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April 2009, Volume 16, Number 2

The Americas

Obama, Congress, Stimulus
President Obama, during a March 18, 2009 appearance in Southern California, repeated earlier endorsements of comprehensive immigration reform. Obama

Governor Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) was confirmed as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in January 2009. Napolitano said that "it has

Labor: Recession, H-1B
The US unemployment rate climbed to 8.5 percent in March 2009, as job losses in the recession that began in December 2007 topped five million. The

Foreign Born: People, Workers, Unauthorized
People. The American Community Survey ( estimated there were 38.1 million foreign-born US residents in 2007; 12.6 percent of the US population.

Mexico: Remittances, NAFTA, Drugs
Remittances to Mexico fell to $25 billion in 2008 from $26 billion in 2007, according to the Bank of Mexico, and the drop accelerated in 2009. Remittances were $9 billion in 2001, and increased with a rising number of migrants in the US and more remittances flowing through formal banking channels.

Canada: Alberta, Migrants
Canada's population reached 33.5 million at the end of 2008. Canada plans to admit 240,000 to 265,000 immigrants in 2009, but may reduce the target if the economy worsens.

Latin America: Population
Over half of the 575 million residents of Latin America are in the region's two population giants, Brazil, with 195 million people, and Mexico, with 108 million.


China: Recession and Migration
Falling exports reduced the number of jobs for rural-urban female migrants in China's coastal factories, while tighter credit slowed work on the

Japan, Korea
The number of unauthorized foreigners in Japan dropped to 130,000 in 2008 from 250,000 in 2004. Most entered Japan legally and overstayed their

Southeast Asia
The leaders of the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met in Thailand in February 2009 and agreed to create an EU-style free-trade

South Asia
India. The Indian government proposed that by summer 2009 all first-time migrant workers leaving the country receive smart cards that include


EU: Recession, Sanctions
Leading EU nations are in recession. The unemployment rate in the 15-member Euro area was 8.5 percent in February 2009, and ranged from less than

France, Germany, Switzerland
France. Up to 1,000 migrants, many from Iraq and Afghanistan, were camping near the entrance to the Euro Tunnel in Calais in January-February 2009.

UK: Migrant Backlash, Ireland
Under Labor governments in power since 1998, immigration to the UK has reached record levels. Reacting to unease about migrant workers, Prime

Southern Europe
Spain. The number of unemployed workers rose to 3.3 million in December 2008, 13.9 percent of the labor force and the highest in the EU. The

Sweden, Russia, Eastern Europe
Sweden. Sweden received 101,200 immigrants in 2008, up from 99,500 in 2007; the Swedish population rose to 9.3 million. Over 85 percent of the


Australia, New Zealand
Australia announced plans to accept up to 203,500 immigrants in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, including 133,500 skilled immigrants and their

UAE, Jordan
UAE. There are about 250,000 UAE citizens in the labor force, and the United Arab Emirates aims to double their number to 500,000 by 2020 by

Africa: Migrants
South Africa's Department of Home Affairs announced in April 2009 that Zimbabweans would be given special permits allowing them to work in South

Remittances, Recession, Women
The World Bank estimated that global remittances to developing countries reached $305 billion in 2008, led by $45 billion in remittances to India;