“Why don’t people who emigrate stay in their own country and create the country they want to live in”?
Whichever way you look at this question it has legitimacy. And so as an Immigrant myself, I too have struggled with this question…
I wanted to explore the subject outside the default response that everyone wants a better life.
Sure, everyone wants a better life but some people who are not wealthy or well to do,-do have the ability to emigrate and they sometimes opt not to.
Does that make them patriots for deciding not to leave, and does it make people like me who decided that enough was enough, traitors to our country of birth?
I have given this subject some thought, and I must confess that I do not have an answer to this question. Life is short, people have families to whom they are committed, they want to give their children a good education so they may compete in this ever-changing world in which we live.
It seems to me that in many cases people emigrate for those reasons rather than the misconception that people do so because they are seeking wealth. (not that anything is wrong with chasing wealth in my opinion)
For the most part, emigrating to another country means living in a relative shadow, being treated, not as (second ‑class citizens) as some have suggested, but as alien creatures from another world, the word “citizen” does not come into the picture at all.
This is not true in all cases, but the black-white racial dynamic makes the foregone an ever-present reality.
More than 400 died trying to make it to the USA last year, according to the United Nations’ migration agency. Why do they risk their lives and the possibility of being separated from family?
As I alluded to in the previous paragraph, people leaving their home countries today are not doing so because they are chasing wealth as explained by Sofia Martinez, a Guatemala-based analyst for the International Crisis Group, “It’s about escaping a death sentence.”
“This isn’t about immigrants chasing the American dream anymore.“
As it is in South and Latin America a region that encompasses the Caribbean, violence and the resultant economic chaos has been a catalyst for mass migration of people to other shores.
Violence and war across the Middle East and Africa as well as in Latin and South America have not only created economic challenges for those regions it has also created environmental challenges as well.
The movement of people to other countries does not always mean that people are always seeking to emigrate to Europe or North America.
As we have seen over the years people will move from their horrid situation to one that is far from perfect, and from which many people have fled and would flee given a chance.
Many Haitians have moved from Haiti to Jamaica and other Islands in the Caribbean.
Many people have fled Syria to other middle eastern countries. Many have fled violence in Sudan to other African nations and so on.
The lesson to be learned it seems, is that people are willing to stay in their country of origin if there are peace and safety. This has been true for all of recorded history.
The challenge in all of this is that where there is corrupt and weak leadership fewer and fewer people are willing to risk their entire lives waiting for their government to stand up to the forces which create unsafe environments, to begin with.
As we have seen in regions throughout the world, whether we agree with the methods utilized or not, where governments find a way to protect their citizens, no-one is breaking down the doors to leave.
The New York Times Nicholas Kristof wrote in 2012; Generations of Americans have learned to pity Africa. It’s mainly seen as a quagmire of famine and genocide, a destination only for a sybaritic safari or a masochistic aid mission. So here’s another way to think of Africa: an economic dynamo. Is it time to prepare for the African tiger economy? Six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies between 2001 and 2010 were in Africa, according to The Economist. The International Monetary Fund says that between 2011 and 2015, African countries will account for 7 of the top 10 spots.
There is a new dynamism across the African continent with the exception of a few sore spots, people are not running away as they did before.
In fact, nations like Ghana, Rwanda, and others have simply rolled out the red carpet to people of African ancestry, and others to come to Africa and settle.
Conversely, Doctors without borders have reported that every year, an estimated 500,000 people from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras flee extreme violence and head north through Mexico to find safety. The high levels of violence in the region, known as the Northern Triangle of Central America (NTCA), are comparable to that in war zones where MSF has worked for decades.
The countries of the NTCA have long been burdened by deep social inequality, political instability, and conflict — and in some cases have been further destabilized by US interventions in the region over the past 40 years. Now, these countries are also contending with the rapid expansion of transnational organized crime, which has exploded over the past decade. Across this region, drug and human trafficking by criminal groups known as maras, coupled with widespread corruption and weak law enforcement, have resulted in an environment where civilians face the ever-present threat of violence.
Back in our own country of Jamaica, both the government and the people would do well to understand these trend lines and stop playing games with those who would render our country a battlefield wasteland.
The bullet-points in Doctors without borders reports are already a problem in our country. Drug & human-trafficking, deep social inequality, political instability as always been there, though somewhat less a problem today than it was three decades ago. , And destabilization by US interventions in the region over the past 40 years has not gone away.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, a business owner, avid researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
You may subscribe to his blogs free of charge, or subscribe to his Youtube channel @chatt-a-box, for the latest podcast all free to you of course.