International migration, regarded as an exotic subject when a few of us pioneered its analysis almost four decades ago, has come of age.
The concern over illegal immigration in the US has led to a flood of reform proposals at the initiative of President George W. Bush. The European Union, where false claims to asylum have raised the difficult dilemma of distinguishing between “good” and “bad” refugees, is also seized with the issue. The role of legal migration, of the skilled and the unskilled, in development has also surfaced as demographics dictate declining populations in the rich countries and large numbers of potential migrants in many of the poor ones. The need for a new international architecture addressing the international flows of humanity in the shape of a World Migration Organisation – proposed by myself nearly 15 years ago – has been raised anew.