Illegal Immigration as a Threat to Hosts and Immigrants

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Topic: Sociology
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The pursuit of a better life has led to people using all means possible to migrate to developed countries. People hold the perception that developed countries offer numerous opportunities that might help them to improve their living standards. A majority of the developed countries do not accommodate immigrants (Liu 2549).

As a result, people opt to move into the countries illegally, hoping that they will secure jobs and live a better life. Today, illegal immigration has become a major problem in the European states as well as the United States. It does pose not only a threat to the host nation but also the immigrants.

One requires revisiting the history of illegal immigration to understand its dangers. Before the 19th century, people moved freely from one country to another. There were no restrictions on movement (Ahmad 855).

However, at the end of the 19th century, nations like Canada, the United States, Netherlands, and Australia came up with laws that limited the movement of people into the countries. The objectives of the laws were not to curtail immigration, but to avoid chances of criminals getting their way into the countries (Liu 2554). The laws aimed at ensuring that anarchists and communists did not migrate into the countries.

In the late 19th century, countries began to see illegal immigration as a threat. Nevertheless, the threat was not quite pressing at that time. The challenge of illegal immigration became severe in the mid-20th century. Today, countries have numerous laws that restrict illegal immigration. Nevertheless, no country has managed to stop illegal immigration (Newton, 17). In spite of the United States erecting wired fences and mounting border checks, illegal immigrants continue to find their way into the country.

One of the significant consequences of illegal immigration is an increase in crimes. Nevertheless, it is imperative to note that illegal immigration is not the sole contributor to increased criminal activities. Another consequence of illegal immigration is the rise in the unemployment rate. Illegal immigration exacerbates the rate of unemployment in developed countries. The immigrants accept to work for lower wages, therefore leading to the local people losing their jobs (Ahmad 867).

Illegal immigrants serve as sources of cheap labor. As a result, the companies go for immigrants at the expense of the local people. Illegal immigration poses a significant threat to education and healthcare. Moreover, it exerts immense pressure on the public sector.

On the other hand, countries spend a lot of money in the fight against illegal immigration. Today, the United States spends at least $90 a day on each of the illegal immigrants held in different penitentiaries. The Center for American Progress claims that the United States spends $41 billion to arrest, accommodate, and extradite illegal immigrants.

Apart from financial strain, another major challenge for illegal immigrants is that they originate from different cultural backgrounds. For them to become citizens of the host nation, they need to mingle and incorporate into the host community. Nevertheless, a majority of the immigrants are conservative and prefer living in isolation (Newton 21).

They do not like to interact with the local communities or adopt new cultures. Illegal immigration facilitates the growth of other serious crimes like human trafficking. Once the business owners get used to cheap labor, they no longer hire local workers who demand high wages. Eventually, they engage in human trafficking as a way to procure cheap labor from foreign countries.

Illegal immigration has numerous benefits to the host country. The immigrants help to boost the economy of the state. Illegal immigrants pay sales tax that contributes to the revenue of the host nation (Nadadur 1038). The sales tax has immediate economic benefits to the country. Apart from paying sales tax, illegal immigrants also act as a ready market for various goods and services (Dixon, Johnson, and Rimmer 21).

In return, they facilitate the economic growth of a country. Illegal immigrants help to uplift economically depressed communities. In most cases, illegal immigrants opt to reside in areas that are economically depressed. The immigrants rent houses in economically challenged areas serving as a source of income to the locals.

Local communities are reluctant to take jobs that are poorly paying. However, illegal immigrants do not choose jobs. The objective of the immigrants is to make money, no matter how little. Thus, illegal immigrants facilitate the production and delivery of goods and services on time (Dixon, Johnson, and Rimmer 27).

Besides, the immigrants serve as domestic workers, thus giving their employers an opportunity to engage in other productive activities. For instance, in the United States, illegal immigrants help in feeding pets, cleaning, household chores, and looking after the old and sick (Nadadur 1042). In return, Americans get an opportunity to work or do business.

People may support illegal immigration on the basis that it facilitates the economic growth of the host nation. Nevertheless, it is imperative to compare the revenue obtained from illegal immigrants with the money spent on their upkeep. Apart from the money spent in penitentiaries, the host nation spends a lot of money to provide health and social services to the immigrants.

Therefore, even though illegal immigrants help to boost the economy, they also contribute to the increase in government expenditure. Rather than investing their income in the host nation, the immigrants repatriate the money back home. Illegal immigrants offer cheap labor at the expense of the local communities.

They eventually render the local people jobless, forcing the government to spend a lot of money on the upkeep of its population. Indeed, illegal immigration has contributed to the instability in the labor market in the United States and other developed countries. Illegal immigrants contribute to overpopulation. Even though the immigrants reside in economically challenged localities, they exert pressure on the available social amenities like hospitals and schools.

Illegal immigration has become a major challenge to the developed states. Today, countries spend a lot of money in the fight against illegal immigration. For instance, the United States spends a lot of money on border patrols and the deportation of illegal immigrants. While proponents of illegal migration claim that it facilitates the economic growth of a host country, it is important to acknowledge that it also exerts pressure on the public sector.

People will not stop entering into the United States and other developed countries illegally as long as they anticipate a better life in the nations. Besides, coming up with stringent measures to fight illegal immigration will only lead to the immigrants devising sophisticated ways of entering the countries. Hence, it is imperative for developed countries to come up with immigration policies that encourage people to follow the legal procedures. Such systems will enable the countries to account for the number of immigrants and mitigate possible challenges that might come as a result of the influx of people.

Works Cited

Ahmad, Ali. “The Labor Market Consequences of Human Smuggling: ‘Illegal’ Employment in London’s Migrant Economy.” Journal of Ethics and Migration Studies 34.6 (2008): 853-874. Print.

Dixon, Peter, Martin Johnson and Maureen Rimmer. “Economy-Wide Effects of Reducing Illegal Immigrants in U.S. Employment.” Contemporary Economic Policy 29.1 (2011): 14-30. Print.

Liu, Xiangbo. “On the Macroeconomic and Welfare Effects of Illegal Immigration.” Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 34.12 (2010): 2547-2567. Print.

Nadadur, Ramanujan. “Illegal Immigration: A Positive Economic Contribution to the United States.” Journal of Ethics and Migration Studies 35.6 (2009): 1037-1052. Print.

Newton, Lina. Illegal, Alien, or Immigrant: The Politics of Immigration Reform, New York: New York University Press, 2008. Print.