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“The countries taking in migrants invariably benefit”

Published on 21. April 2016, 09:10 h
Migration researcher Thomas Faist in research_tv interview

Migration poses challenges for nations, but it also opens up opportunities – especially in the migrants’ destination countries. “In the history of the Federal Republic up to now, migration has always been linked to a net benefit for German taxpayers and especially for German companies.” Expressed in figures for the year 2012: the average migrant paid 3,300 Euro more in taxes than their immigration cost the state. Sociologist Thomas Faist conducts research at Bielefeld University on how international migration affects education and the labour market. In his interview with “research_tv” at Bielefeld University, he speaks about the causes of migration, the challenges it creates, and the impact of where people live on their opportunities in life
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While the receiving countries often benefit, the regions where migrants originate have to deal with the consequences of both a brain drain and a “brawn drain” – depleted muscle power and depleted brain power.” Research_tv’s interview with migration researcher Professor Dr. Thomas Faist explains why.  Photograph: Bielefeld University
"While the receiving countries often benefit, the regions where migrants originate have to deal with the consequences of both a brain drain and a “brawn drain” – depleted muscle power and depleted brain power." Research_tv’s interview with migration researcher Professor Dr. Thomas Faist explains why. Photograph: Bielefeld University
“It can be clearly demonstrated that the countries taking in migrants almost invariably benefit. On the other hand, it is not certain that migrants’ countries of origin reap benefits that go beyond remittances,” Thomas Faist says. Remittances are funds transferred by migrants to their home countries. They make a contribution, according to Faist, in the struggle against poverty. But remittances do not assist countries in stemming the “brain drain” resulting from the emigration of skilled workers.

The main trigger of migration, Faist says, is inequality. “Current global inequities act as a stimulus to migration,” the sociologist continues, “and migration leads to economic distribution conflicts both in receiving countries and in the migrants’ countries of origin.” But Faist highlights that civil wars (like the Syrian conflict), climate change and economic crises also result in people fleeing their home countries. He points out that most migrants do not, as is often incorrectly assumed, leave their home countries for Europe; only about one tenth of migrants abandon their regions of origin.  

In destination countries such as Germany, in-migration generates conflict. “Tension exists between citizen rights that rest on all citizens being equal and human rights that mean that people in need must be given assistance, people who could be killed if they are not taken in. It is this tension,” Faist emphasises, “that makes migration such a hot political topic and polarises debates.”

Further information is available online:
•  “Migration as a global challenge” – Interview with Prof. Dr. Thomas Faist on research_tv (English subtitles can be switched on by clicking on the subtitle-button on the bottom right of the video): www.uni-bielefeld.de/youtube/migrationsforschung
•  Website of the Working Area Transnationalisation, Development and Migration: www.uni-bielefeld.de/tdrc/ag_comcad/



Contact:
Professor Dr. Thomas Faist, Bielefeld University
Faculty of Sociology
Telephone: +49 521 106-4639
Email: thomas.faist@uni-bielefeld.de

Posted by NLangohr in General
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