A Blot on Our Conscience

Some issues are taxing, they demand a lot from us, what to do with and about migrants and refugees is such an issue. Closing of borders, deportations are common and easy. But the reality may require more from us. In several parts of the world notably at the present in Europe and in the US/South American borders the problem is unavoidable and poignant. A recently published report by both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund foresees the problem as continuing and in larger proportions if demographic trends and national policies do not take it into account. It states that the growth of the problem is not inevitable, but given that policy makers tend to address current crises rather than future ones, it is likely. Demographic trends such as slowing in childbirth and increase in the older population could have serious impact on some countries, particularly poorer ones. The study suggests that since demographic trends affect all aspects of development, such as the number of people in the work force, the number of jobs that may go unfulfilled when for example, too many people are too old, that migrants may be used to revitalize economies. Studies have shown that migrants give more than they take, that while they may require social services, what they pay in taxes and contribute in labor is higher. Politicians on the extreme right both in Europe and the US have made their anti-migrant, anti-refugees stand clear. In Europe, borders are increasingly difficult to cross, and in the US it was announced that many in the US from South America who had been seeking refugee status and had been denied, will be rounded up and deported early in 2016. These measures ignore more humane, and as the joint World Bank/IMF study suggests more economically sound. Poverty and other sources of instability like wars and crime will continue to drive people out of their conditions and it is not a problem that can be forgotten nor solved by the rhetoric of those on the right. Going along with those ideas may be expedient and may appeal to some, but they are morally wrong. It is difficult to believe that with effort and initiative creative solutions could not be found, alternatives to the harsh and cruel status quo. For anyone with the vaguest of notion about the human family as an entity, not finding better solutions can’t help but be a blot on our conscience.

One thought on “A Blot on Our Conscience”

  1. Thank you, Danielle, for highlighting this glaring problem in a very realistic perspective.
    Aside from the fact that closing one’s national doors to immigrants says a lot about a nation’s lack of open-heartedness, there is the reality, that immigrants
    contribute to every nations well being — economically, creatively and spiritually.

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