Migration is not just an economic phenomenon, but rather a complex social issue that should be addressed by policies focused on protecting human rights, warned Archbishop Celestino Migliore during a speech in the Great Hall of Duane Library on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus.
“The phenomenon of migration is occasionally looked upon as a problem to be solved, or is painted as a threat that is manipulated for short-term political gain at the expense of the natural rights of others,” said Migliore, who is the Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.
Migliore recently led a delegation before the UN’s Commission on Population and Development of the Economic and Social Council, urging them to respect the human rights of migrants and to forge policies that reflect of importance migrants to the world community.
He cited that migrants typically have had a positive economic impact in host countries where, over the long-term, they have increased employment and fiscal gains. Alternatively, wide-scale emigration has had a negative impact on developing countries as they have been depleted of skilled labor necessary for growth.
Migliore said that greater scrutiny must be given the large number of migrants in developed countries. According to Migliore, low fertility rates have contributed to migration, accounting for nearly all population growth in developed countries.
“There is a growing awareness that immigration cannot be the single solution to demographic and labor problems of receiving countries,” said Migliore. “It can change the face of regions.”
Migliore was speaking on the occasion of fellow Italian Dino De Poli receiving an honorary doctorate in humanities from Fordham University. De Poli, a prominent lawyer, bank president and politician, has worked tirelessly as the president of the Italian-based Cassamarca Foundation to promote cross-cultural awareness throughout the world. The foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of the Italian savings bank industry, established the Cassamarca Chair in Migration and Globalization at Fordham University in 2005.
Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University, commended De Poli for his “fine and compassionate work through the Cassamarca foundation.” He also noted the longstanding collaborative relationship between Fordham University and the Center for Migration Studies.