International Migration amid a World in Crisis

By Joseph Chamie

Prepared for The Center for Migration Studies

Executive Summary

This article comprehensively examines international migration trends and policies in light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It begins by reviewing migration developments throughout the past 60 years. It then examines pandemic-related migration trends and policies. It concludes with a series of general observations and insights that should guide local, national, regional, and international policymakers, moving forward. In particular, it

proposes the following:

  • National measures to combat COVID-19 should include international migrants, irrespective of their legal status, and should complement regional and international responses.
  • Localities, nations, and the international community should prioritize the safe return and reintegration of migrants.
  • States and international agencies should plan for the gradual re-emergence of large-scale migration based on traditional push and pull forces once a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available.
  • States should redouble their efforts to reconcile national border security concerns and the basic human rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
  • States and the international community should accelerate their efforts to address climate-related migration.
  • States of origin, transit, and destination should directly address the challenges of international migration and not minimize them.

 

Keywords

migration, movement, migrants, refugees

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