The introductory chapter reviews the major arguments of the book, concerning the gap between immigration policy goals and the outcomes of those policies and offers an overview of the dilemmas of immigration control, the unwieldy politics of immigration, the "liberal paradox," and the rise (and decline) of rights-based politics in the nations and countries of immigration. The introduction also provides a summary of the individual chapters and the major findings of the book—a useful overview for teaching purposes. The country studies in this book highlight the difficulties of immigration enforcement in relatively open, liberal, and pluralistic societies. As states and societies became more liberal, open, and democratic with the end of the cold war, immigration increased. The rise of populism and nativism in the western democracies has led to a political backlash against immigration, and the global pandemic has complicated the task of migration governance.
The United States is the world's major destination for international migrants, with 45 million foreign-born residents, making immigrants a seventh of US residents. These immigrants arrived in waves, including the current or fourth wave that began in the 1960s and admits mostly Latin Americans and Asians. Immigration is economically beneficial but can adversely affect certain groups and reshape political and social systems as immigrants and US-born residents adjust to each other. The debate over how to deal with nearly 11 million unauthorized immigrants became especially contentious in recent years, as President Trump threatened to deport them while President Biden encouraged Congress to offer most a path to US citizenship.
Canadian immigration policy emphasizes the admission of relatively large numbers of skilled immigrants, with opportunities for family reunification and refugee asylum, supported by language training and other settlement services, and fast-track citizenship. Aimed primarily at economic development, this policy enjoys popular support and has been maintained by successive Liberal and Conservative governments. The popularity of both immigration and multiculturalism is possible partly for reasons of geography and history, and it has both economic and cultural roots. Recent policy developments include "Express Entry" admission procedures, greater participation of provinces and employers in immigrant selection, efforts to increase immigrant skill utilization in the labor market, and plans to increase numbers, up to one percent of population or more annually. Future success may depend on effectively addressing underlying problems, including declining economic success of recent immigrant cohorts, uncertain compliance with temporary migration regulations, and racism in society.
This chapter reviews the migration histories of Australia and New Zealand, focusing on the evolution of immigration controls and channels over the course of around two centuries. Australia and New Zealand are both classical countries of immigration, formed by indigenous immigration, transformed by British settler colonization, and dependent immigration for economic and demographic growth. Their migration systems have evolved together. The authors delineate five main periods in this process: The First Great Settler Boom and Bust (1841-1900); Britain's "White Dominions" in the Pacific (1901-1945); the End of Empire and the Push to Populate (1946-1973); Globalization, Diversification, and Multiculturalism (1974-1995); and the Second Great Migration Boom (1995-2020). They argue that both Australia and New Zealand are not only settler societies in the sense that a large portion of their population are immigrants. They are also classical "migration states" in the sense that managing migration is central to the purpose of government.
France has a longer history of immigration than any other country in Western Europe, and French immigration policy has been shaped by demographic forces—the early demographic transition and stagnation of the French population in the 19th century—and by the republican tradition dating from the French Revolution, which is strongly nationalist, universalist, and secular (laïcque). After World War II, France moved quickly to import foreign labor (immigrant workers) to boost economic reconstruction, first from neighboring countries and eventually from former colonies in North and West Africa. With the economic shocks of the 1970s, the French government tried to stop immigration, but immigration continued at historically high levels, fed by family and refugee immigration, and the sources of immigration became more diverse, leading to a large, settled population of Muslim immigrants from former colonies.
The chapter provides a brief historical overview of postwar migration to Britain, followed by an examination of the 1997–2010 Labour governments' (liberal) migration policies and the (restrictive) migration policies pursued by Conservative and coalition governments from 2010 to the present. It will ask four questions. First, why is the British case characterized by such radical swings in policy relative to France or Germany, where policy evolution is much more gradual? Second, what role did migration play in the 2016 referendum on remaining within the European Union? Third, what were the deeper reasons behind the Empire Windrush scandal of 2018? Fourth, why is British immigration policy subject to such sudden shifts?
Germany was a reluctant country of immigration for the half century between 1950 and 2000, when successive governments proclaimed that Germany was not a country of immigration despite the arrival and settlement of millions of migrant workers, asylum seekers, and others. Germany became an acknowledged country of migration in the 21st century, received over a million asylum seekers from Syria and other countries in 2015-16, and enacted an immigration law in 2019 that welcomes skilled foreigners. As the world's second-largest migrant destination after the US, the German government is managing internal migration from other European Union countries, integrating asylum seekers, and welcoming highly skilled foreigners.
The Netherlands has always been a migration state, and has been shaped by large-scale emigration as well as immigration. Today, a growing share of immigration and emigration is simply mobility within Europe. Dutch public opinion is not more hostile to immigrants than public opinion in other European states and the political salience of immigration is generally below the EU average. Yet a tradition of consensus-building that resulted in middle-of-the-road policies and bureaucratic inertia, coupled with an open electoral system, allowed anti-immigrant parties and ideas not only to enter parliament but also to shape government policy. Anti-immigrant parties thus shattered the depoliticization of migration and citizenship policy that had been the norm. The shift from consensus to factiousness or discord characterizes recent Dutch politics, and this fragmentation is translated into shifting and sometimes contradictory policy priorities.
