Undocumented Migrants

December 18, 2017

The systematic arrest of undocumented migrants violates the various articles within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; such as freedom of movement and freedom to life. It is estimated that there are approximately more than fifty million undocumented migrants in the world and it is unfair to believe that these undocumented migrants are problems to the society. In fact not only they are not, but also our society benefits from them. Basically the middle class and upper class population enjoy from the services and skills offered by the undocumented migrants. 

 

Here are some misconceptions about undocumented migrants:

 

•Misconception #1 Undocumented migrants are burden for the society. This is very wrong. Undocumented migrants know how to care for themselves; they earn money by offering services and skills for the native population. More or less, ambassadors, politicians, artists, high ranked businessmen have been benefitting from the services of the undocumented migrants.

 

•Misconception #2 Undocumented migrants work, but don’t pay taxes! This statement is not fully correct. First of all, basically most of the undocumented migrants I have known, were wholeheartedly willing to pay taxes. In fact there was a group of migrants in an EU nation, who even organized themselves and challenged the tax authorities by willing to pay taxes. Secondly, undocumented migrants have their daily necessary needs, they buy food, drinks, clothing etc. They indirectly pay taxes over the products they buy.

 

•Misconception #3 Undocumented migrants are criminals! Undocumented migrants are economically productive people; they do not have time to commit crimes. They work very hard and bless their hosting nations. 

 

•Misconception #4 Undocumented migrants take our jobs. This is another misconception. In fact, undocumented migrants do the jobs that the average people do not want to do, simply because they do not have time for such work. That is where the undocumented migrant plays a role by filling the gap. 

Undocumented migrants are people with heart, feeling and emotion. They are people just like you and me. They have left their countries out of necessity: be it political or economic. They left their homes with the hope for a better life, not only for themselves but also for their family members back home. Undocumented migrants remind us that every human being needs happiness and every person on earth moves and travels for the sake of improvement of life. Undocumented migrant also remind us, how hypocrite society can be, they remind us of the economic and political injustices that have been ruling the world – already from centuries ago until today. How did Africans feel when the European colonizers arrived to their nations? How did the original inhabitants of Americas and Australia feel when the migrants illegally entered their nations and subdued them even culturally? We in the West may think that is the passed and we cannot compare it to the situation now. However, I do not agree! The past casts its shadows to the future.  Even today we experience the political and economic injustices that lead to the migration of people out of necessity for life and survival. 

 

I hope a day will come when migration will no more be a necessity, but a choice! May God help us during these difficult times! 

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© 2010-2019 by Samuel C. Lee

 

Samuel Lee (Ph.D.) is university lecturer, at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Faculty of Religion and Theology (FRT-VU), and director for Center for Theology of Migration, the educational program of Samen Kerk in Nederland at the FRT-VU. 

He is the founder of Foundation Academy of Amsterdam, offering higher education in liberal arts and humanities for migrants, refugees and persecuted minorities.

 

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