Thursday, July 12, 2007 07/12/07-Immigration

In today's encore excerpt--writing in 1998, Douglas Massey writes of the historically inevitable result of any government's attempts to curb immigration:

"International migration is a natural consequence of capitalist market formation in the developing world, (and) the international flow of labor follows international flows of goods and capital, but in the opposite direction. ...

"Once international migration has begun, private institutions and voluntary organizations also tend to arise to satisfy the demand created by a growing imbalance between the large number of people who seek entry into a capital-rich country and the limited number of immigrant visas these countries typically offer. This imbalance, and the barriers that core countries erect to keep people out, create a lucrative economic niche for entrepreneurs and institutions dedicated to promoting international movement for profit, yielding a black market in migration. As this underground market creates conditions conducive to exploitation and victimization, voluntary humanitarian organizations arise in developed countries to enforce the rights and improve the treatment of legal and undocumented migrants."

Douglas S. Massey,, Worlds in Motion, Understanding International Migration at the End of the Millennium, Oxford, 1998, pp. 41-44. Specific reference is made in this excerpt to works by Jacqueline Maria Hagan, Deciding to be Legal: A Maya Community in Houston (1994), and Susan Gonzales Baker, 'Implementing the US Legalization Program', International Migration Review, (1993).


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