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Allowing people to move from poorer countries to richer ones that have more capital, superior technologies and better institutions boosts their productivity and that of the global economy.Although the biggest benefits go to migrants and their children, countries that receive them gain, too.The economic case for migration is equally compelling.
Fear of “the other” tends to dissipate when people get to know each other.
So getting people to mix more would help.* Appeal to emotions. As well as appealing to compassion for immigrants, supporters could tap into patriotism, arguing how openness makes a country great.* Emphasise what unites us.
They may be ignorant; sceptics worried about the scale of immigration tend to vastly overestimate it. It may seem like common sense that immigrants take local jobs, until you realise there isn’t a fixed number of jobs, and that migrants also create jobs when they spend their wages.
It may also seem obvious that immigrants lengthen hospital waiting lists, although in countries such as in Britain they tend to pay more in taxes than they take out in benefits and services, see a doctor less often and are disproportionately doctors and nurses themselves.
Diversity is great; so is what people in a particular place have in common.* Appeal to other people’s values.
Liberal values such as individual freedom and equal rights leave some people cold.
Around half of Silicon Valley startups, including Google, Linked In, Tesla and Stripe, were co-founded by immigrants.
Overall, a 1% rise in the immigrant share of the population tends to raise income per person by 2%.
Beyond dispelling ignorance and misperceptions, here are six quick suggestions to try to win over sceptics.* Personal stories.
People generally relate more to personal stories—such as that of Paulette Wilson, a retired cook who previously worked at the House of Commons, who was wrongly arrested and threatened with deportation by the British government—than to dry statistics.* Social contact.