Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

Labor Migration


Wednesday Mar 06, 2019

The world is home to approximately 258 million international migrants, who represent 3.4 percent of the global population. About 10 percent of them are refugees. As countries seek to come to terms with record forcible displacement and manage other human movement, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is working with partners in the international community to respond to humanitarian emergencies and meet the operational challenges of migration management, advance a better understanding of migration issues, and promote orderly migration policies that can benefit migrants and Member States alike.
In this first and only public address during his inaugural formal visit to Washington, DC. Director General António Vitorino discussed his vision for IOM; reforms and changes in the UN system designed to address migration matters better; the coordination of efforts between IOM, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and other international partners in addressing humanitarian protection; and the operational steps IOM is taking to respond to forced migration and displacement in hotspots around the world, including Venezuela, Bangladesh, and Libya. Following a conversation with Demetrios Papademetriou, Mr. Vitorino took audience questions.

Friday Oct 05, 2018

Getting recently arrived immigrants and refugees into work has long been considered the lynchpin of successful integration, with the legitimacy of migration and asylum systems often linked to positive economic outcomes. Spurred in part by the European migration crisis, significant social innovations and public-sector investments have focused on assessing newcomers’ existing skills, matching them with available jobs, and providing training to those in need. But with labour markets increasingly characterized by technological disruption and the flexible but precarious "gig economy," this model risks being severely upended.
This Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar marks the release of two publications produced in the framework of its Integration Futures Working Group. Jobs in 2028: How Will Changing Labor Markets Affect Immigrant Integration in Europe? examines possible scenarios for how social, economic, and technological trends could affect jobs, labor market policy, education and social policies, and migrant integration. The second report, Tech Jobs for Refugees: Assessing the Potential of Coding Schools for Refugee Integration in Germany, explores the potential of coding schools for refugees to help alleviate skills shortages and provide a pathway to work—for more than only a high-skilled minority. Join the experts for a discussion of key questions: How can governments equip newcomers—and indeed citizens—with the skills to thrive in the job markets of the future? How can governments prepare public services and contribution-based benefit schemes for a changing world of work? And for those unable to find work, what are the alternative ways that newcomers can meaningfully and measurably contribute to society?

Wednesday Sep 12, 2018

On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 26, the UN Special Representative for International Migration will launch the final phase of preparations for the historic adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration in Marrakesh, Morocco in December 2018. As the global compact moves from the realm of ideas and into reality, the focus of states and UN bodies is shifting from design to implementation.
This podcast considers two central objectives of the compact: enhancing the availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration, and investing in skills development. Experts from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the Germany Development Cooperation Agency (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, or GIZ) discuss concrete ideas for implementing these objectives. Panelists examine how migration pathways can be expanded, including through bilateral and regional agreements, to meet the needs of labor markets in destination countries while safeguarding migrants against abuse. The podcast also draws on lessons from previous migration partnerships to assess the potential of “skills partnerships,” a concept proposed by the compact that aim to facilitate the training and development of skilled workers who can fill labor market gaps in both countries of origin and destination.
The discussion draws on research conducted for the project, Towards a Global Compact for Migration: Rethinking the Links between Migration and Development, by MPI and GIZ, and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Monday Mar 19, 2018

With immigration increasingly visible in the news and the political space in the United States and internationally, getting access to accurate, high-quality data is essential for publics and policymakers to understand immigration’s demographic effects and impacts on the economy, education and labor systems, and the communities in which immigrants and their families live and work.
This event marks the release of an updated version of the popular Immigration Data Matters guide, which directs users to more than 220 international and U.S. data sources, and explains how to navigate sometimes complex datasets issued by government statistical agencies, international organizations, and reputable research organizations. This handy online guide includes data sources covering everything from the size of foreign-born population stocks and flows to citizenship applications, children in immigrant families, refugee admissions, migrant deaths, international student enrollment, global remittance flows, enforcement activities, and much more. 
At a time of proliferating data sources on immigration and immigrants, the presenters (Jeanne Batalova, MPI Senior Policy Analyst and Data Hub Manager, MPI; Mark Mather, Population Reference Bureau Associate Vice President for U.S. Programs; Elizabeth M. Grieco, Pew Research Center Senior Writer/Editor and former U.S. Census Bureau Foreign-Born Population Branch Chief; and Marc Rosenblum, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director of the Office of Immigration Statistics at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) discuss where some of the most user-friendly data can be accessed, including MPI’s own Migration Data Hub. They share their insights on how to avoid common pitfalls in using existing immigration data and highlight relevant data sources available from international organizations and national governments, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  

