Do immigrants harm the world? The question is asking the same, are you safe when you step out of your house. Will you step back in to your house uninjured or do you want to stay out of it for the whole life without any worries about what will happen?

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Just like stepping out of your door produces a number of benefits and on the other hand it introduces danger and insecurity. Same is the case with International migration, it has both good and bad sides. It can be advantages and some times disadvantages.

International migration refers to “movement of persons who leave their country of origin or the country of habitual residence to establish themselves either temporarily or permanently in another country” [1]

International migrants are persons who reside in foreign countries. [2] The international migrants are those people who remain in a new country for a long period of time. Thus by definition tourists, business travelers, religious pilgrims etc. are not considered as migrants (IOM 2000)

International migrants consume 3.1% of the whole world’s population.

The total number of International migrants in the whole world in 2010 is 213,943,812 of which the top 10 countries with largest migrant stock support 52%. (See Appendix 2). Also some countries population constitutes more than 50% of migrants. For example in 2010 Qatar had 86.5% of its population share of International migrants. [3] (See Appendix 3). These facts and figures convey a impressive message that today International migration effects every part of the world.

As migration will have an important impact on the future of world economy, so migration policies have become a central discussion all around the world.

In this paper we will give a short overview about the types of migration and also the types of migrants.

We will then discuss the basic flows of migration. Considering some examples of migrants flow between South-south migration with the aspect of Asia, east -west migration with the overview of Europe and south-north migration with reference to Mexico-U.S.

Then we talk about the main driving factors that influence migration. We categorize the factors into demographic, economic and political segment. After this come the main discussion about how does migration affects not only the people, but also the sending and receiving countries. Migrations impact in the economy.

In the first capital, we will focus on….

Comparison with movement of labor similar to trade of goods….from the lecture

Globalization and the movement of labor

Adam Smith’s words “man is of all

sorts of luggage the most difficult to be transported.”

Types of International Migration

“Migration occurs when a person changes the area of their usual place of residence. International migration occurs when movement takes place across countries.”

Immigration is defined as “to enter and usually settle; especially to come into a country of which one is not permanent residence.” [1]

Emigration is defined as “to leave a country and resettle; especially to leave a country of which one is permanent residence”.

The report of IOM 2000 provides an effective distribution of migrants that can be segregated as follows: [2]

Voluntary Migration

Forced Migration

Labor Migrants (Temporary, Permanent or circular)

Family Reunification

Foreign Students

High skilled Business Migrants

Illegal Migration


Asylum seekers


Displaced Human

Human smuggling

There are many ways in which international migrants can be distinguished. One of the ways is voluntary and forced. Voluntary migrants are people who move to other country for the purpose of education, business, job etc. Forced migration is seen because of some natural disaster, war etc. [3]

But there is no clear distinction between the two types. Sometimes voluntary migration can also be forced like the pressure to find a job. Also forced migrants may choose a particular country either because of family reunification or because of better economic conditions in that country. Illegal or undocumented migrants are also a form of voluntary migration. They don’t have access to labor market and work in an informal/illegal sector. However these migrants are most endangered for trafficking and human smuggling. [4]

In addition to the above categorization IOM further takes into account the time span a person lives outside his or her own country and distinguishes between these migrants as permanent or temporary.

Migrants who reside in the host country for more than 1year are permanent migrants else are stated as temporary migrants.

Another form of international migration is very closely linked to this categorization ‘Transnational migration’. It is defined as migrants who have cross borders networks to their home country by frequent visit and sending remittances. In other words migrants permanently circulate between the host and home countries. [1]

International migration is easy in the present decades. Technologies have improved. Therefore, it is easy to travel; transport cost is shrinking, and the risks for trips are not that high any more. International phone calls are easy to make, so to hold contact with family members is easy too. Information systems have improves. Thus, people indeed know if work is somewhere available. As a known example, Bulgarians who live in Spain call their cousins, if fruit-picking jobs are demanded. So they can come. [2]

The main three flows of International Migration

East to West (Europe)

All European states are net immigrant countries. First, the more established host countries like France, Germany and the United Kingdom receive most parts from migration from family reunion, refugee flows and labor migration. Second, states like Greece, Portugal and Spain are also receiving countries since the restrictive policies for migration in the northern European States had been introduced. Finally, the CEEC states became important transit countries for migrants to enter the more rich western European countries. [3] However, they all now have positve net migration [4] .

