances of effective collaboration, the value of coordinated messaging, the bedrock of ongoing advocacy efforts, and the vital importance of long-term and flexible funding.

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Legalization Through “Registry”

September 28, 2021

Current immigration law contains a provision called "registry" that allows certain non-citizens who are long-term residents of the United States, but who are either undocumented or present in the country under some sort of temporary immigration status, to "register" for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status. In order to qualify, individuals must have entered the country on or before a specified date (known as the "registry date") and must demonstrate good moral character and continuous residence since their entry. After its creation in 1929, Congress advanced the registry date four times, most recently in 1986, when the date was set at January 1, 1972—meaning that only non-citizens who entered the United States by that date are eligible to apply for LPR status through registry. This date is now so far in the past that few individuals are eligible. However, Congress has the power to advance the registry date again at any time, which would potentially allow millions of non-citizens to become LPRs and, ultimately, U.S. citizens.

Biden Administration’s Dangerous Haitian Expulsion Strategy Escalates the U.S. History of Illegal and Discriminatory Mistreatment of Haitians Seeking Safety in the United States

September 21, 2021

This fact sheet from Human Rights First and Haitian Bridge Alliance (the Bridge) examines the response of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Biden Administration toward the predominantly Haitian migrants and asylum-seekers who crossed into the United States near Del Rio, Texas in August/September 2021. It also compares the current situation to the approach the United States has historically adopted toward Haitian immigrants and asylum seekers.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Citizen Children with Noncitizen Parents Experienced Health Insurance Coverage Losses between 2016 and 2019

August 12, 2021

Uninsurance among citizen children with any noncitizen parents rose from 6.0 to 8.0 percent between 2016 and 2019. This increase reversed much of the coverage gains they had experienced between 2013 and 2016 and was larger than that for citizen children with only citizen parents. The Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program participation rate among eligible citizen children with noncitizen parents also fell from 93.1 to 90.8 percent between 2016 and 2019, likely contributing to these children's increase in uninsurance. These changes widened coverage gaps for citizen children with noncitizen parents relative to those with only citizen parents. They also align with findings that the proposed expansion of the "public charge" rule to include use of noncash benefits in applications for lawful permanent residence and other federal immigration policy shifts beginning in 2017 deterred some immigrant families from using public programs for fear of immigration-related consequences.

Children

A Profile of Current DACA Recipients by Education, Industry, and Occupation

July 23, 2018

This fact sheet examines predicted DACA expirations, as well as offers estimates for the educational and workforce characteristics of the nearly 690,000 current DACA holders. Among the national and state-level estimates offered: school enrollment and educational attainment, labor force participation, and top industries and occupations of employment.

New Brain Gain: Rising Human Capital among Recent Immigrants to the United States

May 31, 2017

Migration Policy Institute (MPI) analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau finds that almost half (48 percent) of immigrants coming to the United States between 2011 and 2015 were college graduates (compared to 31 percent of U.S.-born adults in 2015). In contrast, the highly skilled represented just 27 percent of arrivals during the five-year period ending in 1990. This rise in immigrants' educational attainment is correlated with increasing flows from Asia, although it should be noted that about one-quarter of recent immigrants from Latin America are college graduates. Higher levels of bilingualism and English language proficiency accompany this increase in human capital.

Enforcing Arizona's SB 1070: A State of Confusion

July 27, 2010

Arizona and the federal government await a decision from a Phoenix district judge on whether enforcement of SB 1070 will move forward on July 29th, or whether all or some parts of the law will be enjoined. Meanwhile, local law enforcement is struggling to interpret SB 1070 and provide training to officers, which could be further complicated if the judge allows only some parts of the law to go forward. In a new report released today by the Immigration Policy Center, Enforcing Arizona's SB 1070: A State of Confusion (below), journalist Jeffrey Kaye reveals that "instead of 'statewide and uniform practices' as directed by the governor, Arizona police agencies have developed a patchwork of guidelines based on varying interpretations of the law." Kaye's reporting includes interviews with police officials, who cite concerns with implementing the new law, and a review of training materials that suggest the implementation of SB 1070 will differ from one jurisdiction to another, and even within police agencies, and "will be burdensome, costly, and distort priorities."

Closed Borders and Mass Deportations: The Lessons of the Barred Zone Act

January 1, 2005

In 2005 Congress is expected to reexamine the U.S. immigration system in light of the roughly 10 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the country. Some advocates of restrictionist immigration policies offer mass deportations or a "moratorium" on immigration as solutions to the obviously dysfunctional system under which undocumented migration of this scale is taking place. Yet U.S. immigration history offers examples of similarly ill-conceived proposals. As policymakers and the public debate the nature and extent of immigration reform, they would do well to reflect upon the cautionary lessons of the Barred Zone Act of February 4, 1917.

Beyond the High-Tech Bubble: The Changing Demand for H-1B Professionals

April 1, 2004

Contrary to popular myth, H-1B professionals represent only a tiny fraction of the total U.S. labor force and do not crowd out native-born workers in industries that are losing jobs. Rather, H-1B workers fill growing labor needs in a variety of fields that continue to add jobs, such as education and healthcare.

U.S. Soldiers from Around the World: Immigrants Fight for an Adopted Homeland

March 1, 2003

As American troops, including many immigrants, are now engaged in military action in Iraq, the Immigration Policy Center has updated its fact sheet about the role and participation of immigrants in the U.S. Armed Forces.