Thursday Mar 15, 2018

Immigrants, who account for 17 percent of the U.S. labor force, are twice as likely as native-born workers to work in industries where core labor and safety standard violations are widespread. Many immigrants have been driven into low-wage, under-regulated work by a confluence of immigration policies and economic transformations in which companies now routinely contract out for their labor needs, such as occurs in the cleaning, warehousing, food preparation, construction, and transportation sectors. In these sectors, it is commonplace for employers to misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying employer-related taxes and workers compensation, and to evade responsibility for compliance with labor standards. Pushing back against the deterioration of labor standards in these sectors requires robust and strategic enforcement, but both government and private-sector driven enforcement are stymied by limited resources and disincentives for workers to file complaints.
State and local governments, with their broad enforcement powers, access to tax and insurance data, and their role in regulating unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation, are uniquely positioned to respond. As a Migration Policy Institute report outlines, state innovations in enforcement can benefit both native-born and immigrant workers alike, increase state tax revenue, and level competition in the marketplace for law-abiding employers. However, since states also contend with limited resources, strategic enforcement of workplace statutes that change employer behavior is key. 
At this report release discussion, the authors, Muzaffar Chishti, Director, MPI's office at New York University (NYU) School of Law, and Andrew Elmore, NYU School of Law Acting Assistant Professor and former New York Office of Attorney General Labor Bureau Section Chief, discuss the dynamics in low-wage workplaces and immigration law that have contributed to systematic violations of labor standards. They also highlight the new and effective enforcement strategies that state and local governments across the United States are utilizing. And California Labor Commissioner Julie Su and Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Administrator Abbie Hudgens discuss how they have leveraged existing resources to more effectively enforce labor laws. 

Friday Dec 15, 2017

Following the arrival of large numbers of migrants and asylum seekers in Europe from 2015 onwards, many non-traditional actors—from tech start-ups to social enterprises—have pioneered innovative solutions to foster the social and economic inclusion of newcomers. In the context of this experimentation, business has played a fundamental role, with companies on both sides of the Atlantic leveraging their potential as employers, donors, and partners in innovative alliances. This two-day conference reflected on how innovative initiatives for refugee inclusion can grow beyond pockets of good practice and inspire large-scale, long-term change. The event brought together a diverse group of public officials, business leaders, service designers, social entrepreneurs, civil society organisations, and refugee initiatives from Europe, the United States, and Canada.
This workshop on Employer Engagement: Innovative Approaches to Training and Hiring Refugees featured:  
Chair: Laurent Aujean, Policy Officer, Unit Legal Migration and Integration, DG Home, European Commission
Sayre Nyce, Executive Director, Talent Beyond Boundaries, United States
Peter O’Sullivan, Resettlement Officer, UNHCR, Bureau for Europe
Mustafa Alroomi, Web Developer & Askim Kintziger, Innovation Consultant, Cronos Groep, Belgium

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017

Brexit negotiators have made the rights of EU nationals in the United Kingdom and UK nationals in the European Union a priority in the ongoing talks in 2017, but progress has been painfully slow. A number of sticking points still need to be resolved, including the looming question of whether the European Court of Justice will continue to adjudicate the rights of EU nationals in the United Kingdom. And there is still a risk that negotiations on other topics—such as the bill the United Kingdom will owe when it leaves the European Union—will derail the overall deal. 
As the European Council gears up to move onto the next phase of negotiations (which will look at the future relationship between the European Union and United Kingdom), this Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar marks the release of an MPI Europe report that offers a demographic profile of the approximately 1 million UK citizens living in the European Union and examines the ways in which many are likely to see their futures significantly reshaped after Brexit. The discussion -- with European Commission Task Force for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50 Legal and Policy Officer Marie Simonsen, European Citizen Action Service Director Assya Kavrakova, Financial Times Brussels Bureau Chief Alex Barker, and MPI report author Meghan Benton -- takes stock of citizens' rights, reflects on what may happen next, and considers the prospects for Britons abroad both in a situation of ‘no deal’ and if there is an ultimate agreement. Which groups are likely to be vulnerable to losing legal status or access to benefits and services following Brexit? What are the other main challenges and concerns that the UK population is facing, such as access to health care or the labour market? What are the prospects for a deal, and what are the main points of disagreement?

