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VOL. 5, NO. 5
JUNE 2010­­

Insights from the


Manning the Gates:
Migration Policy in the Great Recession
by Mike Nicholson and Pia Orrenius

During the downturn,

The Great Recession of 2008–09 brought steep declines in world out-

advanced economies

put, employment and trade—all told, the worst falloff of global economic activ-

as well as developing

ity since the Great Depression. During the downturn, advanced economies from

countries adopted

Australia and Western Europe to developing countries such as Thailand and Ka-

policies ranging from

zakhstan adopted policies ranging from keeping new migrants out to encourag-

keeping new migrants

ing resident migrants to leave.

out to encouraging

The most common policy changes included tightening numerical

resident migrants

limits or imposing categorical limits on immigrant inflows, paring back lists

to leave.

of shortage occupations and changing eligible occupations for temporary migrants.
Nations also limited the opportunities for migrants to adjust their legal status or renew their work permits. They tightened employers’ advertising

requirements, or labor market tests, to
give native-born workers an edge over
their foreign-born competitors. Many
countries also boosted immigration enforcement, stepping up efforts to round
up unauthorized immigrants and prosecute their employers.
Through these initiatives, lawmakers sought to help domestic workers by
limiting foreign competition during a
severe economic downturn. While the
intent of these measures is clear, their
bite is somewhat uncertain. Recessions
diminish employment opportunities,
so cross-border labor flows decline on
their own accord, reducing competition
for jobs from foreigners.
In fact, the immigration backlash
could have its greatest effect after
the recession ends, when a growing
demand for labor could run headlong
into labor market restrictions that
remain in place. These could impede
countries’ ability to recruit workers in
sectors vital to their recovery and longrun economic growth.
From Economic Boom to Bust
In the years leading up to the
Great Recession, economic expansion and housing booms in countries
such as Spain, Italy and Ireland led to
unprecedented levels of immigration
and transformed what had traditionally been sending countries into prime
destinations for migrants from within
the European Union (EU) and around
the world.1
From 2000 to 2007, Spain was
Europe’s leading destination for
migrants by a large margin. Immigrant
inflows averaged 642,000 per year, and
the number of foreigners rose from
less than 1 million to nearly 5 million. The foreign share of the Spanish
population rose from 2 percent to 10.4
percent over this period.
Italian immigration also skyrocketed, with flows averaging 338,000
newcomers a year between 2000 and
2007, up from only about 50,000 in the
late 1990s. The foreign share of Italy’s
population more than doubled, rising
from 2.2 to 5 percent.

Annual inflows to Ireland rose
sharply during this time as well—from
42,000 in 2000 to 89,000 in 2007.
The foreign share of the population
increased from 3.3 to 10.5 percent.
Ireland was among the three EU countries to allow migration from the eight
Eastern and Central European nations
that joined the bloc in 2004, often
referred to as the “accession eight,”
or A8.2 Irish immigrants came mostly
from Poland. Ireland also took in a
significant number of immigrants from
countries outside the EU, including the
U.S., India and China.
U.K. migration also rose in the
period leading up to the recession,
albeit to a lesser extent since the U.K.
has long been a country of immigration. Inflows increased from 364,000 in
2000 to 527,000 in 2007. The foreign
share of the population edged up from
4.5 percent in 2001 to 6 percent in
2007. As in the case of Ireland, many
of these new immigrants came from
the A8 countries.
In contrast to the new destination
countries of Europe, U.S. immigration

EconomicLetter 2

did not accelerate in the 2000s. Green
card issuances averaged about 1 million per year, the same as in the 1990s,
and the foreign-born population share
rose modestly from 11.1 percent in
2000 to 12.5 percent in 2008, a slower
rate of increase than in the prior
The expansion that spurred immigration throughout much of Europe
came to an abrupt end with the
2008 financial crisis and slowdown
in world economic growth. The next
year, world output contracted 0.6 percent, and the volume of global trade
declined 10.7 percent.3 Unemployment
rates skyrocketed in many countries,
particularly in those that had experienced housing booms, such as Spain,
the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland (Chart
Between December 2007 and
December 2009, unemployment rates
rose from 5 percent to 10 percent in
the U.S., from 8.8 percent to 19 percent in Spain and from 4.8 percent to
13 percent in Ireland. The EU area as
a whole experienced a milder rise in

