Migration is defined as a permanent or semi-permanent change of residence with an opening intention of settling at destination region permanently or temporarily of an individual or group of people over a significant distance.
The roving instinct, it is said, is intrinsic to human nature: the need to search for food, pasture, and resources; the desire to travel and explore; but also to conquer and possess. Population movements have been the carriers of innovation from one region to another.in In this quest, he becomes a tourist and a migrant. there is a strong inter-linkage between these two.
Cause of migration can be a natural calamity, climatic change, epidemics, over population, better employment opportunities, desire to get rich quickly need for political freedom.
Migration can be voluntary and involuntary. People migrate for economic benefits under voluntary migration and involuntary includes social, religious and political. It can be short-term where people move for short periods and long-term where they move for good. The long-term migration is called emigration.
There are some pressing questions. Why has such a large proportion of the world’s population not migrated? Is it because they do not want to, or do not have the need to? Is it because their ‘moorings’ are holding them firmly in place – their family ties, jobs, culture, familiarity and simply feeling ‘at home’? Or could it be that many millions would want to migrate, but are prevented from doing so, either by their own poverty which isolates them (they do not have a passport, and/or cannot pay for the ticket to travel) or because of the political and institutional barriers to their movement? These can be called intervening obstacles to migrate. It is one of the ironies of globalization that whilst goods, capital, knowledge, entrepreneurship, and the media are free to flow across borders, labour, that other crucial factor of production, is not. In fact, on the whole, people are less free to migrate now than they were a hundred years ago.
Hence, the otherwise attractive notion of the ‘age of migration’ needs to be qualified: migration for some, but not for others. Fine if you are white, from a wealthy country in Europe, North America or elsewhere in the developed world, or if you have money to invest or valuable skills to deploy. But if you are from a poor country in Africa, Latin America or parts of Asia: forget it. Basing his analysis on the empirical example of Cape Verde, an island country with a long tradition of emigration to various parts of the world, Jørgen Carling draws attention to the separation between Cape Verdeans’ widespread aspiration to migrate, and their current inability to do so. For them, the ‘age of migration’ has become the ‘age of involuntary immobility’ (Carling 2002).
The UNPD’s figure of 214 million can be regarded as a ‘best estimate’ but it obscures two major statistical problems. First, the criteria for defining who is a migrant vary from country to country, the chief difference being between citizenship and birthplace or prior residence. Naturalisation converts foreign-born immigrants into citizens and thus removes them from the migration count if citizenship is the criterion of measurement. People born in the host country to immigrant parents – the ‘second generation’ – can remain classified as non-citizens on the ius sanguinis or ‘blood’ rule and thus be counted as part of the ‘foreign’ or ‘immigrant’ population, even though they themselves have not immigrated. The second problem is the – by definition unknown – quantity of ‘undocumented’ or ‘irregular’ immigrants, often branded ‘illegal immigrants’.Migration is important because of the way it shapes and re-shapes societies, making them more diverse and complex. But it also creates sharp divisions between those who accept the need for migrants and welcome the economic and cultural contributions they make, and those who oppose them. The latter group, politically motivated, often exaggerate the numbers of migrants, employ repeated use of prejudicial terms such as ‘illegal immigrants’ and ‘bogus asylum-seekers’ and tend to scapegoat migrants for the ills of the society they seek to join – like crime, drugs and unemployment. These anti-migration discourses need to be confronted by a more objective analysis of the process of migration, starting with a recognition of the diversity of the phenomenon.
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