Throughout history, technological breakthroughs have created industrial revolutions that have shaped not only how we produce goods and services but also the movement of people around the world. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as the New Machine Age, is no different. As increasing automation makes some jobs obsolete and additive manufacturing moves industries and jobs across national borders, these technological changes will upend the politics and economics of global labour migration. In an article for the World Economic Forum Agenda, “Will migrants and robots be competing for the same jobs?” published on November 10, 2015, I reflected on the challenges these changes will present.
Three Dominicans living in New Jersey were elected recently to national legislative positions in the Dominican Republic, created precisely so that the country’s diaspora will be represented
Sumathi Reddy writes about this phenomonenon in the July 31 Wall Street Journal article, “Elected to Serve Far Away,” in which she quotes me about the significance of diaspora elected officials: “Michele Wucker, president of the World Policy Institute, said countries ‘have been reaching out to diaspora, increasingly offering them seats in Congress…, recognizing their remittances, their technical skills and their international networks are all important assets.’ ” More than a dozen countries have created similar positions, mostly over the past several years.
Those of you who have read my first book, Why the Cocks Fight, may recall the profile of a Dominican living in Washington Heights who ran for the equivalent of a seat in Congress from his home province in the Dominican Republic, but pledged to represent the more than one million Dominicans estimated to have been living in the United States and Canada at the time. More than a decade later, the country will finally be giving formal representation to these “dominicanos ausentes.”
In Canada for the Toronto Forum for Global Cities, Michele Wucker, President of the World Policy Institute, discusses the importance of having an effective immigration strategy to compete effectively for the highly skilled workers that keep the economy driving forward. To view the BNN video follow this link.
In the days following the earthquake that destroyed Port-au-Prince and killed over 200,000 people, the United States granted temporary protected status (TPS) to those undocumented immigrants from Haiti who were living in the United States prior to the date of the quake. It was the right thing to do after such an “act of God.” Yet, it stood in stark contrast to the failure of the United States to use its migration policy to help Haitians in 2008, when the island was struck by a series of natural disasters that were arguably man-made—a series of storms made increasingly more frequent and violent by rising sea levels and temperatures caused by greenhouse gas emissions.
Posted March 19, 2010. For the full article visit the links above.
Immigrant Policy in Québec: Successes and Lessons Learned
Video of my discussion with Yolande James, Minister of Cultural Communities, Government of Quebec, at the World Policy Institute April 7, 2010.
Canada has long taken pride in its reputation for successfully welcoming immigrants. Nevertheless, like other immigrant destinations, it has faced challenges like combating racism, matching immigrants’ skills with appropriate jobs, and ensuring that immigrants have the language skills they need. Under a bilateral agreement with the Canadian federal government, Québec is able to make its own policies on the immigrants it selects, and to design and implement its own policies on integration and diversity -that is, “immigrant” policies, and not just “immigration” policies.
Québec’s Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities Yolande James, the daughter of Canadian citizens who emigrated from St. Lucia and St. Vincent, spoke with WPI Executive Director Michele Wucker about Québec’s successes and the lessons that it has learned. Minister James also spoke about how Québec has used immigration policies to support Haiti following the January 12 earthquake.
How the rest of the world deals with aliens at the ballot box
By SARAH NOORBAKHSH
Acknowledging the rights of immigrant groups, “recognizing special ties among particular groups of countries” and reciprocation are often part and parcel of granting suffrage, says Michele Wucker, executive director of the World Policy Institute. The EU, the Commonwealth, Brazil, Portugal and Spain are cases in point. However, the decision in South Korea had the effect of enfranchising mostly Taiwanese immigrants rather than being a “quid pro quo” reform benefiting Japan, and the country has thus far only indicated that it hopes for a similar move here in Japan. Also worth noting is that whereas 6,000 noncitizens benefited from the law change in South Korea, there are over 900,000 permanent foreign residents in Japan, including over 400,000 “special permanent residents” — mostly Koreans and Taiwanese who lived in Japan before and during the war, as well as their descendants.
So what about the argument that, rather than give voting rights to permanent residents, they should be encouraged to naturalize instead? This attitude is prevalent in North America, where noncitizen voting rights have been rolled back. In contrast, Chile introduced alien suffrage to in part to compensate for its slow, inefficient nationalization system.
“If people feel that they are part of a community with their neighbors, then they are more likely to embrace national values and even apply for citizenship as well,” suggests Wucker. Indeed, movements in Toronto as well as Rome have used this argument in pressing for the involvement of immigrant groups in local politics, though demonstrating objectively that granting foreigners the vote leads to an increased demand for naturalization has proved a challenge.
part of a collection from the December “The Right to Move?” conference in Tokyo.
January 26, 2010
Facing demographic and economic challenges, countries around the world are reconsidering the policies that govern migrant rights—the basis on which people are allowed to enter a country, the access that non-citizens have to services and rights, and the ability of non-citizens to naturalize. Decisions about who gets the right to move have significant consequences for the citizens, societies, and economies of host and sending countries alike.
The central question for many countries is: Who is admitted and how? In countries where ethnicity or family ties are priority criteria, the ethics of deciding who enters are closely tied to national conceptions of self-interest and identity. Sometimes these conceptions conflict, as Germany found when reconciling its long-standing policy of admitting people based on blood ties with its national desire to provide hospice to refugees. Admissions decisions also have consequences for sending countries which in turn ripple back to host countries when borders are weak and economic pull is strong.
Immigration rights advocates often make a moral argument for liberalizing immigration policy. No matter how good the moral case is, however, under the fraught politics of immigration the only arguments that will succeed are those that make a strong case for the self-interest of the host society. Yet the moral arguments are not necessarily opposed to self-interest; in fact, they often coincide. Continue reading “Jan 26: Linking Ethics and Self-Interest in Human Mobility”