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To totally confuse matters further many economic migrants, mainly young men, join this river of people, throwing away their passports and claiming to be Syrian
The benefits to the host countries are easy to see: Economic migrants often work harder for less money than locals.
But Refugee Council chief executive Maurice Wren said: "The minister's sweeping judgment that the majority of people arriving on Europe's shores from some of the world's biggest refugee producing countries are economic migrants is utterly startling.
If the West plays by Adam Smith's rules and doesn't provide protection to its industries, economic migrants won't knock on its doors.
As well as a National Insurance proposal, which would apply to non-EU economic migrants only, CentreForum's report contains plans to extend the period before EU migrants can claim out of work benefits to 12 months.
However, many economic migrants are subjected to different types of abuse at the hands of their employers, including to rape and torture.
Italy has seen a sharp increase in arrivals of economic migrants and refugees in recent weeks.
The remaining chapters present case studies of migrant inequalities and integration, discussing the experiences of asylum-seekers and refugees, economic migrants and long-term residents, and migrant families from around Europe.
While Israel acknowledges that some may be genuine refugees from war-torn countries, it has no system for registering them as refugees; most of the border crossers, Israel says, are economic migrants seeking work in Israel.
The Egypt-Israel border has become a major transit route for economic migrants, asylum-seekers and drug-smugglers.
Spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy said most of those stuck in Sebha are economic migrants from Chad, Libya's poor southern neighbour, and lack the money or health to cross the desert to get home.
Economic migrants as other foreign investors are disinterested in making investments in Macedonia and according to estimates this situation is likely to remain the same unless the business climate improves.