The basic features of the Scandinavian welfare model impart some central premises on controlling immigration—both in terms of access and inclusion. The universalistic welfare approach, implying a generous inclusion of legal newcomers from day one, in combination with the highly regulated and knowledge intensive labor market, has made the three states particularly exposed to challenges as concerns the absorption of immigrants in gainful work. Thus, both authorities and the public have been increasingly concerned about the resulting pressure on the model. The chapter discusses this contentious policy field through an historical-institutional analysis of the three Scandinavian countries, exposing similarities and differences delineated by three policy areas—immigration, integration, and naturalization. Since the late 1990s, we have—despite institutional and cultural similarities in the region—witnessed the emergence of three national policy regimes: Hardliner Denmark, Accommodating Sweden, and Norway as the land of moderation.
This chapter investigates how Switzerland as a paradigmatic case of political integration in a multicultural setting is managing immigration and integration of migrants over time. Based on a historically informed reconstruction of its different policies, it presents the different stakeholders and their interests in evolving these programs. Particular attention is given to institutional structures present in Switzerland, notably federalism, municipal autonomy, and a consensus-oriented political culture. We find that all these opportunity structures had a strong impact in the formulation of migration policies and their consequences since the turn to the 20th century. The greatest influence is in Switzerland's direct democratic political system, which provoked a major pollicization of the migrant issue and forced government actors to negotiate with anti-immigrant challengers. Recent developments show, however, that challenges of immigration policy can mobilize liberal movements.
Italy faces the same dilemmas of immigration control and integration as more advanced immigration countries. Italian governments, often in rapid succession, have attempted to maintain a balance between strong demand for foreign labor, especially in the large informal sector of the Italian economy, and the need to maintain at least the appearance of immigration control. Government interventions to control immigration to Italy were overwhelmed by powerful market forces and by the extreme volatility of Italian politics, which saw fifteen different governments in the twenty-year period from 1990 to 2010 before stabilizing somewhat in the 2010s. Mainstream political parties are whipsawed between xenophobic and nationalist forces of the Northern League and the Five-Star Movement on the one hand, and fragile coalition politics on the other, making it extremely difficult to find consensus on the contentious issue of immigration control.
This chapter traces the migratory history of Spain as it transitions from an emigration to an immigration country and back. The chapter details the dilemmas of immigration control that Spain faced in recent years, taking into consideration economic, social, political, and demographic factors. It begins by presenting socio-demographic data on the immigrant population and the characteristics of migratory flows, analyzing the evolution of Spain as a country of immigration since the 1980s, and more recently as a country of immigration and emigration of high skilled migrants. The chapter gives special attention to policy responses since Spain's entry into the European Community. Policies have been guided by historical legacies, institutional arrangements, and the role of European integration. Finally, the chapter analyzes the consequences of the economic crisis of 2008 and emigration trends, ending with a review of policies at the end of the second decade of the 21st century.
Greece and Turkey have a shared history, a common border, and have faced similar dynamics with regard to cross-border migration movements. Yet, there are also some striking differences between the two states, including their internal political trajectories and their relationship to the European Union and other external actors. We examine the evolution of migration management regimes in these two countries, from bilateral cooperation over population exchanges in the 1920s, to their participation in European guest-worker programs in the 1960s-70s, to the management of regional refugee crises in the 2010s. Shifts in migration management regimes in the two states are linked to changes in the broader structural context, as well as larger state interests of nation-building, economic development, and the maintenance of national sovereignty. At the same time, we demonstrate the complexities of emigration, immigration, and transit and forced migration management in Greece and Turkey.
Japan and South Korea are among the few liberal democracies where immigration does not occupy center stage in politics today. Often described as negative cases in comparative studies of immigration and citizenship, the two East Asian democracies have maintained consistently low levels of immigration levels despite labor shortages from the 1980s and impending demographic crises. Are Japan and South Korea fundamentally "latecomers" to immigration that will eventually liberalize their immigration and citizenship policies like other recent countries of immigration? This chapter examines how Japan and South Korea maintained low levels of immigration while securing necessary foreign labor through "side door" immigration policies that eventually generated divergent patterns of immigrant incorporation in each country. While grassroots movements based on appeals to democratic principles and international norms have led to the expansion of institutionalized rights for select categories of migrants, they have not resulted in the liberalization of either country's immigration policies.
This chapter analyses EU politics and policy making by assessing the shifting political dynamics that have shaped the scope for and extent of policy convergence and have changed the arenas where policy solutions are sought. It demonstrates that the politicization of migration as a distinct European and EU concern after the 2015 migration crisis exposed significant limits of top-down, EU-led policy convergence among EU member states. At the same time, the search for external solutions has intensified, with the aim to co-opt non-EU countries into the EU's migration and asylum framework. As Europe has become politicized and is likely to remain so, horizontal convergence between groups of likeminded member states—and a quest for external solutions in the fields of migration and asylum—seem likely to be important future trends.