South Africa is in the process of a major overhaul of its migration and refugee protection systems. In the case of migration for work, there are some grounds for optimism in the recognition that South Africa is integrated into, and benefits from, a regional SADC economy. The White Paper on International Migration contains proposals for a streamlined skills-based immigration policy and a system of work and trading permits for SADC citizens. However, whether these quota-based permits will pass muster in a crippling xenophobic environment remains to be seen. By JONATHAN CRUSH.