Ary unt Vol
W e should accept that the civilization and development established by voluntary immigrants have been changing the face of the world. Having voluntary immigrants increases a country’s power and brand value. The twentieth century has been the age of labour migration, and it seems to be continuing in the 21st century as well.
Being an immigrant is not only a change of location, but a resetting of your life. Regardless of the similarity between the source and target countries, immigration is a difficult experience at all locations.
I believe that those who have experienced immigration would understand the problems of immigrants better and come up with more realistic and lasting solutions. So, we know that what lies in the success of Australian immigration policies for years is their experiences gained through listening to those immigrants.
The psychology of migration and immigration has a complex nature involving a number of issues like social life and economic factors. Immigration is not a mere act of moving from one country to another and the life lived afterwards. The immigrants have a threefold life: before, during, and after the immigration. There are two main immigrant groups, voluntary and forced ones, who experience these three levels in fundamentally different ways.
It is essential to know the pre-immigration stage to understand the experiences of the immigrants. The difference between voluntary and forced migration in the pre-immigration period also affects the later immigration stages. Forced immigrants have a harder integration period because of the sudden change of location and the economic and psychological unpreparedness in their target countries. The voluntary immigrants, on the other hand, are more prepared, first of all psychologically, and then economically, to be con- tent with all the conditions in the target country. The negative effects of the immigration is felt more if the forced immigrants had to leave their close social circles, language, culture, job, and a good life behind. The loss of these assets give them more pain if their immigration process have
been troublesome. And they can mend these losses and erase the negative effects more easily if they receive compassion and good treatment in the target country in the post-immigration period.
It should be kept in mind that each case of immigration causes some losses, big or small. What matters is the ability to gain in the target country, more than what has been lost. The more they gain, the faster the integration process gets.
Those who are forced to migrate from their home countries still carry negative marks from their previous lives even if they get every opportunity in the target country. This sometimes affects their kids as well, but the traces of the past gets almost erased with the third generation.
If their previous losses have not been compensated enough, forced immigrants can suffer from depression, anxiety and communicating with people. Even if the governments are ready to handle families and communities with such problems, it still takes more time to deal with. Therefore, things that need to be done for economic and cultural integration before these problems of the immigrants get insolvable are cheaper and easier. These are measures to be taken to prevent loss of human capital, and to protect the mental health of the immigrants. In my opinion, the material and emotional support that can be provided to the immigrants from the very first day they enter the country until a certain period can help solving future problems even before they emerge.
For the immigrants, communicating with people from their own ethnic background may help reducing the problems faced in the new country; but this may also lengthen the integration process. The general attitude within the country can help the immigrant to go outside of their narrow circle and integrate with the overall population. If this general attitude is perceived as exclusive, the immigrant can opt for a ghettostyle life using the idea of “not being assimilated” as an excuse. Those groups and communities that remain within narrow circles can create harmful results for the society at times.
Therefore, the foundations, associations and instititutions established by the immigrant communities should be supported, as they are the ones who knows the immigrants and immigration best. They should be encouraged to work on this issue if they are not doing it already. In that respect, Australia is in a very good position among the developed states; but there can be additional things to do. For example, it would be helpful to have think tanks that would direct the social and cultural activities of Turkish immigrants to a larger solution of immigrant issues, that would guide them create new ideas towards the introduction of Australia to Turkey and Turkish countries, and that would produce ideas that could conduct public diplomacy and economic cooperation between two countries. The activities done by immigrants to improve the band value of Australia would be more genuine and lasting, I believe.
It should not be forgotten that the immigrant might have prejudices for the target country and its people. The destruction of this prejudice is only determined by the attitude the immigrant receives from those people. One of the biggest troubles of forced immigrants is the fact that they can never go back to their home countries. Therefore, they may believe that they have nothing to lose, which, in turn, makes their problems during the integration process sharper and insolvable.
If the problems of the voluntary and forced migrants are not solved in time, or if despair prevails among the immigrants, the problem of “radicalization that causes material and moral damages” can occur. In addition to providing the basic needs of the immigrant such as food and accommodation, their legal needs, such as citizenship and residency, and social needs such as language, education, cultural adaptation should also be solved without delay in order to hasten the integration process.
It is necessary to diagnose the problems of the forced and voluntary immigrants, take each of them seriously and seek for solutions for each of them. Dealing with one problem and totally ignoring others, also weakens the solution for that spesific problem. Therefore, the institutions established within the immigrant communities and supported by the Australian state are important even though their area of influence is yet small.
We should accept that the civilization and development established by voluntary immigrants have been changing the face of the world. Having voluntary immigrants increases a country’s power and brand value. The twentieth century has been the age of labour migration, and it seems to be continuing in the 21st century as well. These migrations have had political, economic and social effects for both the source and target countries. Even though migration gives short-term gains to the source countries, in the long-term the target countries become the ones who gains most out of this migration process, with a correct administration of immigration and immigrants.