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Sep 4, 2023

Rudy joins Immanuel Ness to discuss his recent work Migration as Economic Imperialism: How International Labour Mobility Undermines Economic Development in Poor Countries. We begin by explaining why migration is economic imperialism and addressing key questions about who migrates, their reasons, and destinations, highlighting evolving migration patterns. We explore how migration patterns are designed to meet labor demands and the role of recruitment agencies. Ness distinguishes between temporary and undocumented migrants, emphasizing the differences and discussing circular migration for highly-skilled individuals. Furthermore, he delves into the impact of skilled vs. unskilled migration on countries and the idea of migration as both individual freedom and national catastrophe. Ness also examines remittances, their framing by organizations like NGOs and the UN, their real-world implications, and how they tie into neoliberal ideology. We then discuss migration in the political realm: immigrant organization, their vulnerabilities, and reliance on personal actions or NGO support, with examples from the US and South Africa.