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The Recession's Effects on Immigrants around the Globe Tops List of Migration Developments in 2009
Press Release
Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Recession's Effects on Immigrants around the Globe Tops List of Migration Developments in 2009

WASHINGTON — As the global recession marched through its second year, its effects on migration flows, employment and remittances rated as the most noteworthy issue of 2009 in the fifth annual ranking of the world’s top migration developments by the award-winning Migration Information Source.

The online bimonthly journal published by the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute today released its Top 10 Migration Issues list. The recession factored heavily among the Top 10, with some countries experiencing “buyer’s remorse” for earlier immigration policies and others cutting immigrant integration programs. The recession was also notable for what it hasn’t caused: Mass return migration or waves of xenophobia.

The list, determined with input from experts in the migration field, examines a range of interesting migration developments around the world, including:

  • Malaysia reduced the number of foreign workers in the country by 200,000 over a two-month period.
  • Brazil’s offer of legalization for an estimated 200,000 Bolivian migrants.
  • Italy’s enactment of legislation making illegal immigration a criminal offense.
  • Australia confronting a new wave of asylum seekers coming by boat.
  • France shutting down "the jungle" in Calais and Greece bulldozing a migrant camp in Patras.
  • Canada bucking the trend, deciding not to cut admissions for permanent residence.

The Migration Information Source Top 10 Migration Issues of 2009 are:
(click on links for each article)

1. The global recession impacts immigrant inflows, employment and money transfers
2. The U.S. immigration policymaking scene: No reform, but a change in enforcement tactics
3. Buyer's remorse on immigration continues in Europe and Asia
4. What the recession wasn't: It did not spark mass returns, and while there was some xenophobia, it wasn’t at the rates feared
5. Some immigrant integration programs around the world feel recession’s pinch
6. Canada bucks the trend on highly skilled immigration policy
7. World focus on climate change and migration increases
8. More countries sign post 9/11 information-sharing agreements on international air travel
9. Some relief for migrants in developing countries
10. Asylum seekers unnerve governments


The compilation is part of a special year-in-review issue of the Migration Information Source. The list can be found at www.migrationinformation.org/top10_2009.cfm.

The Source, a unique online resource that offers useful tools, data and essential facts on the movement of people worldwide as well as analysis of global migration and refugee trends, can be found at www.migrationinformation.org. To sign up for the bimonthly e-newsletter, please e-mail [email protected] and ask to be subscribed to the Source.


The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national and international levels. For more on MPI, please visit: www.migrationpolicy.org.