Wednesday Dec 07, 2016

The United States has long attracted some of the world’s best and brightest, drawn by the strong U.S. economy, renowned universities, and reputation for entrepreneurship and innovation. But because of language, credential-recognition, and other barriers many of these highly skilled, college-educated immigrants cannot fully contribute their academic and professional training and skills once in the United States. As a result they work in low-skilled jobs or cannot find a job—a phenomenon known as brain waste.
On this podcast, MPI experts give a presentation of the first-ever U.S. estimates on the economic costs of this skill underutilization for immigrants, their families, and the U.S. economy, along with estimates on forgone earnings and tax payments for: California, Florida, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Washington. The panel discusses the factors linked to immigrant skill underutilization; highlight the potential for current city, state, and U.S. labor policy (including implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) to reduce this brain waste; and offer an employer-based view of skill underutilization and how it can be addressed.
The report and related state research can be found here: https://bit.ly/mpiuntappedtalent

Thursday Oct 20, 2016

The slowdown in migration from Mexico since the 2008-09 recession has had a little-noted effect on farm labor in the United States: Increased use of the H-2A guestworker program. The H-2A program, long criticized by employers for cumbersome regulations, has doubled in size since 2007 and now provides workers to fill more than 150,000 farm jobs. Since agriculture relies on newcomers from abroad to replace farm workers who exit for nonfarm jobs, farm labor markets are ideal for observing employer adjustments to the reduction in the arrival of immigrant labor. Often identified as the source for unauthorized migration from Mexico because of the Bracero program, agriculture may also provide the template for future immigration reforms that involve legalizing currently unauthorized workers and making it easier to hire guestworkers in the future. 
This discussion features data that could help inform future reform debates. It also focuses on some of the adjustments that farm employers are making, including increased mechanization, improved wages and benefits, and the increased use of the H-2A program.  

Tuesday Dec 29, 2015

The Philippines has the most sophisticated labor-exporting model in the world. Despite the robust supply of workers in the Philippines, there is a concern that emigration—coupled with limited capacity of local training institutions—has contributed to labor shortages in key industries.The International Organization for Migration and the Migration Policy Institute hosted a breakfast briefing to discuss these critical issues and launch the Issue in Brief, Shortage amid Surplus: Emigration and Human Capital Development in the Philippines, the fifteenth in this joint-publication series offering succinct insights on migration issues affecting the Asia-Pacific region today.

Tuesday Dec 08, 2015

On November 29, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Immigration Act of 1990. The law increased immigration levels by redesigning admissions categories and restructuring employment-based entry provisions for both permanent and temporary admissions, with the aim of increasing emphasis on the skills, education, and investment of these immigrants. The bill also revised the grounds of inadmissibility and deportation, expanded the definition of aggravated felony, and established administrative naturalization and Temporary Protected Status (TPS).To mark the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Act, MPI hosted a discussion examining the history of the legislation, how it was accomplished politically, and the stakeholders and issues that were critical to its passage. Panelists will recount the goals of the legislation, assess whether they have been met, examine the unintended consequences, and discuss the relevance and lessons of the Act for current immigration debates.

Friday Oct 09, 2015

The two-day Bali Forum’s concluding session discusses the “Bali Commitment on Skill Mobility in ASEAN,” a joint statement of organizations and institutions in the region identifying areas for reform and where coordinated regional action is needed and can be most effective in terms of increasing the movement of skilled professionals within the ASEAN region—a key goal of the ASEAN Economic Community. The Bali Forum was organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Migration Policy Institute (MPI) to launch a joint initiative on the mobility of skilled labor in the ASEAN region. Chairs included Imelda Nicolas, Chairperson of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas; Demetrios G. Papademetriou, President Emeritus of MPI and President of MPI Europe; and Rana Hasan, Director of the Development Economics and Indicators Division in the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department at ADB.

Friday Oct 09, 2015

This discussion at the Bali Forum, kicking off a joint initiative between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Migration Policy Institute (MPI), addresses questions pertaining to labor recruiting practices, foreign qualifications, and how policymakers can make the status quo more employer-friendly. Panelists include Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid, Chairman of CIMB ASEAN Research Institute; and Supang Chantavanich, Honored Professor of Sociology and Director of the Asian Research Center for Migration (ARCM) at Chulalongkorn University; with host Ronald Skeldon, Professorial Fellow in Geography at the Sussex Centre for Migration Research.

Friday Oct 09, 2015

This session from the Bali Forum features an in-depth conversation with national delegates on the barriers ASEAN member governments face in implementing mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) in job sectors identified for greater movement of skilled workers within ASEAN, and their plans for fully addressing them beyond 2015. The Bali Forum was organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), as part of a joint initiative which aims to reduce barriers to the free flow of skilled labor amongst countries in ASEAN.

