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The migration of people from their birthplace to an alternative country is greater than ever before and helps build up a strong global economy, according to a new study published Tuesday by the Center for International Migration and Integration (CIMI), a department of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).
According to the statistics collected by CIMI, which worked together with the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, there are currently 192 million immigrants worldwide, some three percent of the population.
In addition, the study found that the global flow of people to different nations creates surprising economic benefits and generates roughly $315 million worldwide a year.
"In contradiction to widely held opinions that immigration is a financial burden on a country, even experience here in Israel shows the benefits new immigrants can have on a nation," said Arnon Mantver, JDC-Israel's director-general and Chairman of CIMI.
Among the many positive attributes, Israel's waves of immigration have brought a general growth in the economy, as well as contributions to industry and science, Mantver said.
In order to highlight some of these benefits and some of the challenges that come with a large influx of immigrants, the JDC and the Immigrant Absorption Ministry kicked off a two-day film festival, "Moving People, Moving Images," at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque Monday night. The festival showcases films about immigration and absorption issues both here and in Europe.