Saturday, July 09, 2016

No More Deaths - No More Borders

Demagogic, despotic os merely disingenuous opportunistic leaders capitalise politically on migrants no less than human traffickers and makers of fences and razor wire capitalise on them economically. A report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) found at least 60,000 migrants died or disappeared at sea or on land routes over the past two decades. IOM considers the real number to be much higher because many bodies are never found or identified. The report said the majority of known deaths in the last two years have occurred in the Mediterranean region. The International Organization for Migration estimates 5,400 migrants globally died or were recorded as missing in 2015.  Director of IOM’S Global Migration Data Analysis Center Frank Laczko said  “The rate of death across the central Mediterranean route, we estimate is approximately one in 23 persons," he said. "The one in 23 persons who have tried to cross the central Mediterranean have died or are unaccounted for among migrants this year, which is a shocking statistic.”

Without the inflow of young migrants, the US workforce in a half century would be 10 percent smaller than it is today, a reduction close to 20 million, and the proportion aged 65 years or older would increase from about one in seven Americans to more than one in four.

Some 240 million people today are living outside their country of birth – enough to form the world’s fifth most populous country. Philippines has a population of a 100 million people. 10 million are OFW's (Overseas Filipino Workers). According to Harvard’s Ricardo Hausmann. “For countries such as Armenia, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Moldova, Nepal, and Tajikistan, expatriates remit the equivalent of more than one-sixth of national income – an amount that often exceeds exports.

Governments are in a quandary. The advocates of open borders who argue that granting people the right to cross borders freely would eliminate illegal immigration, human smuggling, risky crossings and deaths of migrants. Open borders, they maintain, would reduce world poverty. They contend that treating people differently simply because they were born in another country is inherently unethical. At the other extreme are those wishing to stop unlawful entry by reinforcing border controls with walls, barriers and armed guards and immediate deportations for any who may have entered illegally. They maintain that illegal migration threatens national sovereignty and security, undermining the rule of law and contributing to social unrest, reduced public support for legal migration and the rise of right-wing nativist parties. Governments are reluctant to grant amnesty with increasing public hostility toward those who unlawfully enter countries – underscored by right-wing, anti-migrant parties gaining increased political traction as observed in Austria, Denmark, France, Poland and the United States.  Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes everyone’s right to leave and return to their own country, people do not have the right to enter another country.

The cost of removing a resident migrant in the United Kingdom, for example, has been estimated at £25,000. In the United States, simply detaining an unauthorized migrant has an average cost of about $100 per day.

EU nationals in the UK account for 31 per cent of the workers in food manufacturing, 21 per cent of those in hotels and other accommodation, 16 per cent of those in agriculture and 15 per cent of those in warehouses. While current migrants probably won’t be sent home, people who want to limit low-paid migration say this would result in more jobs for British people in future. Yet there are already plenty of jobs for British people. The proportion of UK nationals in work is at a near-record 74.4 per cent, higher than in 2004 when the “A8” eastern European countries joined the EU (which is when migration to the UK began to increase sharply). Torsten Bell, director of the Resolution Foundation think-tank, says the only significant pocket of unemployment left in Britain is among disabled people. “And we’re not about to send them out into the fields”.

When people say “migrants are doing the jobs that Brits are too lazy to do”, they are missing the point. These jobs may be palatable if you are a single person who has come to the UK to earn money as a stepping stone to a better future. But if you live here permanently, have children here, claim benefits here, they are not jobs on which you can easily build a life.