Managing immigration: A review of some past projections


  • B. Lindsay Lowell Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University, Washington, DC



Managing immigration, admission policies, projections, US


International migration may not be amenable to expert knowledge and projections are often unreliable. Three examples of projections suggest failures regardless of scale, timeline or method: trend mechanics failed to anticipate the rapid rebound in temporary visas after the socioeconomic shocks of 2001, alternate assumptions generated wildly differing projections of visas under Congressional deliberation in 2006, and all theories/projections failed to anticipate recent declines in Mexico-to-US migration. While near term projections are required for planning the complex machinery to manage migration, medium-to-long range projections may inform but should not drive migration policy. Rather, admission policies should incorporate principals of self-regulation that prioritize domestic markets.




How to Cite

Lowell, B. L. (2014). Managing immigration: A review of some past projections. Migration Letters, 11(1), 33–42.