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.

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Publication Date: 
August 1, 2005
Immigrant numbers should be taken in the context of native population growth or decline to better understand the impact of immigration.
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June 1, 2005
Thirty years after the fall of the Saigon government, Vietnamese Americans celebrate the fact that they have moved far beyond their refugee origins and become successful economic and political...
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May 1, 2005
Given the extent to which undocumented immigrants already living in the United States are part of U.S.-based families, comprehensive immigration reform must include more than just a new temporary...
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March 1, 2005
Successive generations of African immigration have continuously transformed the African American community and the sociopolitical climate of the United States.
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December 1, 2004
December 17 marks the anniversary of the 1943 repeal by Congress of the Chinese Exclusion Act of May 6, 1882. With only a few exceptions, this law barred any Chinese from immigrating to the United...
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October 1, 2004
Immigrants – and groups in which immigrants are a large percentage of the population, such as Latinos and Asian/Pacific Islanders (APIs) – are a growing portion of the U.S. electorate. In a closely...
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June 1, 2004
The McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 ended the blanket exclusion of immigrants based on race and created the foundation for current immigration law, but imposed a racialized immigration quota system and...
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May 1, 2004
Asian-Pacific migration to the United States has had a positive impact on immigration and refugee law by contributing to the demise of exclusion acts against non-whites and of the nationality-based...
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December 1, 2003
In the hours following the deadly terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States government took the extraordinary step of sealing U.S. borders to traffic and trade by grounding all...
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November 1, 2003
Comparisons of the mostly “minority” foreign-born and mostly “white” native-born populations that fail to account for the socioeconomic impact of ethnicity incorrectly suggest that place of birth,...
March 15, 2021

The Biden administration must improve transparency in the U.S. immigration system. Such efforts go hand in hand with strengthening democratic institutions. Under the Freedom of Information Act (...

March 11, 2021

It’s been one year since the COVID-19 pandemic first affected immigration on a global scale. The impact has been swift, devastating, and long-lasting. On March 11, 2020, former President Trump...

March 4, 2021

Individuals hoping to become a naturalized American citizen will take a different civics test beginning this week, as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reverts back to a previous...

February 25, 2021

President Biden has ended a 10-month ban on immigrant visas—the COVID-19 immigrant visa ban. The Trump administration issued the ban in April 2020 in the name of “protecting” American jobs during...

February 25, 2021

Over the past year, sweeping orders have banned many non-immigrant visa holders from entering the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic gave many former Trump administration officials the...

February 11, 2021

The U.S. Border Patrol has been rooted in institutional racism since its founding in 1924. Almost a century later, the agency continues to commit racially fueled violent acts with near impunity....

February 3, 2021

On February 2, 2021, following the confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of Homeland Security, President Biden signed three executive orders that take steps to further unwind the Trump...

February 1, 2021

The Biden administration’s immigration reform bill will have a provision that seeks to replace the term “alien” with “noncitizen” in immigration law. The term “alien” in the Immigration and...

January 28, 2021

Do most immigrants show up for their immigration court hearings? A new report released by the American Immigration Council reveals that the answer to this question is a clear “Yes.” As the Biden...

January 22, 2021

On his first day in office, President Biden took significant steps towards undoing the harm of the Trump administration’s immigration policies—and reforming our punitive and inhumane enforcement...

May 2, 2022

Data from the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau show that there are approximately 20.7 million Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States—comprising 6.2 % of the U.S. population—that make up the...

April 22, 2022

The Biden administration failed to issue many of the immigrant visas—more commonly known as green cards—that were allotted last year for immigrants who have been sponsored by a U.S. employer or...

March 30, 2022

More than two-thirds of U.S. counties saw natural decreases in population between 2020 and 2021, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. This means that almost 2,300...

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March 3, 2022
This fact sheet provides a demographic overview of the population of Ukrainians in the United States who may qualify for TPS, and what benefits TPS would confer upon those individuals.
February 24, 2022

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to clarify the meaning of the “public charge ground of inadmissibility” on February 24. The new guidance will be...

February 22, 2022

The Canadian government released its 2022-2024 immigration targets earlier this week. Should it reach these targets, the number of new immigrants entering Canada would reach levels not seen in...

February 10, 2022

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) unveiled a new mission statement this week, signaling an important shift in how the agency wants to tell its story and shape its priorities ahead...

February 2, 2022

Some media outlets have reached a fever pitch over what they have deemed President Biden’s “secret flights of migrants.” They claim that the Biden administration is covertly flying migrants into...

Publication Date: 
December 15, 2021
This fact sheet aims to explain the basics of the federal government funding process, also known as appropriations, and show how it affects the world of immigration and immigration enforcement.
December 8, 2021

The Biden administration has—in its first year—rolled back many of the worst discriminatory policies implemented by the Trump administration that targeted non-U.S. citizens. But much work remains...

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