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Illegal immigration is the movement of people across national borders in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destination country. Illegal immigrants are also known as illegal aliens to differentiate them from legal aliens. In politics, the term may imply a larger set of social issues and time constraints with disputed consequences in areas such as economy, social welfare, education, health care, slavery, prostitution, legal protections, voting rights, public services, and human rights. Conversely, illegal emigration refers to unlawfully leaving a country.

Contents

Terminology

  • illegal alien
  • illegal immigrant
  • clandestine workers[1]
  • sans papiers / "without papers"[2]
  • irregular immigrant/migrant/alien/worker/resident
  • people "hiding/living/staying/working/ in the shadows"
  • undocumented immigrant/migrant/alien/worker/resident
  • unauthorized immigrant/migrant/alien/worker/resident
  • paperless immigrant/migrant/alien/worker/resident
  • immigrant "without immigration/legal status"
  • out of status immigrant/migrant/alien/worker/resident
  • unnaturalized immigrant/migrant/alien/worker/resident
  • boat people

Causes

Economics and labor markets

The net flow of illegal immigration pattern is almost entirely from countries of lower socioeconomic levels to countries of higher socioeconomic levels, and particularly from developing countries to developed countries. While there are other causes associated with poorer countries (described below, the most common motivation for illegal immigrants is the pursuit of greater economic opportunities and quality of life in the destination state[3].

Under the basic cost/benefit argument for illegal immigration, potential migrants believe the probability and benefits of successfully migrating to the destination country are greater than the costs. These costs may include restrictions living as an illegal immigrant in the destination country, leaving family and ways of life behind, and the probability of being caught and resulting sanctions.[4]. Proposed economic models, based on a cost/benefit framework, have varying considerations and degrees of complexity.

Neoclassical model

The neoclassical economic model looks only at the probability of success in immigrating and finding employment, and the increase in real income an illegal immigrant can expect. This explanation would account for the economies of the two states, including how much of a "pull" the destination country has in terms of better-paying jobs and improvements in quality of life. It also describes a "push" that comes from negative conditions in the home country like lack of employment or economic mobility.

Neoclassical theory also accounts for the probability of successful illegal emigration. Factors that affect this include as geographic proximity, border enforcement, probability and consequences of arrest, ease of illegal employment, and chances of future legalization.[5]. This model concludes that in the destination country, illegal workers tend to add to and compete with the pool of unskilled laborers. Illegal workers in this model are successful in finding employment by being willing to be paid lower wages than native-born workers are, sometimes below the minimum wage. Economist George Borjas supports aspects of this model, calculating that real wages of US workers without a high school degree declined by 9% from 1980-2000 due to competition from illegal immigrant workers.[6]

Large scale economic evidence supports neoclassical theory, as may be seen in the long-term correlation of relative wages/unemployment and illegal immigration from Mexico to the US. However, immigration scholars such as Gordon Hanson and Douglas Massey have criticized the model for being oversimplified and not accounting for contradictory evidence, such as low net illegal immigration from Mexico to the US before the 1980s despite significant economic disparity.[5] Numerous refinements have been suggested to account for other factors, as seen below.

Trade liberalization

In recent years, developing states are pursuing the benefits of globalization by joining agreements to liberalize trade. But rapid opening of domestic markets may lead to displacement of large numbers of agricultural or unskilled workers, who are more likely to seek employment and a higher quality of life by illegal emigration. This is a frequently cited argument to explain how the North American Free Trade Association may have impoverished Mexican farmers who were unable to compete with the higher productivity of US agriculture, especially for corn. NAFTA may have also unexpectedly raised educational requirements for industrial jobs in Mexico, since the new maquilladoras produced export products requiring skills and education that many unskilled workers did not have.[7]

Structural demand in developed states

Douglas Massey argues that a bifurcating labor market in developed nations creates a structural demand for unskilled immigrant labor to fill undesirable jobs that native-born citizens do not take, regardless of wages[8]. This theory states that postindustrial economies have a widening gap between well-paying, white-collar jobs that require ever higher levels of education and "human capital", which native-born citizens (and legal immigrants) can qualify to take, and bottom-tie jobs that are stigmatized and require no education. These "underclass" jobs include harvesting crops, unskilled labor in landscaping and construction, house-cleaning, and maid and busboy work in hotels and restaurants, all of which have a disproportionate number of illegal workers.

Since the decline of middle-class blue-collar jobs in manufacturing and industry, younger native-born generations have chosen to acquire higher degrees now that there are no longer "respectable" blue-collar careers that a worker with no formal education can find. The majority of new blue-collar jobs are the "underclass" work mentioned above, which suffer from unreliability (i.e. temporary jobs versus a career in a factory), subservient roles, and, critically, a lack of potential for advancement. At the same time, entry-level white-collar and service jobs are much more appealing. These they offer advancement opportunities for native-born workers to enter the dominant educated class, even if they currently pay the same or less than manual labor does.

