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January 1999, Volume 6, Number 1

The Americas

Mitch Leads to TPS
On December 30, 1998, the Immigration and Naturalization Service announced that 150,000 unauthorized Nicaraguans and Hondurans, as well as nationals

INS: Smuggling, Foreigners' Rights
Smuggling. The INS has reportedly drafted a five-year plan to combat smuggling and document fraud, but not to step up enforcement of employer

H-1Bs, Foreign Students
The H-1B temporary worker program continues to be the subject of debate. Under amendments approved in October 1998 that raise the annual quota

Polls, Integration, Puerto Rico
Polls. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll conducted in December 1998 found that 72 percent of respondents agreed that the US "should not

US-Mexico Border
San Diego-Tijuana. The busiest land port in the world is between San Diego and Tijuana, with 40,000 cars crossing daily. Waits of one to two

Mexico: NAFTA, Voting, Income
The North American Free Trade Agreement had its fifth anniversary on January 1, 1998; the Canada-US FTA celebrated its 10th anniversary. US-Mexican

Canada: New Laws
Premier Lucien Bouchard's Parti Quebecois kept its majority in Quebec's parliament in November 1998, narrowly defeating the Liberal Party headed by

Population Updates
The US had 270.4 million residents on July 1, 1998, up one percent from 267.7 million a year earlier. The Census estimated 953,000 net immigrants in

Welfare, Economy, Labor Force
Welfare. Most states are meeting the work requirements of the 1996 federal welfare law, which stipulate that 25 percent of recipients hold


Asia: Crisis Aftermath
The Asian financial crisis ravaged the middle class in fast-growing Asian economies, according to a survey article in the Los Angeles Times. The

Japan: Refugees, WWII
Japan has been a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention since 1982 and has received 1,654 asylum applications between 1982 and 1998. About 225

Philippines: OFWs
Many Filipino migrants return for Christmas. To honor overseas workers, three returning Filipino migrant workers received the red-carpet treatment.

Hong Kong: Maids
About 400 foreign workers, most of them Filipino domestic workers, protested on December 6,1998 against a proposed 20 percent cut in their minimum

Malaysia, Thailand
Malaysia reported that 255,483 illegal immigrants had been returned as of November 30, 1998, including 184,000 under an amnesty that ended on


EU: Asylum, Freedom of Movement
The presidency of the EU rotates among the 15-member countries, with each country using its six-month presidency to call attention to issues that it

Germany: New Laws, States
The number of foreigners in Germany fell by 22,000 in 1997 to 7.3 million, due to fewer asylum seekers, Bosnians returning home, and some foreigners

Italy: Amnesty, Ocalan
Foreigners, including Serbs from Kosovo and Iraqi Kurds, continued to land on Italy's southern shores, with almost 300 arriving on Italy's Puglia

Britain: Truck Sanctions, Ireland
Truck Sanctions. On January 1, 1999, trucking firms in the UK were made liable for a L2000 per unauthorized foreigner brought into the UK, as

France: National Front
The National Front in December 1998 splintered into competing factions, leaving the future of Western Europe's largest anti-immigrant party in doubt.

Belgium. Voters in Belgium elected an assembly to represent the country's Moslems. About 45,000 Moslems, 64 percent of all those eligible to

Greece: Children
The Metaxourgio area of Athens has attracted 2,000 foreign children who support themselves by washing windshields and selling items to passing

After more than twenty people drowned in late November trying to reach Spain by boat, 14 people were arraigned in Morocco on December 1, 1998,

Eastern Europe, Russia
Czech Republic. German border police have captured more than 28,000 illegal immigrants crossing from the Czech Republic between January and


Immigration in Africa
There are eight million refugees in Africa, a 500 percent increase over 1993, and another 15 million people have been displaced within their

Israel, Palestine
The number of immigrants from Russia dropped from 55,000 in 1997 to 45,000 in 1998; total immigration was 57,000 in 1998, down from 66,000 in 1997.

Australia, New Zealand
Australia. Australia's population rose over one percent to almost 19 million in the year ending June 1998. Net immigration in 1997-98 was

Sri Lanka, Pakistan
The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment reported that 800,000 Sri Lankans, half women, are employed overseas, but that only 100,000 are registered

Middle East
Jordan. In the second week of December, Jordan intensified spot checks to detect illegal foreign workers. According to the Labor Ministry,

UN Convention
The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migratory Workers and their Families, General Assembly Resolution 45/158, was

Irregular Migration
Ghosh, Bimal. 1998. Huddled Masses and Uncertain Shores Insights into Irregular Migration. The Hague. Kluwer Law International. Martinus Nijhoff