Countries of origin, as well as countries of destination, can benefit from international migration, an issue that is high on the political agenda of many governments around the world. For many countries of origin, including in Latin America and the Caribbean, international migration offers opportunities for people to work abroad and support family members who have remained in their countries. On the other hand, many destination countries, particularly high-income countries, view international migration as a means of addressing labor market challenges in the face of aging populations and the retirement of post-World War II cohorts. World so-called “baby boomers”.

In order to contribute to informed policy debates on international migration issues, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) jointly launched the Continuous Reporting System on International Migration in the Americas (known by its Spanish acronym, SICREMI). Its purpose is to produce annual statistics and analyzes of trends in international migration within, as well as to and from the Western Hemisphere. The reporting system and the annual publication International Migration in the Americas that it generates are inspired by the annual edition of the OECD for its member countries, Perspectives on International Migration.

La presente edición de Migración Internacional en las Américas – segundo informe anual de SICREMI – proporciona una visión general de las migración internacional desde y hacia los países de las Américas, con información sobre la situación de los inmigrantes en el mercado laboral de los países de la OCDE y un capítulo especial sobre las remesas que los inmigrantes realizan a sus países de origen.

Among its main messages, the report calls for an informed debate on migration issues, based on rigorous statistics and evidence-based analysis. The report shows that the decline in migration flows in recent years has been relatively small, considering the severity of the economic crisis. This result underscores the importance of international migration for the world economy, even in complex circumstances like the ones we are facing, and suggests that migration flows are likely to increase again as the global recovery consolidates.

The report concludes that the adverse economic situation in Spain and the United States has resulted in a slight but evident redirection of migration flows from the Americas to other OECD countries. It also examines the situation of immigrants from the Americas in the labor market of the OECD countries, noting that in the particular case of the United States after the crisis, unemployment has fallen more rapidly among immigrants from the Americas than among the native population or immigrants from other parts of the world.

Participation in the SICREMI network has increased from nine countries in the first phase to eighteen in this edition. This increase demonstrates the interest of the governments of the region in an approach to the debates on migration based on rigorous data and analysis. However, the effort has not been completed. This second issue of International Migration in the Americas demonstrates that while some momentum has been gained, much work remains to be done.

Therefore, we commit ourselves to support this effort with the firm conviction that it can contribute significantly to a valuable dialogue on migration issues among the countries of the Americas.

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