Hence, this theory holds that in a developed country like the US, where now only 12% of the labor force has less than a high school education, there is a lack of native-born workers who have no choice but to take undesirable manual labor jobs. Illegal immigrants, on the other hand, have much lower levels of education (about 70% of illegal workers in the US from Mexico lack a high school degree)[5]. They are still willing to take "underclass" jobs due to their much higher relative wages than those in their home country. Since illegal immigrants often anticipate working only temporarily in the destination country, the lack of opportunity for advancement is less of a problem. Evidence for this can be seen in one Pew Hispanic Center poll of over 3,000 illegal immigrants from Mexico in the US, which found that 79% would voluntarily join a temporary worker program that allowed them to work legally for several years but then required them to leave.[9]

The structural demand theory posits that simple willingness to work undesirable jobs, rather than for unusually low wages, is what gives illegal immigrants their employment.[10]

Structural demand theory argues that cases like this show that there is no direct competition between unskilled illegal immigrants and native-born workers. This is the concept that illegal immigrants "take jobs that no one else wants". Massey argues that this has certain implications for policy, as it may refute claims that illegal immigrants are "lowering wages" or stealing jobs from native-born workers.[8]

Poverty

While economic models do look at relative wealth and income between home and destination countries, they do not necessarily imply that illegal migrants are always impoverished by standards of the home country. The poorest classes in a developing country may lack the resources needed to mount an attempt to cross illegally, or the connections to friends or family already in the destination country. Studies from the Pew Hispanic Center have shown that the education and wage levels of illegal Mexican immigrants in the US are around the median for Mexico, and that having family who have emigrated or being from a community with many emigrants is a much better predictor of one's choice to emigrate.[9]

Other examples do show that increases in poverty, especially when associated with immediate crises, can increase the likelihood of illegal migration. The 1994 economic crisis in Mexico, subsequent to the start of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was associated with widespread poverty and a lower valuation for the peso relative to the dollar.[7] It also marked the start of a massive swell in Mexican emigration, in which net illegal migration to the US increased every year from the mid-1990s until the mid 2000s.

There also examples where natural disasters and overpopulation can amplify poverty-driven migration flows.[11]

Overpopulation

Population growth which exceeds the carrying capacity of an area or environment results in overpopulation.[12] Spikes in human population can cause problems such as pollution, water crisis,[13][14] and poverty.[15][16] World population has grown from 1.6 billion in 1900 to an estimated 6.7 billion today. In Mexico alone, population has grown from 13.6 million in 1900 to 107 million in 2007.[17]

In 2000, the United Nations estimated that the world's population was growing at the rate of 1.14% (or about 75 million people) per year. According to data from the CIA's 2005–2006 World Factbooks, the world human population currently increases by 203,800 every day.[18] The United States Census Bureau issued a revised forecast for world population that increased its projection for the year 2050 to above 9.4 billion people, up from 9.1 billion people. We are adding a billion more every 12 years. Almost all growth will take place in the less developed regions.[19]

Family reunification

Some illegal immigrants seek to live with loved ones, such as a spouse or other family members.[20][21][22] Family reunification visas may be applied for by legal residents or naturalized citizens to bring their family members into a destination state legally, but these visas may be limited in number and subject to yearly quotas. This may force their family members to enter illegally to reunify. From studying Mexican migration patterns, Douglas Massey finds that the likelihood of a Mexican national to emigrate illegally to the US increases dramatically if they have one or more family members already residing in the United States, legally or illegally.[8]

Due to inability to marry, same-sex couples in which one member has an expiring visa may face an "unpalatable choice between leaving and living with the person they love in violation of U.S. immigration laws".[23] Also, it is possible that binational same sex couples granted a legal marriage in one spouse's state may face difficulty and even higher likelihood of deportation if they try to move to the other spouse's home country and that state does not recognize the marriage. This may be the case if a gay or lesbian Canadian marries an American and tries to have the marriage recognized after moving to the US.[24]

Wars and Asylum

Illegal immigration may be prompted by the desire to escape civil war or repression in the country of origin. Non-economic push factors include persecution (religious and otherwise), frequent abuse, bullying, oppression, and genocide, and risks to civilians during war. Political motives traditionally motivate refugee flows - to escape dictatorship for instance.

It is important to note that the status of "illegal immigrant" may coincide with or be replaced by the status of "asylum seeker" for emigrants who have escaped a war or repression and have illegal crossed into another state. If they are recognized as "legitimate" asylees by the destination state, they will then gain legal status. However, there may be numerous potential asylees in a destination state who are unwilling to apply or have been denied asylum status, and hence are categorized as "illegal immigrants" and may be subject to punishment or deportation.

There are numerous cases of mass emigration from poor or war-stricken states. These include examples from Africa[25][26], Colombia, and El Salvador.

After decades of armed conflict, roughly one of every 10 Colombians now lives abroad.[27] For example, Colombians emigrating to Spain have "grown exponentially, from a little over 7,000 in 1993 to more than 80,000 in 2002 and 244,000 in 2003."[28] This is equivalent to 124,000 Colombian immigrants in year 2003 into Spain alone.[citation needed] Also, figures from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security indicate that Colombia is the fourth-leading source country of unauthorized immigration to the United States. According to its estimates, the number of unauthorized Colombian residents in the United States almost tripled from 51,000 in 1990 to 141,000 in 2000.[29] According to the US Census Bureau, the number of authorized Colombian immigrants in the United States in 2000[citation needed] was 801,363.[30] Census data are important because, as the Department of Homeland Security states, [U.S.] "census data are more complete and reliable [than INS's data] because of the national scope of the data collection, the vastly larger data sample, and the extensive preparation and follow-up activities involved in conducting the decennial census."[31]

El Salvador is another country which experienced substantial emigration as a result of civil war and repression. The largest per-capita source of immigrants to the United States comes from El Salvador. Up to a third of the world's Salvadoran-born population lives outside the country, mostly in the United States.[32] According to the Santa Clara County, California, Office of Human Relations.

