Would Western Countries Flourish Without Immigrants!

  • | Sunday, 9 June, 2019
Would Western Countries Flourish Without Immigrants!

     The last decades witnessed a high level of hatred and hostility toward immigrants in general and Muslim immigrants in particular. Many far right parties and fanatic politicians call for driving immigrants out and not to allow any new waves of them into their respective countries. To justify their hatred toward immigrants and their pursuit to prevent immigration, they argue that immigrants pose a threat to the national identity and security of these western lands. In addition, they believe immigrants are but an economic burden. In other words, they contribute nothing at all to the advancement, progress and welfare of these countries, but rather pose security threats and change the demography of these countries, which, immigration opponents believe, ultimately leads to changing their identity and destroying their community values. Let us here carefully and objectively investigate these arguments.

With regard to the contributions immigrants made to the countries they moved to, we may here refer to the academic distinction of the immigrant scholars in the USA. According to Forbes, in 2016, all six American winners of the Nobel Prize in economics and scientific fields were from immigrants. Moreover, since 2000, immigrants have been awarded 40 percent, or 31 of 78, of the Nobel Prizes won by Americans in Chemistry, Medicine and Physics.[i] These achievements by immigrants clearly show that America benefits immensely from immigration as such achievements promote the reputation and capabilities of the American academic and educational institutions as well as the reputation of the country at large.

With regard to the argument that immigrants' number rapidly increases- a matter that shall consequently lead to changing the demographic composition of the destination countries and spoil their code of values, there are two points to be discussed here: first, the media coverage in this respect and, second, the real situation of immigrants living in these countries.

Most media outlets lay larger focus on immigrants, especially Muslims, and their numbers. They quote some statistics which exaggerate the numbers of immigrants in order to send a hidden message to the public that they are but future problems. This is why an Ipsos Mori Poll in 2016 stated that Europeans tend to massively overestimate the number of Muslims living in their own countries.[ii]

It is true that the number of Muslims in Europe has indeed risen sharply over the last two decades, and continues to grow.[iii] But, does this mean that Muslims will be the majority in these countries in the near future?  A 2011 Pew research predicted that Europe’s Muslim population will almost double to nearly 57 million by 2030 from just under 30 million in 1990. That may seem like a lot, but it still means that Europe’s Muslim population would only increase from 4.1 percent to 7.8 percent.

All the claims and arguments of the far right followers intend to convince people and policy makers that immigrants, especially Muslims, are nothing but a threat to the country’s economy and identity. Here, it is important to ask: will western countries flourish without immigrants?   

In response to a similar question, several economic experts told ABC News that the U.S. economy and workforce would be a "disaster" without immigrants. In truth, immigrants are indispensable part of these communities as they contribute to the state and local taxes as well as the consumer spending power. They also contribute to the advancement of the country’s economic output. In the USA, for example, though immigrants make up about 13 percent of the country population, they constitute nearly 15 percent of the country's economic output, according to a 2014 report from the Economic Policy Institute.[iv]

In summary, the media and some fanatic politicians exploit this issue of immigration to mobilize people in order to secure political wins over their adversaries. The fact of the matter is that western countries are in real need to immigrants at different levels and that they will suffer at the economic and social levels in case immigrants are prevented access to their lands.


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