Bordering on Control

Combating Irregular Migration in North America and Europe

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This publication evaluates the cost-effectiveness of both external and internal migration-control instruments in the USA, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It discusses whether increased spending on Official Development Assistance would reduce migration flows to those countries and proposes recommendations on how migration management objectives can be achieved.



Costs and benefits

This chapter defines the purpose and evaluates the costs of migration control systems. This is no easy task because both are pluridimensional, and there is disagreement over which items are to be considered as falling under either costs or benefits. For example, there is agreement that cost estimates of migration control should include the wages of border guards. However, if increasing the number of border guards causes migrants to turn to more dangerous entry routes and the death toll of migrants to rise, should this be considered a cost of more controls? For example, in the US, the trebling of the agents stationed along the Mexican-US border in the 1990s caused the death toll related to illegal migration to rise on average to one death per day inside the US border (Cornelius, 2001).


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