Despite the fact that the U.S. government’s role in the Salvadoran conflict was unique in sustaining the prolongation of the civil conflict, the government and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) extended little sympathy to the people affected by the war. In the 1980s, the INS granted only 2% of political asylum applications, claiming that democracy existed in El Salvador and that reports of U.S. and government-sponsored “death squads” were overblown. As a response to what they considered a failure of the U.S. government to address the situation of Salvadoran refugees in the country, American activists established a loose network to aid refugees. Operating in clear violation of U.S. immigration laws, these activists took refugees into their houses, aided their travel, hid them and helped them find work. This became known as the “sanctuary movement”.[33]

Dangers

Illegal immigrants expose themselves and citizens to dangers while engaged in illegal entry to another country. Aside from the possibility that they may be intercepted and deported, some considerably more dangerous outcomes have been known to result from their activity. As an example, illegal immigrants may be trafficked for exploitation.

Slavery

After the end of the legal international slave trade by the European nations and the United States in the early 19th century, the illegal importation of slaves has continued, albeit at much reduced levels. Although not as common as in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, some women are undoubtedly smuggled into the United States and Canada.[34]

People have been kidnapped or tricked into slavery to work as laborers, for example in factories. Those trafficked in this manner often face additional barriers to escaping slavery, since their status as illegal immigrants makes it difficult for them to gain access to help or services. For example Burmese women trafficked into Thailand and forced to work in factories or as prostitutes may not speak the language and may be vulnerable to abuse by police due to their illegal immigrant status.[35]

Prostitution

Some people forced into sexual slavery face challenges of charges of illegal immigration.[36]

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Western Europe is being confronted with a serious problem related to the sexual exploitation of illegal immigrants (especially from Eastern Europe), for the purpose of prostitution.[37][38]

Death

Each year there are several hundred illegal Immigrant deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border.[39] Death by exposure occurs in the deserts of Southwestern United States during the hot summer season.[40]

Methods

Border crossing

Border control at sea by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
HMC Vigilant, one of several customs cutters of the UKBA , capable of speeds up to 26 knots departing Portsmouth Naval Base.

Immigrants from nations that do not have automatic visa agreements, or who would not otherwise qualify for a visa, often cross the borders illegally in some areas like the United States–Mexico border, the Mona Channel between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, the Strait of Gibraltar, Fuerteventura, and the Strait of Otranto. Because these methods are illegal, they are often dangerous. Would-be immigrants have been known to suffocate in shipping containers,[41] boxcars,[42] and trucks [5], sink in shipwrecks caused by unseaworthy vessels [6], die of dehydration [7] or exposure during long walks without water. An official estimate puts the number of people who died in illegal crossings across the U.S.-Mexican border between 1998 and 2004 at 1,954 (see immigrant deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border).

Human smuggling is the practice of intermediaries aiding illegal immigrants in crossing over international borders in financial gain, often in large groups. Human smuggling differs from, but is sometimes associated with, human trafficking. A human smuggler will facilitate illegal entry into a country for a fee, but on arrival at their destination, the smuggled person is usually free. Trafficking involves a process of using physical force, fraud, or deception to obtain and transport people.

Types of notorious human smugglers include Snakehead gangs present in mainland China (especially in Fujian) that smuggle laborers into Pacific Rim nations (making Chinatowns frequent centers of illegal immigration) [8] and "coyotes," who smuggle illegal immigrants to the Southwestern United States and have been known to abuse or even kill their passengers. [9] Sometimes immigrants are abandoned by their human traffickers if there are difficulties, often dying in the process. Others may be victims of intentional killing.

Overstaying a visa

Some illegal immigrants enter a country legally and then overstay or violate their visa. [10] For example, most of the estimated 200,000 illegal immigrants in Canada (perhaps as high as 500,000), are refugee claimants whose refugee applications were rejected but who have not yet been ejected from the country.[43]

A related way of becoming an illegal immigrant is through bureaucratic means. For example, a person can be allowed to remain in a country - or be protected from expulsion - because he/she needs special pension for a medical condition, etc., without being able to regularize his/her situation and obtain a work and/or residency permit, let alone naturalization. Hence, categories of people being neither "illegal" immigrants nor legal citizens are created, living in a judicial "no man's land". Another example is formed by children of foreigners born in countries observing jus soli ("right of territory"), such as was the case in France till 1994. In that country, it was possible to obtain French nationality if one was born in France before 1994. At present, a French born child of foreign parents does not automatically obtain French nationality until residency duration conditions are met.

