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Introduction and Thesis Statement
Immigration is the term used to describe the process by which individuals move from their own country and settle permanently in another nation. The actual process of people moving from one country to another is called migration and it is an ongoing since the history of humankind. The people who move to another country are referred to as immigrants to their new country but in their home nation they are emigrants. The law recognizes immigration process and as such permission is usually granted for immigrants to settle in a country and would be a legal immigration (Senker, 2007). However, when an individual enters and settles in a country without permission then it is referred to as illegal immigration. This essay will examine the causes, benefits and problems of immigration facing migrating individuals, their home countries as well as the new nations of settlement.
Causes of Immigration
There are several causes of migration since the ancient times up to the current generations. The first cause is the lack of food in home countries resulting in individuals moving to those nations with enough food reserves. In addition, the migration happens in need of more space for expanding population and sometimes due to conflicts and wars. Moreover, lack of opportunities in home country leads individuals to migrate to get better labor markets with good governance and just governance. Furthermore, others would migrate for religious purposes to countries where their religions are accepted (Ellwood, 2010). These reasons are not conclusive causes of migration and as such any other factor has a potential to cause migration.
Benefits Associated with Immigration
There are affects of immigration to the individuals migrating, their home country as well as the new country of settlement. To begin with the new country of settlement, the immigrants affect the public finance which include the revenues of the Federal governments. This is because the immigrants contribute to the money collected by the state in form of sales and property taxes. Moreover, those immigrants who work in formal employment contribute through income and payroll taxes (The President of the United States & the Council of Economic Advisers, 2005). This is a direct benefit of immigration to the governments of new countries of settlement.
The other benefit of immigration is to the natives of the country of settlement. This is out of the skills and abilities which the immigrants brings in which the natives may not have. This means that where the productive abilities of the immigrants are different from those of the natives then the there will be more economic benefits from immigration. Moreover, the immigrants increase the demand for products and services produced by the natives (Borjas, 2001). This increases business to the natives which has a direct positive impact on their lives as well as the state in terms of income taxes paid by the natives.
In addition, the immigration increases the productivity of native workers. This is because the less skilled immigrants can do a lot of work on behalf of the natives who are then freed to input their efforts in more productive activities. Immigrants are known to be willing and able to do many tasks in the modern industrialized economy (Borjas, 2001). This is because they may be going to another country basically to get work to do and as such natives will be having cheap labor and can concentrate on more productive creativity.
Furthermore, the immigration can lower prices of many products and services which benefit the natives of the country of settlement. This is because the available labor from the immigrants is cheap and easily available thus making the production costs to reduce. The resulting effect of reduced production costs is reduced prices to benefit the consumers. Thus the economic well being of several natives are improved courtesy of immigrant workers who devote themselves to production activities (Borjas, 2001).
Also, the immigration brings in a wealth of entrepreneurs who set up firms in a new country thus creating employment opportunities and contribute to the economic growth. Many expatriates in several countries running industries and large businesses are immigrants. There are cases that the immigrants come in form of education and later settle in the new countries thus putting their expertise in building the firms and industries which benefit the natives. An example is that there are a lot of foreign business personalities have received several awards in the United States for their outstanding contribution to the economic growth (Borjas, 2001).
The individual who is migrating benefits in a number of ways from the process of immigration. First, they get more opportunities whenever they move to another country with more benefits in terms of income. This will directly benefit the entire family of the immigrant because they will now enjoy improved quality of life. Moreover, some of the surplus income may be remitted home to the extended family members who remained in the home country. Therefore the immigrant benefits from enjoying resources of the new country which were earlier not available in their home country (The President of the United States & the Council of Economic Advisers, 2005).
The benefits of immigration extend further to the home country of immigrant. This comes in form of foreign exchange earned by the home country through remittance from individuals who have emigrated. These monies received raise the income, reduce poverty and reduce income risk in the recipient country. The remittance is very crucial especially in the countries where the economic crises are common. Thus the economic growth of home country is a big beneficiary of immigration through remittance from its emigrants (The President of the United States & the Council of Economic Advisers, 2005).
Furthermore, whenever individuals leave the country to another nation, they leave opportunities for fellow citizens who will now get gainful employment. Those individuals will be in a position to provide for their families and the burden of the government will have been reduced. The country will have most of its residents in employment arising from immigrations and when combined with remittance, it is able to develop its economy effectively. It is worth not forgetting that the emigrants may borrow skills from abroad and pass on to the local men who put into practice leading to increased industrialization (The President of the United States & the Council of Economic Advisers, 2005).
Problems Associated with Immigration
Although immigration has a wealth of benefits to the migrating individuals as well as the involved countries, there are problems that do arise. These problems affect all stakeholders of immigration who are also the beneficiaries. Firstly, the country receiving the immigrants will have its public expenditure increased because of increased population. This is because immigrants consume public goods and services such as transportation, protection as well as public education systems. Also, if the immigrants have stayed for a reasonable time in the country they may also benefit from welfare programs which include the food stamps and so on (The President of the United States & the Council of Economic Advisers, 2005). Thus the influx of immigrants could have an adverse pressure on the budget of the country of settlement.
The second problem associated with immigration is that it affects gender proportion. This is because men immigrants exceed women in several countries. The discrepancy in the sex ratio makes the social life to be difficult. Also, the immigration has caused the birth rate of the natives to reduce. Research indicates that as the immigration increased there was a decrease in the natural birth rate. Thus the immigrants have simply displaced an equal number of natives who would have been born if the immigration could not have occurred (Ellwood, 2010).
In addition, the immigration has caused a considerable illiteracy level in the countries of settlement like the United States. This is because the huge number of immigrants is made up of people who are not literate. Although not all the immigrants are illiterate, there are more of them which ultimately lead to increased level of illiteracy level in the United States. The other problem is that immigration increases the rate of poverty and crime. According to the research on the crime rates there are figures that indicate that crime rates are going up with increased immigration. Thus we arrive at the conclusion that there is a high indication that with increased immigrants come a higher rate of crime and poverty (Ellwood, 2010).
There is also a problem that affects individuals who are migrating in the sense that they may leave their country and their relatives for their entire lives. This will mean that if they lose contact then there is a high probability of not meeting their beloved family members who stay back. Thus the emotional attachment would be lost forcing the immigrants to develop without their culture which is lost in the new country. The final problem that we would discuss is that of lost skills in the country of origin. With the migration of the best brains out of the country would lead to reduced productivity which may ultimately lead to an economic crisis if not resolved. Thus there is need that countries put up structures of retaining their best talents so that they are not tempted by immigration.
It is clear that immigration is there in the society and there are no signs that it could come to an end. With it come both benefits as well as problems which affect individuals migrating as well as the countries involved in immigration. The globalization has opened more opportunities and businesses in several countries which has necessitated more immigration. Thus we can conclude that it is a necessary process for the survival of human beings and it helps in increasing productivity of human beings throughout the entire world. The immigration has brought about benefits and problems and countries are looking into ways of changing legislations so as to make their immigration laws to be more profitable to their nations (Sheehy, 2006).