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Immigration and Integration: Introduction

  • Jens Hainmueller ,
  • Duncan Lawrence

Immigration policy has been a very controversial and highly debated topic for decades, both in the United States and in Europe. As the West struggles to accommodate the continuing influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, a growing number of people feel that the United States and the European Union need to reevaluate and adjust current immigration policies.

According to researchers at the Immigration and Integration Policy Lab at Stanford University, immigration produces “some of the most urgent and fundamental challenges of our time, but policymakers and advocacy groups are often [so] wrapped up in ideological debates” that they forget to test which policies and programs are actually effective. Partially funded by The Europe Center at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, the Immigration and Integration Policy Lab uses statistical methods and experiments to study immigration and integration policy in Europe and the United States. The Lab’s goal is to create a more balanced understanding of immigration and integration in order to help inform and advance policy.

In this video, Jens Hainmueller, Co-Director of the Immigration and Integration Policy Lab, and Duncan Lawrence, Executive Director of the Immigration and Integration Policy Lab, define immigrant integration, explain factors of migration, and discuss the characteristics of immigration in Europe versus the United States.

A free accompanying discussion guide will soon be available for this lecture and the related video, Immigration and Integration: Research, in which Hainmueller and Lawrence explain some of the challenges created by current immigration policies and the research the Policy Lab has undertaken to better understand and inform alternative solutions.