Immigration 101

The U.S. immigration system is complex and can be difficult to understand. These resources provide key data points, historical information, and background on hot topics in immigration. Learn the basics about immigration.

Recent Features

All Immigration 101 Content

Publication Date: 
March 8, 2017
There are nearly 12 million immigrant (foreign-born) women workers in the United States today, comprising just over 7 percent of the total labor force.
Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016
This fact sheet provides an overview of the Supreme Court’s decision in Plyler v. Doe and subsequent efforts by states and localities to avoid compliance with the decision.
Publication Date: 
December 14, 2015

Americans pride themselves on belonging to a nation of immigrants. In fact, many Americans celebrate not only the traditions of the United States, but the traditions of the countries from which...

Publication Date: 
November 25, 2015
This report provides background on the refugee experience in the United States, including welcoming and exclusionary responses, the impacts of these disparate reactions, and lessons to consider in...
Publication Date: 
September 23, 2014
Together, New Americans, Latinos, and APIs are the fastest growing segments of the electorate. In the coming years, politicians who alienate these voters will find it increasingly difficult to win...
Publication Date: 
August 19, 2014
Unauthorized immigrants include adults and children, mothers and fathers, homeowners and people of faith, most of whom are invested in their communities.
Publication Date: 
September 3, 2013
This analysis of immigration trends and the demographic composition of U.S. House districts shows that numerous congressional districts have emerging electorates who have many reasons to care deeply...
Publication Date: 
July 29, 2013
Despite significant public support for immigration reform among members of the public in both parties, many of the most basic facts about immigrants and immigration remain misunderstood.
Publication Date: 
June 19, 2013
One of the themes that emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee mark up of the 2013 Senate immigration bill was the necessity of avoiding the mistakes of the past. In the context of legalization...
Publication Date: 
April 29, 2013
Today in the United States, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Americans who fall in love with and marry foreign nationals are being asked to choose between country and spouse, country...
March 17, 2023

Immigration agencies have a problem with transparency. With an immigration system as complex as ours and Freedom of Information Act offices that are chronically underfunded, it’s no surprise that...

February 24, 2023

Written by Steven Hubbard, Senior Data Scientist and Robin Lundh, Research Manager Black immigrants make up a vital part of America’s rich cultural life. Think of authors Chinua Achebe and...

February 10, 2023

In January, Republicans took control of the House of Representatives. After a lengthy fight over the Speaker of the House resolved, the new majority wasted no time in holding multiple hearings on...

January 17, 2023

On January 3, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) finally published a new proposed fee schedule for immigration benefits—which is to say, it took an important step to becoming a...

December 8, 2022

Can immigration avoid a cold winter in Congress? That’s the question immigrants and their advocates are asking as time runs out on the current Congress. The fate of Afghan evacuees, Dreamers,...

November 22, 2022

As Thanksgiving approaches, many cooks are busy planning their holiday meals. However, this year’s Thanksgiving meals will likely be more expensive as food prices soar. This is partly due to...

October 11, 2022

With the 2022 midterm elections just weeks away, all eyes are shifting to states where close races are expected. A lot has changed since the last midterm elections in 2018—including the...

October 11, 2022

On September 28, Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) introduced a bill in Congress that would allow millions of immigrants who have lived in the United States for many years to become Lawful Permanent...

September 16, 2022

Three years ago, the Trump administration sent fear throughout immigrant communities across the nation with its Public Charge rule, which functioned as a wealth test for green card applicants....

September 14, 2022

This Hispanic Heritage Month, we look at the most recent Census and data to highlight the importance of Hispanics in the United States. For those wondering why Hispanic Heritage Month starts mid-...

March 8, 2024

Since its conception in 1977, International Women’s Day has evolved into a global celebration highlighting women’s achievements and the challenges they face. The holiday’s origins can be traced...

February 16, 2024

On February 9, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released data about its progress toward meeting its strategic goals in fiscal year (FY) 2023. For the first time in years, the...

February 9, 2024

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) finalized its long-awaited fee rule on January 31, which impacts the filing costs for almost all the agency’s applications. The new fees will take...

February 9, 2024

By Karen Aho and Quinn Bankson Black immigrants not only contribute to America’s rich political and cultural history—think rapper Wyclef Jean, U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, or basketball’s Hakeem...

January 26, 2024

Amid inaction from the federal government on immigration policy and growing calls for action from localities, some state legislatures are taking a proactive role in welcoming immigrants and...

January 19, 2024

By Karen Aho, Consultant and Anna Shepperson, Research Associate When Sri Lankan business analyst Dinesh Prabaharan became a U.S. citizen in December of 2023, he expressed his gratitude at finally...

January 11, 2024

The State Department announced an update to its discretionary interview waiver policy for nonimmigrant visa applicants on December 21, 2023. It replaces the temporary policies in place for almost...

December 8, 2023

Many migrants, after being released from government custody, resettle in interior communities. These individuals and families often need immediate support in the form of housing, food, and...

December 1, 2023

Last September, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agreed to publish past versions of the Department of Homeland Security’s Privacy Impact Assessments on CBP One, the app that allows asylum...

November 13, 2023

Written by Robin Lundh, Research Manager and Anna Shepperson, Research Associate. Immigration—long central to the American experience—has dominated news coverage in recent years. Between 2016 and...

Most Read

  • Publications
  • Blog Posts
  • Past:
  • Trending