This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Bad Economy is a Good Deterrent to Migration

The global recession has had the global effect of slowing down the pace of South to North migration, and migrant workers in their adopted home appear to be among the hardest hit by the recession. These are among the findings of a report recently completed for BBC News by the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, DC.

"Overall immigration to developed countries has slowed sharply as a result of the economic crisis, bringing to a virtual halt the rapid growth in foreign-born populations over the past three decades," the report says.
This has caused a notable decline in illegal immigration. The number of foreign workers caught trying to enter the EU illegally by sea fell by more than 40% from 2008 to 2009 and is still falling.
At the same time, the number of illegal migrants from Mexico stopped at the US border went down by roughly the same amount.
However, legal migration has also been hard hit. Immigration to the Irish Republic from new EU member states in Eastern and Central Europe fell by 60% from 2008 to 2009.
Over the same period, the US saw a 50% drop in the number of visas issued to low-skilled seasonal workers, such as fruit and vegetable pickers.
But those migrants who are already established in developed countries are having a tough time.
One aspect of the tough times has been the tougher tone that the Obama administration has taken toward the deportation of undocumented immigrants compared to policies under the Bush administration. This may have the unintended effect of dampening Hispanic support for candidates from the Democratic party in the upcoming election.

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