ISBN: 978-0-241-63220-8

Aida Ibričević

REMESO, Linköping University & PRIO

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From Moroccans reminiscing about crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in their youth for an adventurous gap year in Spain to migrant Filipina hostesses in Japan seeking to be rescued from their rescuers, the author takes us on a whirlwind tour of the ‘migration debate’. Whether you consider yourself to be politically on the right or the left, prepare to have your mind changed as de Haas tells how migration really works. The organizing principle of the book is deceptively simple, as it requires substantial intellectual rigor to sustain consistently: present a common migration myth espoused by politicians of various stripes and endlessly recycled in the media; dissect its components; and systematically refute it with evidence. Following this three-step formula, de Haas shows us, for example, how migration is not at an all-time high; how labor demand is its main driver, and how migrants can support the welfare state. The book is written for a general audience in a highly accessible, fast-paced, page-turning style, but the seasoned migration researcher will find its breadth and depth just as thrilling. Aware of the counterevidence, the migration scholar reading this book might not agree with every single assertion, but the main premise is outstandingly well defended. In busting twenty-two migration myths, de Haas draws on three decades of academic research, fieldwork conducted across the globe, and countless studies to drive home one main point: what we need most when discussing migration is nuance. Since migration is a normal process, the simplistic anti/pro migration framing is just as absurd as, for example, being against or pro the economy, the environment, or agriculture.