Should countries still encourage migration in today’s world?

Interpretation of Keywords

Migration: movement of people across geographical borders, internationally or locally (international migration , or urban-rural migration within a country)

Still: compare the past and the present – identify the differences between the past and present – the question assumes migration was an attractive idea in the past

Encourage: put lesser restriction; welcome, embrace

Discourage: impose regulation on it 

Today’s world: identify the current characteristics of today’s world (eg: globalised workforce, trans-border terrorism, migrant crises in today’s world)

Should: not to be confused with “can” (feasibility) should is more concerned with urgent needs & circumstances, principles & ideals


Arguments + examples for why migration should no longer be encouraged by countries today

1st argument:

While migration was an attractive idea in the past, it is no longer so because global migration is perceived as threatening the social security of nations in today’s world. Indeed, there is validity in this argument as increasingly, migration has increasingly posed security threats to many countries today, as we now live in the turbulent age of religious fundamentalism and trans-border terrorism.


The current travel ban by Donald Trump reflects such a perceived threat in today’s world. The travel ban aims to prevent such terrorist attacks from occuruing and serves as a barrier between countries which have active terrorist enclaves.  

The gruesome car bomb attack on the 26th of August 2011 in the United Nations compound in Abuja by Boko Haram, clearly illustrates how this threat is omnipresent, affecting even the most seemingly safe areas.

Boko Haram – radical group operating in Nigeria infamous for kidnapping young girls

Abu Sayaff – active in Southern Philippines

Taliban militant group – in Pakistan and Afghanistan


If we allow migration to occur, we are compromising the internal security of our nations. In order to protect the people, the nations citizens, we must ensure that threats remain outside of the country, beyond the borders. Thus migration should be discouraged.


2nd Argument:

While migration was seen to be a positive force that spurred cultural diversity in the past, increasingly many societies are discouraging migration as it has often threatened the social stability and way of life of local society

Brexit Referendum in 2016 – the anti-immigrant sentiments were one of the driving forces for why many British citizens voted “Leave”

The controversial Population White Paper released by the local government of Singapore in 2013 – many Singaporeans protested against the Population White Paper, a policy proposal that projected the increase of the local population to 6.9 million by 2030 (where almost half of the increased population will be made up of foreigners and migrants). Excessive job competitions, over-crowding of public spaces and the dilution of national identity were some of the reasons for the public discontent among many Singaporeans.


Therefore it may be wise to limit the amount of migration in order to protect the interests of a nations citizens.


3rd  Argument:

Migration was often seen as a driving force for economic growth in a country. However, in today’s world, in view of the increasing economic backlash of migration, migrants are often vilified (denounced, criticized) as people who disrupt the workforce and deprive the locals of their employment opportunities.

Influx of migrant blue-collar workers is often blamed for depressing wages. They are hired by local employers as cheaper labour in service and construction industries, replacing the need for hiring locals

Singapore – the Singaporean First policy in recent years-  quota imposed on the intake of foreign workers in Singapore


In order to prioritise the well-being of a nations citizens, it is important that we limit the amount of competition that is available in the country, so as to ensure that all citizens are able to find employment.


Arguments + Examples for why countries should still continue to encourage migration

1st argument:

Countries should continue to adopt an open-door policy towards migration as the very nature of our knowledge-based economy today simply demands/warrants the need for migration and migrants.

Singapore, especially in view of its limited natural resources and small size as a nation, the aging population and falling fertility rate in the nation further justify the continuous need for migrants and migration.

Singapore is heavily dependent on human capital to remain relevant in the global market. Given the low fertility rates that plauge Singapore, the aging population will continue to grow and we will face an increasing proportion of non-workers who will need to be taken care of. This entails higher healthcare costs, which are funded by the government. In order to meet the demand of high welfare cost, it is crucial that we have a highly prodcutive economy, which support the aging population, without increasing taxation rates.


The migration of foreigners is essential to the well-being of globalised nations nation, economically, financially and socially.


2nd Argument:

In view of the ongoing migrant crises in today’s world, migration should not be discouraged in the modern world.  Discouraging migration goes against the sacred principle of human rights and it is a moral responsibility to extend help to the persecuted migrants and refugees in today’s world. Ethically, we ought to help those who are in need. The vulnerable and those ravaged by war.


Migration of refugees who desperately need to seek political asylum in European nations and discouraging them from being granted asylum in another safer country is an affront to the principles of democracy and human rights.Refugees risk their lives on long journeys to european countries in hope of a better life. Migration onlt right and is crucial to preserving a fundamental humanity within all of us.


In order to preserve the sanctity of human life, we must ensure that our borders and our hearts remain open to those who need our help most, lest we lose lives, in our selfishness.






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