The Migration Policy Institute released a report suggesting that migration flows, particularly illegal immigration, have decreased during the global economic downturn. The recession has impacted economic migration to major immigrant-receiving regions like the U.S. and U.K. Would-be migrants stayed put, and migrants remained in their adopted countries rather than return home, despite high unemployment rates.
Other findings by the report include:
- Remittances were generally down, although certain countries, like Bangladesh, saw an increase. Although this marginally impacted countries in which remittances account for only a minimal percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), countries that rely heavily on remittances were more seriously affected (e.g., remittances account for 0.2% of Turkey’s GDP but account for one third of Moldova’s GDP).
- The recession has greatly affected migrants’ financial well-being.
- Almost half of Eastern European immigrants who came to the U.K. in the middle of 2004 had returned home by the end of 2008.
- The inflow of Mexican nationals into the United States decreased by more than two-thirds between March 2004 and March 2009.
- Rates of unemployment for foreign-born workers in Spain rose to 28.4% during the first quarter of 2009, compared to 17.4% for native workers.