Integration

Integration

Is Regular Migration Safer Migration? Insights from Thailand

This paper challenges the assumption within international development programming that regular and orderly migration is also safer for migrants. Based on data collected from Cambodian, Burmese, Laotian, and Vietnamese labor migrants recently returned from Thailand, this paper illustrates the limits of regular migration to provide meaningfully “safer” experiences. It observes that migrant workers who move through legal channels do not systematically experience better outcomes. While regular migrants report better pay and working conditions than irregular migrants, they also systematically report working conditions that do not meet legal standards, and routinely experience contract substitution. Regular migrants also have a higher likelihood of experiencing exploitation, contract breaches, harassment, abuse, and involuntary return. These findings challenge mainstream development discourses seeking to promote safer migration experiences through expanding migration infrastructure. The paper recommends: 1) re-examining the conflation of “safe” with “regular and orderly” migration and advocating for practices that increase migrant safety, 2) focusing on broadening rights offered to migrant workers, and 3) strengthening and expanding oversight of labor standards and migrant regulations.

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Armand Gutierrez of the University of California, San Diego reviews Migrant Returns: Manila, Development, and Transnational Connectivity by Eric J. Pido. Eric J. Pido examines the complicated relationship among the Philippine economy, Manila’s urban development, and balikbayans—Filipino migrants visiting or returning to their...

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New from IMR: Responses to Migration Policies, Immigrant Employment Outcomes, and Family Dynamics across Borders

The Summer 2018 edition of the International Migration Review (IMR) is now available online and in print through paid or institutional subscription. This edition offers a focus on migration policies and responses to them, including a paper on spiritual citizenship and a paper analyzing the evolution of migration policies around the world. It also features papers on transnational family dynamics related to marriage and education and the factors shaping immigrant employment outcomes. This edition has four new book reviews which are open access and freely available.

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Protecting Families and Facilitating Their Integration
“Our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees.” – Pope Francis I, August 2017 Who Are the Migrants? Where Do They Come From? Where Are They Going? Individuals and families around...

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