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?
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?’