Historically, the overall contribution of migrants to the economy and wealth of hosting countries has exceeded their costs. Migration helps address labour market imbalances, and migrants contribute more in taxes and social contributions than they receive in benefits.

However, increasing opposition to migration is expressed in political rhetoric and social media. Xenophobia and racism are galvanised by populist discourse that serves domestic political interests. A climate of intolerance facilitates the passing of discriminatory laws and the introduction of measures against migrants that contradict fundamental human rights. Additionally, public misinformation campaigns and the diffusion of fake news through social media make public opinion more receptive to extreme actions such as forced expulsions and building walls between peoples. The UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Healthmakes a strong case for action to respond to the health needs of migrants while maximising the benefit from migration. The Commission provides evidence that discredits those who promote intolerance and shows that mortality is, on average, lower among migrants than people in host countries.