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Top 10 Migration Issues Of 2007

by Kirin Kalia of the Migration Policy Institute

Originally published on the Migration Information Source (, a project of the Migration Policy Institute.

Issue #1: Political Paralysis: The Failure of US Immigration Reform
With a new Democrat-controlled Congress in place — and the presidential elections in 2008 on the horizon — many expected 2007 to be the year for bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Issue #2: Iraqi Refugees: Diminished Options and Little US Support
Daily news reports frequently show the latest violence in Iraq, but it was not until 2007 that the stories of displaced Iraqis became more desperate and more widely known.

Issue #3: Wanted More Than Ever: The Highly Skilled
While the countries that make a point of competing for the world's best and brightest tweaked their entry systems in 2007, the European Commission took a bold leap in late October: It formally proposed a European Union "Blue Card" scheme.

Issue #4: Testing Immigrants — Literally
Prove you can fit in here. That is the challenge many countries placed in stark terms this year by implementing citizenship tests or increasing language requirements.

Issue #5: Managing Global Travel with Technology and Cooperation
Countries continue to adopt technological means of supporting border and immigration officials' decisions about what travelers pose risks or are barred by law, making biometrics the norm and not the exception.

Issue #6: Integration Means Belonging
All the nuanced meanings of "belonging" describe integration trends in industrialized countries in 2007, including the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Issue #7: US Cities Face Legal Challenges, and All 50 States Try Their Hand at Making Immigration-related Laws
Cities and states taking immigration matters into their hands — a trend that began in 2006 in response to federal-level failure — only gained momentum in 2007.

Issue #8: Mobility Partnerships, the Latest Policy Fashion
How do migrant sending and receiving countries both get more of what they want without the receiving countries committing to a new stream of permanent migration? The European Union thinks it may have found an answer in the concept of "mobility partnerships."

Issue #9: Migration and Development Issues: No Longer a Novelty in Policy Discussions
The language of migration and development has become standard among researchers and NGOs interested in development issues. In 2007, that language formally became part of the migration policy agenda, particularly in Europe.

Issue #10: South Korea Opens Its Arms
Although South Korea has long valued its homogeneous society, its government actively charted a different course in 2007 by acknowledging permanent immigration and the economic importance of immigrants, and literally rolling out the welcome mat.

Ones to Watch
Immigration and the 2008 elections, migration and climate change, visa waiver programs, and more.

Originally published on the Migration Information Source (, a project of the Migration Policy Institute.

About The Author

Kirin Kalia is Editor at the Migration Policy Institute.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.