Migration is demonized. Increasing numbers of refugees, migration driven by poverty and the destruction of national sovereignty stick in our minds. Undercut wages, immigration into the welfare state and insufficient cultural integration brandmark migration. We forget that migration has ist positive sides. A pleading.
Migration is good. It has always been a driver of development. Migration has been existing since the beginning of humanity. Even animals migrate. Think abour birds and fish migrating depending on the season. Migration is natural. It has more to offer than we think. For these reasons we need migration:
- Demography. Developed countries age. This is a burden for social security systems. At the same time developing countries‘ population is exploding. Overpopulation threatens public infrastructure. Migration can help balancing these two factors.
- Labor shortages. Industrial countries sometimes have such a big economic growth that they lack the corresponding labor supply. This is not only the case for the highly skilled. Even unskilled labor is desperately needed. Parts of the domestic population do not have incentives to work such jobs because of a strong welfare state.
- Adaptaion strategy for problematic areas. Migration is an answer towards crises. No matter if war, conflict, hunger, poverty or natural desasters: people can move away and escape from these problems. That does not mean all people should come to rich countries. However, this adaptation strategy should not be ignored completely.
- Technology and knowledge transfer. Migration fastens innovation. The exchange of people leads automatically towards an exchange of knowledge. Immigration societies have more different perspectives and experience. New, digital media carries this knowledge also to the countries of origin.
- Productivity. Freedom of labor mobility means that people can work whereever they are most productive. They work more efficiently and earn more money. This increases global GDP.
- More entrepreneurship. Migrants tend to open up more businesses. This strengthens the economy as well.
- Investments in countries of origin. Migrants invest in their countries of origin. Economic ties are developed and help especially developing countries.
- Remittances. Migrants support family members in their home countries. Especially migrants from developing countries can be an effective economic stimulus. Already today the amount of remittances is many times higher than the total amount of global development aid.
You can find out more about this and other topics in my latest book "Grenzenlos - warum wir illegale Migration neu denken müssen"