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Global Migration

- January 17, 2020
Can governments head off another crisis?
Featured Report

The world is witnessing the highest numbers of migrants on record, nearly 272 million in 2019, more than triple the number in 1970. Advocates of immigration restrictions say migrants steal jobs and sometimes abuse a system designed to provide asylum for the truly persecuted. But human rights advocates say nations are shirking their responsibility to provide refuge to those experiencing persecution and violence. Citing a broken system in which asylum-seekers sometimes disappear into the United States, the Trump administration is limiting those who can seek asylum. It also is taking aggressive steps to end what President Trump calls a “very serious crisis” at the U.S.-Mexico border. Migrant advocacy groups say Trump has manufactured a crisis, and statistics show illegal immigration from Mexico is in a long-term decline. Governments often seek to stem migration by providing aid to improve the economies of origin countries. Experts say the solution is not so simple, because it takes at least a generation before rising income encourages people to remain at home.

New European Crisis

U.S. Developments

19th CenturyEuropean colonialism presages later migration.
1920s–1970sAfter global failure to protect Jews during Holocaust, treaties seek to shield refugees from persecution.
1980s–2000sTerrorist attacks, rising immigration raise opposition to migrants in Europe and United States.
2010–PresentSyrian civil war spurs refugee flight to Europe, which aims to stem flow.

Is the Trump administration justified in accepting fewer refugees than in the past?


Nayla Rush, PH.D.
Senior Researcher, Center for Immigration Studies.


Jen Smyers
Director of Policy and Advocacy, Immigration and Refugee Program, Church World Service.


Rural Health
Can policymakers close the urban-rural divide?
Supply Chains at Risk
Are tariffs and technology disrupting global trade routes?
Political Polls
Will their accuracy improve in 2020?


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