Legal and political status

See also: Illegal immigration to the United States, Immigration to the United States, Australian immigration, Immigration to the United Kingdom, Immigration to Canada, Illegal immigration to Pakistan, Illegal immigrants in Malaysia, Immigration to Chile, Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Many countries have had or currently have laws restricting immigration for economic or nationalistic political reasons. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 concerning counter-terrorism, enacted in October 2001, requested of UN member states to restrict immigration laws. Whether a person is permitted to stay in a country legally may be decided by quotas or point systems or may be based on considerations such as family ties (marriage, elderly mother, etc.). Exceptions relative to political refugees or to sick people are also common. Immigrants who do not participate in these legal proceedings or who are denied permission under them and still enter or stay in the country are illegal immigrants, as well as people born on national territory (henceforth not "immigrants") but who have not obtained nationality of their birthplace and have no legal title of residency [11].

Most countries have laws requiring workers to have proper documentation, often intended to prevent or minimize the employment of unauthorized immigrants. However the penalties against employers are often small and the acceptable identification requirements vague and ill-defined as well as being seldom checked or enforced, making it easy for employers to hire unauthorized labor. Unauthorized immigrants are especially popular with many employers because they can pay less than the legal minimum wage or have unsafe working conditions, secure in the knowledge that few unauthorized workers will report the abuse to the authorities. Often the minimum wages in one country can be several times the prevailing wage in the unauthorized immigrant's country, making even these jobs attractive to the unauthorized worker.

In response to the outcry following popular knowledge of the Holocaust, the newly-established United Nations held an international conference on refugees, where it was decided that refugees (legally defined to be people who are persecuted in their original country and then enter another country seeking safety) should be exempted from immigration laws. [12] It is, however, up to the countries involved to decide if a particular immigrant is a refugee or not, and hence whether they are subject to the immigration controls.

The right to freedom of movement of an individual within National borders is often contained within the constitution or in a country's human rights legislation but these rights are restricted to citizens and exclude all others. Some argue that the freedom of movement both within and between countries is a basic human right and that nationalism and immigration policies of state governments violate this human right that those same governments recognize within their own borders. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, fundamental human rights are violated when citizens are forbidden to leave their country. (Article 13). However, immigrants are not assured the right to enter a country, that right is given at the host country's discretion.

Since illegal immigrants without proper legal status have no valid identification documents such as identity cards, they may have reduced or no access to public health systems, proper housing, education and banks. This lack of access may result in the creation or expansion of illegal underground forgery to provide this documentation. [13].

When the authorities are overwhelmed in their efforts to stop "illegal" immigration, they have historically provided amnesty. Amnesties waive the "subject to deportation" clause associated with illegal aliens.

By region

Angola

In 2007 around 44,000 Congolese were forced to leave Angola.[44] Since 2004, more than 400,000 illegal immigrants, almost all from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have been expelled from Angola.[45][46]

Argentina

Illegal immigrants in Argentina are estimated at 50,000 to 2,500,000.[47]

Brazil

Aerial view of São Paulo, where most illegal immigrants in Brazil live.

Brazil has long been part of international migration routes. In 2009, the government estimated the number of undocumented immigrants at about 200,000 people; a Catholic charity working with immigrants said there were 600,000 illegals (75,000 of which from Bolivia). That same year, the Brazilian Parliament approved an amnesty, opening a six-month window for all foreigners to seek legalization irrespective of their previous standing before the law. Brazil had last legalized all immigrants in 1998; bilateral deals, one of which promoted the legalization of all reciprocal immigrants with Bolivia to date, signed in 2005, are also common.[48]

Illegal immigrants in Brazil enjoy the same legal privileges as native Brazilians regarding access to social services such as public education and the Brazilian public healthcare system.[48] Most illegal immigrants in Brazil come from Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, China (mainly from Fujian), South Korea and sub-Saharan Africa. A Federal Police operation investigated Chinese immigrants who traveled through six countries before arriving in São Paulo to work under substandard conditions in the textile industry.[49]

After signing the 2009 amnesty bill into law, President Lula said, in a speech, that "repression and intolerance against immigrants will not solve the problems caused by the economic crisis", thereby also harshly criticizing the "policy of discrimination and prejudice" against immigrants in developed nations.

An October 2009 piece from O Globo, quoting a PNUD study, estimates the number of illegal immigrants at 1.4 million,[50] and points out to a recent wave of xenophobia among the general populace.[51]

Bhutan

Immigration in Bhutan by Nepalese settlers (Lhotshampa) began slowly towards the end of the 19th century. In 1985, the government passed a new Citizenship Act which clarified and attempted to enforce the 1958 Citizenship Act to control the flood of illegal immigration. Those individuals who could not provide proof of residency prior to 1958 were adjudged to be illegal immigrants. In 1991-92, Bhutan expelled roughly 100,000 ethnic Nepalis, most of whom have been living in seven refugee camps in eastern Nepal ever since. The United States has offered to resettle 60,000 of the 107,000 Bhutanese refugees of Nepalese origin now living in U.N. refugee camps in Nepal.[52]

Chile

Chile has recently become a new pole of attraction for illegal immigrants, mostly from neighboring Peru and Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Colombia and Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the 2002 national census, Chile's foreign-born foreign population has increased by 75% since 1992.[53]

