Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) – Morocco ranked No. 1 in North Africa and second on the continent in U.S. News & World Report’s ranking this week of “Best Countries for Immigrants” – part of its Best Countries survey series.
According to the outlet, more than 21,000 people from across the globe assessed 80 countries, and in the immigration aspect of the survey ranked them based on four elements: “economically stable,” “good job market,” “income equality,” and “is a place I would live.”
“Countries also were scored in relation to others on the share of migrants in their population; the amount of remittances the migrants they host sent home; and graded on a United Nations assessment of integration measures provided for immigrants, such as language training and transfers of job certifications, and the rationale behind current integration policies,” according to U.S. News.
In 2013, Morocco became the first country in the Arab world to adopt a liberalized immigration policy that provides protections for migrants and asylum seekers. In 2014, the country successfully regularized the status of about 25,000 migrants, providing them with residency papers; and in December 2016, launched a second phase of the program.
Earlier this month in a speech delivered to the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI lamented the struggle of migrants on the continent. “Africa is losing its youths to legal and illegal migration. There is no way such a loss can be justified… Thousands of young Africans try clandestinely to reach the northern shore of the Mediterranean in search of a better life, with all the risks involved. They are precious men and women and are part of our continent’s human resources.”
He urged attendees, “What we need to do, above all, is to change our perception of migration and see it not as a constraint or threat, but as a positive element. Since time immemorial, has migration not been a factor of rapprochement between peoples and civilizations?”
“We must work together to develop an African Agenda on this question that includes a common vision of the ways and means of dealing with the question of migration, both within our continent and in international forums,” he said.
“Morocco has been a leader on the issue of migration for many years,” said former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Edward M. Gabriel. “King Mohammed VI long ago recognized that a welcoming, humanitarian approach offers the best solution. Challenges remain, of course, but Morocco has made great progress in integrating immigrants into its society.”
The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.
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