Friday Oct 09, 2015

The second day of the Bali Forum, organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), started with a conversation exploring skill mobility’s impact on regional development and competitiveness. The panel discusses what the ASEAN region stands to gain from adopting a more comprehensive approach to facilitating skill mobility. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Vice President Hiroshi Kato draws insights from JICA's experience in the Asia-Pacific region while Lurong Chen, Economist at the Economic Research Institute for Asia and East Asia, and Ron Skeldon, Professorial Fellow in Geography at the Sussex Centre for Migration Research, explore lessons for ASEAN from other subregions in Asia and beyond.

Friday Oct 09, 2015

This session of the Bali Forum, organized by the Asian Development Bank and the Migration Policy Institute, focuses on the progress on the implementation of the ASEAN Qualification Reference Framework (AQRF) and of the mutual referencing process with National Qualification Frameworks (NQFs). Focusing on the areas of tourism, architecture, engineering, medicine, nursing, and dentistry, panelists explore how developments in AQRF and NQFs can support the implementation of mutual recognition arrangements that will facilitate the flow of skilled labor in the ASEAN region. The panelists are Zita Mohd Fahmi, Special Quality Assurance (QA) Consultant, Malaysian Qualifications Agency, and Secretary, ASEAN Quality Assurance Network Executive Board; and Panya Chanthavong, Deputy Director, Educational Standards and Quality Assurance Centre, Ministry of Education and Sports. The conversation was led by Megawati Santoso, Vice-Chair, ASEAN Task Force on ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework.

Friday Oct 09, 2015

This session of the Bali Forum, organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), explores progress toward smoother skills transfers between countries in the ASEAN region—highlighting the challenges that remain toward the full recognition of qualifications and credentials in several of the ASEAN mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) target occupations. ASEAN-level coordinating committee chairs and sectoral leaders share the key areas of progress and challenges in implementing the MRAs and MRA Frameworks, and the ASEAN Secretariat Director for Market Integration, Ho Quang Trung, offers comments. Panelists included Yolanda D. Reyes, Chair of the ASEAN Architect Council (AAC), Leandro A. Conti, Chair of the ASEAN Chartered Professional Engineering Coordinating Committee (ACPECC), Nirwan Noh, Undersecretary of the Industry Development Division at the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Estelita C. Aguirre, Chair of the ASEAN Federation of Accountants, and Ho Quang Trung, Director for Market Integration Directorate in the ASEAN Secretariat. Maria Vincenza Desiderio, a Policy Analyst at MPI Europe provided an overview presentation, and Lesleyanne Hawthorne, Professor, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne acted as Chairperson.

Friday Oct 09, 2015

This lunch conversation at the Bali Forum, organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), examines the mobility of students in the region and takes a longer-term view by exploring prospects in developing ASEAN-wide regional standards within national training and education systems. The panel also highlights good practices in the field of Quality Assurance, exploring how best to strengthen mutual recognition of degrees and deepen trust among universities in the region. The panelists are Nantana Gajaseni, Executive Director of the ASEAN University Network, and Siow Yue Chia, Senior Research Fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, with host Fernando T. Aldaba, Professor of Economics at Ateneo de Manila University.

Friday Oct 09, 2015

This session of the Bali Forum, organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), features a panel discussion on the preliminary findings from two original studies: (i) MPI research systematically examining cross-border talent flows within ASEAN and (ii) ADB’s forward-looking, quantitative analysis examining the future supply and demand of workers in the eight target occupations in ASEAN. The discussion starts with a focus on major labor mobility patterns in the region, and how they have evolved over time. The panelists are Guntur Sugiyarto, Senior Economist at ADB, and Jeanne Batalova, Senior Policy Analyst at MPI, with Chairperson L. Alan Winters, Professor of Economics, University of Sussex, and former Chief Economist, Department for International Development (DFID). 

Friday Oct 09, 2015

Panelists Imelda Nicolas, Chairperson of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Rana Hasan, the Director of the Development Economics and Indicators Division in the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department at ADB, Ong Keng Yong, Former Secretary General of ASEAN and Executive Deputy Chairman, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, and Demetrios G. Papademetriou, President Emeritus of MPI and President of MPI Europe, along with host Simon Long, “Banyan” Editor at The Economist, at the Bali Forum, convened by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Migration Policy Institute (MPI), discuss the progress that has been made toward genuine circulation of skilled workers within the ASEAN region. The conversation highlights the technical, institutional, and political challenges faced by greater mobility, how to overcome these challenges, and where coordinated regional action is most needed. 

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