Launched with funding from the International Bar Association Foundation in 2010, Lex:lead runs an annual essay competition on topics of law and development open to students in the world's approximately 50 least developed countries.
The Foundation made further grants to Lex:lead in 20.
Although the biggest benefits go to migrants and their children, countries that receive them gain, too.
This is largely because migrants are different from natives of a country, and their differences tend to complement local needs and conditions.
Even so, many people oppose immigration—and not all are irredeemably racist and xenophobic.
They may be ignorant; sceptics worried about the scale of immigration tend to vastly overestimate it. It may seem like common sense that immigrants take local jobs, until you realise there isn’t a fixed number of jobs, and that migrants also create jobs when they spend their wages.
With the majority published either through the International Bar Association African Regional Forum or the American Bar Association Section of International Law (Africa Committee), Lex:lead's winning essays 2010–2018 are reprinted here.
Openness to immigration is a good thing, as I hope you agree. Presenting rational arguments and evidence is important but often insufficient. Openness to newcomers is morally right, economically beneficial and culturally enriching. It enables people to flee persecution, seek a better life, be with the ones they love or simply broaden their horizons.
Some are more willing to do jobs that locals spurn, such as picking fruit or caring for the elderly.
Others have skills that natives lack, such as medical training or fluency in Mandarin. More than three-quarters of patents generated at top American universities involve a migrant inventor.