Control of migration movements, international cooperation to improve living conditions in the countries of origin and an immigration policy that gives rights and obligations to those who have already migrated, these are the keys to curb xenophobia.
These were the three ideas Jesús Caldera proposed yesterday afternoon (at dawn in Spain) during his speech at the progressive leaders meeting
held in New York IDEAS Foundation and the Center for American Progress.
In his opinion, progressives must, at global level, implement clear migration policies which, at the same time, allow organizing massive movements and favoring the acceptance of emigrants in the receiving countries, in order to restrain racist and xenophobic narratives from conservative parties, which are having some electoral success in Europe and the USA.
Caldera reminded that the economic crisis has been used by the Right to spark off xenophobia, a dangerous narrative which, nevertheless, has allowed them to yield electoral benefits at regional and national levels in Europe, en Flanders, Hungary, Holland, Austria, and Italy and also in the USA, with the emergence of the Tea Party.
The head of IDEAS made an exception regarding Spain, “a country whose immigrant population has increased from 1% of the total population to the current situation, in which immigrants represent 12% of the Spanish population in 20 years. And, all this has been achieved without any important conflict and without sparking off the racist narrative.” In fact, Caldera noted the important contribution of immigrants to the Spanish economy, which stood at 2.6 per cent of the GDP between 1995 and 2005.
Taking the opportunity of the Climate Summit of Cancun, which ended on an agreement on the basics, Caldera insisted on the looming ‘climate catastrophe’. If as scientists predict, the average temperature of the Earth increases by 2 degrees, in 2030 there will be at least 2000 millions emigrants for climate reasons, the majority of which will be living in poverty without drinking water.”
Finally, he welcomed the growing cooperation between IDEAS and the Center for American Progress, “a transatlantic dialogue which made possible the Global Progress conference in Madrid in 2009 and which now allows us to launch the Global Progress Council.” Caldera ended by encouraging world progressive leaders to establish joint policies, not only for immigration, but also in the search for a solution to the crisis, taking in account the important demographic changes occurring in Europe and the USA and that favors the change of development model paradigm to culminate in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development.
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