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Migrations : les faits contre la fiction

LONDRES – Les migrations continuent, dans de nombreux pays, de dominer le débat politique. À juste titre : la question touche les économies et les sociétés du monde entier. Mais sur ce sujet crucial, les émotions, plus que les faits, déterminent les opinions publiques. D’où l’absence de dialogue ouvert et constructif sur les risques encourus du fait des migrations – mais aussi sur les nombreux avantages qu’elles procurent.

Les dirigeants populistes, les premiers, ne cessent de manipuler le débat sur les migrations, gonflant les chiffres, se livrant aux exagérations les plus grossières pour attiser les craintes des électeurs. Leur rhétorique incendiaire porte tort aux immigrants, y compris à ceux qui vivent depuis longtemps dans leur nouveau pays. Au Royaume-Uni, les crimes imputables à la haine contre les immigrants ont augmenté de 42% – proportion vertigineuse – d’une année sur l’autre, dans la période qui a précédé et suivi le référendum du juin ayant décidé du Brexit.

Mais l’impact des sentiments anti-immigrants s’étend bien au-delà des frontières nationales. Si la peur colportée par les populistes conduit les pays où ils prospèrent à adopter des politiques exclusivistes et protectionnistes, les effets sur l’économie mondiale – et sur les moyens de subsistance de millions de personnes dans le monde – seront désastreux.

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