We introduce our topic and provide an overview of the book. We posit a clear bias in U.S. immigration policy that favored entry from Europe and, notably, from Northern and Western European countries until the enactment of the Hart-Celler Act in 1968 (i.e., the Immigration Act of 1965). Only in recent decades have there been a significant increase in the number of annual immigrant arrivals and a considerable shift in the source countries and regions of immigrant arrivals to the U.S. towards Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean, and, to a lesser extent, Africa. We contend that many recent immigrant arrivals to the U.S. have entered a country that is quite culturally dissimilar from their countries of origin. However, through acculturation there has been a movement of U.S. culture away from that of the more traditional European immigrant source countries and towards the cultures of the more recent arrivals’ home countries.
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Migration has been intensifying and diversifying since the 1990s. According to the United Nations International Migration Report, there were 244 million international migrants in 2015 – 10 per cent more than only five years earlier, in 2010 (international migrants are here defined as people living in a given country who are either foreign born or have foreign citizenship). Of these, more than two-thirds (71 per cent) lived in high-income countries, while the developing regions hosted 29 per cent of the world’s total international migrant population. Socio-economic transformations such as those induced and intensified by globalisation processes are usually drivers of increased international migration. They intensify grievances and opportunities that lead people to seek better living and working opportunities in distant lands while also facilitating transport and communication. This Handbook focuses on the dynamics that link migration and globalisation processes from economic, social, political and cultural perspectives, looking at the challenges that emerge for labour markets, welfare systems, families and cultures, and institutions and governance arrangements as well as norms. This introduction discusses in detail, and with reference to the relevant literature, the interconnection between migration and globalisation, and presents the structure of the Handbook.
An International Perspective
Jonathan Corcoran and Alessandra Faggian
Anthony M. Messina
Migration truly is a global phenomenon. Moreover, even in the current challenging economic environment international migration flows of all types are robust. Against this backdrop this chapter executes several tasks. First, it assesses the benefits and costs of each of the four major migration streams: labour, secondary, irregular, and humanitarian migration. Second, it posits a course along which the contemporary politics and policies of migration and immigrant settlement tends to proceed. Finally, it evaluates the appropriateness of framing the phenomenon of contemporary migration within the paradigm of securitization. The central thesis of this essay is that the purported global ‘crisis of migration’ is less of an objective, unrelenting, and universal emergency of unavoidable and unwelcome migration outcomes than it is a subjective, episodic, and selective set of challenges mostly founded upon unrealistic and/or contradictory migration expectations. The pertinent questions posed by contemporary migration and immigrant settlement patterns therefore are not why migration occurs, why do countries tolerate unwanted migration, and how do migrants precipitate societal and/or state insecurity; instead, they are: why don’t more people migrate, why do most migrants settle in relatively few countries, and why are migrants almost universally cast as a threat to states and societies?