Spiegel Online: Eight Myths of Migration

Migration continues to top political agendas, but a failure to understand the phenomenon will cause new problems. Fear of an “uncontrollable influx…. has fueled the rise of extreme nationalist parties,” explains Hein de Haas for Spiegel Online. The professor of sociology refutes myths of migration. Migration is circulatory; closed borders do not automatically lead to less migration and actually prevent migrants from leaving. Also, migrants find alternative ways to move. Migration systems are not broken, illegal migration is limited, and the vast majority of migrants are legal. Europe’s acceptance of migration has increased in recent decades. Extreme poverty does not drive migration, but immobilizes people. The so-called brain drain is exaggerated and, in the health field, a lack of facilities prompts caregivers to work abroad. Remittances outstrip development aid. Migrants do the jobs that citizens might reject, and businesses and the wealthiest citizens benefit more from migrants than the working class. For now, “The magnitude of migration is far too low to offset the effects of population aging,” he concludes. “A United Nations study has shown that, to achieve such a result, levels of migration would have to reach levels that are both undesirable and unrealistic.” Migration and thoughtful policies can be useful economic tools, and de Haas warns that attempts to close borders will reduce economic growth. – YaleGlobal

Spiegel Online: Eight Myths of Migration

The debate over migration is plagued by inaccuracies and misunderstandings from both the right and left – research has shown more complex trends
Hein de Haas
Thursday, March 23, 2017
© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2017 All Rights Reserved Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH

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