A total about-turn in immigration policy would be a massive blow to xenophobia and the climate of suspicion that presently exists in Finland. Contrarily the more restrictions you erect against migrants and cultural diversity the more myths and prejudices you’ll need to keep up those walls.
Those walls aren’t friendly at all but hostile with a huge sign: Do not enter but if you do we’re going to make your lives difficult. We will make up urban tales about you to keep you imprisoned in our prejudices indefinitely.
Everyone of us are, were or came from a migrant background. Migration is a powerful force. Migration is beautiful and the factor that makes humans excel. Thank you Glenn Robinson for the heads-up!
Some parties in Finland like the Perussuomalaiset* (PS) and Social Democrats (SDP) are in favor of keeping closed Finland’s labor markets to skilled migration from outside the EU. They claim that since there are so many unemployed Finns should have priority – and in theory EU nationals – before offering allowing migrants from outside the EU to fill such jobs.
This is a good point but a very unfair one because unemployment and labor markets don’t work in such a simple fashion. How long would it take to train a jobless person into a new profession and for that person to become one of the best in his or her profession? How long would it take to train a medic? A computer scientist? An entrepreneur with innovative ideas?
Such arguments by the PS and SDP only fuel hostility towards migrants, especially those that live in the country. It makes it harder for them to find work since the labor market is divided into “us” and “them.”
All that these types of arguments do is to shift blame for high unemployment on migrants from the politicians who are at fault but hide their culpability with the help of xenophobia.
A lot of the xenophobia and the anti-immigration thunder of parties like the PS would suffer a big blow if Finland started to think more openly about migration and cultural diversity. The only way it would do this is by openly promoting such a policy.
Today too many Finns see migration as a problem. That argument is what keeps those high walls upright.
If we had a more open immigration policy and openly invited more migrants to this country and made them feel welcomed and at home, the country would have as well a much better chance of integrating them successfully into our society.
If we persist with our negative attitude about cultural diversity and continue to victimize and blame unfairly migrants for our country’s problems it’s clear that the biggest loser will be Finland.
And that is exactly what we are suffering from at this moment.
* The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.