Presentation

The number of immigrants around the world has increased by 50 percent in the last two decades from 154,2 million in 1990 to 231,5 million in 2013. During the same period, female migration has increased by 48 percent, from 75.6 million in 1990 to approximatively 111.2 million in 2013. Today almost one out of two international migrants is a female (48 percent). The same United Nations source shows that 42 percent of the world’s migrants live in just two areas : the European Union (22 percent) and the United States (20 percent). Given that the cross–border mobility of workers is conditioned to a large extent by receiving countries’ admission policies, it is difficult to predict future migration flows. However, many observers consider that the trend will intensify in the years to come.

As major destinations of international migrants and regarding their future demographic stake, the European Union and the United States should be prepared to face the challenges posed by the prospects of this rapid increase of labour mobility. In this context, efforts to enhance our understanding of the politics and policies of international migration provide valuable insights to policymakers in Europe and the United States. The conference jointly organized by e research Center METICES at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), the Institut Wallon de l’Evaluation, de la Prospective et de la Statistique (IWEPS) and the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) on “Politics and Policies of International Migration : Europe and the U.S. in Gender and Class Perspectives” is a step in this direction.

The objective of this conference, which will take place at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) on April 28-29, 2015, is to stimulate and promote dialogue between European and US scholars, and policy experts on different aspects of international migration. Furthermore, METICES and CCIS aim to set up a long-term partnership in order to share knowledge and exchange researchers and PhD students working on studies of international migration and ethnic minorities. The topics of the conference, which will be held in English and French, include : politics of ethnicity in immigration policy, refugee and asylum policy, irregular immigration, skilled migration, and attitudes toward immigrants and immigration. The gendered and economic dimensions and the comparison between Europe and the United States will receive special attention. We aim to highlight gender and class inequality in international migration processes.

The conference will address the main following questions :
- How can fundamental rights and equal opportunity for ethnic minorities, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers be guaranteed ?
- How can gender equality in migration be achieved in immigration policies ?
- What are the driving forces of undocumented immigration ?
- What are the human and social costs of undocumented workers ?
- What is the impact of high-skilled migration “brain drain” on the origin countries ? What are the potential solutions to “brain waste” ?
- How are individuals’ negative attitudes towards immigration and immigrants determined ?
- What racialized and xenophobic stereotypes, representations, and attitudes are common, and how can they be countered ?
- What is the relationship between stereotypes and clichés about immigration and employment discrimination against immigrants and their descendants ?
- What good practices can be exchanged between USA and Europe in the domain of immigration policies ?
(Version française)