The main inflows to European countries in 2001 were Moroccans in Belgium; Iraqis and Afghanis in Denmark; Russians in Finland; Moroocans and Algerian in France; Poles and Turks in Germany; Romanians and Ukrainians in Hungary; Albanians, Romanians and Maroccans in Italy; Angolans and Cape Verde nationals in Portugal; Iraqis in Sweden; Indians in the UK [1]


500,000 entering illegal the EU states annually, because of hard restrictions of external border controls for non-EU citizens to enter the EU [3]

Possiblities for regular mobility: intra-company transfers, possibilities to study, temporary labor migration programmes, Aussiedler (ethnic German) resettlement.

Europe was not typically an immigration area like the United States. Therefore, European societies are more reluctant to welcome immigrants, especially if they come from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. [4]

A number of EU policies have been established, which aim to enhance the prosperity and stability of Europe’s neighbors and thereby addressing the causes of migration. It would go too far to include all these policies in this paper. However, we will focus on some special agreements, which attract migration especially. [5]

The good thing for European governments are that they can hide themselves behind decisions taken on European levels, meaning that for unpopular decisions they can give up the responsibility. [6]

In the further graph, the goals of migration policy of the EU are presented


Europe can benefit from common policies because often the EU states face the same challenges of migration. As an example,the JHA Council issued 2004 a common basic principles of integration. The document give the governments advice how to treat this challenge. Because of the structure of the EU, these approaches are just advices and are not-binding. [3]

Legislation of 2004 has been introduced allowing non-EU nationals who have lived for more than 5 years in the EU to travel and work freely in the EU

Legislation of 2000 for anti-discrimination directives.

Not all the EU states create local laws out of these regulations. Each country has its different priorities. Therefore, even though, the EU does a lot to occupy on that topic, there is much more potential to receive a good level for each member. [4]

These guidelines can help other EU states to ensure good practice, which had less experience as host countries. This is the advantage of the EU states. They can profit from sharing the experience of each other. [5]

Differentiation between preventive measures and repressive measures. [1]

Preventives take a long time and are less tangible.

Repressives are more popular for governments for winning elections.

First example: temporary

Seasonal workser Asparagus firms Poland and germany (International economics, Appleyard, p. 242

150 % from a years polish wage for three month harvesting in germany. Germany benefits, because apparently, Germans don’t want to work for these wages, it’s too less. However, for poles it’s great and they leave the country after three months.

Second example: permanent

Permanent migration: Greeks come as temporary workers (“guest workers”) to germany. (International economics, Appleyard, p. 242) organized by the german government. Quickly adapted to the german culture, learned the language. Decided to stay in their new country. However, they still retain identification with their home country.

Problems of integration

The integration of Muslim residents in European states is a hot topic. Since 11th September 2001, “Islamic beliefs and practices have been singled out as incompatible with liberal democratic and human rights standards in European countries.” [2] Discussions, how to handle that situation, are on the run like the examples in Germany and France of wearing headscarf in schools.

The European governments need to liberalize policies on cultural diversity and discrimination. [3]

To sum up: Europe has surpassed the United states by number of immigrants included illegal immigrants. [4]

If the European Union admits ten new members, then the EU should also not be surprised if not only goods in between the EU are moving but also workers. [1]

European policies try to achieve a balanced distribution for costs of receiving and protecting asylum-seekers and refugees. [2] This considers the procedure and the definitions who is qualified to be accepted as refugees. Europe also tries to balance distribution of the refugees and asylum-seekers all over all countries to acceptable parts and to try to find solutions for burden-sharing. [3] Even though, such policies are established, the number of asylum seekers and refugees are still high. [4] Therefore inter-state financial transfers were regulated in the European Refugee Fond (ERF).

Most of them who reach Europe don’t have the most need of protection. Therefore, considering just the entering people is not the only way. [5]

The critics of all the EU policies are that often they consider the lowest dominator because of so many countries, which participate the EU.

