After my previous entry, and following up on some thoughts that came to me last night, I have the following question:

What are visas for?

I suggest that the idea that having no immigration barriers would lead to vast numbers of immigrants is a myth. In any case, those who want to stop immigrants generally seek only to prevent “undesirable” immigrants, which seems to be code for the poor and/or dusky of complexion.

I don’t mean any disrespect to Greece or the Greek. I have never been there myself, although I understand that it has a lot to recommend it (with the notable exception of the pollution in Athens). However, according to numerous sources, it is the poorest nation in the EU, and therefore makes an excellent example to attack one of the arguments used in favour of immigration control: that unrestricted immigration would lead to a massive influx of unwanted people.

Since any Greek citizen, down to the loneliest Ionian goatherd, has the right to travel to, live and work in any other EU country, the orthodoxy of poor-to-rich migration indicates that we should expect mass migration to better-off countries.

However, there has not (correct me if I’m wrong) been a noticeably vast tide of Greek immigrants to, say, Britain since they were given the right to work there.

One possible reason, which might be particularly hard for nationalist zealots to grasp, is that they probably quite like it where they are. Perhaps living in one’s own culture and sociolinguistic group counts for more than “standard of living” or GDP measurements. I can’t tell you for sure. But I think that we are equally unlikely to see mass Bangladeshi immigration, even if we allowed all the inhabitants of that poor, densely-populated, flood-prone nation into our self-described Western paradises.

Even if you don’t accept my preceding argument, I certainly can’t see any argument for restricting the immigration of nationals of other rich nations. What can possibly be harmful about a trained and educated person of similar upbringing moving to a country and contributing economically and socially to that country? Where is the harm in that?