There is a misconception that shunning refugees is a necessary evil for the good of the country. This assumption is based on the idea that the refugees will simply be a burden upon the country’s people and government. This is patently false. Everyone benefits when a country opens its arms to refugees.
Refugees benefit from this in obvious ways. In the case of Syrian refugees, this saves them from living in a war-torn country. Getting asylum in another country will give these traumatized families an opportunity to recover and start anew. Allowing refugees into the country grants them the most important right we are all entitled to, which is the right to life. To shut out refugees is to sign their death sentence.
The country receiving refugees will gain a sudden boost in its workforce. Provide them the resources, and they are happy to work. Some argue that this will lead to refugees “stealing jobs” from locals, but this is far from the case.
Refugees are more likely to take jobs that locals refuse to do. These jobs are usually dangerous, dull, demanding, or dirty (4D). This will stimulate the local workforce in two ways. Firstly, it inspires those in similar careers to work harder. Secondly, it frees up workers who were formerly filling the need in 4D jobs. These workers can now specialize and take up other careers. According to a study done in Denmark, there is also the happy side-effect of increased wages and social mobility for local workers.
Besides being ready and willing to take on “unskilled labor,” refugees are known entrepreneurs. A quarter of entrepreneurs in the USA are immigrants. It’s hard to call them job thieves when they’re out there creating jobs themselves. This might be due to the stigma associated with hiring foreigners. When denied an opportunity, they create one themselves to survive. Coincidentally, immigrants comprise a quarter of inventors in the US as well. It goes to show that they are not only hardworking, but they take the initiative and are innovative.
Accepting refugees will enrich the host country culturally. What are iconic American dishes? Pizza, fries, fried chicken, bagels, barbecue, and burgers, right? Every single one of those dishes wouldn’t be touching American tastebuds if it were not for immigrants seeking refuge and fortune in a new country. They brought across the border their cuisine, steeped in culture as well as flavor.
Some people think that altruism alone isn’t a good enough reason to take in refugees. Well, not only is accepting them an act of kindness, it is by all accounts going to benefit your country.
As with all changes, especially ones of large scale, there will be growing pains. There will be some people or sectors who will not benefit immediately. However, once the proper systems and reforms are in place to give both the native population and the new influx of refugees time to settle and breathe, everyone will be better off than they began with. One side having a more robust, culturally and economically rich people, and the other having asylum and new opportunities in life.
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