why migration is a fundamental human right

Mohsin Hamid in The Guardian:

MohsinI believe in a human right to migration, as fundamental as the right to freedom of expression, or freedom from discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, religion or sexuality. I have come by this belief by migrating myself. (I’m inclined to prefer the terms migrant and migration to immigrant and immigration: the latter two seem to privilege the country of arrival; every immigrant is also an emigrant, and migrant encompasses both.) I was born in Pakistan. And I live in Pakistan. But when I was three I moved with my parents to Silicon Valley in California. I returned to Pakistan when I was nine for a decade, then spent most of my 20s on America’s east coast and most of my 30s in London. I possess a British passport and once possessed an American green card. My life has come full circle, geographically speaking. Twice.

Most of my education has been in the American system. I suspect this has contributed to my discomfort with a great deal of what I see practised around me in Pakistan. I have friends who are non-Muslim; non-Muslims are legally persecuted here. I have friends who are gay; homosexuality is legally proscribed here. An African friend once told me after visiting that Pakistan was among the most blatantly racist places he had ever been. Pakistani laws discriminate against women. Pakistani courts fail to deliver any semblance of due process. Pakistani presidents are frequently unelected generals. My largely American-educated self is continually brimming with disappointment. Yet my largely American-educated self is profoundly disappointed by America, too. This is partly because the US’s bellicose excesses in foreign policy become more visible the closer you are to where American bombs are hitting the ground. But it is also because I studied American history with American teachers and American law with American professors.

More here.

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