The pros and cons of illegal migration
Illegal immigration is a sensitive matter that needs considerable attention and discussion to many countries especially those that are economically stable. Immigration is an action of moving to another country where one was not a prior citizen by birth then using that country as a place of permanent dwelling. There are some reasons which justify and condemn illegal immigration which I will endeavor to discuss below.
The pros of illegal migration
Firstly, there are overall benefits to the citizens of the country such that the employers will be able to hire workforce at a lower wage rate hence easily manipulating the illegal immigrants which they could not be able to do in the case of the citizens of the home country. People can easily outsource for manual help in doing tasks which they may be unwilling to carry out themselves from the illegal immigrants at a cheaper cost than when seeking help from a professional who is registered as a legal citizen of the country.
Secondly, illegal immigrants have the mindset to work their way up so that they may be able to improve their individual lives as well as their families’ back in their home country. As such, it is excusable to allow them as long as they do not commit other crimes in the process since anyone undergoing financial difficulties would consider relocating to another country with more opportunities for living a comfortable life and improving the lives of close family members as well.
Furthermore, in conducting the search of illegal immigrants and deportation to their home countries may discriminate against other legal residents of the country. As such, law enforcers might question civilians based on prejudice only because they have a foreign accent hence concluding that they are illegal immigrants. The notion is bias since being a legal immigrant in a country does not necessarily imply that one should not have a different cultural background as expressed in the manner of speech, dress on demeanor.
The cons for illegal migration
On the flip side, illegal immigrants tend to take most of available job opportunities in the job market leaving some citizens unemployed. As such, their willingness to work at lower wage rates is the main reason for unemployment of the citizens of the same country. The employers are held responsible by the government to pay the minimum wage to the citizens of the country, but when the opportunity appears to lower it when they employ illegal immigrants; they take it as a way of reducing their operation cost and maximizing their profits as well.
Additionally, illegal immigrants also tend to commit other crimes as they are not aware of the other prevailing laws of the country which they seek residence. Since they enter the country illegally, they may be motivated to conduct crime related activities such as drug and narcotic trafficking across the border. These offenses are met with an equal force of the law which might also escalate to acts of terror meant to intimidate law enforcement and the citizens of the country.
Lastly, as illegal immigrants continue to cross the borders, the result is a population influx making the established systems unable to handle comfortably the emergencies as well as a quick depletion of the available resources due to the unexpected competition. In the meantime, there grows resentment and overall frustration of the citizens of the country who feel aggrieved since they pay taxes yet cannot access the much needed public services.
The immigrant issue is a hot issue in the world today. It is an issue that is affecting all peoples of the world. Today like no other time in history people are moving from their homes for a myriad of reasons that include but not limited to wars, famine and hunger, economic and health problems and other related reasons linked with the human spirit of survival and need to improve their lot. It is a historical issue too whereby the early Europeans especially the Portuguese and Spaniards were known for their navigation skills as they searched for the new world. Continents like the Americas and Australasia were discovered as a result. The resultant effect of this discovery was the immigration of many Europeans to this new lands and consequent prosperity for their home countries and the exploitation of the new lands of their natural resources and labor. Countries like England also forcefully relocated their criminals to outback lands like Australia thereby creating a thriving economy in the world due to trade between the continents.
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Many more Europeans also left the old continent as Europe was referred to then due to poverty, religious persecution and to escape from diseases like the Black Death which plagued much of Europe in the 18th century. They immigrated and flourished in the new lands. Of course this immigration had its dark side whereby the visitors had to conquer and subdue the local inhabitants like it happened to the Africans, Red Indians in America and the Aborigines in Australia. The legacies of this immigration form the basis of the immigration issue today.
As the Europeans moved they took with them their cultures and religions which in most cases were forcibly introduced to the natives of the new lands. As the local natives took up these new traits, assimilation became a fact of life and the reason that it is possible today for immigrants from the south to easily immigrate and settle in the north. It is equally true that the contact through trade like the famous Silk Road with Asia also contributed to cultures meeting, familiarizing and eventually living together albeit uneasily and not always on equal footing as the stronger cultures superseded the weaker ones.
Therefore the immigrant phenomenon that we are experiencing today is not in any way new in the history of man and we are not seeing the last of it. It is only more pronounced today due to the ease of travel and conflict in the world so that instead of a trickle of people, it is happening en masse especially and raising attention. It is also happening in reverse whereby the world is migrating to Europe and the prosperous north. It is reverse migration and the Europeans are complaining loudest. Two hundred years ago it had happened and it was seen as a noble thing.