People's Republic of China

People's Republic of China is building a security barrier along its border with North Korea to prevent the defectors or refugees from North Korea.[54] Also, many immigrants from Mongolia have tried to make it to China. There might be as many as 100,000 Africans in Guangzhou, mostly illegal overstayers.[55]

Hong Kong also maintains a tight control of illegal immigrants from China and other parts of the world (mainly from Southeast Asia and East Asia). In the past China and Vietnam were the largest sources of illegal immigrants into Hong Kong. After 1997, China and Pakistan are the largest sources of illegal immigrants. Activities and entry to border control areas with China are tightly monitored. There is two wired security fences that prevents land entry from and to Hong Kong from China. A 28 square kilometres Frontier Closed Area (FCA) is a buffer zone between China and Hong Kong established in the 1950s by British Hong Kong. The FCA has been maintained following the handover. Most of the area is bordered by the Shenzhen River and the Sha Tau Kok River. Waters off Hong Kong are monitor by Hong Kong Police and their Chinese counterparts. The eastern sections of the FCA is bordered by land. From Lo Wu to Sha Tau Kok the border is on land.

Illegal immigrants in Hong Kong often come to Hong Kong for employment, illegal activities (Prostitution, crime, etc...) or in-transit to other parts of the world.

There are plans to reduced the FCA to 8 square kilometres from the current 28.

European Union

The European Union is developing a common system for immigration and asylum and a single external border control strategy.

In France, helping an undocumented immigrant (providing shelter, for example) is prohibited by a law passed on December 27, 1994 [14]. The law was heavily criticized by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the CIMADE and the GISTI, left-wing political parties such as the Greens and the French Communist Party, and trade-unions such as the magistrates' Syndicat de la magistrature.

The Turkish newspaper Hürriyet published stories once in July 2004 and a second time in May 2006 that Hellenic Coast Guard ships were caught on film cruising as near as a few hundred meters off the Turkish coast and abandoning clandestine immigrants to the sea. This practice allegedly resulted in the drowning of six people between Chios and Karaburun Peninsula on 26 September 2006 while three others disappeared and 31 were saved by Turkish gendarmes and fishermen.[56] However, there are numerous non-Turkish claims and testimonies that Turkish authorities and/or citizens lead immigrants through the sea, often resulting to the abandonment and sometimes drowning of said immigrants.

A tough new EU immigration law detaining illegal immigrants for up to 18 months before deportation has triggered outrage across Latin America, with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatening to cut off oil exports to Europe.[57][58]

Greece

After the opening of the Albanian borders in 1991, a huge influx of Albanian economic migrants crossed illegally into Greece in order to find work. They are currently estimated at about 600,000-800,000, but an accurate calculation is very difficult because of the large percentage of illegal immigrants.[59][60]

India

A.B.V.P. against Bangladeshi illegals

It is estimated that several million illegal immigrants live in India. Precise figures are not available, but the numbers run from anywhere from a few hundred thousand to 20 million. Especially in Eastern India, these are mainly economic migrants from Bangladesh, most of whom are Muslims. Several Eastern states including Assam and West Bengal are experiencing significant demographic changes due to the continued influx, mostly in favour of Muslims.

India is constructing barriers on its eastern borders to combat the surge of migrants. The Indo-Bangladeshi barrier is 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) long. Presently, India is constructing a fence along the border to restrict illegal traffic from Bangladesh.[61] This obstruction will virtually isolate Bangladesh from India. The barrier's plan is based on the designs of the Israeli West Bank barrier and will be 3.6 m (11.8 ft) high. The stated aim of the fence is to stop infiltration of terrorists, prevent smuggling, and to bring a close to illegal immigration from Bangladesh.[62][63]

Iran

Since late April 2007, the Iranian government has forcibly deported back to Afghanistan mostly unregistered (and some registered) Afghans living and working in Iran at a rate between 250,000 - 300,000 per year. The forceful evictions of the refugees, who have lived in Iran and Pakistan for nearly three decades, are part of the two countries' larger plans to repatriate all Afghan refugees within a few years. Iran says it will send 1,000,000 by next March, and Pakistan announced that all 2,400,000 Afghan refugees, most living in camps, must return home by 2009. Experts say it will be 'disastrous' for Afghanistan.[64][65][66]

Libya

Libya is home to a large illegal Sub-Saharan African population which numbers as much as 2,000,000.[67] The mass expulsion plan to summarily deport all undocumented foreigners was announced by Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi in January 2008. "No resident without a legal visa will be excluded."[68][69]

Malaysia

An ethnic Indian Malaysian was recently sentenced to whipping and 10 months in prison for hiring six illegal immigrants at his restaurant. "I think that after this, Malaysian employers will be afraid to take in foreign workers (without work permits). They will think twice," said immigration department prosecutor Azlan Abdul Latiff. “This is the first case where an employer is being sentenced to caning,” he told. Illegal immigrants also face caning before being deported.[70] There are an estimated 800,000 illegal immigrants in Malaysia.[71] In January 2009 Malaysia banned the hiring of foreign workers in factories, stores and restaurants to protect its citizens from mass unemployment amid the global economic crisis.[72]

