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Immigrants help improve economies

There is too much poverty in the world, and even where there is some wealth it does not bring much benefit to those who need it most.

Obviously, the need for financial security is one important reason why so many people seek to migrate.

Some people fear that this emigration is a dangerous thing for it may allow the best talent in the home country to leave and take their money and their skills with them, further impoverishing the home country. But many people believe that this migration to wealthier countries actually benefits all of us.

Much of this depends on how well migrants share their money by sending portions of it back to their families in their country of origin.

Remittances are usually made in small amounts, but they add up to be a big deal.

Did you know that remittances sent informally to family members in the home country add up to far more money than any official aid provided to poorer countries?

Remittances sent to family members bring far more money into Egypt than do the fees to use the Suez Canal; and far more money into Sri Lanka than does exporting tea; and far more money into Nepal or Morocco than does tourism.

In 2014-2015, Pakistanis outside Pakistan sent relatives in Pakistan more than $15 billion (no, that is not a typing error).

Remittances received are most often a very large portion of a family’s income, which shows both how great is the need for this income, and the generosity of out-of-country family members and others.

These remittances are enabling families and through them their communities to improve their local economies and the family’s own prospects.

As you can imagine, being the first family member to arrive in Canada can impose very significant family responsibilities on a newcomer, but the importance and the benefits of remittances to the family and community outside Canada, and to the global economy, cannot be exaggerated.

– Gregory James

Gregory James of Gregory James Immigration Law Firm is an immigration lawyer with over 28 years of experience, a former senior manager at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, and a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He is based in Toronto and can be contacted at cc@GregoryJamesLaw.com or 416-538-1301.

Posted: Jun 1, 2016

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