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Immigration Law

Et tu, Sweden?

Elina Scheja's picture
    Photo/Istockphoto.com

Having followed the debate on welfare and economic policy prior to the Swedish parliamentary election, the arguments from both the ruling center-right alliance as well as the left-of-center opposition seemed convincing enough to be considered for the next political leaders of the country. The opinion polls were predicting a tight outcome in slight favor of the ruling coalition. On Sunday the votes were counted and the results surprised everybody: 2010 ended up being a historic election with no clear winners, but only one big setback. Even though the ruling alliance got a renewed mandate as the largest coalition, it failed to get the majority of the seats in the parliament. The leading opposition party, the Social Democrats, preserved its status as the largest party in the country, but thanks to the strong alliance formed by the center-right coalition, it will be unable to take over the country’s political leadership. The real winner of the election, however, was the anti-immigrant ultra-right wing party Sweden Democrats. The party got 5.7 percent of the votes that guarantees it the swing vote in the parliament making both the established party coalitions dependent on their support. Even though all established parties have categorically stated that they will not seek support from the Sweden Democrats, their passive support will be required for any majority decision.

Migration Policies: Hot Topics

Sonia Plaza's picture

(With Roberto Ponce)

Migration issues have been at the center of discussion in the international agenda, mainly because of the financial crises and the new protectionism measures implemented by developed countries. Despite these current issues, there are several long-term topics that will require further research and attention within next decades.

Among these topics - climate change and demographic changes, and their respective linkages with migration, will be the most challenging one in terms of policy design.

Regarding demographic changes, developed countries (Europe, Japan) are aging whileAfrica, Middle East, and South Asia still experience a transitional demographic change. The challenge will be to meet the needs of migrants with their specific requirements of skills in developed countries, and the offer of youth labor with their specific stock of skills from developing countries. Countries need to be ready to meet these demands.

Who am I?

Dilip Ratha's picture

The question of identity lies at the core of the complexity relating to migration. Let's start a conversation on the question, "Who am I?"

Sarah Dadush:

Who am I? Nationality-wise, there is some room for confusion: I was born in Italy, but I am not Italian. I grew up in London, but I am not English. I am French because my mother, who grew up in Morocco, is French, though that mainly happened because her mother is from Algeria. My father is French because he married my mother, but he is from Libya originally. We are Jewish. None of us has ever lived in France. Do I identify with my nationality? Well, my brother and I attended French Lycees in London and in Maryland, and French is my mother tongue. My grandmother and aunt live in France now, and I visit them regularly. That might be the extent of my French-ness. Though I do make an effort to follow political developments in France, I don't participate in local elections, for instance.

Immigration a major election issue on both sides of the Atlantic

Sonia Plaza's picture

Immigration reforms are the focus in the UK  elections and in the USA Senate elections for this year. Both countries are yet to come to grips with the need to develop consistent policy frameworks in which immigrants can effectively and productively utilize their skills, knowledge, and previous work experience. Both countries are trying to identify measures on how to better deal with undocumented migrants and how to devise laws for low-skilled workers and for high-skilled workers.

In the UK, prime ministerial candidates have proposed the following approaches to undocumented migrants: 1) Gordon Brown’s proposal is to ban unskilled workers from outside Europe and cut the numbers of semi-skilled and skilled workers to enter into UK; 2) David Cameron proposes that “new countries that join the European Union should have transitional controls so not everyone can come at once. Regarding immigration from outside the European Union, there needs to be a cap”; and 3) Nick Clegg puts forward a proposal for "earned citizenship" for those who have lived illegally in Britain for at least 10 years, who speak English, who want to pay taxes and who want to play by the rules. (Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, is promoting amnesty for undocumented workers.)

España aprueba plan de retorno de inmigrantes

Sonia Plaza's picture

Un plan de retorno voluntario de los inmigrantes legales que no tienen empleo ha sido aprobado el 19 de Setiembre del 2008  por el gobierno de España.  Se podrán acoger a esta nueva iniciativa los inmigrantes que no pertenezcan a la Unión Europea y que sus países hayan firmado convenios bilaterales con España en materia de portabilidad de seguridad social.  El programa esta dirigido para los inmigrantes de Marruecos, Ecuador, Perú, Colombia, Ucrania, Argentina, Republica Dominicana, Rusia, Uruguay, Brasil, Venezuela, Chile, Filipinas,