Chart 1

Unemployment Rates Rise During the Great Recession in
Many Popular Destination Countries
Index, January 2007 = 100*
















* Seasonally adjusted.
SOURCES: Eurostat; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Australian Bureau of Statistics.



unemployment—from 6.9 percent to
9.4 percent.
Migration Policy Responses
The Great Recession caused great
anxiety. Many governments, including
in the U.S., passed stimulus packages
aimed at promoting consumption and
job growth through tax rebates, infrastructure projects and expanded social
benefits. In addition, governments
sought to help individuals directly
with job-creation programs and by
extending assistance to unemployed
Countries also adopted protectionist trade and immigration policies.
Protectionist trade policies often backfire when trading partners respond
with similar measures. Restrictive
immigration policies are typically not
subject to the same tit for tat as trade,
but reduced migration hurts migrants
and poor sending countries, which
often rely on remittances. Measures
targeting resident migrants can slow
their economic progress and hamper
Countries responded to rising
unemployment rates with policies
designed to limit foreign-born workers’ access to labor markets. Table 1
summarizes major policy changes in
countries around the world from 2008
to the present.
In the U.S., the Troubled Asset
Relief Program (TARP), implemented
in 2008, discouraged banks and
financial institutions receiving federal bailout funds from hiring foreign
workers through the H-1B program
for high-skilled specialty workers. In
February 2010, an executive order
imposed stricter rules for employers
using foreign-born farmworkers.4 Since
May 2009, U.S. rules also require that
government contractors run all new
employees through E-Verify, a federally operated electronic program that
checks for valid Social Security numbers that match workers’ names.5
Measures aiming to protect native
workers were also taken in other
countries hit hard by the recession—

notably Ireland, Spain and the U.K.
The most frequent policy approach
emphasized controlling worker inflows
from outside the EU.
In 2009, Ireland stopped issuing
work permits to foreigners for lowpaid occupations in addition to household workers and truck drivers. Spain
restricted the recruitment of certain
categories of guest workers in 2008
and 2009.6
The U.K. upped salary and education requirements for high-skilled
workers from outside the EU and suspended recruitment of low-skilled nonEU workers in 2009. Salary requirements were tightened further in early
Like the U.S., these countries also
adopted a number of policies targeting employers. Ireland extended its
labor market tests, requiring prospective employers to advertise jobs for
eight weeks within the EU prior to
seeking workers from outside the
bloc. Furthermore, individuals renewing work permits are now subject
to labor market tests that weren’t in
force before the crisis.8 The U.K. also
doubled the job advertising period for
employers seeking certain categories
of skilled workers from outside the
EU. And Spain curtailed labor market
test exemptions for skilled “shortage”
These countries also adopted a
variety of measures directed toward
foreigners residing within their borders, legally and illegally. Ireland tightened requirements for work permit
renewals and stands by naturalization
prerequisites, which result in rejection of nearly half the applicants for
Irish citizenship.10 The U.K. Parliament
voted in July 2009 to toughen citizenship requirements for status adjusters,
effective in 2011.11
Seeking to curtail illegal immigration, Ireland passed new measures
limiting unauthorized migrants’ access
to public services, and the U.K. raised
fines for employers of unauthorized
migrants.12 A number of other countries have also stepped up immigration


Countries responded to
rising unemployment
rates with policies
designed to limit
foreign-born workers’
access to labor

