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South Asian migrants lining up for remittance services in Little India in Singapore (Tabea Bork-Hüffer 2014)

International Migration Politics and Migrant Mobilities in Urban Asia

Dr Tabea Bork-Hüffer  |  Institute of Geography  |  University of Cologne

Attracted by the regions' fast economic development, the number of international migrants in East and Southeast Asia has increased quickly during the last 15 years and most of them have moved to cities. Types and pathways of migration, migrants’ sociocultural and socioeconomic backgrounds become increasingly diverse. Their trajectories are often informed by living in or experiencing a variety of other societies, business environments, and living and working conditions. This presentation puts a focus on the role of international migration politics, which is one among many other factors, influencing migrants' transnational and translocal mobilities. The migration laws and policies and their recent changes of two very different countries, China and Singapore, are compared and effects on migrants' lives evaluated based on two case studies of international migrant groups in both countries. Whereas national migration policies and local measures in places migrants move to or through influence their livelihoods, opportunities, and capacities, migrants' individual and collective assets and knowledge have become important factors in shaping spaces in cities.