Mexico

In the first six months of 2005 alone, more than 120,000 people from Central America have been deported to their countries of origin. This is a significantly higher rate than in 2002, when for the entire year, only 130,000 people were deported [15]. Another important group of people are those of Chinese origin, who pay about $5,500 to smugglers to be taken to Mexico from Hong Kong. It is estimated that 2.4% of rejections for work permits in Mexico correspond to Chinese citizens [16]. Many women from Eastern Europe, Asia, and Central and South America are also offered jobs at table dance establishments in large cities throughout the country causing the National Institute of Migration (INM) in Mexico to raid strip clubs and deport foreigners who work without the proper documentation [17]. In 2004, the INM deported 188,000 people at a cost of $10 million [18]. Illegal immigration of Cubans through Cancún tripled from 2004 to 2006. [19]

In September 2007, Mexican President Calderón harshly criticized the United States government for the crackdown on illegal immigrants, saying it has led to the persecution of immigrant workers without visas. “I have said that Mexico does not stop at its border, that wherever there is a Mexican, there is Mexico,” he said.[73]

In October 2008, Mexico tightened its immigration rules and agreed to deport Cubans using the country as an entry point to the US. It also criticized U.S. policy that generally allows Cubans who reach U.S. territory to stay. Cuban Foreign Minister said the Cuban-Mexican agreement would lead to "the immense majority of Cubans being repatriated."[74]

Nepal

In 2008, Nepal's Maoist-led government has initiated a major crackdown against Tibetan exiles with the aim to deport to China all Tibetans living illegally in the country. Tibetans started pouring in Nepal after a failed anti-Chinese uprising in Tibet in 1959.[75]

Pakistan

Puerto Rico

See Dominican immigration to Puerto Rico#Illegal immigration

Russia

Russia experiences a constant flow of immigration. On average, 200,000 legal immigrants enter the country every year; about half are ethnic Russians from other republics of the former Soviet Union. In addition, there are an estimated 10-12 million illegal immigrants in the country.[76] There has been a significant influx of ethnic Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Tajiks, and Uzbeks into big Russian cities in recent years, which has been viewed very unfavorably by many citizens, and has given rise to nationalist sentiments.[77][78][79] Many immigrant ethnic groups have much higher birth rates than native Russians, further shifting the balance. Some Chinese flee the overpopulation and birth control regulations of their home country and settle in the Far East and in southern Siberia. Russia’s main Pacific port and naval base of Vladivostok, once closed to foreigners, today is bristling with Chinese markets, restaurants and trade houses.[80] This has been occurring a lot since the Soviet collapse.

Illegal border crossing is considered a crime, and on occasions captured illegal border crossers are sentenced to a prison term. For example, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported in October 2008 the case of a North Korean who was detained after illegally crossing the Amur River from China. Considered by Russian authorities an "economic migrant", he was sentenced to 6 months in prison, and was to be deported to the country of his nationality after serving his sentence, even though he may now risk an even heavier penalty there. That was just one of the 26 cases year-to-date of illegal entrants, of various nationalities, receiving criminal punishment in Amur Oblast.[81]

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has begun construction of a separation barrier between its territory and Yemen to prevent the unauthorized movement of people and goods into and out of the kingdom. See Saudi-Yemen barrier.

In 2006 Saudi Arabia proposed plans for the construction of a security fence along the entire length of its 560-mile (900 km) desert border with Iraq in a multimillion-pound project to secure the kingdom’s borders in order to improve internal security, control illegal immigration and bolster its defences against external threats.[82]

South Africa

South Africa is home to an estimated five million illegal immigrants, including some three million Zimbabweans.[83][84][85] Attacks on foreign nationals increased markedly in late 2007 and it is believed that there have been at least a dozen attacks since the start of 2008. A series of anti-immigrant riots occurred in South Africa beginning on May 11, 2008.[86][87] see (Zimbabwean diaspora)

Syria

Refugees from Iraq have increased in number since the U.S.-led invasion of that country in March 2003. The United Nations estimates that nearly 2,200,000 Iraqis have fled the country since 2003,[88] with nearly 100,000 fleeing to Syria and Jordan each month.[89][90] Most ventured to Jordan and Syria, creating demographic shifts that have worried both governments. Refugees are mired in poverty as they are generally barred from working in their host countries.[91][92]

Syrian authorities worried that the new influx of refugees would limit the country's resources. Sources like oil, heat, water and electricity were said to be becoming more scarce as demand had gone up.[93] On October 1, 2007 news agencies reported that Syria re-imposed restrictions on Iraqi refugees, as stated by a spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Under Syria's new rules, only Iraqi merchants, businessmen and university professors with visas acquired from Syrian embassies may enter Syria.[94][95][96]

Turkey

Turkey receives many economic migrants from nearby countries such as Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran, but also from Afghanistan, Central Asia and Pakistan.[97][98] The Iraq War is thought to have increased the flow of illegal immigration into Turkey, while the global parties directly involved in the conflict have been accused of extending a less-helping hand than Turkey itself to resolve the precarious situation of immigrants stranded in passage.[99]

