It may not be the most popular thing to say given the rise of the right wing, anti-immigration, anti-Islam politicians in Western Europe but I'm going to do what politicians should be doing: argue in favour of immigration.
In fact, I hope to illustrate that Europe more than most places on this planet needs immigration and it is immigration that will fuel long-term prosperity, not the racist slogans of "rivers of blood" whose echoes are still heard today.
**Economic Contribution of Immigrants**:
Whilst the focus traditionally is on the costs of immigrants in terms of public services few consider the benefit that an immigrant population brings to the economy. Immigrants provide a welcome influx to the tax base of ageing nations with ambitions to meet growing public services demand by "natives". Most immigrants may not be the high wage earners but they contribute both in terms direct income tax and more so in indirect taxes such as sales tax / VAT.
The very thing that drives immigrants into Europe / America is a sure indicator of the value that immigrants bring to these regions. Primarily, immigrants are motivated to escape the poverty and hopelessness that exists in oppressed or depressed nations elsewhere. They seek the improved living standards and supposed opportunities which the Western media promotes. When they arrive here they generally work, albeit often under dubious legal circumstances, and spend money. Spending money is an important contribution to the economy.
The next most often cited resentment against immigrants is that they "steal jobs". In one sense, immigrants have had to make substantive personal sacrifices and shown greater determination to succeed than perhaps the privileged natives do indeed build enterprises and promote positions within them internally usually in the family unit. This has been the pattern of all immigrants with the notable exception that modern day immigrants do not try to kill or subjugate the natives in these developed countries.
However, the suggestion that immigrants are able to compete with the native population for legitimate jobs is laughable given the innate racism or at least race preference in recruitment by any Western institution. Even if you're a director for AMD you better not bring attention to your origins, race or faith. The only competition that immigrants provide is on the lowliest of jobs, often below the safeguards placed by governments, where immigrants, particularly "illegal" immigrants, are willing to sacrifice dignity in order to attain some prosperity for their children.
**Future Prosperity and Immigration**:
There is plenty of historical evidence to suggest countries that have high immigration experience great periods of growth. There is also some evidence that nations with closed borders and declining birth rates decay and are soon consumed by more vibrant nations. There is no evidence that immigration has been harmful to the long term growth of any nation.
To take a scientific analogy, it may be argued that monocultures are the surest way to get yourself extinct. There is also a strain of historical argument that indicates the success of Europe lies not just in its temperate climes but also in the genetic diversity due to immigration, war and conquest throughout its history. There is no evidence, except the rhetoric of racists, that cross-racial breeding leads to an individual's or more ridiculously national decay.
There is a fear common to any over privileged, minority anywhere in the world and that is the fear of loss of status. White Americans and Europeans realise that in the world picture if not at home they are a minority that can only dominate the world stage for so long. This is indeed the autumn of White Imperialism. It is through this historical reference of atrocities committed and liberties taken against supposed primitive people that haunts white racists as much as it haunts any oppressor.
Racial dogma is not unique to Europeans or their descendants in the Americas. It is a common trait of all imperialistic, tribal people and some socialists would argue the device with which the powerful keep in check their subjects.
Much like the rise of Nazism, it can be noted that the rise of anti-immigrant rhetoric and rise of nearly- or wholly-fascist politicians fit in line with the rise of unemployment, disenfranchisement due to loss of influence in the global economic machine and in Europe greater federalisation. As in the past, immigrants make a good scapegoat because they are visible. It is hard to blame the rapid movement of electronic currency, the cycles of consumer spending and skimming politicians when all you have to do is look on the impoverished immigrants for the cause of economic decline.
The irony is of course that when mainstream politicians take the easy road by not actively promoting immigration and indeed cultural diversity they cause more harm to the economy. Racial tension and anti-immigration policies do nothing to alleviate the economic troubles of nations. Often the assumption with these policies is that there is some wealth that is better distributed to non-immigrants rather than accept the greater evidence that by reducing immigration you reduce economic growth.
Protectionism of markets is arguably advantageous in the short term but long term prosperity suffers. It is like national work programmes or expanding governmental bureaucracy. In the short term it creates opportunities but a truly free market, including free movement of labour, is a surer way to ensure international competitiveness.