“Immigration policy and long-term migrant integration”, Sergi Pardos (University of Glasgow)

Avisos del Departament | 22-02-2024

L'hora d'inici serà a les 14:30h.
What is the impact of immigration policy on long-term migrant political integration? The debate on the effects of immigration policy is deeply divided, and the causal long-term effects of immigration policy are surprisingly unexplored. In this paper I theorise that the combination between selective regimes with high security of status and access to labour market rights increases democratic satisfaction, participation, and political trust in the institutions of the country of destination. I argue that selective but inclusive labour market access overperforms both open border regimes (which facilitate return migration limiting attachment to the destination country) and fully restrictive regimes once in the destination country (which hamper migrants’ economic bargaining power and subsequent political satisfaction). I test this argument by using difference-in-differences models and interrupted time series analyses on the political incorporation of Commonwealth migrants in the UK. I focus on the 1962 Commonwealth Act, which dramatically ended free movement while keeping high levels of rights. The results show that, decades after arrival, migrants arriving just after the policy change showed higher levels of political integration than during free movement and later more restrictive regimes. Large-N cross-national analyses using the European Social Survey confirm the results. Further analyses with the UK Annual Population Survey confirm that increased wages and employment prospects are a key mechanism explaining stronger political attachment to the destination country. My findings suggest that immigration regulations upon arrival condition later economic trajectories and political integration, and that the effects are strong decades after migration.
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