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SURVEY/DATA: Regularization programs for undocumented migrants

Sebastian Sunderhaus


This paper is a summary of a study that describes and analyzes the features and outcomes of regularization programs (also referred to as amnesty or legalization) for undocumented migrants in 16 countries distributed among all continents. It gives a general survey on reasons and expectations of governments conducting regularization drives, the different forms that the programs have taken, features and eligibility requirements most frequently used as well as a summary of the implementation and problems associated with this policy tool. The paper also tries to answer how governments might deal with the undocumented flow of people tomorrow. A country comparison table (53 pages) in the annex contains data on more than 60 regularization programs considered in this study.


migration; population policy; amnesty; regularization; clandestine

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