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New dynamics of multinational migration: Chinese and Indian migrants in Singapore and Los Angeles


The emerging literature on multinational migration highlights migratory journeys that involve more than one country of destination. This article focuses on the lived experiences of new Chinese and Indian migrants in Singapore and Los Angeles. We conduct a novel three-way comparison to examine personal choices to engage in additional migration(s) and to consider the reasons behind such moves. Drawing on in-depth interviews and analyses of policy documents, we find that new, especially skilled, migrants from China and India actively participate in multinational migration. However, variations exist between these two national origin groups and between the two global cities. Factors affecting decisions about whether and where to further migrate include immigration policy of the host country, job opportunities, homeland economic development, and migration networks. Singapore regulates migrants' long-term settlement more tightly than does the United States; thus, migrants in the former are more likely than the latter to move onward to another country. Due to a more robust economy in the homeland, Chinese migrants are more likely to return and are thus less likely to migrate to a third country than their Indian counterparts. Job opportunities and migration networks also have strong effects on personal decisions concerning additional migration(s).

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