UNITED NATIONS – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging all countries to focus on the overwhelmingly positive contributions of migrants and use "facts not prejudice," warning that authorities who erect obstacles "inflict needless economic self-harm."
Guterres says these barriers prevent countries from having their labor needs met in a legal and orderly way and "worse still, they unintentionally encourage illegal migration."
He was launching a new report Thursday that will feed into upcoming negotiations on a global compact on migration.
He stressed that "the best way to end the stigma of illegality and abuse around migrants is, in fact, for governments to put in place more legal pathways for migration."
Guterres said that migrants contribute to international development by their work and their remittances sent home which totaled nearly $600 billion last year.