As the EU countries have realized, that they need migrants and in addition, that high-skilled workers have the best effect to their country, a competition between EU states to attract the best skills has increased. [6]

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The free movement inside the EU states has positive impacts by enhancing the efficiency of labor markets and promoting a better match of supply and demand. In addition, the free movement leads to a smoother process of integration. Still the number of population, which changed residence to another European country was in the year 2000 around 0,1%. However, considering the CEEC (Central and East European Countries) member states, it’s a little bit different. The older member states fear inflows of cheap labor, which will decrease the domestic wages. Therefore, the EU has allowed states to impose a moratorium on free movement from new member states of up to seven years. [1]

Positive impacts of labor migration to Europe are fulfilling gaps in the IT sector, engineering, construction, agriculture and food processing, health care, teaching, catering and tourism and domestic services. [2]

Labor migration becomes more important to Europe because of three reasons. First, the Human Capital has become more important in a world of Globalization. High-skilled workers generate productivity and economic growth. The second reason is, Europe has an increase of high-skilled workers. Thus low- and semi-skilled workers decline. However, the jobs, which are for low-skilled workers are still there and need to be fulfilled. Finally, the most popular reason is the ageing population in Europe. Europe has already a higher ratio of economically inactive to active population. [3] Therefore, the demand for healthcare and leisure activities lead to a labor demand in these sectors.

Labor migration is an efficient and fast tool to solve these challenges and to fulfill these gaps.

However, the European citizens fear that the migration will have socio-cultural impacts. This leads to a policy dilemma between economic and political considerations in all European states. On the one hand, countries need migration. Therefore the governments should enforce that by implementing the right policies. On the other hand, the society doesn’t support immigration. Therefore, governments are aware of implementing any policies, which could endanger the outcome of the next elections. [4]

Collaborative efforts are done by the EU by introducing the EEA (European Economic Area), which gives rights of free movement. [5]

South to North (Mexico to U.S.)

Mexican migration to the U.S. has clearly grown in both volume and complexity. By current calculations, almost 22 million citizens of Mexican origin reside in the United States. Mexico is also the single largest source of undocumented immigrants worldwide. More than half of all the illegal migrants to U.S. are also from Mexico. [1] U.S is troubled by illegal migrants in many ways it raises taxes, increases burdens on schools, hospitals, prisons. Illegal migrants place countries security in danger and depress wages and reduce employment. In fact 730,000 Americans lose their jobs every year because of high competition from illegal aliens. [2]

With regards to the annual inflow of legal immigrants in U.S. almost one in seven is Mexican. This fraction is considerably larger than the legal flow from any other country. [3] The total Mexico-U.S migration is equal to 8% of the total U.S. population and 22% of Mexico’s population. Behind this impressive figure lies strong relations between the two countries and the high difference in the quality of life between the two countries. [4] Many people come from poor towns in Mexico and desire to come to the United States to achieve the “American dream.” For many, just getting employment at a low salary in the U.S. provides a much better way of living than in their own country.

Also Mexico is the second highest remittance receiver after India (see appendix 1). [5] In 2004, 2.2% of Mexico’s GDP comes from remittances from U.S. [6] Remittances are an important source of earning for Mexican households. Mexican workers who emigrate and settle in the U.S. consume major share of the wages in that country, thus increasing the GDP of U.S. economy.

For the first time since the stop to the 1942-1964 “Bracero” program [1] , both countries governments met to discuss and analyze the causes and effects of large Mexican labor migrants to U.S. and began to understand each other’s perspectives on how to manage the movement of people between their nations [2] . However, after a while when U.S. started to face problems of terrorism and illegal residents, it started the return migration policies by increasing restrictions and border control but it didn’t decrease the number.

Therefore a new policy was implemented which takes into consideration the status of the two countries as neighbors, their economic partnership in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA [3] ), the vital importance of Mexico, and the past history of Mexicans traveling to the United States to settle or work temporarily. So, the U.S. was discussing three major policies to better manage Mexico-U.S. Migration. These measures include policies for guest workers, legalization and earned legalization until emigration pressure shall be reduced. [4]

Recently Mexico’s President Calderon says” we will create opportunities, job for our people in our own country. He adds, migration is not just others problem rather we see it as our problem; it’s a common problem. We respect U.S.’s decision to impose its own law for illegal migration and also its own countries securities. But criticizes the “Arizona immigration law” [5] , which seeks to work with U.S. to reduce migration .The time has come to reduce the causes and effect of migration. This will help them to bridge relations between the two countries and work together to find a better solution in this issue.” [6]

South to South (Asia)

South-to-South migration is estimated to account for almost half of all outward migration from south and central Asia. [1] South Asia refers to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri-Lanka. [2] Asia having the second highest migrant stock after Europe, accounts for about 49.7 million migrants. [3]

After the distribution of different states within south Asia in 1947, people started to move to different places to get the basic needs to survive. During pre-colonization because of the absence of centralized bureaucratic administration in migration and citizenship, free movement of people was allowed across Indian Subcontinent. There was no visa system for resident identification. The migrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan are generally labor migrants, which are being sheltered by India in both regular and irregular fashion. Mainly large-scale labor movements are in agricultural sector. Migration in Asian countries is normally not an individualistic decision rather it’s a household decision. [4]

Social welfare and social democratic institutions remain weak in Asian countries. Migration to India is particularly because of economics reasons and social reasons.

