The global recession’s deepening effects on governments, public and private institutions, and individuals is increasingly taking center stage for migration policy stakeholders at both source and destination countries.
Though there is very little useful historical experience to guide the analysis, the accumulating evidence and informed speculation point to the following preliminary judgments: Immigrants are among the most vulnerable actors in a recession and are likely to be first and hardest hit. Flows of unauthorized migrants, contract and otherwise temporary (but not seasonal) workers, and students will be most directly affected; family and humanitarian flows least affected. Informal economies are likely to grow, as is exploitation of immigrants. Perceptions of immigrants will likely become more negative.
The Council believes that it is especially important to concentrate on investments in immigrant integration policies and programs to prevent social divisions from getting out of hand. Further, the Council suggests that while governments will come under pressure to reduce immigration flows, governments must be particularly strategic if their actions are not to have adverse effects. Systems should avoid a “just-in-time” approach to policymaking, employ various mechanisms and entry channels to maximize value, and pay close attention to policies to ensure that changing needs can be met.
I. Migration in an Economic Downturn
II. Competing for Talent
III. Demographic and Human Capital Futures
IV. Policy Principles: Positioning Policies for Economic Migration