The website for critical discussion about migration in Central and Eastern Europe.
19. 5. 04
Dusan Drbohlav

Immigration and the Czech Republic

This paper presents an overview of international migration in the Czech Republic, with a special focus on labour immigration. Currently the Czech Republic is an immigration and transit country. The most important immigration segment - economic immigrants create a colourful mosaic of various ethnicities (80% of them from Europe) each group with their own different economic strategy and niche are the main target of this contribution. After sketching historical patterns and data problems the focus is on the current situation of labour migrants in the country. A number of issues are addressed: e. g., the relationship between immigrant inflows and the economic situation of the country, immigrants´ regional concentration/deconcentration processes, the popularity of the capital city of Prague and western regions vis-a-vis eastern ones and the different structural backgrounds of immigrants coming from the East versus the West. Special attention is placed on discussing undocumented/illegal immigration, mainly in relation to the misuse and evasion of immigration legislation. Finally, the immature Czech migration policies and practices are discussed as needed policy improvements and the need for new immigration legislation. It is clear that the major trend over time leads to more restrictive migratory policies in line with efforts to harmonize Czech migratory policies and practices with those of the European Union (EU).

(V: International Migration Review, Vol. 37, No. 1, Spring 2003, pp. 194-224)
19. 5. 04

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