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Category Archives: Migration Blog

“Migration History in World History” – Studies in Global Social History

A book cover

The book “Migration History in World History – Multidisciplinary Approaches” is edited by Jan Lucassen, Leo Lucassen and Patrick Manning.

Migration is the talk of the town. On the whole, however, the current situation is seen as resulting from unique political upheavals. Such a-historical interpretations ignore the fact that migration is a fundamental phenomenon in human societies from the beginning and plays a crucial role in the cultural, economic, political and social developments and innovations. So far, however, most studies are limited to the last four centuries, largely ignoring the spectacular advances made in other disciplines which study the ‘deep past’, like anthropology, archaeology, population genetics and linguistics, and that reach back as far as 80.000 years ago. This is the first book that offers an overview of the state of the art in these disciplines and shows how historians and social scientists working in the recent past can profit from their insights.

It contains four different contents:

A: Historical approaches
. Migration history: multidisciplinary approaches. (Jan Lucassen, Leo Lucassen, Patrick Manning)

B: Biological Approaches
. Population genetics and the migration of modern humans (Homo sapiens). (Peter de Knijff) . A brief introduction to geochemical methods used in assessing migration in biological anthropology (Shomarka Keita)

C: Linguistic approaches
. Prehistoric migration and colonization processes in Oceania: a view from historical linguistics and archaeology (Andrew Pawley)
. Linguistic testimony and migration histories (Christopher Ehret)
. The archaeo-linguistics of migration (Patrick McConvell)

D: Anthropological approaches
. Ancient immigrants: archaeology and maritime migrations (Jon M. Erlandson)
. The family factor in migration decisions (Jan Kok)

700 Million Worldwide Desire to Migrate Permanently

A world's map of desired migration

Every day, migrants leave their homelands behind for new lives in other countries. Reflecting this desire, rather than the reality of the numbers that actually migrate, Gallup finds about 16% of the world’s adults would like to move to another country permanently if they had the chance. This translates to roughly 700 million worldwide — more than the entire adult population of North and South America combined.

From its surveys in 135 countries between 2007 and 2009, Gallup finds residents of sub-Saharan African countries are most likely to express a desire to move abroad permanently. Thirty-eight percent of the adult population in the region — or an estimated 165 million — say they would like to do this if the opportunity arises. Residents in Asian countries are the least likely to say they would like to move — with 10% of the adult population, or roughly 250 million, expressing a desire to migrate permanently.

The United States is the top desired destination country for the 700 million adults who would like to relocate permanently to another country. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of these respondents, which translates to more than 165 million adults worldwide, name the United States as their desired future residence. With an additional estimated 45 million saying they would like to move to Canada, Northern America is one of the two most desired regions.

The rest of the top desired destination countries (those where an estimated 25 million or more adults would like to go) are predominantly European. Forty-five million adults who would like to move name the United Kingdom or France as their desired destination, while 35 million would like to go to Spain and 25 million would like to relocate to Germany. Thirty million name Saudi Arabia and 25 million name Australia.

Roughly 210 million adults around the world would like to move to a country in the European Union, which is similar to the estimated number who would like to move to Northern America. However, about half of the estimated 80 million adults who live in the EU and would like to move permanently to another country would like to move to another country within the EU — the highest desired intra-regional migration rate in the world.

Most of the world’s international immigrants, according to the 2009 United Nations’ Human Development Report, move from one developing country to another developing country or between developed countries. Gallup’s data would suggest then that the countries people desire to migrate to permanently do not necessarily reflect reality — especially in regard to developing countries. Eighty percent of those in developing countries who would like to move permanently to another country would like to move to a developed country, while 13% of respondents in developed countries would like to move to a developing country.

Full article on GALLUP World web.

Immigration & Movies

Immigration has long been a popular cinematic theme.
Here you a few recommendations for movies that explore immigration issues:


The Visitor (2007) 104 minutes, PG-13
In this fictional drama, an American college professor and a young immigrant couple grapple with the treatment of immigrants and the legal process post-9/11. The film makers are using the film to call attention to issues of due process, detention and deportation.

