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.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Undocumented Immigrants Being Forced Out of Pakistan

Even as Donald Trump continues to threaten to deport undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S., Pakistan is threatening the same to several hundreds of thousands of Afghans who have been living in Pakistan without documents. Some of these people have been in Pakistan since the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan back in 1979. CNN notes that there is a mix of refugees and migrants, but they all share the same situation of lacking proper documentation.
Currently, all undocumented Afghan migrants and refugees in Pakistan face an official deadline of November 15 to secure documentation or leave. But pressure has been growing for the authorities to extend the deadline to allow more time for the returnees to transition peacefully back to Afghanistan.
So far this year, 210,998 undocumented migrants and refugees have returned to Afghanistan, with numbers soaring in recent months, according to the International Organization for Migration. On top of that, there are also hundreds of thousands of registered Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, who face a deadline of March 31, 2017 to leave. The UNHCR says 338,056 registered Afghan refugees have returned so far this year -- nearly six times higher than the number for the same period in 2015.
And just to remind you that the volume of undocumented migration globally is large, Joseph Chamie (former director of the UN Population Division) has a very informative article today summarizing what's going on around the world, to put the U.S. situation into context.
Excluding refugees who number more than 21 million and are under the protection of international conventions and agreements, it is estimated that of the remaining approximately 225 million migrants worldwide about 50 million are unauthorized migrants. The countries with the largest numbers of unauthorized migrants include the United States (11 million), India (at least 10 million), the Russian Federation (4 million), Malaysia (1 million) and the United Kingdom (1 million).
The U.S. and India are the 3rd and 2nd most populous nations in the world, respectively, and Russia is also in the top 10, so it is perhaps not too surprising that they also lead the league, so to speak, in terms of undocumented immigrants. Malaysia and the UK are not as populous, however, so the impact on those countries may seem disproportionate.

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