Migration Policy Institute - Policy Briefs
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The Member States of the United Nations must negotiate a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) that will frame a new international development agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expire in 2015. This issue brief examines how migration can be integrated into the post-2015 development agenda, outlining proposed migration targets and elements for indicators within the SDGs.
In the absence of legislative movement to reform the U.S. immigration system, the Obama administration is considering executive action to provide relief from deportation to some of the nation's estimated 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants. This issue brief examines a number of scenarios for possible executive action, estimating how many people could benefit.
With the European Council meeting in late June 2014 to adopt strategic guidelines on asylum and migration policy, amid strains resulting from Syrian refugee migration and other flows, this MPI Europe policy brief identifies challenges and proposes a forward course. The brief recommends increased engagement by Member States in practical cooperation as a way to strengthen implementation and consolidation of existing EU laws and achieve more consistent asylum decision-making.
This MPI Europe policy brief, published with the European Council poised to articulate a new set of long-term objectives and priorities for action on migration and asylum policy, details the immigration and other challenges that policymakers confront and sets out the reasons for increasingly sclerotic policy development.
This issue brief explores the Asia-Pacific region's active engagement in the Global Forum on Migration and Development and suggests modes of collaboration between governments and other migration stakeholders on issues that are particularly relevant to the region.
This issue brief addresses the rights of migrants whose movement is induced by environmental degradation or climate change, particularly in the highly vulnerable Asia-Pacific region. The brief evaluates the current international legal framework, identifies gaps in the framework and its implementation, and reviews options available to the international community.
This policy brief traces the successes and failures of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which represented the first and most comprehensive legislation to take on the issue of illegal immigration to the United States. The brief makes the case that IRCA's major flaws were rooted in statutory design more than regulatory challenges and implementation by the administrative agencies.
This policy brief reviews the challenges that face the EU-wide social security coordination system. It argues that while improving the fairness, clarity, and public support for this system are difficult, even small concessions from the European Commission could provide an opportunity to showcase the elements that do work.
This policy brief, which concludes a nine-brief series examining what is known about the linkages between migration and development, suggests that the policy framework on migration and development remains relatively weak, and few development agencies have made it a priority to promote the positive impact of international migration.
Circular migration has typically been viewed with skepticism by migrant-rights advocates and wary publics alike. But many experts and policymakers in the migration field — and some in development — have come to recognize that well-managed circulation that is respectful of migrants' human and labor rights can bring benefits to countries of origin and destination, as well as to migrants themselves. For countries of origin, circular migration can relieve labor surpluses; for destination countries, it can provide the flexibility to quickly overcome skills shortages while adapting to long-term labor market shifts. For migrants, circular migration offers the opportunity to earn higher wages and gain international experience.
Remittances represent a major vehicle for reducing the scale and severity of poverty in the developing world. Besides pure monetary gains, remittances are associated with greater human development outcomes across a number of areas, including health, education, and gender equality. The author argues that policymakers can maximize the positive impact of remittances by making them less costly and more productive for both the individual and the country of origin.
Private recruitment agencies orchestrate much of the migration process, from predeparture to return. They provide information, assistance, and even financial support to migrants; facilitate transit to and from the destination; and in some cases employ migrants directly. While recruitment agencies protect migrants, sometimes removing them from abusive workplaces or even organizing repatriation, migrants’ dependence on them for so many services also creates many opportunities for exploitation and abuse. This brief assesses the forms of regulation that are being proposed and enacted to oversee recruitment agencies and identifies several areas for further improvement.
Diasporas can play an important role in the economic development of their countries of origin or ancestry. Beyond their well-known role as senders of remittances, diasporas also can promote trade and foreign direct investment, create businesses, spur entrepreneurship, and transfer new knowledge and skills. Policymakers increasingly recognize that an engaged diaspora can be an asset — or even a counterweight to the emigration of skilled and talented migrants.
Economic and demographic disparities will shape the mobility of labor and skills during the 21st century. The populations of richer societies are aging rapidly, while working-age populations continue to grow in some emerging economies and most low-income countries. Despite these trends, many countries continue to assume that today’s demographic realities will persist. This policy brief describes how the current geography of migration is changing, and offers recommendations for policymakers.
Skilled migration is often thought to have overwhelmingly negative effects on countries of migrant origin. Yet recent research and policy experience challenge this assumption and offer a more nuanced picture, as this brief explains. Countries of origin and destination can in fact benefit from skilled migration when it is correctly structured, and efforts to restrict skilled nationals’ ability to leave their countries of origin may have unintended costs, in addition to being ethically problematic.
Environmental change is likely to affect global migration flows in a number of ways. Both long-term trends such as increased flooding and the increasing scarcity of resources as well as shorter term trends like severe weather are likely to contribute to displacement and increased migration for individuals already in vulnerable situations. While often viewed as a negative outcome of climate change, planned migration can also serve as a strategy for mitigating its impact.
This policy brief, the first in a series distilling the evidence and experience on migration and development, examines whether respect for migrant rights has economic benefits for countries of origin and destination. The author finds that respect for rights in migrant-sending countries can help secure remittances, attract other forms of diaspora investment, and effect political and social change.
This issue brief analyzes the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides a two-year reprieve from deportation for eligible unauthorized immigrants who came to the United States as children. The study finds that 49 percent of the eligible population had applied during the program's first year, and reveals wide variation in application rates across states and national-origin groups.
This brief examines how the Senate's 2013 comprehensive immigration reform legislation would reshape the legal immigration system through its admission policies and creation of a new merit-based visa stream and points-based system. It also offers estimates of future migration flows, where they can be determined.
This issue brief provides updated data, based on the Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey, on unauthorized immigrants in the United States, their demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, and their health care coverage. The analysis marks the first time that self-reported data on LPR status have been used to generate a national profile of unauthorized immigrants.