In 2008, when I returned from trips abroad at Boston’s Logan International Airport, I was greeted by pictures of the president and the regional director for Homeland Security, Lorraine Henderson, who had the responsibility for the enforcement of immigration law in the northeastern US. In December of 2008, Lorraine Henderson was arrested. Her crime? She employed Fabiana Bitencourt to clean her house. The rub: Fabiana was a Brazilian national who didn’t have authorization to work in the United States. When Fabiana suggested she might return to Brazil for a visit, Lorraine advised that since enforcement was based only on border interdiction, Fabiana ran risks crossing the border but almost no risk in staying put. Lorraine Henderson was charged with “encouraging” and “inducing” an alien to remain in the country illegally.
CGD Policy Blogs
Yesterday I discovered a development organization so revolutionary, most people wouldn’t even call it a development organization. It’s a non-profit called the Independent Agricultural Worker Center (CITA).
CITA is a matchmaker between farms and seasonal agricultural workers. The farms are in the United States; almost all of the workers are in Mexico. CITA brings them together and unleashes the vast economic power of labor mobility for development.
I was sad and disgusted last week to see the highly-respected New York Times declare that “America is stealing the world’s doctors”.
I spent last Friday in rural North Carolina, talking with American farmers who employ farmworkers from developing countries. I wanted to get the hard facts on whether or not those workers displace U.S.
Last month, a CGD initiative succeeded in getting Haitians access to America’s largest temporary work visa program.
The story of Dubai is remarkable. In six decades it has grown from a small fishing village to a gleaming metropolis with a per capita GDP comparable to that of the United States. In many ways, Dubai must be seen to be believed. Even its skyline is unreal–rising straight out of the desert and dominated by the tallest building in the world—the 2625 ft., 160-story, silver-and-glass Burj Khalifa.
This post is originally appeared on Owen Abroad: Thoughts from Owen in Africa.
(Kaci Farrell contributed to this post and preparations for the roundtable)
Last week, I hosted a roundtable here at CGD to discuss how the United States and other rich countries might better provide safe haven and opportunity to potential migrants from developing countries that are in acute need—particularly the victims of natural disasters.
This question has been at the forefront of my mind since the earthquake ravaged Haiti on January 12.
President Obama spoke yesterday on overhauling U.S. immigration. He went straight to the thorniest issue, what to do about the millions of unauthorized migrants already here. Obama wants a third path between the extremes of blanket amnesty and mass deportation.
That compromise approach, he goes on to sketch, would be a combination of sending troops to the border, cracking down on employers, and obliging unauthorized immigrants to:
Do the costs of international migration outweigh its benefits for the poor? Many people I talk with suspect that migration should be regulated on development grounds—because it might bring large social costs, as well as private costs that the migrant is too poorly informed to account for.
A good first step is to measure the private benefits, because that gives us an idea of how large those other costs would have to be in order for international migration to be a net harm.