I am of the opinion that the noble reasons then are still valid today. When man is cornered by circumstances and is at risk of death, the most natural reaction is to escape and survive. This is an innate reaction found in man; if you cannot fight you will naturally flee. This fact should be clearly understood as we look into the immigration issue today. Whether it’s good or bad, moving to survive is a constant. If this is so, the world should then deal with the root causes of this immigration like war and peace, famine, hunger and consumerism, prosperity, wealth and poverty, climate change and environmental conservation, and development partnering as opposed to foreign aid among other like issues.
Every coin has two sides. For the country receiving immigrants like Europe today, it is not necessarily a bad thing as these people will provide labour to this aging continent. Most of the immigrants are young and if properly assimilated they will provide a backbone to the future prosperity of Europe. The future of Europe will not and cannot be all white. This is a fallacy for Europe as it is for the whole world. Today the world is a global village and the earlier we accept this the better the world will be, devoid of racism and other negative ‘isms. It is also what I would call ‘selective amnesia’ on the part of the anti immigrant groups who are largely guided by negative racist ideologies that become manifest in many aspects of social life that include xenophobia, otherness, segregation, and supremacism. They forget the innumerable advantages the immigrants bring to their countries. The immigrants also create a market for products they consume in their new communities. Surely this cannot be a bad thing. However for others it is true that the immigrants take up then scarce jobs available and therefore are seen as competitors and a threat to the social fabric. A spot check on the ground however shows that immigrants usually take the unwanted menial jobs and the people who propagate this argument of scarce jobs are usually good for nothing layabouts who find foreigners a threat. Governments are also not keen to extend their social welfare benefits to the new immigrants. They are therefore vigorously resisting the immigrants stay. This work is left to a large extent to charities, informal social and religious groups, and inter and non-governmental organizations.
The other side of the coin is that for the immigrant’s home country, a void is left behind especially for the trained, experienced and skilled manpower. Due to the lure of the almighty pound or dollar, doctors, engineers, researchers and teachers will flock to the west leaving behind countries with nobody to lift them out of poverty and disease. This brain drain has major negative effects for the third world economies whereby they spend a lot of money to train these people only for them to immigrate and work in first world countries. Today the same countries that suffered from the brain drain are now prospering from the money that the immigrants send back home. This is the irony of immigration. In countries like Kenya, foreign remittances from immigrants make a big percentage of foreign currency earnings, almost equal to the top earning tourism sector. Immigration also helps the world to be a better place whereby peoples are ‘forced’ to appreciate and live with other cultures. Where this is difficult, laws and regulations are put in place to ensure basic human rights are protected. No community can say it is progressive if it cannot protect the weak, disadvantaged and different. This includes the children and the old. As long as there is unequal distribution of resources in the world then man will move in search of better lives like he has done since time immemorial.
Today the world finds itself in a difficult position with the rise of conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. The ‘good’ fight against despots and to curb the growth of extremist terrorists has created a lot of hot spots in the world. This has been contributed also by no small chance by the West’s support for Israel and its right to exist and the Palestine question. All this issues have their pros and cons depending from whom you hear the story. In Africa failed states like Somali have contributed to many refugees moving into neighboring Kenya to escape the al shabaab terrorists who are running large swathes of their country. This has created a security nightmare for Kenya. Kenya is now threatening to kick out the over 1 million refugees it hosts due to limited resources to host them. In Libya the fall of strongman Muammar Ghaddafi led to a power vacuum that has been filled by terrorist groups who are fuelling the immigration crisis in Europe. The general poverty and lack of opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe fuel the search for greener pastures in the West. For the Middle East, the civil war in Syria and the rise of ISIS terrorist group has led to an unprecedented flow of people to Europe. This has become a big issue in Europe that to a large extent led to the British exiting from the European Union otherwise known as ‘Brexit’.
Brexit has come about with British citizens rising against the accommodation of immigrants in Europe. It is a sad day for the world when we cease to become our brother’s keeper. Efforts to stabilize the source of refugees and immigrants should be increased so that all can prosper and thrive in there motherlands in harmony. This is the ideal that we all wish for, however utopian. It’s an ideal that the United Nations Organization cherishes and strives for. Member nations should support the UN in achieving this noble mandate. In the meantime we should be more tolerant of each other and remember that less than 200 years ago the tide was going in a different direction, south and this can happen again, what with climate change! Also color is only skin deep.
Original of this essay you can find at edubirdie.com/blog/pros-and-cons-of-immigrant-issue