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Simon, Patrick

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Libération - France | 19/01/2006

Managing immigration

"Immigration is a factor in a country's movement. From a strictly demographic point of view, it compensates for the ageing of the population and stimulates economic and social dynamics. Immigration plays an important role in assuring the social mobility of the population as a whole. Those who were last to arrive push the others up the ladder," Patrick Simon, a researcher at the National Institute for Demographic Studies, explains in an interview led by Catherine Coroller. "In the French case, what has struck me over the last 20 years is how immigration has been seen uniquely as a factor in instability. It is the perception of a society that feels threatened. (...) Our leaders should face up to this reality and move beyond their defensive posture and understand that immigration is a positive stimulus in the transformation of societies. In short, they should consider the benefits of an open society."

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