MNR: Why do migrants leave Scotland?

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment: This story, published by Migrants’ Rights Network, caught my attention due to the ongoing debate in Finland concerning immigrants and immigration. What about if we turned the question around and asked why do migrants leave Finland or do not want to move here?

Our country has one of the lowest number of immigrants with respect to the whole population. In 2010 it totalled 2.9% or a mere 155,705 newcomers. This, I believe, isn’t a coincidence. If we look at the ongoing debate on immigrants and public opinion concerning immigrants and refugees in Finland, part of the question is answered.

Taulant Guma, a PhD student at Glasgow University, gives an explanation why Central and Eastern European (CEE) immigrants are leaving instead of staying: “Certainly, migrants, wherever they are, often experience difficulties in terms of finding better jobs and moving up the career ladder. It seems, however, that these difficulties and challenges are more pronounced in the Scottish labour market, which means that the risk of CEE migrants ‘getting stuck’ in unskilled and low paid work is significantly higher than in the UK.”

In my opinion one of the biggest challenges Finland has is attracting skilled labor to move and remain here. With present negative attitudes and the rise of parties like the True Finns, it’s pretty clear that matters are going to get worse before they improve.

This is really unfair to Finland because there are many people who do not agree with the views of some anti-immigration politicians and other people who don’t even know the difference between an immigrant and a refugee.

Do you agree?

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The current immigration debates in the UK seem to be increasingly narrowed down to questions such as ‘Why do migrants come to the UK?’, ‘What do migrants costs the UK taxpayer?’ etc, often raised with a tone of disapproval or of mistrust regarding the contributions, motives, and plans of migrants. Interestingly, during various meetings and seminars on migration issues I attended in Scotland over the last year, a different set of questions seemed to take more centre stage: ‘Why do migrants leave Scotland?’ or ‘What can be done to keep them here?’

Read whole story.

  1. Klay_Immigrant

    -‘It seems, however, that these difficulties and challenges are more pronounced in the Scottish labour market, which means that the risk of CEE migrants ‘getting stuck’ in unskilled and low paid work is significantly higher than in the UK.’

    Either Mr. Taulant Guma was misquoted or not very bright but I hope he realises that Scotland is part of the UK.

  2. Mary Mekko

    Have you met the Scots? Their language is harder to understand than Finnish.

    Scots are tough and they are tough on each other – not just on outsiders. They’re not an easy-going bunch happy to include new immigrants. If their London or Brussels leaders demand that immigrants come in, they don’t go along with it like silly Russians under Stalin. They show their true feelings everywhere, and speak their minds like free men and women. At least they are still free. Freedom of speech has to be exercised to be claimed.

    I wouldn’t want to arrive in Scotland as a new nonwhite worker and try to adjust, holy moley. Not only that, like Finland, it’s cold and wet, the food is a drag of potatoes and meat sometimes sprinkled with salt and pepper, and every part of the life is tight.

    My lasting memory of Scotland in 1985 was a hitchhiking trip around, with very cold weather in July. I stopped in a small town’s charity shop to find a secondhand sweater or jacket. It was my lucky day: “All sweaters 2 pounds!” and what a lovely selection of sweaters they were, some handmade.

    I choose one, went up to pay, and said, “So that’s 2 pounds, right?” Ach, although I’m Scots-Irish, I was an American.

    “Not for you!” says the clerk. “You’re a YANK! That’s five pounds!”

    “What?” I cry out. “Different prices for different nationalities, what’s that about?”

    “You’re all loaded, you can afford it.” she declares.

    And so it was I got a beautiful handmade Scottish sweater for four pounds.

    The audience of other shoppers were silent.

    It was just like Finland.

    Yet I could understand their mentality: a fear of outsiders is the most normal thing of all.

    Oh well! We are just humans, after all, and we learn a lot from travelling, strangers in strange lands, so that we can understand how our own visitors feel here.

    Finns are treated well in the USA as tourists, I think, because it’s seen as a special country.

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