Migrants, Refugees, and Foreign Policy: U.S. and German Policies toward Countries of Origin

By Rainer Münz | Go to book overview

Notes
1.
There is a considerable amount of internal migration, especially ruralurban migration. This is very significant in the case of a country such as China. There are an estimated 100 million internal migrants within China; thus, if China were a series of independent countries, the world's "nation of migrants" might double in size.
2.
According to the 1994 World Bank Development Report, the 828 million people in the "high income countries" that, when ranked by GDP per capita, begin with Ireland's $12,000 and end with Switzerland's $36,000, represent 15 percent of the world's population and account for 78 percent of the worlds GDP ( World Bank 1994: 163, 167).
3.
Middlemen recruiters and transporters have always been involved in the migration process. Today, these understudied middlemen--who might be considered arbitrageurs of differences between international labor markets--play a role in much of the illegal labor migration that occurs, usually extracting fees from migrant workers or their employers equivalent to 25 to 100 percent of what the migrants will earn during the first year abroad.
4.
The Todaro model has three basic features: migrants make economic benefit and cost calculations to decide whether to move; economic payoffs are calculated in expected terms; and the probability of finding employment in the destination area is a function of the unemployment rate there. The model explains why, for example, the creation of jobs in relatively highwage cities such as Cairo or Mexico City stimulates increased rural-urban migration to them ( Todaro 1977, 196). The existence of job-search networks for migrants can invalidate the third feature of the Todaro model. Despite high unemployment in Los Angeles or Berlin, a migrant from southern Mexico or eastern Turkey with access to information about "immigrant jobs" can be assured a job and income by moving there. Staying at home, on the other hand, can mean economic uncertainty.
5.
There are about 13 million foreign-born workers among the 130 million members of the U.S. labor force. In only three major occupations--those with 1 million or more employees--is the majority of the workforce arguably foreign born: janitors (3 million), farm workers (2 to 3 million), and maids (1 million). The percentage of illegal workers among these immigrant workers is estimated to be less than 30 percent, so at most up to 30 percent of the workers in these most-migrant-dependent occupations could be removed by aggressive enforcement of immigration laws.
6.
Some industrial countries are engaged in a debate over whether to discourage their employers from preferring unauthorized workers by stepping up border and interior enforcement so that such workers are not available, or to enforce labor laws so that migrant workers are not "exploited," or to enforce both immigration and labor laws. Generally, promigrant groups favor placing the emphasis on labor law enforcement, while restrictionist groups favor border and interior immigration enforcement. Over the past five years, a new element has entered the debate over immigration control. In both North America and Western Europe, an argument is made that some immigrants come to obtain social welfare program benefits, from education to health care to cash assistance, prompting a move in the U.S. Con

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