Like it or not (we don’t care), immigration is the hot button issue of our time. The dread it inspires in large sections of the host populations has become politically destabilising. And thereby inimical to progress in so many more important areas such as climate change, medicine and education. There are ever-more hysterical calls to get tougher and, more brutal with migrants. All futile, like the cries of angry prohibitionists for tougher enforcement of the booze laws a hundred years ago. Cruelty only works on the people you catch. If violence worked as a deterrent, no one would ever join armies, for fear of the dangers they face.
These advocates are like the quacks who posed as healers before the advent of medical science. Whose successes have taught us that if you want to stop something, you need understand its deep causes. Fortunately, we have arranged a series of clicks by which you can read more on this very trope, dear readers. [1,2.3] Yet deep down, it’s simple: people migrate from bad economic conditions in the hope of finding better ones. Like charged ions in an electric field, they move along gradients of money. So the UK receives rather few immigrants from prosperous Denmark, but many from poor Albania. The advent faster communications such as aeroplanes, or cheap labour ideologies, certainly speed the process. But it would happen anyway.
The only certain prevention would be a concerted effort to raise standards of living, political and social rights and environmental quality, in the countries from which people emigrate. This in turn would require a considerable transfer of funds from rich countries to poorer ones. Tricky: because the very people who call most loudly for immigration prevention (the Dog and Duck, Daily Mail crowd) are also those who hanker most strongly for cuts in foreign aid. But until such action is taken, mass immigration will not go away. Only a World Government would have the strength and authority to carry out such transfers. And it would be right for so many of the other problems we have alluded to as well.
#immigration #emigration #migration #poverty #inequality #world government
2 thoughts on “Immigration: many causes, one solution”
Yes, you are so right. People would not choose to migrate from a good situation to a worse one. It is pretty simple, but the solution requires everyone to work together. And while a permanent member of the UN security council is making conditions worse for many people it is a problem a long way from a solution.
thanks for this comment. Well, I hope I may be right. But as you imply it is going to be so hard to get the powerful nations to work together