For the past week, I have seen news of the heart-wrenching journey of migrants from Mexico and Venezuela going through dangerous terrain to reach the US.
The influx of thousands of migrants into New York City has strained the city’s resources.
Similar migrations have also happened in 2015 in Europe, which had over one million arrivals, mostly refugees fleeing Syria, Tunisia and Libya.
During their journey, nearly 30,000 people died crossing the Mediterranean seas since 2014, according to the UN migration agency.
Migrants in Malaysia
Malaysia is also facing a refugee crisis, involving the Rohingya, who were oppressed and chased away from their home country of Myanmar.
- Sign up for Aliran's free daily email updates or weekly newsletters or both
- Make a one-off donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB a/c 8004240948
- Make a pledge or schedule an auto donation to Aliran every month or every quarter
- Become an Aliran member
We also have millions of migrants who work in factories and hotels in Malaysia with the same objective of seeking a better life for themselves and their families, as their countries are unable to provide them a sustainable socialeconomic future.
Migrants who decide to leave usually face war, economic sanctions, poverty and political prosecution in their home countries.
With the climate crisis, we would see more refugees travelling to safe areas. It would be a global norm in the future.
It is morally imperative for countries to accept legitimate migration based on international law.
The refugees should be given opportunities to work and support their families, and gradually integrated into society. Such integration should not be seen as a demographic threat since the authentic identity of a nation resides in stretching, welcoming and sharing itself with the less privileged.
In addressing the issue of migrants and refugees, who have different reasons for leaving their homelands, it is a pity that the debate and decisions among Western countries have centred on whether to welcome or reject refugees in their countries and to what degree.
There is a tendency to focus on the foreground instead of the background to the crisis. Why are migrants and refugees leaving the home countries they love and taking an enormous life risk to reach the advanced countries?
Is it not because of the global policies and actions of the rich nations over the decades?
Is it not the proxy war initiated in Syria by the West and the regime change in Libya, supported by the West, that triggered such an exodus among the people?
Is it not the weapon of economic sanctions used by countries like the US and Europe on regimes that they don’t favour to create socioeconomic hardships for ordinary people instead of the elite?
While the motives of migrants for leaving their home countries are complex, the hegemonic policies of wealthy countries have basically created the context for desperate migration.
Unless problems of this nature are resolved, the world will continue to see the worst migration crisis that will continue to overwhelm the basic services of receiving countries.
Citizens of countries should be dissuaded from migration so that they can develop their own indigenous nation based on their collective vision, culture and beliefs.
Their homelands should progress, and this should create more job opportunities and better welfare conditions.
This can only be done when there is a just, equitable global political and social economic system.
War and economic sanctions should not be the norm in dealing with geopolitical adversaries.
The world needs moral ethics, collaboration and a win-win approach to address various global challenges that cause the migration crisis.
Migrants and refugees should flourish in their own countries and this principle should be understood and proactively implemented as a policy by wealthy countries.
Mediating and resolving conflicts besides building the human capital in these poor countries should be the way forward in addressing the root cause of migration.
Unless this principle is accepted, the Mediterranean seas, which point towards Europe, and the borders of the US will continuously be flooded with migrants and refugees. – Malaysiakini