Economic migration: The push and pull factors


Economic migration: The push and pull factors

He qualified for a long-term visa designed for businessmen with the requisite and proven means, with the aim of applying for permanent residence in the UK. This meant he had to satisfy the 5-year residency rule, which in turn meant that he could not leave the UK. “Unfortunately, I had to go to France to sign the papers for a transaction. This was an oversight which I still regret, because my long-term visa was rescinded and with that, any chance of gaining permanent residence status in the UK,” he explained.

Dr Jamal even took the Home Office to the High Court at the Immigration Appeal Tribunal in London, but to his dismay and cost, he lost the case on appeal.

The new Immigration Act 2014 restricts the ability of migrants seeking to avoid deportation to invoke Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to family life. The Act also requires a judge to consider the public interest in such cases. Further elements include new powers to revoke illegal immigrants’ driving licences; limits on the benefits and services migrants can access; and make the removal of people with no legal right to be in the UK easier.

Immigration, like any other activity, can also be a lucrative business, especially for unscrupulous operators. In the UK, for instance, immigration advice and services can only be given by people authorised and regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), an independent, non-departmental public body set up under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

During 2014, several people including nationals from Ghana and Nigeria, who were targeting members of their own communities, were imprisoned and/or fined for illegally providing immigration advice and services, which, according to the presiding judge, “seriously prejudiced individual immigration applications”. One person also operated a scam by which telephone calls appearing to come from the OISC were made, where the caller demanded money to resolve immigration issues.

The push and pull factors of economic migration are well documented. However, the onslaught of globalisation over the last three decades in particular, with its borderless ethos, has influenced migration patterns, according to the Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration (IOM). 

The International Organisation for Migration, which helps to ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, predicts the wave of economic migration from Africa to Europe will keep increasing.

The IOM, which helps to ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, and to promote international cooperation and practical solutions on migration issues and problems, predicts the wave of economic migration from Africa to Europe will keep increasing. “Sub-Saharan Africa has generated significant outflows of intercontinental migration, mainly to Western Europe, but also to North America and the Arab region. Inter-continental migration has diversified, however, and increasingly includes unskilled labour migrants who emigrate in significant numbers to the above regions.”

These developments, the IOM further stresses, “will have social, economic, environmental and political implications and pose challenges for policymakers in the management of migration.”

But there are critics who accuse the EU governments of “being tough on immigration but lax on the causes of economic migration”.

The Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime, which has published extensive research on the origins and transport routes of illegal economic migrants through the Sahel and Libya and into Southern Europe, and on the role played by traffickers and corrupt officials, strongly contends that European governments should tackle the problem in Africa, rather than after the migrants have ended up in overcrowded asylum centres in Europe.

To be fair to the EU and African countries (the receiving and sending countries respectively) there are a number of Dialogues and Declarations in place, which cover cooperation on migration issues between national authorities.

Related Posts

Unmissable Past Stories