Both push and pull factors are reasons for people to migrate. Since many years major push factors in south Asia are natural disasters, economics reasons, wars, religious and ethnic conflicts. Migration has boomed further due to some pull factors like globalization and growth in technologies, growing markets, aging population, etc. One of the characteristics of the recent migrations pattern in Asia has been the increasing participation of women in the flows, and these women may be particularly vulnerable to exploitations both in the formal labor market and in the informal black economy. [5]

Trafficking [6] is also a major reason for people to migrate. Women and children from Bangladesh are trafficked to India and Pakistan for sexual exploitation [7] . Women typically work as domestic servants. When they are restricted to move they work as forced labor, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical abuse.

Bangladesh does not completely fulfill the minimum required standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Government of Bangladesh is trying to punish trafficking attacks during the reporting period. The government has banned the trafficking of women and children for the intent of commercial sexual exploitation under the Repression of Women and Children Act of 2000 (amended in 2003), and also prohibits the selling and buying of a minor under age 18 for prostitution. [1]

While the most effective policies to manage migration are likely to be in the form of government-to-government agreements, multilateral paths should also be brought into practice. This could be possible through the offices of some international agencies such as the ILO or IOM or through regional organizations such as the Association of South East Asian Nations.

Also in terms of remittances Bangladesh accounts for about 12 % of south Asian remittance and 2 % of global remittance while Pakistan and Sri-Lanka receive 2.1 and 1.1 % of total global remittance flow. [2]

With increasing number of Bangladeshi migrants in India, there are many terrorism attacks. Not only from migrants but also from the residence of the host country. As an example: “I appeal to the people of Assam(north east part of India) to free all our lands occupied by the illegal migrants from Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. If these illegal’s resist, they will be attacked,” said Paresh Barua, the military wing chief of Ulfa in an e-mailed message to the media. [3]

Motivations for International Migration

Migration has become the constant and effective feature of mankind. It supports the growth of world economy; contributes to the growth of state and society and develop many cultures and civilizations. Migration has become a most dynamic part of the society; people who are prepared to take risk of leaving their home create better life for themselves and their children.

International Migration has become very much complex in its motivation. Not only migrants but also the sending and receiving countries are sometimes very much benefited from migration. For example the colonization of Africa with France provided France with immense labor and France was benefited from it.

Movement of people is basically because of political, economic or social differences in host and home countries.

Comparing between countries and migrants, migrants play a crucial role in migration process and impacts on development by creating social and transitional networks. [1] People migrate because of a variety of reasons. There are both push and pull factors which are taken into consideration of both sending and receiving countries. Also other factor like distance, time, money, wage differences, cultural barriers, stability etc are effective for movement. [2]

Sociologist argues that generally economic factor initiate migration while social factor like networks of migrants improve and sustain migration. However political scientist adding to it, state that policies of receiving and sending countries also are of major importance and cannot be overlooked. [3]

The global and regional patterns of migration are not constant. As the reasons of the movements imitate the varying macro-economic factors as well as individual and household decision it is not surprising that countries with little history of emigration become major source countries, while other nations with long traditions of emigration become immigration destinations. [4]

Demographic factors:

This section gives a quantitative assessment of demographic factors that drive international migration not just in one country or in one time span but across different periods and also the whole world. The most important demographic factor, which influences migration, is the population size. Large population growth increases the pressure on national labor market and also on national infrastructure like school, roads, municipality, environment etc and hence enhances the migration flow from that country.

In many developing countries the decision to migrate is a decision taken by the family. The household poverty is a reason to migrate because of the willingness for a better life. But in contrast the poorer the family the greater is the cost to migrate and gather information, so it’s a reason why normally poorer family cannot migrate.

Individual characteristics also influence a person’s mobility. Differences in age, gender, marital status and social class also affect the decision of and ability to migrate. [1] Age is a determinant factor of migration because young people are more flexible with their mobility compared to old people.

There are also geographical factors like natural calamities, war, etc which influence migration. As an example after the earthquake in Haiti many people migrated to other countries for safety reasons and better life. Hence, Edwin Paraison the Minister of

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