As the magnet drawing many immigrants to advanced industrialized nations, employment is crucial to immigrant integration. Immigrants’ ability to obtain jobs that pay family-sustaining wages have huge implications for poverty, inequality, and social welfare. The global economic turmoil has increased employment vulnerability enormously, for both migrants and native workers. Migrants are particularly vulnerable, since they share socio-demographic and occupational characteristics with the workers who tend to lose most during economic downturns. Impacts are differentiated by gender, education, occupation, and region of origin.
Migration Policy Institute Research
Once the dominant immigrant stream into the United States, European migration to the country has fallen sharply since World War II, a result of economic, demographic, and policy trends across the Atlantic. Today’s migration from European Union Member States is characterized by highly skilled immigrants who are more educated, earn better wages, have greater English proficiency, and are more strongly represented as scientists, professionals, and businesspeople than other immigrant groups. European migration has maintained a relatively low profile in immigration policy debates, however the Europe-favoring Visa Waiver Program has figured prominently into the immigration policy arena because of its relation to enhanced border security.
Illegal immigration is driven in large measure by illegal employment. Lower wages aren’t the only reasons why employers turn to unauthorized workers: Illegal hiring can also allow them to evade costly regulations and taxes and to have greater flexibility in working hours and employment length. This memo outlines the three major lines of attack policymakers can use to craft a coherent strategy to reduce illegal employment: Employer sanctions, realistic legal channels to admit needed workers, and domestic labor market reforms.
Advanced industrialized economies typically have used one of two competing models for selecting economic-stream immigrants: Points-based or employer-led selection. Increasingly, however, they are creating hybrid selection systems, implement the best ideas from each model. The result: Selection systems that have much of the flexibility of points systems while also prioritizing employer demand.