Economic migration: breaking down the myths

by Aris Telonis

All of us have some experience with migration, whether it is purely for economic reasons or to flee from war, whether it involved our parents’ generation or our own. Blending all these perspectives, we ask ourselves: is economic migration an individual choice, or a necessity? How does global capitalism shape the situation of migrants around the world?
Migrants today are the scapegoats of the far right: blamed for low wages, high crime rates, drugs. But the truth is that migrants not only provide additional work force but also boost consumption and push societies forward with their diverse perspectives and cultural heritage. Regardless of these contributions, the borders are hardening and the walls are rising.
What is to be done?
As progressives, we believe in collective actions at both the local and global level. To fight the myths around economic migrants, we should champion diversity, inclusion and equity for migrants in our everyday life and work — reminding ourselves and our societies that economic migrants, just like refugees, arrive to our shores to seek a better life. Building a movement bottom-up — and standing together with all the migrants in our communities — we should push for legislation and building bridges, not walls.
The above is a summary of the discussion during the event on Economic Migration organised by DiEM25 New York 1 DSC. Many thanks to The People’s Forum and Effie’s restaurant

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