3 EconomicLetter

enforcement. Italy has criminalized
unlawful presence, authorized citizen
patrols to combat illegal migration and
barred illegal migrants’ access to public
services.13 France has launched several
high profile raids, and Greek police
drew international attention when
they bulldozed a migrant camp near
the city of Patras. Israel created a new
task force to combat illegal migration.
A number of popular destinations for
Asian migrants, notably Malaysia and
Singapore, have cracked down on illegal migration as well.
Perhaps the most innovative
policies entailed creating incentives
for foreign workers to return to their
home countries. Spain launched the
largest such program in November
2008, seeking to encourage unemployed migrants’ departure by paying
unemployment benefits in two lump
sums—one given in Spain and the
other delivered upon returning home.
The Spanish government also paid for
transportation back home. The program bars participating migrants from
returning to Spain for three years.14
The U.K. and France adopted a
similar program to encourage unauthorized migrants residing in camps in
Calais, a French port on the English
Channel, to return home.15 The Czech
Republic and Japan have launched
programs giving foreigners greater
incentives to return home and imposing restrictions on their reentry.
Denmark, which has had a program
operating for several years, has upped
financial incentives for migrants to
head back to their countries of origin.16
To date, the Spanish and Czech
programs have attracted fewer participants than was initially projected.
For example, Spain estimated that
more than 100,000 migrants would
return home under its program, but
it received only about 8,700 applications.17 This outcome shouldn’t be
surprising. For most migrants, a lifetime income in Spain exceeds the
two lump-sum benefit payments and
value of the ticket home. Their home
countries don’t typically offer much

EconomicLetter 4

Table 1

Select Migration Policy Changes by Country
Policy Changes


Cut intake of skilled permanent migrants 14 percent for the 2009–10 fiscal year. Raised skilled migrants’ salary requirements. Redesigned critical
skills list for permanent migrants to emphasize health, engineering and IT
occupations while removing many others. Required new language tests for
foreign workers in certain occupations.


In 2008, voted to keep restrictions on accession eight (A8) country workers
from Eastern and Central Europe in place through 2011.


In 2008, voted to keep restrictions on A8 workers from Eastern and Central
Europe in place through 2011.


Implemented return program in February 2009. Government pays €500 and
airfare home for foreign workers. About 2,000 migrants participated in the
first phase of the program, which concluded in July 2009. Participants must
give up Czech documents.


In 2008, voted to keep restrictions on A8 workers from Eastern and Central
Europe in place through 2011. In 2009, increased financial incentives for
migrants to return home.


In July 2009, launched program to encourage illegal migrants in Calais to
return home. Government pays plane fare and €2,000, plus resettlement assistance. Program implemented jointly with the U.K. Also launched several
high-profile immigration raids in 2009.


In 2008, voted to keep restrictions on A8 workers from Eastern and Central
Europe in place through 2011.


Stepped up enforcement. Police bulldozed large migrant camp in Patras
in 2009.


In 2009, implemented new numerical quotas on hiring foreign workers.


In 2009, stopped issuing new work permits to non-EU citizens for jobs with
a salary under €30,000. Also stopped issuing work permits to household
workers and truck drivers. Labor market tests extended; employers now
must advertise for eight weeks within the EU before seeking non-EU workers. Individuals renewing work permits now subject to labor market tests.
New rules for dependents seeking jobs. Restricted illegal migrants’ access
to public services.


Created task force in 2009 to crack down on illegal migrants. Stiffer penalties for employers hiring illegal aliens put in place in 2010.


Suspended nonseasonal, non-EU worker entries in 2009 after lowering
them and accepting applications only from 2008 backlogs. Limited 2008
entries primarily to household workers. Issuance of most categories of
residence permits to new immigrants now contingent on extent of integration, passing language tests. Income and eligibility requirements for family
reunification strengthened in 2008. Unlawful presence criminalized in 2009.
Approved unarmed citizen migration enforcement patrols. Access to public
services blocked for illegal migrants.


