What Exactly Do Migrants Bring to Society?

Migrants continue to positively contribute to society.

For the second year in a row, global mobility was shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic in unprecedented ways. 

2021 was another challenging year for migrants. The number of those forcibly displaced has continued to climb according to the UNHCR, and that’s not even yet including data from the second half of the year. The impact of world events - from climate change to political instability to economic decline pushed people to migrate and in 2021 we saw this in South Sudan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and many other places across the world. 

Migrants are facing the double challenge of dealing with surviving in their new surroundings as well as protecting themselves from COVID-19. Amid the continuation of the pandemic, many governments across the world have prioritized looking after their citizens first and some have become more hostile to migrants. But giving migrants opportunities is good for society. Here are just a few reasons why:

1. Migrants Bring Productivity

There is a misconception that migrants come into a host country and survive on benefits instead of working.  Though not every country allows migrants to work, those that do, see just how productive migrants are. Often unable to use their qualifications in other countries, migrants are known for starting from the ground up and they are effective at it.

Photo by Calvin Hanson on Unsplash
2. Migrants Stimulate the Economy

The more people participating in a country’s economy the better. Economic activity alone is one of the many benefits of welcoming migrants. Sometimes there is an initial investment required when allowing migrants into a country such as language classes, healthcare, and social support. All of these things cost money to provide, but once migrants are established in their host country, the initial investment pays off.

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3. Migrants Bring Skill and Knowledge

Migrants offer language skills that natives might not. Many already have professional qualifications from their home countries. Most migrants exhibit a high degree of adaptability, a skill that is important in every industry.

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash
4. Migrants Enrich Culture

Migrants do not disrupt the culture of their host countries but make it stronger. Even though there are differences between each culture, most cultures are incredibly similar at their core. We have more in common than we think, so it is a great opportunity to learn from each other to make society better and our cultures deeper.

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

The hidden hand of migration has been helping societies thrive for centuries and it needs to be celebrated rather than demonized. We can all contribute to celebrating migration on an individual level, which has the bonus of having a net positive impact on your community. We can help educate, mentor, and support migrants, We can train, hire, and collaborate with migrants. We must look at migrants not as a burden but as an asset - because with the right support they usually are.

Cover Photo by Flo Karr on Unsplash

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