Monday, March 07, 2005

Why Prefer Dublin to Lagos?

As a bit of a follow-up to my previous post, there was an article in Saturday's Guardian about Lagos, the capital of Nigeria. Nigeria is, by quite a distance, the most significant source country for immigration into Ireland (pdf). The Guardian's article does provide a timely reminder of what precisely is pushing people to show up in Ireland. It's a safe bet that it's got very little to do with the attractions of the €19.10 they receive a week (and being banned from working) while their claims are being processed. As this report (there's a report on the report here) suggests, push factors are a far greater determinant of migration than pull factors.

Anyway, even if immigrants aren't coming from the poorest sections of society (with the exception of migration from war, this is very rarely the case), the Guardian article does add to the idea that it would be quite reasonable for people in countries like Nigeria to try and make a better life for themselves elsewhere.

I suppose I should add that this claim doesn't contradict the claim in the previous post, which was that asylum systems are designed around the untenable assumption that the claims of each individual applicant can be verified as true or not-true. My point here is that, in general, push factors outweigh pull factors in determining migration.

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