Why do people migrate to another country? Throughout history human beings have moved from one place to another. Individuals may seek riches or better luck. The case is different when there is a massive displacement of people as the world is witnessing now.
Over the last 15 years, and as a direct result of globalization, migration has increased dramatically. The communities that are left behind are very affected as are also those communities that host the immigrants. According to UN estimates there are currently over 200 million migrants in the world.
So the questions persist. Why do people migrate? Is it because of economical or political crisis? Is it because there is a civil war in their country? Do they feel hopeless before an uncertain future? Have they been affected by disasters like floods or other calamities?
The bottom line is that most of the crisis has been created by the way the economy currently works.
The First Conference on Migration issues took place in Mexico from May 8 -13. Close to 1000 people from many countries attended hoping to find answers to an issue that affects communities at all levels throughout the world.
Globalization has gone hand in hand with poor use of the land and resources, thus creating desertification and climate changes. It has also impoverished the local economies by converting the small producers into necessary clients of the big corporations.
In countries where people have protested, the ruling government has been supported by the military and political might of those ruling the worldwide economy, that is the developed countries in the Northern hemisphere.
Up to now most of the focus had been on the problems in the hosting country, now more attention is going towards analyzing what happens in those communities where displacement takes place.
What we see now is a large group of people, mainly from underdeveloped countries, who are subjected to double pressure. On one hand they are supposed to be responsible for their own households while at the same time helping support the failing economy of their country of origin.
There is a continued appeal to their loyalty to subsidize their community of origin, something the government has been unable to do. They become victims of double robbery. They are robbed of their native places, and now they must pawn their present and future by helping build the same places that could not support them.
Those who have suffered this forced displacement have felt the unwelcoming signs of the hosting society, who wants to have the cheap workers but not to mingle with them. After all in other times there were slave quarters to keep apart those who were there only to work. The slaves were the disposable tools. They were only good while they produced a profit and were a burden if business were not going well.
Why are the immigrants here? Who has benefited from their presence? Why is this century seeing such displacement even though people love their native lands and weather?
We have created the current conditions. The slaves did not want to remain slaves and today the workers are also looking for a better way of life.
Nevertheless, good things come out of every situation. A new type of citizen is being born. A citizen that is bicultural, in many cases transnational, and that has given up the old thoughts about vain nationalism.