Report: High-Skilled Migration | Transatlantic Academy

A new Transatlantic Academy report — co-authored by Jeroen Doomernik, Rey Koslowski, Jonathan Laurence, Rahsaan Maxwell, Ines Michalowski, and Dietrich Thränhardt — examines the effect of the economic crisis on high-skilled immigration. The shrinking economy has changed migration patterns, inefficiencies are seen in country point systems of the highly skilled, and extreme ideologies are found to be attractive to better-educated migrants.

Click Here to read the full report:

http://www.transatlanticacademy.org

WASHINGTON, DC (June 4, 2009) — An immigration study released by the Transatlantic Academy reveals the collapse of the economic financial system will have repercussions for the immigration of highly skilled workers for years to come.

No Shortcuts: Selective Migration and Integration, a collaborative report by American and European fellows of the Transatlantic Academy on the selection and integration process of highly-skilled workers, shows that point-based immigration systems in developed countries have been largely inefficient. The report also shows high-skilled migrants are just as vulnerable to the problems of adaptability as low-skilled migrants.

“Immigration, migration, the competition for highly-skilled workers in aging societies, and the social and cultural integration of new Europeans and new Americans will be key to not only the competitiveness of Western economies in a global economy, but also the changing nature of their identities in this century,” said Stephen Szabo, executive director of the Transatlantic Academy.” The Academy is pleased to release this collaborative research report by a team of European and American scholars on one of the central challenges confronting transatlantic societies.”

The Transatlantic Academy is an initiative of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius of Germany, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. In addition, the Academy has received funding from the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The Compagnia di San Paolo also joined as a financial partner in May 2009. The Academy serves as a forum for a select group of scholars from both sides of the Atlantic, and from different academic and policy disciplines, to examine a single set of issues. Working together from a transatlantic and interdisciplinary perspective, Academy fellows use research, publications, and ideas to make policy-relevant contributions to policy debates facing the transatlantic community. Fellows for the 2008-09 year included: Dietrich Thränhardt, University of Münster; Jeroen Doomernik, University of Amsterdam; Rey Koslowski, University of Albany; Jonathan Laurence, Boston College; Rahsaan Maxwell, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Ines Michalowski, Social Science Research Center, Berlin.

Report Key Findings:

Attracting highly qualified immigrants is not primarily a question of designing the
right selection schemes.

Point systems developed to screen and select the best immigrants, with the hope that they would integrate perfectly, have been inefficient.

Moreover, these point systems are less successful than market-based systems that rely on the actual needs of employers, irrespective of the level of qualifications.

It is not so much the lower skilled that are drawn to extremist ideologies. Whereas the large majority
of Muslim immigrants are well integrated and value democracy and tolerance, extremists recruit mostly from the rather educated people. Highly educated people can be drawn to extreme ideologies, be it nationalist, Islamist or—as in former times—totalitarian, while the lower skilled (and their descendants) can be more successful at mainstream political integration.

Low-skilled migrants often use their social capital to engage the host society’s political system in productive ways.

Policymakers should consider focusing their efforts on integrating the pool of immigrants already in the country and avoid “brain waste.”

The collapse of the Western economic bubble will shrink the immigration bubble. These related
booms are over. Consequently, not only the amount of migration but also the patterns of migration will change in the future.

In the future, migration should not be conceived as a one-way street toward Europe and the United States but as a multiple and dynamic process in a world not only open to trade but also to the free movement of people looking for better chances in their life and offering countries of immigration competencies and energy that enrich them.
Report Policy Proposals:

Use the European Union as a model. For example EU regulations make educational qualifications in one country valid in all other countries.

Diversity charters and commitments can help to strengthen these ideas of opening up against the inclination of insiders to monopolize given resources and positions.

Anti-discrimination policies, legislation, and institutions should protect all with respect to ethnicity, gender, origin, or other categories against arbitrary practices, and legitimize their struggle to overcome such difficulties, some of them deeply rooted in society. Anti-discrimination policies should rest on a societal consensus and should be connected to the policies recommended above backed by political and societal authorities.

Civil society can help create networks that translate into economic and political capital. Political alienation isnot necessarily a result of frustration or failure to be accepted. Educated people are often influenced by ideologies but proactive policies that level the playing field can contribute greatly to integration.

SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONS
The Transatlantic Academy is an initiative of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius of Germany, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. In addition, the Academy has received funding from the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The Compagnia di San Paolo also joined as a financial partner in May 2009.

Contact:
Kristina Field, GMF Communications Officer,
+1 202 683 2621, kfield@gmfus.org

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