So, a few days ago I was campaigning in Munkkiniemi. This older man came to me and asked me about my view on migration – after telling me he was going to vote for Wille Rydman. To be honest, I kind of realized that there’s no way he would even consider voting for me. Why? Because I happen to believe that migration is a good thing and that we do have everything to win when it comes to immigrants.
Immigration comes with both good sides and challenges. Good sides we know, I hope. More people come here to work. They help carry the load of maintaining the Nordic welfare society. Different kinds of people bring their different kinds of ideas – which can create more jobs for us all. And yes, some of the immigrants invest in Finnish companies. But there are downsides, also. It’s not good that we fill only certain neighborhoods with immigrants. They should live among the Finns. It’s also very important that all immigrants get to participate in Finnish classes – this is a society where it’s not easy to blend in, if you can’t speak Finnish. Educating the adults is very important also. This way getting a job is easier. I believe that we can help resolving the challenges by politics. That’s a part of why I’m running for the city council – I believe it’s a way of making a difference in this area of politics, also.
Back to this older man. He followed me to the tram. Even followed me to my seat. Wanted to keep discussing this subject. He claimed that ALL the immigrants come to Finland just to get social benefits. What a long way from different countries in Africa or southern Europe, if all they want is Finnish taxpayers’ money! I told this man, again and again, that most of the immigrants come here to work. He refused to listen. This is the problem. We keep to ourselves and believe only in the things that we ”know” to be true.
Yes. It’s important that immigrants actively take part in our society. (Vote! Vote! Vote! It’s the only way to change the politics!) But yes. It’s equally important that we do everything we as politicians and people (most of all, people) can to give the immigrants all the possibilities they need to become a part of us, to become Finnish.
And this is the way the cookie crumbles.