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Overview of Issues

Bhagwati, Jagdish N.

It is widely believed that skilled immigrants create less assimilation problems and are more desirable in modern knowledge-based economies than unskilled immigrants. Whereas unskilled workers migrating on a permanent basis into major countries of immigration (unlike the temporary importation of workers legally under the gastarbeiter programs of postwar Europe or the Bracero program of the United States for agricultural workers) are typically entering illegally, or have entered legally and stayed on illegally, the entry of skilled workers therefore has been through legal mechanisms. Equally, international migration of the skilled from the developing to the developed countries is increasingly a feature of the legal-immigration systems of many developed countries. The resulting focus on skilled migration raises a host of questions, for both “receiving” and “sending” countries, many of which are addressed in this volume. This overview provides a systematic, if brief, look at the different contributions in the volume and the important insights they provide on the phenomenon, its prospects, possibilities and problems.



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August 20, 2009


Skilled Immigration Today: Prospects, Problems, and Policies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009).