Launched return program in April 2009 to encourage the departure of Latin
Americans of Japanese descent. Pay for airfare plus a departure bonus.
Reentry limited. About 11,000 approved as of October.


Imposed migration moratorium on less-skilled workers in 2009. Less-skilledworker quotas remain low for 2010. Labor market tests strengthened.


Stopped issuing work permits for most manufacturing and service jobs in
2009. Permits for less-skilled foreign workers not renewed in 2009. Cut
duration of short-term work permits. Employers must terminate foreign


Table 1

Select Migration Policy Changes by Country (cont.)
Policy Changes

workers first. Higher levy on employers bringing in foreign workers was approved in 2010. New crackdown on illegal migrants launched in February 2010.


Reduced duration of permits for lower-skilled workers. Removed occupations from skill shortage lists in the 2008–09 fiscal year. Harder to get work
permits renewed.


Banned certain categories of foreign workers in 2008; some bans were lifted
in 2009 and 2010; stepping up immigration enforcement; deporting thousands of Asian migrants.


Cut 2009 immigration targets for non-EU workers by half.


Reduced work permit quotas by half in 2009. Further cuts occurred in 2010. Employers seeking to hire foreign workers now face greater bureaucratic hurdles.


Stopped issuing work permits to Bangladeshi workers in certain sectors in 2008.


Implemented policy requiring employers to terminate foreign workers prior to
native-born workers. Levies on employers of foreign workers increased in 2010.


Reduced total foreign-worker permit quotas under the Employment Permit
System from 100,000 to 34,000 in March 2009. Quotas reduced further to
24,000 in 2010. Recruitment under this system also halted temporarily in
early 2009.


Restricted recruitment of guest workers via the “contingente” anonymous
recruitment system in 2008–09. Curtailed exemptions from labor market test
for “shortage” workers. Made it harder for individuals with residence permits
to bring relatives to Spain. Program to encourage return of unemployed immigrants launched in November 2008: airfare paid, unemployment benefits
paid in two lump-sum payments, migrant barred from returning to Spain for
three years. About 8,700 approved as of November.


Cut work permit quotas by half in 2010 for non-EU citizens (although some
additional allotments made in May 2010 to meet labor demand rise).


Cut permits for less-skilled workers in 2009. Limited foreign workers to a
maximum of 20 percent of a manufacturer’s workforce, with exact limits
varying by industry.


Stopped issuing new work permits in 2009. Curtailed renewals of work permits. Stepped up immigration enforcement.


Imposed stricter education and salary requirements on high-skilled non-EU
guest workers (Tier 1). Raised minimum salaries for Tier 2 skilled workers.
Suspended recruiting of less-skilled workers (Tier 3). Strengthened labor
market test for skilled migrants (Tier 2). Employers must advertise for four
weeks rather than two weeks. New law approved in July 2009 will extend
foreigners’ required residency period in U.K. prior to earning citizenship, effective in 2011. Joined with France in 2009 to encourage illegal migrants in
Calais, France, to return home: pays plane fare and €2,000 plus resettlement
assistance. Higher fines instituted for employers of illegal migrants. New
language tests for many foreign workers.


Imposed tougher H-1B hiring rules on recipients of TARP funds. Required
documented recruitment, higher wages and tougher safety standards for
employers seeking foreign farmworkers under the H-2A program. New H-2A
rules also allowed for longer referral periods for U.S. workers and created an
electronic job registry. A number of states passed laws targeting unauthorized immigrants, most notably Arizona and Oklahoma.

