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Migration, Immigrants, and Diaspora Politics

A guide to books, data, and research on the politics and policy of migration, immigrants, and diasporas

Overviews of the Literature

The following resources provide focused reviews of the scholarship relating to various aspects of migration, which can help you understand the context of your research question as well as identify sources for further exploration.

Related Subject Headings in the Catalog

Several subject headings exist to search in the catalog for works about immigration, migration, and immigrants.

  • United States --emigration and immigration
    • may be futher subdivided by topics like -government policy, -economic aspects, -history, -statistics
  • immigrants
    • may be subdivided by names of places where immigrants settle, e.g. immigrants -- United States or by key topics like -education, -employment, -government policy, -political activity, -public opinion, -social conditions and then by place
  • children of immigrants
  • immigrant children
  • women immigrants
  • undocumented immigrants
  • aliens
  • illegal aliens -- united states
  • name of nationality of origin may be subdivided by the place to which they have immigrated, e.g. Mexicans -- California.

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Government Documents, Policy Papers, and Think Tanks

US Immigration Statistics and Data

U.S. Census Bureau

The tag for much of the information about immigrants in the census is "foreign born."  "This includes naturalized U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (immigrants), temporary migrants (such as foreign students), humanitarian migrants (such as refugees), and people illegally present in the United States." (Census web site)

The Census Bureau administers the American Community Survey.  Among the questions asked is "place of birth."  The Census Bureau provides a chart explaining the tools available to retrieve statistics. Data for analysis with statistical packages can also be downloaded for analysis from the web site of the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).

Current Population Survey

Begun in the 1940s to track employment and unemployment in the United States.  The current sample size is approximately 60,000 households monthly.  Data are available from the 1960s on. The Bureau of Labor Statistics administers the survey and produces data-based reports on various topics, including foreign born workers.

Other government agencies have "piggy backed" on the CPS through supplementary surveys on specific topics, including immigration.  A chart of those supplements indicates the topics, the months and years they were administered, and whether or not the data are available. Data can be obtained via several sources.

Handbook of U.S. Labor Statistics

Compilation of statistical tables, including those about foreign-born population, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.  Location: Stokes (SPR) and Firestone (F) (call no. HD8051.A63--Current volume in (DSS) Data and Statistical Services.)

Yearbook of Immigration Statistics

Admissions on permanent basis, temporary basis, aylum or refugee status, naturalizations.  Older volumes, under the title Statistical Yearbook of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, can be found either at Firestone (F) or Stokes (SPR) (call number JV6461 .S8).

Other Immigration Statistics as well as annual publications (Annual Flow Reports, Annual Reports, Annual Population Estimates, etc.) can be found on the Homeland Security web site. 

Research Datasets

Politics Librarian

Jeremy Darrington