By John Ralston Saul, The Globe and Mail
If we are honest with ourselves, we know that immigration and citizenship have never been, at their core, linked to money. Some come with finances – but most have little or none. And we have had a growing number of highly educated immigrants. But what makes our system work, including its economics, is the ethical idea that immigration is inextricably bound to citizenship and therefore to belonging. That idea of belonging is not tied to conformity – to the idea that we must melt into a mold which will make us all the same.
The astonishing thing is that studies everywhere in the West – by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the European Union, by American universities – all demonstrate the positive economic force of immigration, whether it be its effect on growth, innovation or wealth creation. They all show that, financially, immigrants contribute more to social services than they receive.