International Migration amid a World in Crisis
September 7, 2020
This article comprehensively examines international migration trends and policies in light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It begins by reviewing migration developments throughout the past 60 years. It then examines pandemic-related migration trends and policies. It concludes with a series of general observations and insights that should guide local, national, regional, and international policymakers, moving forward. In particular, it proposes the following:
- National measures to combat COVID-19 should include international migrants, irrespective of their legal status, and should complement regional and international responses.
- Localities, nations, and the international community should prioritize the safe return and reintegration of migrants.
- States and international agencies should plan for the gradual re-emergence of large-scale migration based on traditional push and pull forces once a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available.
- States should redouble their efforts to reconcile national border security concerns and the basic human rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
- States and the international community should accelerate their efforts to address climate-related migration.
- States of origin, transit, and destination should directly address the challenges of international migration and not minimize them.