The central puzzle addressed in this paper is: On the one hand we observe that public and academic debates in the newest round of the migration-development nexus address mostly one-way flows, the transfer of resources from North or West to South and East. These transfers include financial remittances, human capital, knowledge and even so-called social remittances, such as the export of democracy and human rights. The newest round of the migration- development debate, like the older ones in the 1960s and 1980s, is couched in terms of development and development cooperation. On the other hand, studies taking a transnational approach suggest that we do not see one-way traffic but two-way flows. There is the silent backwash of remittances, that is, a massive flow of resources from South to North. Examples include student tuition fees, 'reverse remittances', such as families of migrants paying for their kinfolk to legalize their status. In addressing this puzzle, this paper analyses the migration-development nexus between North/West and South/East in using a transnational lens. The paper addresses three questions: First, the question is what is new and what is old about the new 'mantra' of the migration-development nexus. Second, as to sustained crossborder transactions the question comes up whose transnational ties and what kind of transnational ties are good for development? Third, one of the glaring questions is why the new enthusiasm on migration and development now? How is it connected to changing paradigms in development thinking and the overall discursive embedding in the trinity of community & civil society, market and the state. How is it connected to changing geopolitical formations and forms of migration control after the end of the Cold War?