Building and Maintaining Trust in the Governance of Migration
June 2015 Meeting
The fourteenth plenary meeting of the Transatlantic Council on Migration focused on the erosion of public trust in the ability of governments in Europe and North America to manage immigration and sustain safe, cohesive societies. Deep and prolonged instability in parts of the world has resulted in continuing and chaotic waves of mixed flows of migrants and asylum seekers attempting to reach high-income countries. Together with the threat of radicalization and terrorism at home, this has eroded public trust in the governance of immigration—and in government writ large. This meeting delved into some of the causes of this discontent and considered how political leaders can craft smarter policy responses to address immediate challenges while instituting reforms that will boost public trust in the medium and long term. Read the Council Statement, which seeks to shed light on the anxiety that often surrounds immigration and explore the conditions under which immigration can disrupt social cohesion and fuel extremist political views.
The individual papers presented at the meeting are available below:
Managing Religious Difference in North America and Europe in an Era of Mass Migration
As Muslim minorities continue to grow in size and influence in Europe and North America, this policy brief focuses on the different policy frameworks and practices found on either side of the Atlantic regarding integration of Muslim immigrants, as a window into how receiving governments and societies manage religious difference and fundamental change in an era of large-scale immigration.
Engaging the Anxious Middle on Immigration Reform: Evidence from the UK Debate
This report analyzes British polling data in a bid to paint a more accurate picture of public opinion on immigration in the United Kingdom, which is often described as having particularly hostile attitudes compared to other countries. The report examines several drivers of public opinion, including media coverage, and considers how recent migration policies can be linked to public opinion—including the call for a Brexit referendum.
Maintaining Public Trust in the Governance of Migration
In an era of diminished public trust in governments' ability to manage migration, policymakers face a set of interlinked challenges to winning back that trust. This report reflects on why it is so crucial for immigration policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic to earn back public confidence, and on the role of sound migration governance in doing so.
Understanding the Creation of Public Consensus: Migration and Integration in Germany, 2005 to 2015
As immigrant-skeptic movements gained salience, and even political representation, in several European countries in recent years, Germany remained a relative outlier until mid-2015. This report explains how a pro-immigrant consensus evolved and persisted in Germany during the period from 2005—as the country emerged from recession and embarked on a reform of its immigration laws—through to the events of mid-2015.
What’s So Special about Canada? Understanding the Resilience of Immigration and Multiculturalism
Despite weathering many of the same economic and political challenges that have affected support for immigration in other countries in recent decades—from recession to threats of terrorism—Canada has managed to maintain a consistently positive public consensus around its immigration system. This report explores the evolution of Canada’s apparently unique attitude toward immigration and diversity.
Transatlantic Council Statement: Understanding and Addressing Public Anxiety About Immigration
What factors are fueling rising public anxiety over immigration seen in Europe and North America? This Transatlantic Council Statement outlines and analyzes the factors that can set the stage for such public unease—some of which have their roots outside of immigration policy per se, and are instead deeply embedded in the global, national, and local contexts within which migration occurs—and offers policymakers strategies to respond.