Immigration is an act of moving from one’s country to another. It can result from different reasons, which include war, political instability, economic instability, and even the search of greener pastures. Immigrants are the human beings involved in immigration that move from their home country to another one with an aim of bettering their lives. This is a complex phenomenon and demographic in nature. This is a contemporary issue, since it has been a major source of demographic change in the country. Immigration in the US has been a major contributor to population and cultural growth and change. This is the area, where the nationals of the country have found an issue affecting them, due to the changes it has brought in political, economic, and social aspects of the country. Immigration, as a whole, has brought forward some controversies ranging from the economic benefits, ethnicity, job opportunities and allocation, as well as settlement patterns. It has also brought an impact on the country’s politics, due to the changing voting patterns and behavior. Immigration has also instilled a lot of fear to the residents of the country, since there are those, who enter the country illegally; hence, posing a threat to the security of the country (Steven 20).
Human beings, as the rational consumers, will always aim at improving their status and the utility level. Therefore, the immigrants move in response to the urge to improve their living conditions. If in a country there are certain obstacles preventing this to happen, then the person moves to another one if the situation allows. The US system of immigration was well defined on the broad parameters during a meeting on labor market and other economic needs in the country that was conceived in mid-1960s. Though, since then the world economies including that of the US have changed a lot; therefore, the system’s provisions had to be updated. This was done in the Immigration Act of 1990. Due to the change in the world’s economies, there has been an economic recession; hence, the country’s economy has also to be competitive.
Immigration increase can be attributed to the fact that the world has become a global village, due to the improvement of technology. Competitiveness of the economies has brought about many factors, which include workforce and educational development, cultural values, and social environment, which favor the residents. It can also be due to the great educational institutions that train and educate great thinkers, like doctors, engineers and mathematicians. Technology in a country is also an important factor, because it helps in the process of innovation and, further, in marketing of such innovations. Big companies and corporations can also help to develop a country’s economy by having a competitive advantage due to the physical and human capital investment policies set by the government. A good and cooperative government culminates it all, because it helps to create stable, supportive, and predictable policies.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The research questions which will form the objectives of this paper include:
- What is immigration and what are its effects on the US politics?
- What is the history of immigration in the US?
- Does immigration have any benefits to the US nationals?
HISTORY OF IMMIGRATION TO THE USA
History that involves immigrants from their countries to the USA is defined by many different factors. One of the major factors is their country of origin. It has been made a continuing program for the immigrants and the government had to have proper records since that time in history. The place they come from has been explained; facts and figures have shown that the immigrants mostly come from the most populated areas in Asia and Africa. The earliest immigrants started arriving in the US as early as 1600 AC, when some British colonists came and settled around the east coast. Immigration history was boosted further with Africans being brought in as slaves. In 1965, the country has brought an end to the numerical restriction. Moreover, there was the advent of cheap air travel between countries. This advent made it easier for more people to travel from one country to another, and this increased the quantity of immigrants to the significant number. The attitude of the natives and their view towards the immigrants has kept on cycling from being favorable to being hostile and vice versa since 1790.
Between the years 1850 and 1930, about 5 million immigrants were recorded moving from Germany to the United States of America. The peak of immigration was recorded in the years 1881 and 1885, when approximately a million Germans left their country to settle in the US. This peak was facilitated by the fact that there was the invention of the steam engine around that time. The steam engine made it easier to have larger and faster ships; hence, the fares went lower. Later on, in the 19th century, an airplane was invented; it made things significantly easier and travelling from one country to another was not a problem at ll. Education system in the US has also brought in a number of immigrants to the country; hence, many young people coming to the country for the purpose of studying then become residents and obtain citizenships.
BENEFITS OF IMMIGRATION TO THE USA
One of the factors, which have been crucial in the construction of the country’s economy, is the labor workforce. This aspect is crucial to making the economy gain a competitive advantage over other economies. One of the things that have led to the country improving its workforce, human skills and technology is the point of having international migration. The constantly increasing number of countries getting and attracting more immigrants is evidence to this. These countries range from the middle income to the high income ones. Immigration to countries has proved to be very beneficial to them, because the incomers cover the skills deficit and also skill and location mismatches in a country. This has been proved statistically in the United States of America. The immigrants also provide cover for the labor shortages in the countries that has aging population and low fertility in birth rates.
If a country due to the dynamic economies feels that it is not producing enough of its educated workers, is in need to build a reasonable amount of work force, is lacking propel innovation and invention; hence, it has to outsource. To be properly competitive a country must produce natural scientists, IT specialists, engineers, economists, and health professionals among others. Immigrants move to a country to make oneself better off; hence, he/she is very much satisfied if offered a work placement at a favorable condition, in comparison to what is available at one’s home country (Roenblum 27).
Most immigrants move to the United States of America because they got sufficient skills and a great ambition to acquire profit in the market. When an immigrant moves into the country and gets a job, he/she is not the only one, who benefits. At the same time an employer, who found a skilled and willing to work employee, is getting certain benefits. The consumers in the country are also becoming better off, since they enjoy goods at a lower cost due to higher output that the immigrant’s availability has made possible. The higher the output is, the lower the costs are. This happens due to the economies of scale or the benefit of numbers. This also leads to the product quality improvement. Immigrants also bring with them competition for employment places in the market; hence, allowing the employers to have a choice and employ only the best workers available in the market.
