Research Overview

The Institute for Immigration Research (IIR) conducts original, multidisciplinary academic research to produce factually accurate, reliable, and supportable information about immigrants and immigration to the United States. Our research and broader work includes three primary focus areas:

  • Immigrant Contributions and Challenges
  • Immigrant Inclusion and Investment
  • Immigration Policies and Pathways

You can read more about our current and previous research in each of these areas, as well as our bridging initiatives, below.

Contributions and Challenges

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When it was founded in 2012, the Institute for Immigration Research (IIR) focused primarily on the economic contributions of immigrants and immigration to the United States. As the IIR has grown from this initial mission, we have expanded our focus areas, including examination of a broad range of contributions and challenges from immigrants and immigration to the United States.

Inclusion and Investment


Integration, belonging, and inclusion are central to cultural, economic, political, and social discourses about migration. To understand immigrant inclusion in the United States, we conduct research that examines American attitudes about immigrants and immigration as well as the experiences of immigrants in the United States. We also extend our research on inclusion to consider the ways in which investment - particularly educational, skill-based, and employment investments - in immigrants facilitates both immigrant inclusion and a cycle of return contributions and investments in American society.

Policies and Pathways

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The Institute for Immigration Research (IIR) situates immigration to the United States within the global and national frameworks of historic and contemporary immigration policies that shape immigrant pathways to the United States. This focus area also examines how immigrant policies at the state and local level of governance shape immigrant trajectories.

Bridging Initiatives

Bridging its three focus areas, the Institute for Immigration Research (IIR) provides tailored data about immigrants across the United States through its Immigration Data on Demand (iDod) initiative and individualized stories about immigrants in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, M.D. Metropolitan Areas and beyond through its Immigrant Stories initiative.

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