Journal Article

Can Labor Immigration Work for Refugees?

Current History, 118 (804): 22–28 Download

Introduction

Most high-income countries make a strict distinction in their immigration poli-cies between refugees and those deemed to be labor migrants. While refugees are typically admitted on humanitarian grounds—albeit with debates in many countries about who qualifies and what degree of protection they are entitled to receive—labor migrants are usually admitted with the explicit aim of benefiting the economy and society. The Global Compact on Refugees, a new nonbinding United Nations framework for improved global governance and more equitable sharing of responsibility, recommends that high-income countries take in some refugees as labor migrants. Is this a good idea? Could it work?