“International migration has been a fundamental feature of nation-states since their emergence in the sixteenth century, and it is likely to continue to shape the economic, political, and social life of societies across the world in the twenty-first, regardless or because of the gyrations of world economic activity, the restrictionist stance of countless national, as well as regional and local governments, the hospitality of citizens, or the energy, determination, and wishes of migrants themselves” Samers, M. (2016)
Humans have been migrating for centuries, if not millennia, and will continue to do so. The world’s population that lives outside their country of origin does not exceed 3.5 percent, Samers, M. (2016). However, if we could look back at our families’ past, chances are you are a descendant of a migrant. Why do people have a fear of migrants?
“In many countries across the world, there is rise in nation- alism and an authoritarian and exclusionary form of populism, with political leaders once considered on the fringe of politics gaining power and influence. Such populism is often due to the backlash against the emigration of displaced per- sons, austerity and other social and economic divisions, inequalities and injustices in society.” (Tahzib, Davidovitch, & Labonte, 2019)
It seems that the wide inequalities around the world, and the clear injustices they represent within and between countries, are regrettable features of our era (Migration Data Portal 2019) and this has led to migration and feeling of animosity and fear of migrants.
Most of the reasons that people migrate are:
“The drive to seek better economic opportunities; family reunification; concerns about public security and criminality in migrants' country of birth; and to escape humanitarian crises, persecution, instability and war. All this is facilitated by lower international travel costs and easy availability of information, and sometimes misinformation, online and through social media about migration.” (House Of Commons, 2019)
Most people do not would not choose to migrate if they did not have to. Many experts in this field belief that migrants are people like you and me, seeking peace, and aspire to freedom and safety for themselves and for their families (House Of Commons, 2019).
Canada recognizes certain definition when it comes to migration,
Migrant - is an all-encompassing term that refers to any person who moves away from their home,26 either within their country of origin or across an international border, without taking into account the legal status of the person or the causes of migration.
Immigrant - specifically refers to those who enter a new country with the intent to settle.
internally Displaced Persons - are defined as individuals who have been forced to flee from their home, especially “as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflicts, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border.
Asylum Seeker - refers to any person asking for international protection and who is going through a refugee status determination process in a country other than their own country of origin.
Refugee - is an asylum seeker who received refugee status from the country where they claimed international protection or from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
(House Of Commons, 2019)
These terms are important to remember when talking with the project’s subjects. Also what their push or pull factors where at the time of their migration. Today there are more pull factors, namely the presence of a dual labour market in the richer countries that drives migration Samers, M. (2016).
Samers, M. & Collyer, M. 2016, Migration, 2nd edn, Taylor & Francis Group, London.
Tahzib, F., Davidovitch, N. & Labonte, R. 2019, "Migration, justice and health: Reimagining the earth as one country and humankind its citizens", Public Health, vol. 172, pp. 105-107. https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.herts.ac.uk/science/article/pii/S0033350619300976
Migration Data Portal (2019) The bigger picture Available at: https://migrationdataportal.org/themes/global-compact-migration [Accessed : 1 July, 2019]
House Of Commons (2019) Adapting Canada’s Immigration Policies To Today’s Reality, Report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. Available at: https://www.ourcommons.ca/Content/Committee/421/CIMM/Reports/RP10541650/cimmrp25/cimmrp25-e.pdf [Accessed : 5 July, 2019].