American Immigrant Policy Portal
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In This Issue

Research to Inform Policy and Practice   
on Migration-Related Issues
Policy-related reports, studies, and information about the challenge and promise of immigrant integration. Materials organized by collection topic.
Click on headlines for abstracts and links.

FeatureResearchFeatured Research

Report from the Chicago Council finds that immigrants have played a vital role in improving the economic prospects of Midwestern cities

Looking Back to Look Forward:  Lessons from 
the Immigration Histories of Midwestern Cities
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs,
September 2017, 16 pp.
Author: Rob Paral 

Midwestern cities have long relied on immigrants to energize local economies and grow their populations. In this report, Rob Paral links the economic history and prospects of these cities to immigration policies enacted from the 1920s to 1990s. Using Census data and existing research, the analysis points to restrictive immigration policies as a restraint on population growth and economic vitality in 13 large Midwestern cities, including St. Louis, Cleveland, and Minneapolis. In the early 1900s, 11 to 35 percent of residents in Midwestern cities were foreign-born, but the foreign-born population dropped precipitously by 1970. From 1950 to 1970 -- after laws aimed at limiting immigration, such as the Immigration Act of 1924, were enacted -- the cities in this analysis experienced an average general population decline of 7.5 percent (A steeper population decline was averted in part due to the Great Migration northward of African-Americans from the South). Fortunately, Congress passed legislation from 1965 to 1990 that allowed more than three times as many immigrants per year to enter into the country. While some Midwestern cities are still in decline, other cities' populations have stabilized largely because of the arrival of new foreign-born residents. For example, from 1970 to 2015, the foreign-born population in Chicago grew by 53 percent, in Minneapolis by 196 percent, and in Kansas City by 249 percent. Immigration has thus proven crucial to the economic survival and prosperity of the American Midwest (Yuki Wiland for The Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute).

The American Political Science Association (Section on Migration and Citizenship) publishes themed newsletter on municipal approaches to immigrant integration.

Newsletter of the American Political Science Association's Organized Section on Migration and Citizenship, 5:2 (Summer 2017), 48 pp.
Authors:  Els De Graauw et al

This is one in a series of themed newsletters produced by the Section on Migration and Citizenship of the American Political Science Association. The issue contains six articles looking at the role of U.S. municipalities in either fostering the integration of immigrants and refugees or excluding them from community life. The articles explore a range of policy areas, including policing, sanctuary policies, immigrant entrepreneurship, language access, voting, and participation in community life. In her introduction, Els de Graauw of City University of New York provides an overview of the articles and notes that they "highlight some of the cutting-edge research" in their respective policy areas. One contributor is Tom K. Wong, who shows that counties with so-called sanctuary policies have lower crime rates and stronger economies compared to non-sanctuary counties. Marie Provine and her colleagues examine the formidable barriers that the Trump administration faces in securing the cooperation of local law enforcement in immigration enforcement, including the widespread commitment to community policing practices, officer autonomy and discretion, and the lack of incentives for local law enforcement to follow federal immigration directives. Cathy Yang Liu and Xi Huang examine the range of approaches and strategies employed by local municipalities to encourage immigrant entrepreneurship; and Ron Hayduk and Kathleen Coll discuss efforts to restore noncitizen voting in local elections, a practice that was common in the 19th century. Taken together, according to de Graauw, the articles "raise important questions about not only the power of municipalities vis-à-vis the nation state...but also the effect that municipal politics and policies have on immigrants and refugees and the communities of which they are part" (Nicholas V. Montalto, Diversity Dynamics).

NewResearchNew Public Policy Research and Reports

lcLatest Commentary
A selection of recent OpEds from immigration researchers and major opinion leaders

October 18, 2017
T he four fallacies of the Trump-Cotton-Perdue immigration reform plan
Tamar Jacoby, New York Daily News
Read More

October 15, 2017
We can't be complicit in persecution of immigrant communities
Cesar Vargas, The Hill
Read More

October 12, 2017
White Nationalism Is Destroying the West
Sasha Polakow-Suransky, The New York Times
Read More

October 5, 2017
How Immigration Foiled Hillary
Thomas B. Edsall, The New York Times
Read More

October 5, 2017
Immigration reform is still possible and conservatives can lead the way
Ali Noorani, The Hill
Read More

September 28, 2017
Presidential determination on refugees paints a disturbing picture
J. Kevin Appleby, The Hill
Read More

September 28, 2017
The claims of anti-immigrant hysterics are disproved -- again
Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post
Read More

September 23, 2017
Want Geniuses?  Welcome Immigrants
Frank Bruni, The New York Times
Read More

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The Portal is a project of Diversity Dynamics, LLC, in association with the Center for International Social Work, School of Social Work, Rutgers University, and the Immigrant Learning Center, Inc., Public Education Institute, Malden, MA. Please send content suggestions for the Portal, including events of interest, to: No endorsements implied for research, opinions, resources or events featured on the Portal.