Antipode. Volume 43(4) pp 1330-1356

Education and skill are increasingly used by states around the world as a central organizing principle in the regulation of migration flows. Immigration theorists have often claimed that use of education and skill to determine “who should get in” to a country is non-discriminatory, innocent and legitimate. Using the example of Canadian immigration policy, this article argues in contrast that skill-based migration regimes are discriminatory, violate core principles of public education provision, unjustly create second-class tiers of immigrants officially classified as “low skilled” in receiving countries, and contribute to a growing problem of “brain drain” of the highly skilled from sending countries worldwide.