The Opening of Burmese Borders: Impacts on Migration
Burma, a resources-rich yet impoverished nation also known as Myanmar, rejoined the international community in 2011 after a military junta loosened its grip. Before the Southeast Asian nation opened its borders, Burmese migrated primarily for low-paid, clandestine work in Thailand but also as a result of violence and natural disasters. This article explores how the country’s recent transition has impacted Burmese migration flows.
Immigration Reform Returns to Center Stage of US Politics
Immigration reform is squarely back on the agenda in Washington, with the unveiling of plans for major reform of the US immigration system by the White House and a bipartisan group of senators known as the Gang of Eight. This article explores the policy and political aspects of this fast-moving debate, examines an uptick in apprehensions of illegal crossers, and more.
[Source: Migration Information Source]
The United Nations Development Program has released the Human Development Report 2009 which considers international migration, internal migration, and refugee flows as well as voluntary movement, and how all these forms of mobility contribute to — or detract from — the ability of migrants to lead the kind of life that they have reason to value.
In addition, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) produced two of the expert background papers for the report: one on the role of recruitment agencies and other intermediaries in the migration process by Dovelyn R. Agunias, and another on the interaction of circular migration and human development by Kathleen Newland.
Guiding the Invisible Hand: Making Migration Intermediaries Work for Development by Dovelyn R. Agunias, traces the legitimate role of intermediaries in providing information and extending critical services in various stages of migration, thereby expanding migrants’ range of choices. However, the value of intermediaries is, in many cases, overshadowed by the costs they impose on migrants, from exorbitant fees to outright abuse of basic human rights. Clearly, there is room for intervention to regulate intermediaries and shape their operations in more positive directions.
Circular Migration and Human Development by Kathleen Newland, discusses various conceptions and definitions of circular migration, and concludes that circular migration is not intrinsically positive or negative in relation to human development; its impact depends upon the circumstances in which it occurs, the constraints that surround it and — above all — the degree of choice that individuals can exercise over their own mobility. The human-development lens distinguishes between spontaneous circular migration and circular migration projects or programs designed by governments.
- African Elections Project [pdf] Interest in the election results within various African nations continues to grow, and the African Elections Project is a great source of information on this timely topic. The Project is coordinated by the International Institute for ICT Journalism and a number of additional partners, such as the Open Society Initiative for West Africa and Global Voices. The material on the site is available in both French and English, and currently it covers Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Malawi, and Niger. Within each country profile, visitors can view the results of recent elections, take a look at relevant weblogs, learn about the various political parties in each country, and also view past news updates. Additionally, visitors can sign up to receive email updates or RSS feeds.
- Diasporas, Migration & Identities [pdf] Funded with substantial monies provided by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the United Kingdom, the Diasporas, Migrations & Identities research programme is designed “to research, discuss and present issues related to diasporas and migration, and their past and present impact on subjectivity and identity, culture and the imagination, place and space, emotion, politics and sociality.” While the programme is no longer actively funded, visitors can view the fruits of their academic labors on this site in the “Publications” area. Visitors to this section can view their annual reports and their working papers. Scholars and others can make their way through ten working papers, which include the titles “Here we go-but where? The possibilities of diaspora in the field of sport” and “London’s Chinatown: Diaspora, Identity and Belonging”. The site also contains a “Links” area, which contains a healthy selection of external links to other like-minded research institutes and centers.
- The Gay Peoples Union Collection [Real Player] In the 1970s, The Gay Peoples Union was the most important gay and lesbian rights organization in Milwaukee. The Union started as a student group at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and they eventually took a key role in working for social change in the contentious arena of educating the general public about homosexuality. This extremely valuable digital collection was created by the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections initiative, utilizing materials from the Division of Archives and Special Collections of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Visitors to the site can make their way through copies of the Gay Peoples Union newsletter and also listen to the radio program, Gay Perspective. Users are welcome to also browse the textual and audio materials at their leisure.
- The Leo Strauss Center: The University of Chicago [pdf] Revered by some, criticized by others, Leo Strauss remains a very important and influential figure in a number of academic fields, including political philosophy, classics, and Jewish studies. For twenty years, Strauss was a faculty member at the University of Chicago, and the Leo Strauss Center at that institution was created in order “to promote the serious study of Leo Strauss’s thought primarily through the preservation and publication of the unpublished written and audio record that he left behind.” On the Center’s site, visitors can make their way through sections titled “Strauss’s Publications”, “On Strauss’s Thought”, “Strauss Archives”, and a biographical sketch. In the “Strauss’s Publications” area visitors can read a detailed bibliography compiled by Heinrich Meier. The “Strauss Archives” section contains a finding aid to the Leo Strauss Papers held at the Special Collections Research Center in the University of Chicago Library. Moving on, the “Audio of a Meno Class” section contains an audio recording of Strauss’s class on Plato’s Meno from the spring of 1966. The site is rounded out by a search engine and information about the persons responsible for the administration of the Center.
- Crime Victims’ Institute [pdf] Originally created in 1995 by the Texas State Legislature, and moved eight years later from the office of the Attorney General to Sam Houston State University, the Crime Victims’ Institute provides studies of crime victims, online local and national resources for crime victims and links to criminal justice education. The “Publications” available on the site can be accessed on the far left hand side of the menu and include Legislative Briefs, Research Briefs, Survey Reports, and General Information. “Videos”, also available on the far left hand side of the menu, include a video entitled “Stalking: Real Fear Real Crime” that is a training tape inspired by a real crime victim. The left hand menu also contains three important categories for all victims: “Victim Compensation”, “Victim Impact Statement”, and “Victim Rights”, which provide links in English and Spanish, as well as victim impact forms. Almost the complete text of the Texas Crime Victim Bill of Rights is also available under the “Victim Rights” link.
[Source: The Scout Report, Volume 15, Number 22, June 5, 2009]
Getting Current: Recent Demographic Trends in Metropolitan America [pdf]
Some of our long-time readers (and new arrivals) might be wondering: “What’s going on in metropolitan America?” Well, the Brookings Institution has provided some compelling information on that timely subject in their March 2009 report on recent demographic trends across the United States. This 28-page report authored by William H. Frey, Alan Berube, Audrey Singer, and Jill H. Wilson looks into topics such as migration, immigration, aging, educational attainment, and poverty. Visitors with a limited amount of time may wish to turn directly to pages two and three within the report, as they offer a brief summary of their findings. These findings include the observation that migration across states and metro areas has slowed considerably in the past two years due to the housing crisis and that the next decade “promises massive growth of the senior population, especially in suburbs unaccustomed to housing older people.”
[Source: The Scout Report, Volume 15, Number 14, April 10, 2009]
The online journal, Migration Information Source (MIS), published by the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute has released its Top 10 Migration Issues list of 2008. The list is determined with input from experts in the migration field and is influenced by ongoing news events and developments. The release of the list coupled with the United Nations designated International Migrants’ Day on December 18. Click here for access.
MIS offers useful tools, vital data and essential facts on the movement of people worldwide as well as global analysis of global migration and refugee trends.
Top 10 Migration Issues list of 2008:
- “Buyer’s Remorse” on Immigration Policy
- The Recession-Proof Race for Highly Skilled Migrants
- Remittance Patterns in Flux
- Immigration Ultimately Not an Issue in the 2008 Election
- Xenophobia Rising
- Return Migration: Changing Directions?
- Demography and Migration Flows: Do Shrinking Populations Mean More Migrants?
- Keep on Building Border Fences
- Warming up to Circular Migration?
- Struggles of Iraqi Refugees Continue