El Norte (1983) 140 minutes, R
Released in 1983 and nominated for an Oscar, the film is a classic. It tells the story of two young Guatemalans (Mayan Indians) who survive a military attack on their village. They make a harrowing journey through Mexico and across the border into Los Angeles only to find that “el Norte” is not all that it’s rumored to be. While fictional, the movie dutifully depicts the real life plight of Guatemalan and Salvadoran refugees of the 1980s, caught between brutally repressive regimes at home and a U.S. that generally refused to grant asylum.


Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth (2009) 88 minutes, not rated
This film tells the stories of some of the 65,000 undocumented youth and the challenges they face as they turn 18 without legal status.  These are young people who were educated in American schools, hold American values, know only the U.S. as home and who, upon high school graduation, find the door to their future slammed shut. Without “papers,” it is against the law to work or drive. It is difficult, if not impossible in some states, to attend college. They live at risk of arrest, detention and deportation to countries they may not even remember. Currently, there is no path to citizenship for these young people.

Tony & Janina’s American Wedding (2010) 83 minutes, not rated
After 18 years in America, Tony and Janina Wasilewski’s family is torn apart when Janina is deported back to Poland, taking their 6 year old son Brian with her.  Set on the backdrop of the Chicago political scene, and featuring Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez at the heart of the immigration reform movement, this film follows the Wasilewski’s 3-year struggle to be reunited.  With a fresh perspective on the immigration conversation, this film tells the untold human rights story of Post-9/11, that every undocumented immigrant in America faces today, with the power to open the conversation for change.

Dying to Live: A Migrant’s Journey (33 minutes)
A profound look at the human face of the immigrant. This film explores who these people are, why they leave their homes and what they face in their journey. Drawing on the insights of Pulitzer Prize winning photographers, theologians, Church and congressional leaders, activists, musicians and the immigrants themselves, this film exposes the places of conflict, pain and hope along the US-Mexico border. It is a reflection on the human struggle for a more dignified life and the search to find God in the midst of that struggle.

Farmingville (2009) 78 minutes, not rated
The documentary Farmingville tells the story of a suburban, Long Island town named Farmingville that made national headlines in the early-2000s when conflict over a sudden influx of Mexican day laborers tore the town in two. It’s the unique story of one particular town’s response to change and conflict, but it is also a story of unresolved national questions about labor, the economy, and immigration that are probably playing out in your communities, too.

9500 Liberty (2010) 81 minutes,  not rated
Prince William County, Virginia becomes ground zero in America’s explosive battle over immigration policy when elected officials adopt a law requiring police officers to question anyone they have “probable cause” to suspect is an undocumented immigrant. 9500 Liberty reveals the startling vulnerability of a local government, targeted by national anti-immigration networks using the Internet to frighten and intimidate lawmakers and citizens.

The Least of These (2009) 62 minutes, not rated
Detention of immigrant children in a former medium-security prison in Texas leads to controversy when three activist attorneys discover troubling conditions at the facility. Watch free online at SnagFilms. Running time is just over one hour, making this a good film for a discussion night event that can fit into easily into peoples’ schedules.

Sentenced Home (2006) 53 minutes, not rated
Sentenced Home follows three young Cambodian Americans through the deportation process. Raised in inner city Seattle, they pay an unbearable price for mistakes they made as teenagers.

The 800 Mile Wall (2009) 90 minutes, not rated
The 800 Mile Wall highlights the construction of the new border walls along the U.S.-Mexico border as well as the effect on migrants trying to cross into the U.S. This powerful 90-minute film is an unflinching look at a failed U.S. border strategy that many believe has caused the death of thousands of migrants and violates fundamental human rights.

Made in L.A. (2011), 70 minutes not rated
Determined to win basic protections in the Los Angeles sweatshops where they work, three Latina immigrants embark on a three year odyssey that will transform their lives forever. From April 15th and May 31st, 2009, the filmmakers are inviting national organizations, grassroots groups, congregations and individuals across the country to organize screenings, house parties, and actions around Made in L.A. in a nationwide effort to support humane immigration reform. Learn more about the Community Screening Campaign. This film was partially funded through a grant from the Unitarian Universalist Fund for a Just Society.

This list appears at Cooking Together immigration justice blog.
You will find more movies (mostly commercial ones ) at MurthyDotCom web.
And a few more at suite101.

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