In some countries some structural changes are very important. This is because some changes to accommodate the immigrants for them to have a positive impact on the country’s economy, the logistics procedures have to be changed. The immigration system is a very responsive system; hence, demands economies that respond to its changes. As the global recession is on the rise, the immigration policy has also to be more nimble; hence, we should focus on the positive impact brought by good immigration policies (West 23).
In the US, for example, being our study case for this matter, the country has adopted and embraced the importance of immigrants to their economy. This has led to the government introducing a regulatory measure to control immigration and, on the other hand, to prevent the illegal immigration into the country, which would definitely have adverse effects on the country. The US has brought in an immigration policy that only admits immigrants into the country through the four different independent streams, which will be discussed further. The first stream is humanitarian basis. It seeks to resettle the homeless in the form of refugees, also offering proper protection to the asylum seekers.
The second basis is that of family unification, which seeks to re-unite families that have partners being non-Americans. The third basis of immigration that the country offers is that of the employment basis. This is whereby an immigrant applies for visa with certain qualification, and intends to work in the country. The fourth and the last basis for entry into the US is diversity. The US government allows in the immigrants from the different ethnic backgrounds for the diversity purposes (House of Lords-Select Committee on Economic Affairs 34).
Many people every year apply for the US visa; hence, the demand for the legal immigration definitely exceeds the supply for all of the four streams, which the country has allocated. In responses to this, America offers either a permanent or a temporary employment visa. The permanent employment visas are not many, as they only account for 15 percent of the overall quantity of visas given by the government on the annual basis. The stream on economics and employment gets a higher number of slots each year in order to improve the country’s economic growth. It is, however, driven by the concept of economic benefits and the economic costs that are brought forward due to their migration into the country.
Economic effects of immigrants to a country vary from one country to another; therefore, they are as complex as are the differences in them. However, one economic benefit, which is felt immediately, is a great contribution to the labor market in the US economy. This is by allowing the US firms to employ and hire workers, who are immigrants, across the skills continuum. In the country, foreign students, highly skilled researchers, and even workers of different disciplines are adopted if they can offer exceptional skill and benefit the country’s economy (Steven 44).
In the US a law was passed in 1990, to substantially expand the number to increase the number of visas available for the highly skilled laborers and exceptionally educated immigrants. Low skilled immigrants in this case have also been instrumental in the provision of labor, as it is a little bit cheaper; hence, reducing the cost of production to the firms in the country, which, in turn, significantly reduces the prices of goods in the market. Though immigration is important in a country, it is argued that it reduces the relative wages of the native workers, who are low skilled.
The current system of employment of employment in the US has openly supported immigration, and is based on the employers’ recruitment. This policy helps in making a strong benefit of efficiently screening the potential laborers to a point of satisfaction of the employer getting a good potential labor market immigrant. This helps to improve the quality of work done by the laborers; hence, the quality of the output produced.
A very good policy on immigration is of essence because providing and getting the best results from immigration is very important. It is well explained that a small change in the attributes, such as education, experience, or even skills, can lead to a big implication on the market outcome. The labor market in the country should be designed in a way to address the four following problems.
The first problem that the system faces is the lack of the reliable information on the way how immigration can influence a country’s economic position. In this problem the US market does not have information that is gathered systematically, well analyzed, and disseminated to the public or the necessary bodies, and the feedback taken constantly, so as to inform and advice the policy makers adequately. To solve this problem the country should seek to provide a system that can collect and release information in a proper way.
Another problem constantly faced by the system is that the immigration laws are very inflexible, not frequently modified, and very irresponsive to the shifts in the labor market and broader economic needs. This is a problem that the government needs to address as soon as possible, because it cannot lock out some of the immigrants, who can help the country’ economy. The government should ensure that the laws are constantly updated and modified for the benefit of the country.
The third problem that faces the country’s system is that the congress doesn’t have a very reliable process that can systematically evaluate and constantly improve the labor market immigration trend, and to use the information to be the basis for giving and providing employment based visa. This becomes a problem, when updating the information on visas, as the government may give more visas than necessary. It is, therefore, important to improve the country’s information center. Another problem that the system may face is that of persuading the highly skilled personnel to take up non-immigrant visas, so that they can become the country’s citizens. A good example is the scientists. The country may spend too much amount of the resources (both time and monetary) on training an individual only for him/her to set off to offer his services to another country. This leads to the ‘brains-loss’ of the country.
In conclusion, it is obvious that immigrants are very important to the economy of a country. They provide a very good platform to the development of the United States of America. They provide labor and expertise for the country; hence, certain policies should be set aside to ensure that they are well instituted into the country for the benefit of everyone. A country, which provides a good platform for the immigrants to give their best to the country, in the long run gets very good results in terms of economic growth. In the process of allowing and giving opportunity to the immigrants to the country care should be taken because of the rise of terrorism in the world, so that security issue is also taken care of. The immigrants also benefit, just as the country benefits, since they get proper accommodation and good environment to improve their economic power and well-being (Geigenberger 22).