“Today we have 1 billion migrants from 7 billion of the world’s population, of which a quarter of a billion are international migrants, and 750 million are internally displaced within their own countries. Unfortunately, since the World War II, we have the largest number of forced migrants – about 65 million people are forced to flee through a series of conflicts from West Africa to Asia” – William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
This phenomenon existed long ago. For example, the immigration of Jews, the great relocation of peoples (Middle Ages), or immigration from Europe to America. The US is a country of migrants, where the indigenous population (the Indians) is about 1%. This problem is a problem for the descendants of white colonists in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
There are many reasons for immigration. Someone flees from armed conflicts, another from poverty, and others come because of career perspective. But all of them are reduced to one – the search for the best living conditions. Immigration can not be completely stopped because in developing countries there is an overpopulation that results in worsening living conditions.
Though Western European governments were forced to adopt a program that allowed mass immigration to fill a shortage of manpower, we must not forget that the problem of unemployment in Western Europe is quite high, and the locals are also familiar with this problem.
The indigenous population has the full right to restrict the entry of immigrants. It is connected of some disrespect to the country lifestyle, rules, and law. They also have the right to adjust their rules of life, such as in Switzerland, where traditional minaret activities are prohibited – calling from the tower to prayer. They have a right to set rules for granting permanent citizenship, which includes a significant period of residence or language proficiency, etc.
Nationalist populism and anti-migrant politics pour into manifestations of xenophobia. Europe has already faced reactionary anti-immigration movements, such as the National Front in France, the Vlaams Bloc and the Flemish Interest in Belgium, the Lombard League and the National Alliance in Italy, the Liberation Party in Austria, the National Front of Wallonia, the Leaf Party in the Netherlands, the People’s Party of Denmark, The People’s Party of Switzerland, the Norwegian Progress Party, the Democratic Party of Sweden, the Ataka Party in Bulgaria, the British Independence Party, the Great Romania Party, and others.
There is also a globalistic point of view: the crisis of the national state because of the isolation impossibility, due to increasing globalized community.
Extreme concern over the consequences of migration policy expressed by S. Huntington. He notes the following negative features of this process:
- Migration becomes a process prone to self-growth
(“The migration flow, once started, increases its speed … Migrants give the opportunity to migrate to their friends and acquaintances, providing them with information on how to migrate, money to facilitate relocation, as well as help in finding jobs and housing”).
- New immigrants come mainly from non-western societies (for Germany actual migration from Turkey, for France – from Muslim Africa, for the USA – from Asia and Latin America).
- Among migrants, the birth rate is much higher than that of the titular nations, and they will ensure the future growth of the population in the western countries.
- Immigrants create their own national (national, religious) communities that do not integrate into the cultures of host societies.
- Citizens of the West are progressing phobia against migrants.
- In the West (especially in Europe), there were right radical anti-immigration parties; leading centrist forces began to take their rhetoric and implement the measures they proposed in their lives.
So here is only a tiny review of immigration socio-cultural and political concerns.