United Kingdom

There are between 500,000 and 700,000 illegal immigrants in Britain. Britain is a hard country to reach as it is an island, but recently traffickers have been found in Calais, France, who have been trying to smuggle illegal immigrants into Britain. Many of the illegal immigrants come from Africa and Asia.[100] [101]

United States

Between 12 and 20 million illegal immigrants are estimated to be living in the United States; due to the nature of illegal immigration, the exact number is unknown.[102] The majority of the illegal immigrants are from Latin America.[103] Illegal immigration has been a longstanding issue in the United States, creating immense controversy. Harvard University economist George J. Borjas explains that the controversy centers around the "huge redistribution [of wealth] away from [unskilled American] workers to [American employers] who use immigrants."[104] In 2007, President Bush called for Congress to endorse his guest worker proposal, stating that illegal immigrants took jobs that Americans would not take.[104] The Pew Hispanic Center notes that while the number of legal immigrants (including LPRs, refugees, and asylees) arriving has not varied substantially since the 1980s, the number of illegal aliens has increased dramatically and, since the mid 1990s, has surpassed the number of legal immigrants.[105] Penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants range from $2,000-$10,000 and up to six months' imprisonment.[106] Political groups like Americans for Legal Immigration PAC[107] have been formed to fight what they perceive as the threat of illegal immigration by demanding that the US enforce immigration laws and secure the borders. Several counties throughout the United States have chosen to deputize police officers as immigration officials.[108]

Venezuela

There are hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions of Colombian immigrants living in Venezuela.[109] In 1995, Venezuela announced plans to conduct a census to locate and deport illegal immigrants.[110] An estimated 200,000 Colombians have fled the Colombian Civil War and sought safety in Venezuela. Most of them lack identity documents and this hampers their access to services, as well as to the labor market. The Venezuelan government had no specific policies on refugees.[111][112]

See also

References

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  2. ^ The undocumented Africans "of St. Ambroise" Bok.net. Retrieved on 2007-10-03.
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  33. ^ Knowledge of immigrant nationalities of Santa Clara County (KIN): El Salvador.
  34. ^ Modern slavery thriving in the U.S.
  35. ^ Bales, Kevin (1999). Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-22463-9. 
  36. ^ Jo Doezema [http://www.walnet.org/csis/papers/doezema-loose.html#moralpanics Loose Women or Lost Women? The re-emergence of the myth of 'white slavery' in contemporary discourses of 'trafficking in women'] International Studies Convention Washington, DC, February 16–20, 1999 Gender Issues, Vol. 18, no. 1, Winter 2000, pp. 23-50
  37. ^ Eastern Europe Exports Flesh to the EU
  38. ^ Local women fall prey to sex slavery abroad
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  46. ^ Angola expels thousands of Congolese
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  49. ^ Globo.com - PF faz operação contra imigração ilegal de chineses em 3 estados
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  54. ^ China building border fence facing North Korea
  55. ^ Out of Africa and into China, immigrants struggle. Reuters UK. August 21, 2009.
  56. ^ Delete the Border quoting Khaleej Times; ADN Kronos Survivors of the immigrant boat tragedy accuse Greeks (in English) - [2] [3] [4]. The newspaper Hürriyet (in Turkish). Three of the drowned were Tunisians, one was Algerian, one Palestinian and the other Iraqi. The three disappeared were also Tunisians.
  57. ^ Chavez: Europe risks oil over immigrant law
  58. ^ Venezuela's Chavez Threatens to Deny Oil, Investments to EU Over Immigration Laws
  59. ^ Background Note: Greece
  60. ^ Greece launches illegal immigrant crackdown
  61. ^ Villagers left in limbo by border fence
  62. ^ The good fences epidemic
  63. ^ India builds a 2,500-mile barrier to rival the Great Wall of China
  64. ^ Iranian Deportations Raise Fears of Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan
  65. ^ To root out Taliban, Pakistan to expel 2.4 million Afghans
  66. ^ Expelled from Iran - refugee misery
  67. ^ Libya asserts its right to deport 2 million illegal immigrants in face of criticism
  68. ^ Libya to Deport Illegal Immigrants
  69. ^ Libya: Summary Deportations Would Endanger Migrants and Asylum Seekers
  70. ^ Malaysian man receives unusually harsh punishment for employing illegals
  71. ^ Indians among illegal immigrants rounded up in Malaysia
  72. ^ Malaysia bans foreign labourers, Al Jazeera English, January 22, 2009
  73. ^ Mexican President Assails U.S. Measures on Migrants, New York Times, September 3, 2007
  74. ^ Mexico to deport Cubans heading illegally to US, MiamiHerald.com, October 22, 2008
  75. ^ NEPAL: Tibetans Warned of Deportation to China.
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  77. ^ Moscow to deport Tajiks by air
  78. ^ Russian police determined to oust Georgians from Moscow
  79. ^ Russian nationalists protest against illegal immigration in Irkutsk
  80. ^ Chinese Come To Russia
  81. ^ Yevgeniy Basenko (Евгений Басенко) (2008-10-29). "A North Korean has swum across the Amur, only to end up in a Russian prison. (Северокореец переплыл Амур, чтобы оказаться в российской колонии)" (in Russian). Rossiyskaya Gazeta. http://www.rg.ru/2008/10/29/reg-priamurje/koreets-anons.html. 
  82. ^ Saudis plan to fence off border with chaos, The Times, April 10, 2006.
  83. ^ Anti-immigrant violence spreads in South Africa, with attacks reported in Cape Town
  84. ^ Escape From Mugabe: Zimbabwe's Exodus
  85. ^ More illegals set to flood SA
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  87. ^ Immigrants Fleeing Fury of South African Mobs
  88. ^ UN warns of five million Iraqi refugees
  89. ^ U.N.: 100,000 Iraq refugees flee monthly. Alexander G. Higgins, Boston Globe, November 3, 2006
  90. ^ Take Iraqi refugees in
  91. ^ Doors closing on fleeing Iraqis
  92. ^ Iraq's middle class escapes, only to find poverty in Jordan
  93. ^ Displaced Iraqis running out of cash, and prices are rising.
  94. ^ "Syria shuts border to Iraqi refugees - UNHCR" Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUS119126393845._CH_.2400
  95. ^ Laura Zuber, "Syrian visa restrictions "trap" Iraqi refugees," uruknet.info of Italy http://uruknet.info/?p=m37030&s1=h1
  96. ^ "Syria restores visa limits" "BBC News"
  97. ^ Turkey captures over 500,000 illegal immigrants in past 10 years
  98. ^ Over one million illegal immigrants in Turkey: report.
  99. ^ Iraq's Christians on the run (in German)
  100. ^ The true cost of an amnesty, Migration Watch UK
  101. ^ Archbishop backs amnesty for Britain's illegal immigrants, The Independent, November 24, 2008
  102. ^ Illegal immigrants in the US: How many are there?, csmonitor.com
  103. ^ Study Details Lives of Illegal Immigrants in U.S., NPR
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  109. ^ Colombia: In the Crossfire
  110. ^ Immigration into Venezuela
  111. ^ Colombia: UNHCR signs agreement with Venezuelan "Banco del Pueblo Soberano"
  112. ^ Venezuela | Child Soldiers Global Report 2008

