People displaced to other countries pose a challenge to host countries.
Throughout history there have been many occasions when large migratory movements have occurred.
Migrants can leave their homes for multiple reasons, with the intention of finding a better place where they can survive and ensure a good future.
Causes of migration
Whoever leaves their country behind does not do so on a whim. Wars, natural catastrophes, political and ethnic persecution and lack of opportunities are some of the causes behind migratory movements, and they can affect people in a very different way.
1. Political asylum
At times, the political situation of a State can lead to a certain degree of repression against political dissidence. In this case, a dissident individual may decide to leave the country for fear of reprisals (such as imprisonment, torture, etc.). This is known as political asylum.
2. Humanitarian (or economic) asylum
When the individual decides to migrate from their country of origin for reasons related to poverty, it is often referred to as humanitarian or economic asylum.
3. Cultural migration
Sometimes, the migrant decides to leave their country of origin in search of a better education or better opportunities.
4. Family migration
If the migrant makes the decision to leave their country to reunite with relatives who are in another state, it is often referred to as migration for family reasons.
5. Migration for military causes
When a country or region is undergoing a warlike conflict, the population may decide to abandon their homes to escape the danger posed by war, not only in its purely violent aspect, but also due to the scarcity of resources it causes.
6. Migration due to humanitarian catastrophe
If a region or country has been devastated by a natural catastrophe, such as a tsunami or an earthquake, the people from that place can migrate seeking to rebuild their lives in a more stable territory.
Recommended article: “Return migration and reverse culture shock”
Types of consequences of migration
Given the various causes behind it, human migration is a complex phenomenon and has a very diverse impact on both the society of origin and the host.
Let’s look at the consequences of migration, both from the point of view of the migrant person and from a more social and cultural perspective.
Moving away from where you grew up and leaving all your loved ones behind can be very shocking. This becomes especially traumatic when fleeing from the country of origin, either for political reasons or due to some natural disaster, in which the flight involves a life or death situation.
Normally, the people who are forced to emigrate are young people with a partner who leave their country, which is a serious blow to the stability of the relationship.
As much as new technologies help to shorten distances, a hug, a kiss or a caress are not things that can be sent. The lack of family warmth can generate feelings of loneliness and hopelessness, leading to situations of deep sadness.
Furthermore, both those who stay and those who leave feel that the distance makes it impossible for them to share everything that happens to them. Not having all the information, situations occur in which both parties fear the worst.
Common symptoms in migrant people are sadness, crying, stress, the feeling of insecurity and rejection by the native population.
The immigration process emotionally affects all ages, but children are especially vulnerable.
If they have emigrated alone, the minors are totally unprotected, which can encourage them to develop criminal behaviors to survive. On the other hand, if they travel with their families, their maturational development is abnormal, with children who are too mature for their age or adolescents with childish behaviors.
If the reason for leaving the country of origin is a war or a natural catastrophe, it is not unusual to find immigrants suffering from PTSD, having flashbacks of the moments when their life was in danger and remembering them over and over again, assuming a great interference in their day to day.
Many immigrants suffer from the Ulysses syndrome, in which there is a series of duels that occur when the migratory project does not develop according to plan.
Migratory movements can have various repercussions, not only in the country where they end up, but also in the country of origin. On many occasions, people migrate massively, which considerably reduces the population of their country.
This means a reduction in unemployment, given that many migrants decide to leave their country when they see that they cannot find work and those who remain benefit from less job competition. Migrants send money to their relatives, helping them with the family economy and allowing them to survive.
As for the host country, the arrival of young people allows them to take jobs that the native population is not willing to do, as they are low-skilled and poorly paid jobs.
However, there are also negative repercussions. If the country of origin was already poor, losing economically active people is an added obstacle. Also, when population is lost, consumption possibilities are lost and, although money is sent to families, it is very fragmented, which does not allow them to get out of poverty.
In the host country, the arrival of low-skilled and desperate population hurts the less-educated native population. Entrepreneurs opt for foreigners, who are willing to do anything to make a miserable income.
As there is more population, governments are forced to reduce the wages of the natives.
Migrants have their own traditions, language, religion and ways of behaving, which can be very different from those of the host society. This can cause two phenomena, depending on the interaction between the foreigners and the natives.
The arrival of people from other cultures can enrich the host society, becoming more open and plural as different ethnic groups coexist in it.
On the other hand, xenophobic ideas may arise in the national population, who consider that the arrival of foreigners distorts society, seeing them as dangerous people and that they contaminate their own culture or are directly making it disappear.
The society of origin, by losing a significant number of young people, grows old, while the recipient receives the opposite process. This is because most of the migrants are between 25 and 35 years old, which can reproduce in the new country, increasing the birth rate and fertility.
The arrival of immigrants can motivate the drafting of xenophobic laws, such as those that prohibit the use of traditional clothing from other countries or that deny the right to care to people in an irregular situation.
Laws that have the purpose of selecting the most useful immigrants depending on the needs of the country can also be implemented.
For example, if more research is needed, visas can be granted to foreign scientists, technicians or specialized in various disciplines. Immigrants can also be let in in order to use cheap labor to build infrastructure at a lower price and more quickly.
There may be tensions between nationals and foreigners that make native people opt for increasingly extremist ideologies, voting for parties whose only aspiration is to expel those who are not from the country, leaving aside much more necessary social policies that they would benefit from. significantly to the host society.
Aruj, R. (2008). Causes, consequences, effects and impact of migration in Latin America. Population Papers, 14 (55), 95-116.
van Oorschot, W. (2010). Public perceptions of the economic, moral, social and migration consequences of the welfare state: an empirical analysis of welfare state legitimacy. Journal of European Social Policy, 20 (1), 19-31.