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Migraciones: los hechos y las ficciones

LONDRES – En muchos países, el debate político sigue dominado por las migraciones. Y con razón: es una cuestión que afecta a economías y sociedades de todo el mundo. Pero la opinión pública respecto de este tema crucial tiende a guiarse por las emociones más que por los hechos. Esto lleva a una falta de diálogo abierto y eficaz sobre los riesgos de las migraciones, o sus muchos beneficios.

Los líderes populistas, en particular, han sido prestos a manipular el debate sobre las migraciones apelando a cifras infladas y otras exageraciones groseras para atizar el temor popular. Esa retórica incendiaria perjudica directamente a los inmigrantes, incluso aquellos que llevan mucho tiempo viviendo en sus países nuevos. En el Reino Unido, en el período previo al referendo por el Brexit en junio y después de la votación, las denuncias de crímenes de odio contra inmigrantes crecieron un 42% respecto del año anterior.

Pero el impacto del sentimiento xenófobo va mucho más allá de las fronteras nacionales. Si la prédica populista del miedo impulsa a los países a adoptar políticas proteccionistas y de exclusión, el efecto sobre la economía global (y sobre los medios de vida de millones de personas en todo el mundo) será desastroso.

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