Regularizations in the European Union: The Contentious Policy Tool

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By Kate Brick (Migration Policy Institute)
Though contentious, regularization (typically referred to in the US context as legalization) remains a frequently utilized policy tool to address the European Union’s unauthorized immigrant population. Since 1996, over 5 million people have been regularized through a variety of methods, which this Insight details. This work informed the Transatlantic Council on Migration meeting, “Restoring Trust in the Management of Migration and Borders.” The resulting Council Statement, authored by MPI President Demetrios G. Papademetriou, offers a menu of policy options and actions governments can take to build a “whole-of-system” approach to controlling illegal immigration while also creating the political space necessary for reforms of their immigration systems.

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