Thursday, January 16, 2014

MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration Launches Series of Reports Focusing on Ways to Curb Influence of Traffickers, Smugglers & Other ‘Bad Actors’ Who Help Thwart Countries’ Immigration Controls

Notwithstanding massive government investments in immigration controls in the United States and Europe, illegal immigration and the unlawful employment of migrants continue, fueled in large measure by highly adaptive “bad actors” who facilitate and profit from illegality: smugglers, traffickers and unscrupulous employers among them. While pathways to entry have become more difficult, dangerous and costly, this has failed to deter migrants seeking jobs and greater opportunities across borders, especially where there is a demand for their labor. This reality has fueled a growing “market” for ever more sophisticated and creative means to circumvent border controls and post-entry enforcement efforts.

The Migration Policy Institute’s Transatlantic Council on Migration, a unique deliberative body that brings together top policymakers and thinkers in Europe and North America to examine vital policy issues and inform migration policymaking processes, focused on examining innovative, practical policy solutions that curb the influence of these bad actors by shrinking the “gray area” in which they operate.

Today, the first in a series of reports resulting from that meeting is being published. In Securing Borders: The Intended, Unintended, and Perverse Consequences, Randall Hansen, Canada Research Chai in Immigration and Governance in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, and MPI President Demetrios G. Papademetriou outline the security-related challenges that borders are intended to address and, in turn, the perverse consequences (both predictable and not) that tighter border enforcement generates. The report outlines the major security challenges faced by most countries in five key categories: terrorism, asylum, human smuggling and trafficking, illegal migration and drug trafficking. And it concludes with policy recommendations for more effective border security. “Bad actors cannot be eradicated but their influence can be reduced,” Papademetriou said.


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