The Price of Rights: An Examination of Labor Immigration Policies

Date: October 21, 2013

Please join the Economic Policy Institute on Monday, October 21st from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. for a discussion about The Price of Rights with the author and a discussant.

Whether Congress should open the U.S. labor market to more foreign workers is one of the most challenging questions it faces in the debate over how to reform federal immigration laws. Nearly every other government and parliament around the world also grapples with the same key questions: how many workers should be admitted, and what rights should they have?

In The Price of Rights, Dr. Martin Ruhs of Oxford University explores the tensions between human, labor, and citizenship rights and the determinants and ethics of labor immigration policies. While many low-income countries and development organizations are calling for greater liberalization of labor immigration policies in high-income countries, human rights organizations and migrant rights advocates —in response to exploitation and abuse of migrant workers around the world—are demanding more and equal rights for migrant workers. The Price of Rights examines labor immigration policies from over 50 countries, analyzes how high-income countries restrict the rights of migrant workers as part of their labor immigration policies, and discusses the implications for global debates about regulating labor migration and protecting migrants.

About the speakers: Dr. Martin Ruhs is an Associate Professor in Political Economy at Oxford University, Senior Researcher at the ESRC Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), and a member of the U.K. Migration Advisory Committee. He will be joined by Dr. Lindsay Lowell, the Director of Policy Studies for the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University, who will respond to the findings of The Price of Rights. The discussion will be moderated by Daniel Costa, EPI’s Director of Immigration Law and Policy Research.

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