Further reading

  • Barkan, Elliott R. "Return of the Nativists? California Public Opinion and Immigration in the 1980s and 1990s." Social Science History 2003 27(2): 229-283. in Project Muse.
  • Vanessa B. Beasley, ed. Who Belongs in America?: Presidents, Rhetoric, And Immigration (2006).
  • Borjas, G.J. "The economics of immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, v 32 (1994), pp. 1667–717.
  • Cull, Nicholas J. and Carrasco, Davíd, ed. Alambrista and the US-Mexico Border: Film, Music, and Stories of Undocumented Immigrants U. of New Mexico Press, 2004. 225 pp.
  • De La Torre, Miguel A., "Trails of Terror: Testimonies on the Current Immigration Debate," Orbis Books, 2009.
  • Thomas J. Espenshade; "Unauthorized Immigration to the United States" Annual Review of Sociology. Volume: 21. 1995. pp 195+.
  • Flores, William V. "New Citizens, New Rights: Undocumented Immigrants and Latino Cultural Citizenship" Latin American Perspectives 2003 30(2): 87-100.
  • Griswold, Daniel T.; "Willing Workers: Fixing the Problem of Illegal Mexican Migration to the United States," Trade Policy Analysis no. 19, October 15, 2002.
  • Kennedy, Marie and Chris Tilly, 'They Work Here, They Live Here, They Stay Here!': French immigrants strike for the right to work—and win. Dollars & Sense, July/August 2008.
  • Nicholas Laham; Ronald Reagan and the Politics of Immigration Reform Praeger Publishers. 2000.
  • Lisa Magaña, Straddling the Border: Immigration Policy and the INS (2003)
  • Mohl, Raymond A. "Latinization in the Heart of Dixie: Hispanics in Late-twentieth-century Alabama" Alabama Review 2002 55(4): 243-274. ISSN 0002-4341 9-4894945651.
  • Ngai, Mae M. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (2004), 90952-15665.
  • Ngai, Mae M. "The Strange Career of the Illegal Alien: Immigration Restriction and Deportation Policy in the United States, 1921-1965" Law and History Review 2003 21(1): 69-107. ISSN 0738–2480 Fulltext in History Cooperative.
  • Mireille Rosello; "Representing Illegal Immigrants in France: From Clandestins to L'affaire Des Sans-Papiers De Saint-Bernard" Journal of European Studies, Vol. 28, 1998 959525126.
  • Dowell Myers (2007), Immigrants and Boomers: Forging a New Social Contract for the Future of America, Russell Sage Foundation, ISBN 978-0-87154-636-4.
  • Tolley, Brett "Dying to Get In" Documentary (2006) Undocumented Immigration Documentary.
  • Tranaes, T. and Zimmermann, K.F. (eds), Migrants, Work, and the Welfare State, Odense, University Press of Southern Denmark, (2004).
  • Venturini, A. Post-War Migration in Southern Europe. An Economic Approach Cambridge University Press (2004).
  • Zimmermann, K.F. (ed.), European Migration: What Do We Know? Oxford University Press, (2005).
  • Range, Peter R., Europe faces an immigrant tide National Geographic Magazine May 1993.







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