Think of all the comments you hear all day long about immigrants. Think of all the negative things you have read on social networks lately. Count it. How many times have you been told these? How many times have you spread these? Or better yet, how many times did you check that it was true before spreading the information? #StopRumors
On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, at Moneytrans, we want to join those who are fighting to stop rumours about immigrants, those who are committed to achieve a more inclusive society. The basis of discrimination is the generalisation of stereotypes, so what better day than today to show that stereotypes have nothing to do with reality? These are some of the rumours about immigrants that are actually not true and that you should be aware of!
It is said that immigrants are the one who are saturating health systems and taking advantage of these. However, some studies carried out by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union show that foreign people go less to the doctor than the natives. Moreover, we should keep in mind that this part of the population also contributes to financing the system by paying taxes on the products they buy every day. In Spain, for example, migrants account for 6,5% of total health expenses while they account for 10% of the country’s resident population.
“There are too many immigrants” is a sentence that has been heard several times because over the last decade, the idea that countries cannot afford to host so many immigrants, has arisen. But, is that true? In the case of Spain, the population feels that the immigrant community represents more than 21,5% of the population which is twice as much as the actual percentage. It’s important to remind that immigrants contribute positively to the formation of a richer, more plural and diverse society.
According to employment, there are two rumours. The first one is that “immigrants are coming to commit crimes and not to work”, a rumour that is in contradiction with the second one which is “they take our jobs”. Regarding the first rumour, we must take into consideration that immigrants are coming in a host country to start a better life, therefore, the most important thing to them is to find a job that gives them stability. On the other hand, in Spain, this community tends to accept jobs that the Spanish population does not want and that are essential. Studies also show that being an immigrant increases the probability of being unemployed by 60%. If we take a look at the 2017 Labour Force Survey, among the more than 20 million people that are working in Spain, only 1 out of 10 is foreign. Paradoxically, their entrepreneurial spirit has been beneficial to the entire world.
Certain beliefs say that many immigrants come to Spain to find a Spanish partner in order to obtain papers. However, there is no data that prove that this pattern is repeated systematically. In fact, one proof of the love is the progressive increase in the number of children born in Spain with at least one foreign parent. However, data support this increase in mixed couples which is simply due to a greater diversity in the country. Mixed couples help to eliminate prejudices against immigrants.
Another stereotype says that the presence of students of immigrant origin can contribute to a significant decrease in the academic level of a class. However, the factor that most determines the decline in a student’s quality of education is linked to the economic situation of the family. For example, whether the student has access or not to a computer or a study area. And if the immigrants’ results were lower, this would not affect the rest of the class. It is also worth noting that, although the presence of immigrant’s students only accounts for 9% in Spain, the socio-cultural contribution they make to the rest of their classmates is incalculable. Sometimes, what we first reject for being unknown is only an opportunity to get to know other cultures and understand them!
Immigrants do not receive more social benefits than the rest of the population because of their nationality. The criteria governing the distribution of social benefits only take into account the particular situation of each individual. Moreover, studies financed by the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Social Security in Spain assure that immigrants contribute more than they receive, not only economically but also socially, culturally and demographically.
One of the most widespread rumours is that immigrants come to host countries to commit crimes and that most of the criminals are foreigners. However, in Spain, there are no data that establish a relationship between crimes and specific nationalities, but quite the opposite. Indeed, recent researches indicate that an increase in immigration in a country is not linked to an increase in crime or insecurity.
Sometimes refugees are seen as a burden that we do not have to bear. However, it is important to remember that refugees come from countries where they are victims of wars or violations of their rights. They risk their lives and those of their children to escape from this nightmare and are using a right that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We should also remind that refugees can also have a positive impact on the economy of the host country since they are also doctors, engineers or teachers.
The terrorist attacks of recent years have created an imaginary about the Muslim religion and its believers that has led many to associate the Muslim religion with terrorism. But the truth is that being a practitioner of a particular religion does not mean that you accept the violence made on its behalf. Many Muslims have expressed their disagreement with this use of violence and are disassociating themselves from the minority factions that are carrying it out. All communities have negative aspects, but not all of the people who are part of the community.
Differences unite us more than they separate us. Because, like you, at the end of the day, immigrants just want a better life for themselves and their loved-ones.
Help us to stop false discriminatory rumours and create a more tolerant society by sharing this article! #StopRumours
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