What is migration and what are the causes behind it? Migration is defined as the movement by people from one place to another. There are four types of migration, economic, social, political and environmental and the causes behind migration can be divided into two broad categories, push and pull factors. Push factors motivate people to leave an area whereas pull factors attract people to a new area. The strongest push factors in the modern day world are safety issues, crime rates and war whereas the strongest pull factors are job opportunities, less crime and political stability. Did you notice one thing? It is clear that people migrate to live a better life and politicians such as Trump are fighting to prevent these people from coming in and sending them back to places full of violence, bloodshed and genocide. As the prominent social saying goes “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.”
“Migration is a feature of globalisation, you can’t stop it, every time a political party says it’s going to be tough on immigration, it fails to deliver and loses trust” – Margaret Hodge
Also, there are a number of disadvantages associated with migration, many of which are simply myths protected by politicians who want votes, not justice. People say that countries suffer from economic recession and increases in unemployment upon the arrival of migrants, this is nothing but a social myth. Research and data published by governments show that an increased number of migrants increases employment levels instead of decreasing them and this leads to more tax revenue for the government, which results in economic growth. Now, you may argue that migrants pose competition to natives for the same jobs and thus prevent many people who have lived in that country for years from getting a job but in the same way, a migrant with a diverse and unique idea may end up creating thousands of jobs, more than covering up for that gap. Another stereotype associated with migrants is that they increase crime rates and commit acts of violence, this is completely baseless. Statistics show that more migrants are arrested due to retaliating against violence by natives than commit acts of aggression themselves. Countries also use the issue of migration to keep out certain groups of people, a popular example is the Aliens Act of 1905 which was passed in Britain. This legislation allowed the British government to keep out virtually anyone they found susceptible, and instead of using this to keep immigration quotas just, they used this law to prevent Jews coming in from Eastern Europe.
“History, in its broadest aspects, is a record of man’s migration from one point to another” – Ellesworth Huntington
Opening your borders also makes you the nation occupying the moral high ground in a region, it also increases your chances of re-election as a political party and will surely ensure that your role in the subcontinental and international setup will be amplified. Currently, in the modern day world, New Zealand and Norway are the two countries which accept the highest number of migrants. The last time Norway faced a threat to national security was in 2011 when a radical detonated a bomb in a public square in Oslo, also, Norway has been experienced steady economic growth ever since then and has faced a stable increment in its real GDP per capita as well, in simple words, accepting more migrants and making its borders more open has led to the benefit of the country instead of its downfall. Crime rates have fallen and the average income has steadily increased too, also, employment levels have increased too. New Zealand too has experienced economic growth and an increase in its human development index, it is one of the world’s leaders in terms of minority rights and has faced a steady increment in labour productivity over the last few years, clearly, the real world proves that migration is a boon instead of a bane. According to statistics published by the World Bank, if all the developed countries in the world let in 3% more immigrants, the lower class throughout the world will have 305 billion dollars to spend, that’s a lot of money!!!
However, increased migration may have negative effects as well. Migrants may destroy job opportunities for workers with weak skill sets and may lead to decrease the market wage in an economy, as there would be a higher number of workers. Also, if a country is already at full employment, migrants may have to resort to means such as crime and working in the unorganized sector to earn money for their family, no matter how honourable their motivations may be, their deeds will certainly speak for themselves. Also, an overwhelming majority of migrants is forced to resort to manual labour, also, the migrants coming in may have to engage in assimilation, that is, blending their cultural beliefs and values with that of the host country, families which may do not do so may be seen as ‘outlandish’ in a negative way.
To conclude, migration is another matter of perspective, sure, it has negative aspects as well but doesn’t everything in the modern day world? As of now, we know that migration is a part of globalisation but mankind can’t seem to decide whether or not it is something that boosts our growth or hampers it. It seems that the potential benefits of migration outweigh the potential disadvantages but there is still ambiguity, mainly because of the word ‘potential.’ Migration, as of now, is an untested event on the global scale, some countries have prospered because of it and some countries have faced problems because of it but until migration and a system of open borders is tested out on a global scale, no one can say what migration is or what it will prove to be.