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familiarizing and eventually living together albeit uneasily and not always on equal footing as the stronger cultures superseded the weaker ones.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
The model answer for Immigration Essay: Pros & Cons
In this post, we have covered the pros and cons quite comprehensively. The structure of the essay is as follows:
- Pros Of Immigration
- Cons Of Immigration
Migration has been one of the most significant issues in present times. With globalization and the ease of movement, immigrants in various countries are on the rise. Both inward and outward migration is highly prevalent because of multiple factors like better life opportunities, family, culture, and others. Migration entails many benefits for both the people who go and for the country that receives. However, the process of immigration and assimilation can get stressful sometimes.
Here are some of the pros and cons of immigration:
Pros of Immigration
1. Job Opportunities
The pursuit of better jobs is one of the primary reasons for people to migrate overseas. Everybody needs money to survive in this modern world, and when your country is incapable of providing job opportunities to enable you to earn the money you need, immigration seems the only option left. Countries like the USA, UK, and Canada are the preferred destination by many who are in search of jobs; all these countries are highly developed democracies with a high standard of living. The USA and Canada most often than not are very welcoming of highly skilled workers. So, if you are someone who has a great deal of skill in a particular field and are looking for better work options than what is available in your home country, you may consider immigration as an option.
2. Better lifestyle
Not all countries provide a similar lifestyle. Sometimes even the richest from a particular country cannot have access to certain lifestyle amenities that are readily available for the poor of another country. For example, Switzerland is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Very few other countries match the breathtaking beauty and the comfortable lifestyle it offers. So, immigrating to a country like Switzerland that is known for a very high standard of living might drastically help improve the way you live.
3. The opportunity of experiencing a new culture
The world is as close together as it has ever been and at the same time, it has never been more diverse. People seem to live in a bubble that surrounds them completely, with partial or complete ignorance of other people and their culture. Even though the people around the world are connected more than ever, the divide only seems to be more extensive. Going to different places and countries to experience things first hand seems to be the only way to get out of this bubble. And the amalgamation of two cultures is always beautiful, by immigrating you would get to experience this unique and fantastic feeling.
4. Safety and Security
Apart from the economic aspects, another primary reason for immigration is safety and security. The modern world is not devoid of conflicts. There are conflicts everywhere from the Middle East to Myanmar or certain parts of South and Central America where drug cartels still make the streets unsafe for people. Having to run from one’s motherland is a terrible ordeal, but being alive and safe matters more the feelings of nationalism and patriotism. Immigration is the best option to take if you are someone from such regions.
5. Reduces burden on homeland
Overpopulation is a hindrance faced by many countries across the world. For example, India is a country filled with a large number of highly skilled workers, but it is also a country facing a high level of both unemployment and underemployment. When a person from India migrates, he leaves his place in the workforce to be taken up by someone else. So, if you are a person who is emigrating from a country with high unemployment rates, you will not only be able to improve your life but also help out your country indirectly.
While the pros of immigration are indeed many, there are some cons as well. And here they are:
Cons of Immigration
1. Adjusting to a new culture and environment
Not many people can move away from the comfort of home to an entirely new place with a different culture and not have a problem with it. The people, the customs, or even something as simple as traffic rules might turn out to be so different from the place you are from originally. And all of this takes a lot adjusting to do, if you are not up for it, then immigration to a new country is perhaps not going to be easy.
While racism is not as prevalent as it was before, it is undeniable that racists still exist. And the most significant proof of that can be said is that Donald Trump just won the presidency of the United States after having carried out one of the most divisive and racist campaigns in the history of the world. What is more troubling is that it happened in the United States of America, a country built by immigrants, a nation that has for a long time been a melting pot of different cultures. So, all this means that you are bound to come across a racist or two wherever you go, it is something you cannot escape.
3. Gaining citizenship can be difficult.
A person with a working visa does not enjoy the benefits that a citizen of the country does. While you may end up paying the same amount of taxes as a citizen, you may not be getting the same benefits. So, it is necessary to try to get the citizenship of the country you immigrate to as soon as possible. The problem is, it is not easy to do so. Obtaining citizenship often involves long and tedious processes that cause a lot of trouble. And unfortunately, there is no way around it.
Hence, it is obvious that there are many pros and cons associated with the immigration process. But constant efforts from both, the immigrant and the receiving country can lead to quick assimilation. This quick assimilation can be beneficial and can help in a fruitful life in a peaceful environment.
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