The US Immigration Problem Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 19 March 2017

The US Immigration Problem

Statement of the Problem: Migration of people from Third World countries to the United States serves is a desirable feature of globalization, to which it serves as an economic equalizer in terms of capital utilization. There is therefore the necessity of relaxing the requirements for legal migration, and strict implementation of laws on illegal migration.
The increasing surge of people from Third World countries to the United States has marked is loaded with economic realities.

Third World countries are largely composed of poor countries, with GDP amounting to about $200 to $1000 per capita. They can also be characterized as countries (more or less) that have a small capital base that available labor can work on. Nonetheless, because of its small and inefficiently utilized economies, most largely depend on imports and revenues on subsistence local production. In contrast, First World countries like the United States, Japan, and Western Europe have a large capital base and usually a per capita GDP of about $ 5, 000 (Toynbee 804).

Reasons for Migrating to the United States

Johnson (1963:671) pointed out that migration in the United States has always been economic in nature. The establishment of the Thirteen colonies to the founding of the so-called American West was triggered by the desire of migrants to acquire wealth and land in regions termed as “uninhabited.” In the 19th century, migration to the United States was cause first and foremost by civil wars and famine in Europe. An example of which is the Potato famine in Ireland which starved almost one-third of its population (Hall 469).

The United States also served as a place of haven for poor Europeans who wanted to earn a relatively good income in terms of high purchasing power. Nonetheless, it also served as a country of destination for asylum seekers who were persecuted in their native country. Today, most migrants would view the United States as a country paradise, for which they can earn a good living. Migration to the United States is definitely economic in nature.

Status of the US in the Globalized Market

Wallerstein (1974:419) that the status of the United States is characterized by tendencies for domination 3 decades after the Second World War. Economic power at that time is highly correlated with military power. With the administration of Reagan, the United States began to experience labor shortages, and as such resulted to what economists call “economic stagnation.” Reagan responded by cutting down taxes and increasing military spending to increase economic output. This was in part successful since the high expenditure on the military left the government in budget deficit.

During the administration of Bush and Clinton, several measures were implemented to augment the labor shortage in the country. Both presidents decided to invite Third World countries to invest in the country via through labor migration. Third World countries accepted the invitation, and as such created policies that would encourage migration of its citizens to the United States. Just after 5 years of its implementation, the United States began to experience an overall growth in GDP and a currency rising in value. The policies were successful.

Relationship of Migration to Economic Growth and Globalization

The example given above is an indication that migration is somehow related to economic growth and globalization. While economic growth is a requisite for a globalized market, migration too is also a requisite of economic growth. Migration provides the place of origin remittances tranformable into liquid capital. For the place of destination, which is in our case the United States, migration provides the economy with a sufficient pool of laborers for which available capital can be utilized.

There must be however one caution, it should be made clear that the place of origin should be a country with a low capital base and a large labor surplus, and that the place of destination be the reverse characteristic. When this relationship is achieved, under the rubric of a globalized market (where there is the free flow of labor and capital), economic prosperity is achievable.

Another example may well serve our purpose. Bolland and Dollery (2005:21) observed that migration in the Pacific has increased in the past two decades; portions of population in islands like Tuvalu migrated to New Zealand, which by economic standard, is a First World country. The remittances of the places of origin (the labor-exporting countries) are steadily increasing from year to year. Substantial amount of capital is now being utilized by the local population, and as such the possibility of economic prosperity is put into place.

Unintended Consequence

The migration to the United States, although resulted to increase economic performance for the country resulted to the increasing entry of illegal migrants. Because of strict requirements for entry in the United States, migrants used illegal means to cross the country (for example, under a cargo ship). In the US-Mexican border, people usually cross mountains just to get to the United States. The relative prosperity of the United States to Mexico somehow attracted these illegal migrants.

Proposed Solution

Historically, the response of the United States was to enact laws that exclude certain ethnic groups from gaining ground in the country. Examples of which are the Alien Exclusion Acts, the Anti-Japanese and Chinese legislation of 1907, and other related piece of legislation (Johnson 732). Police force was usually applied to violators of these laws, although the arrest became too brutal and unconstitutional (some of the laws were deemed unconstitutional by law experts during that time). In recent times however, the United States is vigilant to issue another set of migration laws (initiated by President George Bush) due to some economic fluctuations that is slowing eating the country’s economic base.

The so-called Comprehensive Immigration Reform of the Bush administration if enacted will include the following strategies to curb illegal migration: a) to secure the nation’s border by putting new made post strategies, b) to secure the accountability of employers to the employees that they hire, c) to create a temporary worker program to curb the increasing unemployment rate, d) to resolve the status of illegal migrants in the country, and e) a general integration or assimilation of new migrants in the country (paragraph 7, section 6 of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform) .

