15 January 2010

Some Immigration Numbers

Wronging Rights suggest giving Haitians temporary migration rights to the US to escape the chaos. Blattman wonders about the temporary part.

How hard would it be for the US to take in Haiti?

The population of Haiti is almost 10 million people. (Legal) Immigration to the US is about 1 million per year.

How about a 10 year plan to (temporarily) double inflows and make an entire country of poor people's citizens rich?

What about Britain? How about doubling aid to Africa?

Annual British Official Development Assistance to Africa is about £1.5 billion. Currently Britain has 780,000 African immigrants (excluding South Africa), who send home somewhere between £550 and £1400 per year. So "doubling aid" to Africa would require a one-off increase of African migrants to Britain of between 1 million and 2.7 million people, compared to total annual inflows (from all countries) of 600,000.

How about a 5 year plan to (temporarily) double inflows, and permanently double British aid to Africa?


c. said...

US doubling immigration? With unemployment >10%? In an election year? Good policy to consider; political non starter

Lee said...

Yeah I know wishful thinking. But still stunning that we could spend zero aid, and lift millions from poverty, at almost no cost and almost overnight.

Anonymous said...

There's the possibility though, isn't there,that not all Haitians want to be taken in and had rather work, (however much work it may constitute) to remake Haiti after this disaster and despite the myriad challenges that it has faced in the past?

I come from the global south and have had a couple of people offer me help to immigrate (legally), to the US. The thing is, despite the challenges I face at home, I love my country and I don't want to live anywhere else.

Lee said...

Of course, and I would not want to imply that all should or would want to leave. I merely think that all should have the same opportunities.

Gallup surveys indicate that about half of Haitians wanted to emigrate even before the devastation of the earthquake: http://www.gallup.com/poll/124028/700-Million-Worldwide-Desire-Migrate-Permanently.aspx

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