SOURCES: Return migration program statistics from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), www.migrationinformation.
org/Feature/display.cfm?ID=749. Other information from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; MPI;
FRAGOMEN; University of California, Davis’ Migration News; and national immigration bureaus. For specific sources, see
the text or contact the authors.


employment or investment opportunity. What’s more, after migrants have
lived in a new country for a substantial
period, they begin to integrate and are
reluctant to leave. As a general rule,
voluntary return programs aren’t very
effective at getting settled migrants to
Recession’s Impact on Migration
Under normal circumstances,
immigration policy supports more
immigration in good economic times
and less in bad times. During the
1990s high-tech boom, for instance,
U.S. policy accommodated the rise in
demand for IT workers. In 2000, the
American Competitiveness in the 21st
Century Act temporarily tripled the
cap on H-1B visas and eased H-1B
employment restrictions permanently.
In hard times, labor protectionism
has limited impact because migration
naturally falls off. An extreme example
was the Great Depression, when deteriorating economic conditions led to
an 85 percent decline in the immigrant
inflow between 1930 and 1932.18
During the Great Recession, rising unemployment rates across many
advanced economies have deterred
would-be migrants, leading to steep
declines in flows along the major global migration corridors. The falloff in
migration has been particularly noticeable in those countries where a large
proportion of foreign workers were
employed in the hard-hit, businesscycle-sensitive construction sector.
Within the EU, where international
labor migration is unrestricted, we can
safely say that any declines have been
due to market factors, not restrictions
imposed by lawmakers. Immigrant
inflows into Ireland from recent accession countries in Eastern and Central
Europe—by far Ireland’s largest source
of foreign labor—fell by 74 percent
from 2007 to 2009.19 Irish social security registrations (Personal Public Service
numbers) from foreign nationals fell 63
percent from 2007 to 2009, further evidence of a drastic slowing of Ireland’s
worker inflows.20

5 EconomicLetter

The recent recession
brought with it
declines in
illegal immigration.

The number of registered foreign
workers in Spain fell in 2008, the last
available year of data.21 Spain saw a
two-thirds decline in the inflow of
immigrants from Romania, its largest
provider of foreign workers in recent
years.22 Inflows into the U.K. from
the A8 countries declined 21 percent
in 2008.23 Applications for the U.K’s
Worker Registration Scheme, which
covers migrants from countries that
joined the EU in 2004, fell 32 percent
from 2008 to 2009.24
Outside the EU, the decline
in applications for work permits or
employment-based visas suggests that
fewer people sought work abroad during the recession. In the U.S., applications for H-1B temporary skilledemployment visas fell by 16.1 percent
from 2008 to 2009.25 The H-1B cap
of 65,000 for the 2010 fiscal year was
not reached until December 2009, a
drastic change over previous years,
when quotas were filled within a few
days of the opening for applications.
And the H-1B cap for fiscal year 2011
had not been reached as of June 11,
2010. Applications for similar tempo-

Chart 2

Visa Demand Declines Across the Globe in 2009
Percent (year/year)






Hong Kong
Employment visas,
FY2009/2008 to

H-1B applications,

Worker Registration Subclass 457 primary
Scheme applications, visas, cases lodged
(skilled workers),
Dec. 2009/Dec. 2008

Social security
new workers
(PPS nos.),

SOURCES: Hong Kong Department of Immigration; U.S. Department of State; UK Home Office; Australian Department of
Immigration and Citizenship; Irish Department of Social Protection.

EconomicLetter 6


rary, skilled-worker visas also fell in
a number of other countries, such as
Australia (Chart 2).
Some signs of stabilization
appeared in late 2009 as the world
economy improved. For example,
applications to Australia’s temporary
Subclass 457 skilled visa program,
similar to the H-1B program, and the
U.K.’s Worker Registration Scheme
increased over the second half of the
year. More recent Australian data show
that 2010 applications for Subclass
457 visas are up significantly over last
year’s levels.26
Undocumented migration
falls. Illegal migration is highly correlated with the business cycle—often
more so than legal migration. One
reason is that workers dominate illegal flows, while legal migration also
includes family-based and humanitarian migrants.
Like legal workers, unauthorized
migrants are better tolerated by authorities during economic expansions and
subject to greater enforcement actions
during downturns. History provides
some examples, such as the 1953–54
U.S. recession, which coincided with
a major Border Patrol initiative that
removed thousands of Mexicans.
The recent recession brought
with it broad-based declines in illegal immigration. In Europe, the EU’s
border agency, FRONTEX, estimates
that undocumented migration fell
33 percent in 2009 relative to 2008.
Illegal sea landings in Spain, one of
the most common entry points for
would-be migrants, fell 46 percent
from 2008 to 2009.27 Landings in Italy
have also fallen significantly. Some of
these declines can be attributed to the
recession and some to the increased
immigration enforcement in the
Mediterranean Sea.
Along the U.S.–Mexico border,
annual apprehensions of undocumented migrants fell 33 percent from
2007 to 2009 (Chart 3). Apprehensions
in 2009 were down 55 percent from
2005, when the housing boom was
nearing its peak. According to the

