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“More Legal Migration Will Stem Irregular Arrivals”—Does This Assumption Hold True?

A case study on Ukrainian migration to Poland

As the recent case of Ukrainian workers in Poland shows, policies to increase regular migration will not automatically lead to a fall in irregular migration. Moreover, expert analysis of government statistics has shown that, in Poland, tightening work-permit rules has led to a slight reduction in legal worker migration from Ukraine. Consequently, the pool of workers in a legally uncertain and vulnerable position has increased.

This report concludes that in order to address this dysfunction and avoid related issues in the future, policymakers in Poland should embrace structural reforms to the country’s labor market and immigration system. One of the best and easiest ways to begin this process is to create an efficient process for granting full legal status to migrant workers from Ukraine.

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