These strategies will have to consider two things: first is that status quo is generally unacceptable, and second the consideration that illegal migration in the United States is generally loaded with economic propositions, as indicated by the increasing number of researches on migration (introductory paragraph).

The United States government is therefore committed to pass this set of laws for the betterment of its citizens and the migrants. The foreclose consideration must and should always be the main precursor of every corresponding law to be passed on migration (paragraph 2). There are definitely many things to be done, like realigning the policy of labor-hiring agencies and government agencies whose main function is to oversee migration patterns and rates.

Justification for the Proposed Solution

The proposed solution of the Bush administration to curb illegal migration to the United States is loaded with safety nets both for the country’s citizens and the migrants. There is however one missing piece in this law. This reform initiated by the Bush administration should contain provisions for the relaxation of requirements for migrating to the country. What is not relaxed are the laws for illegal migration, but the laws on legal migration. This is a significant variable that should be considered. Migration, from a historical and economic point of view, contributed much to the development of the United States both as a political and economic power. Labor migration in particular should be treated as an economic agent for development in the United States.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that the increasing migration of people from Third World countries to the United States and its economic stability is a clear indication that labor migration is a desirable feature of economic growth. The economic growth experienced by the United States today is a characteristic of globalization – the free flow of labor and capital. To further prove the case, Third World migrants are increasing their remittances yearly as reported by Boland and Dollery (2004:16), who further stated that Third World countries are building economies by mutual exchange with economic giants through the process of labor migration. This is definitely the case of the United States and the exporting labor countries. Prosperity would be the result of this relationship.

Globalization is taking root in many countries; countries having subsistence type of economy are slowly being incorporated to this global system. One of the incorporation strategies is migration. Migration serves as an equalizer between countries that have relatively large gap on per capita GDP.

In economic terms, migration serves as the economic channel from which labor may flow from labor-exporting countries to labor importing ones. Capital would then flow from the rich countries to the poor countries. Economic giants like the United States would seriously face economic disasters if they resist the impact of migration. What is necessary is the flow of labor through legal migration; but increased legal migration can be achieved only by relaxing its requirements. To do otherwise would result in an incresed illegal migration to the country (US).

References

Boland, Stephen, and Brian Dollery. The Economic Significance of Migration and Remittances in Tuvalu. Working Paper Series in Economics. University of New England, School of Economics, 2005.

Boland, Stephen, and Brian Dollery. The Post 9/11 US Economy. Professorial Chair Lectures. Paper 1. University of New England, School of Economics, 2004.

Hall, Walter Phelps, et al. 1961. History of England and the Empire Commonwealth. London: Ginn and Company.

Johnson, Paul. A History of the American People. Harper Publisher’s. 1963.

Toynbee, Arnold. A Study of History. (Abridged) Oxford University Press, 1987.

Wallerstein, Immanuel. The World Systems Theory. New York: Academic Press, 1974

Annotated Bibliography

Boland, Stephen, and Brian Dollery. The Economic Significance of Migration and Remittances in Tuvalu. Working Paper Series in Economics. University of New England, School of Econoimics, 2005.

Boland and Dollery’s paper discusses the economic propositions underlying the migration the migration pattern from Tuvalu to other Pacific Islands like New Zealand. There is an increasing rate of migration in recent years in these islands.

Boland, Stephen, and Brian Dollery. The Post 9/11 US Economy. Professorial Chair Lectures. Paper 1. University of New England, School of Economics, 2004.

The two professors explore the recovery of the US economy after the 9/11 incident. They also cite numerous variables, including migration, which may have a positive effect on the US economy.

Hall, Walter Phelps, et al. 1961. History of England and the Empire Commonwealth. London: Ginn and Company.

Hall discusses the historic relationship between the members of the so-called United Kingdom. Ireland during the formation of the UK experienced widespread famine.

Johnson, Paul. A History of the American People. Harper Publisher’s. 1963.

Johnson identified migration patterns in the united States during the time of Theodore Roosevelt and Wilson. Most Asians were prevented from entering the United States to work.

Toynbee, Arnold. A Study of History. (Abridged) Oxford University Press, 1987.
Toynbee provides a clear picture of the events in the world that transpired after the Second World War. America is characterized as an economic and military power in the book.

Wallerstein, Immanuel. The World Systems Theory. New York: Academic Press, 1974
Wallerstein argues that there powerful nations dominate other nations militarily and more importantly economically. This is the best way of instilling fear to “weaker” nations.

Links:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/wallerstein.html

http://www.wave.net/upg/immigration/law.html

http://immigration.about.com/

http://epc2006.princeton.edu/download.aspx?submissionId=60112

http://www.kimep.kz/sse/popdev-k/topics/Conferences/Migration/Immigration.html

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