Mexican statistical agency INEGI, net
flows of Mexicans to the U.S. were
down 61 percent from levels reached
during the housing boom peak in
2006 (from 369,500 in second quarter
2006 to 144,200 in second quarter
Family and humanitarian
immigration steady. Tighter policies
have mainly targeted labor migration,
but employment-based inflows typically account for less than half of total
immigration. In Western Europe and
the U.S., the bulk of migration is family-based and humanitarian, both largely insensitive to economic conditions.
U.S. non-work-based immigration
barely budged in the recession, with
nonemployment green cards accounting for over 85 percent of legal permanent resident admissions in 2007–09.29
If lawmakers really wanted to control
total worker inflows in a recession,
they would have to restrict familybased migration as well.
What Now?
Recent GDP data are increasingly
positive across the globe, suggesting
that the worst of the global recession may be over. Across the largest
economies emerging from recession,
growth in the second half of 2009
and first quarter of 2010 was respectable. The U.S. economy has grown 2.6
percent in real terms since bottoming
out in second quarter 2009; Germany
has grown 1.1 percent and Japan 2.5
percent. The IMF predicts that global
output will expand 4.2 percent in 2010
and 4.3 percent in 2011.30
As the global economy recovers,
the demands for labor and migration are expected to bounce back.
Coincident with the slowly improving
outlook, some countries have taken
baby steps toward reversing the migration policy changes they implemented
at the height of the recession. Italy,
for example, is again allowing entry
for some categories of nonseasonal
foreign workers, but overall quotas
remain tighter than prior to the recession. Switzerland increased its 2010

Chart 3

Migrant Apprehensions Along U.S.–Mexico Border Fall
in Recessions





















* Seasonally adjusted.
NOTE: Shaded bars indicate U.S. recessions.
SOURCE: U.S. Border Patrol.

work permit quotas in some categories
in May after slashing them by half in
January. Malaysia has eased its strict
migration policies somewhat, allowing
some manufacturers to recruit foreign
workers. It remains to be seen whether
these and other countries can realign
their labor and migration policies with
their economies as the global economic
recovery picks up speed.

Census and the Department of Homeland Security; no 2006 data available for Italy.

The A8 accession countries are the Czech

Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania,
Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

See “World Economic Outlook,” International

Monetary Fund, April 2010, p. 2,

Under this new rule, the Department of Home-

land Security may not approve H-2A visa petitions until the Department of Labor certifies that

Nicholson is a research analyst and Orrenius is
a research officer and senior economist in the
Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank
of Dallas.

available to perform the labor involved and that
the employment of the foreign worker will not
have an adverse effect on the wages and working
conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

The authors thank the Transatlantic Forum on
Migration and Integration (TFMI) participants,
a network of migration experts assembled by
the German Marshall Fund and Robert Bosch
Foundation, for inspiring us to write this article,
as well as providing data and anecdotes from
around the world.

there are not sufficient U.S. workers qualified and

Unless otherwise noted, migration and popula-

tion data in this article are from Eurostat, the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of the



See “A Conversation with Lisa Roney: Tapping

Technology for Immigration Enforcement,” Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Southwest Economy,
Second Quarter, 2010.

