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?