Necesarios pero no queridos

NUEVA YORK – Baruch Spinoza, el filósofo holandés del siglo XVII, Benjamin Disraeli, el primer ministro británico del siglo XIX, y Nicolas Sarkozy, el presidente francés del siglo XXI, tienen algo en común: todos fueron hijos de inmigrantes. La gente migró a otros países durante miles de años –para escapar, prosperar, ser libres o, simplemente, para volver a empezar-. Muchos de ellos enriquecieron sus tierras adoptivas logrando grandes cosas o procreando hijos que así lo hicieron.

Las nuevas olas de inmigrantes rara vez son populares, si es que alguna vez lo son. Pero muchas veces son necesarias. Muchas personas migraron a los países de Europa occidental desde el norte de África y Turquía durante el último medio siglo, no por la generosidad occidental, sino porque se las requería para esos empleos que los nativos ya no querían hacer. Sin embargo, se las trató como trabajadores temporarios, no como inmigrantes.

Una vez que el trabajo estuviera hecho, se suponía que los migrantes volverían a casa. Cuando quedó claro que la mayoría había elegido quedarse, y que a ellos se sumaban sus familias, a muchos se les permitió, a regañadientes, convertirse en ciudadanos de estados europeos, sin necesariamente ser tratados como tales.

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