See “SOPEMI Country Notes 2009: Ireland”

and “SOPEMI Country Notes 2009: Spain,”
available on the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) website

7 EconomicLetter


See “Migrant Workers Face Tougher Test to

and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Age of

Work in the United Kingdom,” U.K. Home Office,

Economic Integration, by Douglas Massey, Jorge

Feb. 22, 2009.

Durand and Nolan J. Malone, New York: Russell


See “Global Client Alerts: Ireland,” FRAGOMEN,

Sage Foundation, 2003.

April 21, 2009,



Ireland. Data include both the 2004 and 2007

GlobalAlerts&news=463; also see Migration

accession countries. Bulgaria and Romania joined

Data from the Central Statistics Office of

News, vol. 16, no. 3, July 2009, University of

the EU in 2007.

California, Davis,





See “International Migration Outlook, 2009,”

OECD, June 2009.

Department of Social Protection, Republic of


“Statistical Bulletin on Foreigners and Immigra-

See “Presentation to the Joint Committee on

tion,” Spanish Ministry of Labor and Immigra-

the Constitution,” Immigrant Council of Ireland,

tion, August 2009,

Oct. 7, 2009.




See “Tough New Points System for Earning


Citizenship,” U.K. Home Office, Aug. 3, 2009;


also see “Citizenship Points Plan Launched,” BBC

denciales,” Spanish National Statistical Institute,

News, Aug. 3, 2009,


See “Country Notes 2009: Ireland,” OECD; also

Data from “Estadística de Variaciones Resi-


Long-Term International Migration (LTIM)

see “Buyer’s Remorse on Immigration Contin-

tables, U.K. Office for National Statistics,

ues,” Migration Information Source, Migration

Policy Institute, December 2009, www.




tistical Summary,” U.K. Home Office, February


See “SOPEMI Country Notes 2009: Italy,”

See “Control of Immigration: Quarterly Sta-


OECD; also see “Migration and the Global Reces-


sion,” by Michael Fix, Demetrios G. Papademe-


triou, Jeanne Batalova, Aaron Terrazas, Serena

Visa Office, U.S. Department of State,

Yi-Ying Lin and Michelle Mittelstadt, Migration

Figures from Nonimmigrant Visa Statistics,

Policy Institute, September 2009, p. 57, www.




Immigration and Citizenship,


See “Pay to Go: Countries Offer Cash to Im-

Figures from the Australian Department of


migrants Willing to Pack Their Bags,” Migration


Information Source, Migration Policy Institute,


November 2009,

Instituto Elcano,



See “Inside Spain 63,” by William Chislett, Real


See note 13, Fix et al., p. 64.



See note 12, “Buyer’s Remorse on Immigration



See note 12, “Buyer’s Remorse on Immigration


Figures from the 2001 Yearbook of Immigra-

See “Comunicado de Prensa 351/09,” Mexican

National Statistical Agency (INEGI), Dec. 28,

Richard W. Fisher
President and Chief Executive Officer
Helen E. Holcomb
First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Harvey Rosenblum
Executive Vice President and Director of Research
Robert D. Hankins
Executive Vice President, Banking Supervision
Director of Research Publications
Mine Yücel
Executive Editor
Jim Dolmas
Associate Editor
Jennifer Afflerbach
Graphic Designer
Ellah Piña


tion Statistics, Department of Homeland Security.


Despite the falloff in migration, policymakers

migration Statistics, Department of Homeland

Figures based on data from the Office of Im-

also took matters into their own hands, deporting


nearly a million Mexican immigrants, many of


whom were legal immigrants. See Beyond Smoke

is published by the
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The views expressed
are those of the authors and should not be attributed
to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas or the Federal
Reserve System.
Articles may be reprinted on the condition that
the source is credited and a copy is provided to the
Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of
Economic Letter is available free of charge
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See note 3.

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