Office of Research Managing Temporary Migrations - Office of Research

Managing Temporary Migrations

Managing Temporary Migrations

The Challenge

Understanding the complex phenomenon of international mobility and managing migrations to maximize their socio-economic benefits for the countries and for the migrants themselves is one of the key challenges of the next decades facing California, the US, and the world.

Managing Temporary Migrations

Why It Is Important

International migration has grown substantially in the last two decades. The international mobility of people is one of the most powerful engines of economic development, social evolution and cultural exchange. It may also generate tensions and conflict. The nature and typology of international migration has also evolved in the recent decades. An increasing share of the international mobility with regards to studying, working, business and training purposes is temporary as people move again or return to their country of origin. The boundary between temporary and permanent migrants is fluid and changing: temporary migrants marry, find jobs and decide to stay in their destination country, while established migrants may return if opportunities arise. Moreover, countries have found it easier to reform policies for temporary migrants than policies for permanent migrants. We make temporary migration the focus of our proposal.

Our Approach

The interdisciplinary nature of the group is needed to understand different aspects of this phenomenon and provide fact and research-informed advice in an area that is often dominated by ideological positions. The research will involve collaboration across departments during regular seminars and yearly conferences that gain from the different perspectives of the cluster scholars. The cluster will also distill the most significant research results into policy advice which will emerge from the convergence of different perspectives.


Our team has continued to work on three important themes, and has achieved important research findings. These themes are as follows.

1. Analysis of skilled migration of scientists, engineers, and students: What is the role of migrants in promoting creativity and innovation? How can business and policy benefit?

2. Analysis of society and climatic changes in shaping migration from Mexico and across poor countries in the world: A related project on migration and global warming has taken effect this year.

3. Analysis of the assimilation of immigrants and the role of education in integrating immigrant children: Related to this, we explore the legality and rights of undocumented and temporary scholars.

Impacts & Highlights

  • Culminated the research on immigrants, innovation, and creativity with a conference, “Mobility-Creativity Nexus” in April 2016, bringing top scholars and policy analysts to campus for an engaging presentation and debate.
  • Started a large research project on the economic integration and impact of refugees, involving research in African countries – Rwanda and Uganda – and partnerships with European countries (Germany, Denmark), and US partners such as Georgetown University and World Bank.
  • Continued and expanded the research project on climate change and migration from poor countries and on migration of farm labor from Mexico.
  • Started a collaboration with the School of Public Health to develop the analysis of Migrant Health, their vulnerabilities, and policy solutions. A conference will be held in March 2017 on Labor Migrations and Global Health.


Giovanni Peri Professor of Economics
Luis Guarnizo Professor and Chair of Human Ecology
Kevin Johnson Dean of UC Davis School of Law
David Kyle Associate Professor of Sociology
Philip Martin Professor Emeritus of Agricultural & Resource Economics
Leticia Saucedo Professor of Law
J. Edward Taylor Professor of Agricultural & Resource Economics
Andres Resendez Professor of History
Brad Jones Professor of Political Science
Cecilia Tsu Assistant Professor of History
Eric Hamilton Assistant Professor of Sociology
Gabriel Chin Professor of Law
Jacob Hibel Assistant Professor of Sociology
Jeanette Money Associate Professor of Political Science
M. Anne Visser Assistant Professor of Human Ecology
Caitlin Patler Assistant Professor of Sociology
Robyn Rodrigues Associate Professor of Asian American Studies
Rose Cruison Villazor Professor of Law
Lupe Sanchez Cluster Manager at the Center for Poverty Research
Holly Lefebvre Program Coordinator at the Temporary Migration Cluster
Diane Charlton Graduate Student of Agricultural & Resource Economics
Andrew Padovani Graduate Student of Economics
Dustin Mabry Graduate Student of Sociology
Gaetano Basso Graduate Student of Economics
Grace Chieh Graduate Student of History
Heng Zhu Graduate Student of Agricultural & Resource Economics
Lisa Marie Huang Graduate Student of Psychology
Mohamad Alloush Graduate Student of Agricultural & Resource Economics
Robin Savinar Graduate Student of Sociology
Sarah Prince Graduate Student of Political Science
Sean Arseo Graduate Student of Sociology
Vasil Yesenov Graduate Student of Economics
Diego Morelos Undergraduate Student of Managerial Economics
Dun Liu Undergraduate Student of Philosophy
Genesis Anguiano Undergraduate Student of Chicano Studies
Luke Chapman Undergraduate Student of Managerial Economics
Meziah Cristobal Undergraduate Student of Computer Science

For more information on this program, please contact Christine Parks at [email protected] or visit