Migration that Works: Our Rebranding Story


In October 2011, we formed as the International Labor Recruitment Working Group, a coalition of labor, migration, civil rights, research, anti-trafficking organizations, and academics. Since then, we have fought to end systemic abuse for internationally recruited workers across visa categories and promote quality jobs and labor standards across industries.

We have joined with migrant workers like Ingrid Cruz, a teacher, and thousands of others — from numerous sectors including construction, domestic work, agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, nursing, hospitality and others —  to advocate for laws that uplift workers and ensure that they are able to work with rights and dignity. From pushing to strike down harmful policies to informing stakeholders and policymakers about the experiences of guestworkers, we have made sure that the voices of the workers themselves are reflected in policy debates.

As our coalition has evolved and grown, we have worked relentlessly to shift the narrative on labor migration, recognizing that all workers deserve full labor rights and to be free from discrimination, regardless of immigration status. We have crafted a values-based alternative vision for existing guestworker models that is rooted in family integrity, worker power, and equity. Under this new model, workers, rather than their employers, will control their visas, and those workers will be able to access a pathway to long-term residency and eventual citizenship. 

As a collective of worker advocacy organizations, labor unions, academics, and individuals united by our commitment to promoting a just and equitable world, we believe that labor migration must be rooted in rights, values, and the needs of working people. 

Today, we are relaunching our coalition under a new name that better reflects our goals and expertise: Migration that Works. 

Migration that Works offers people-centered and values-based solutions to end the misuse of labor migration programs to exploit workers. Beyond a policy working group, we are a coalition committed to action, and we are engaging directly with workers, allies, and policymakers to advance a system that works for all of us, including migrant workers and their families. 

We invite you to support and partner with us in implementing this alternative for and alongside migrant workers across visa categories.