Federal, State, and Local Immigration Enforcement and Integration Policies

Although immigrant admissions policy is controlled by the federal government, localities and states are critical players in understanding the policy context for immigrant residents and families. States and localities play crucial roles around issues of immigration enforcement, access to and use of public services, and integration. Urban researchers offer expertise in immigration and integration policies and practices at local, state, and federal levels.

Immigrant Children, Families, and Communities

Together, immigrants and their children make up one-quarter of the U.S. population, with much higher concentration in many cities and suburbs across the country. Urban Institute researchers bring in-depth expertise on wellbeing and public services to explore the experiences of families and children across these diverse communities, by lifting up key demographic data, exploring how public services can reach those who need them, and understanding the multigenerational integration of immigrant families.

Immigrant Workforce and the Economy

Immigrants make up 13 percent of the U.S. population but they are 16 percent of the workforce, and are concentrated in occupations and industries at the high-, middle-, and low-skilled levels. Urban scholars offer expertise in the economic and fiscal impact of immigration, the immigrant workforce, and how to support more effective training and upskilling of this population.

Refugees and International Migration

The protection and settlement of individuals and families fleeing persecution is a critical issue in our world, where more than 65 million people live as refugees. Global migration has implications for sending, transit, and receiving countries. Efforts to foster the integration and wellbeing of forced migrants involve organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, at the level of the international community and in local host societies. Urban Institute researchers explore this from multiple angles, with work on refugee integration in the U.S. through the Annual Survey of Refugees, as well as in the international context.

Understanding the Consequences of Current Immigration Policy

The Trump administration has proposed sweeping changes to federal immigration policy, including a proposal that would penalize immigrant families for participating in safety net programs. Advocates, policymakers, service providers, and the research community are concerned that current immigration policy could lead immigrant families to forgo assistance that helps them meet their basic needs and to disengage with critical public services.

Urban Institute researchers are investigating the short- and long-term consequences of evolving immigration policy on the well-being of immigrant families and the communities where they live.

Children of Immigrants

Since 2006, Urban has used data from the American Community Survey to understand the trends in the population of children born to at least one foreign-born parent—that is, children of immigrants. Through reports, briefs, , data visualizations, and our interactive data tool, we have tracked and allowed others to track changes in the characteristics, number, and lived realities of these children and their families. We present snapshot and trend information on children of immigrants and their families including location; citizenship and length of residence in the US; income, employment, and benefits; education and schooling; household structure; and more. Our data span the national, state, and metro levels and provide information on foreign-born and US-born children as well as for children overall and by child and parent nativity and citizenship, child demographics, family income, and more.