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World Migration Report 2005

Costs and Benefits of International Migration

image of World Migration Report 2005

Where are people migrating today and why? What are the implications for the world’s developing and industrialized economies? And what are the key issues facing policy makers in migrant origin, destination, and transit countries? World Migration 2005 analyses the effects of globalization, trade liberalization, economic integration and the widening gap between rich and poor nations on migration flows. It looks at the impact of the world’s 185 million migrants and their potential contribution to socioeconomic development and cultural enrichment both at home and abroad. And it identifies the multidimensional migration management policies needed by governments to create the optimal return to both migrants and society, while minimizing the abuses associated with irregular migration.

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Migration trends and patterns in the Americas

The complexity and scale of migration into, through and out of the Americas,2 along with the notorious weaknesses in global migration data collection systems, make the study of migration patterns in this region more of an art than a science. Robust estimates and greater attention to the issue have begun to reveal how the powerful forces of regional integration, political disintegration, conflict and internal dislocation foster international migration throughout this vast area. Some estimates have placed nearly 20 million Latin American and Caribbean nationals outside their country of birth, most of them in North America (ECLAC, 2002). The United States (US) and Canada, largely because of their geographic proximity and economic strength, remain powerful magnets for migrants from the region, especially from Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

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