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Illegal immigration has become a huge problem in the western world. It is subject that has greatly troubled the governments and people alike in recent years. Europe and the USA are the destination of millions of immigrants every year. The whole issue has created a lot of controversial matters that the general public cannot agree on, such as, should the natives and the government help the immigrants get integrated in the country or cast them out, do they have a positive or negative impact on society and people’s lives, what are the consequences of them being accepted?
The United States of America is a very wealthy and popular country so it is expected that a lot of people will want to migrate there. Poor people from the countries of Latin America like Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, El Salvador, Dominican Republic are amongst the ones with the highest percentage of immigrants closely followed by countries of southeast Asia such as China, India, Philippines, Vietnam etc. According to UN’s Population Division, Department of economical and social affairs, the US has the largest number of foreign born residents than any other country with 47 million people as of 2015. That corresponds to 19. 1% of the total 244 million international immigrants worldwide.
US President Donald Trump made his position very clear since the start of his presidential campaign and continues to do so until today. He is firmly against migration. He has spoken multiple times against immigrants, insulting them and accusing them of being responsible for crimes, drug trafficking and putting Americans’ safety and jobs at risk, as it is believed that the native employment rate is decreasing because of immigrants. He has been heavily criticized for wanting to build a giant wall in the borders, between Mexico and the US as well as, for separating immigrant children from their families and keeping them in detention centers which heavily resemble prison. In Donald Trump’s rally depicted in the picture, when he spoke about illegal immigrants he mentioned the case of an 18 year old teenage girl named Mollie Tibbetts who went missing and was later found dead. Her supposed murderer was an undocumented immigrant named Cristhian Bahena Rivera . Although still not proven guilty but even if he is I believe it is wrong to generalize and use incidents like this to turn the majority’s opinion against the integration of immigrants in the country. Not everyone has bad intentions, not everyone is a murderer. If the needed help and support is provided those people can help advance the country. Studies have shown that contrary to common belief immigrants generally have a positive effect on the economy. While a lot of people believe that immigrants are the main factor that is causing the wages to stay low, what a lot of people fail to mention is that immigrants will mostly work on jobs that natives are unwilling to do anyway such as farm work. Which on the contrary means more productivity and economic prosperity in those fields. Immigrants are also a lot more willing to do risky jobs as well.
Furthermore a very interesting study of the mass migration period (1850 – 1920) has shown the long term benefits migration has had in the economy of those places: “locations with more historical immigration today have higher incomes, less poverty, less unemployment, higher rates of urbanization, and greater educational attainment. The long-run effects appear to arise from the persistence of sizeable short-run benefits, including earlier and more intensive industrialization, increased agricultural productivity, and more innovation. “
The situation is quite complicated as there is a clash of interests here. There is no easy or straight forward solution to this problem but I personally believe we should be humans first and try to help these people that are in need. While especially at the beginning it may be very difficult to integrate the immigrants to the country as there exist many problems like housing, education for the children and economical issues, if done correctly the integration of immigrants can have many positive effects. The US is a big and powerful country with many resources. If they are willing to take these people in, they can afford to do it.
I believe people should not forget where they came from. Especially in the US where majority of the inhabitants are of European, African or Asian descent it is extremely ironic to be so racist and have so little understanding and empathy. On the other hand it goes without saying there should be limits because not every single person that wants to migrate to the country can be accepted. A delicate matter like this should be carefully taken care of in order to find a balanced solution.
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