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I AGREE with the opinions expressed in your editorial headlined ‘Immigrants and emigrants.
A debate we can’t delay any longer’ (July 10).
However, any national debate on immigration needs to be aware of trade policies in the major regions such as the EU, NAFTA and the Asian Basin.
The present global economic system has no problem legislating for free trade and the free movement of investment. History informs us that immigrants follow investment.
But until now global institutions have failed to develop immigration policies that would enable people to have access to global prosperity. And until that happens the present chaotic situation of people, like the Irish, uprooting themselves and setting off on a journey of hope to find a better life will continue.
Emigration has served the power cartels in emerging nations as a safety valve in maintaining the political, social and economic status quo. Emigrants are young, the energy band of society. A nation that loses them loses an asset, stagnates.
A nation that receives them gets an asset for free, develops. Also, emerging nations, like Ireland in the past and the Philippines today, depend on immigrant remittances.
The US is about to reform its immigration policies. Hopefully, others will follow.
Bobby Gilmore SSC
Migrant Rights Centre
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