Immigration is one of the controversial issues in the United States of America at present. The current President Donald Trump and is a strong criticizer of immigration. Many others in America believe that immigration has caused many social, cultural, demographical, political and economic problems in the country. At the same time, a lot of people in America still believe that immigration is a blessing for the country. As per their views, immigrants played a huge role in stimulating economic growth in the country. It should be noted that labor costs in America is extremely high at present because of manpower shortage. Many of the locals in America are still reluctant in accepting hard labor oriented professions. They are keen on accepting white collar jobs only. This paper argues that immigration may help America to solve the manpower shortage problem and thereby help the country to increase its competitive power in international market.
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One of the strongest criticisms against immigration is that uncontrolled immigration may cause demographic problems in America. Critics believe that immigrants from diverse cultures to America may cause immense harm to American culture. According to Rouse et al. (p.860) “one of the primary concerns raised by many Americans is that the influx of immigrants has a potentially negative effect on American culture, particularly if these immigrants are not willing to conform to the American way of life”. Criticizers often cite 9/11 incident and other terrorist activities in order to substantiate their arguments. However, they are forgetting the fact that the 9/11 incident was caused not by the immigrants but by the terrorists from outside. “The U.S. Congress, in the days following September 11th, passed The USA Patriot Act. Section 412 of the Patriot Act permits the attorney general of the United States to detain aliens he certifies as threats to national security for up to seven days without bringing charges” (Siggins). The patriot act is a controversial one. In the name of this act, a lot of unlawful activities are currently going on in America. For example, it is a common scene in American airports now that the visitors from a particular community undergo body scanning. For example, India’s former president and world famous nuclear scientist APJ Abdul Kalam (US airport security measures and double frisking of Kalam) and Bollywood celebrity Shah Ruk Khan were forced to undergo body scanning in American airports recently. It is evident that America wants to restrict immigration of people from certain countries only.
Arizona has recently introduced a controversial immigration act in its territory which clearly indicates that American attitude towards immigration is changing drastically. “This law was the broadest and strictest immigration measure in generations, would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally” (Archibold). Even if America prohibits the entry of all foreigners in their territories, terrorist activities may takes place through other channels. Legal immigration dropped by 34% between 2002 and 2003, not because of the sluggish labor market but because the terrorist attacks on September 11, 200l (Kaushal et al). At the same time, the number of people who enters America through illegal channels is increasing. In other words, America’s effort to eliminate terrorism through policies and procedures failed to bring the desired result. America may succeed in restricting legal immigration, but the country may struggle to restrict illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants may cause more harm to the country than the legal immigrants. Therefore, it is wise for the country to avoid restrictions on legal immigration and thereby discourage illegal immigration.
It should not be forgotten that the current world is extremely globalized and America is one of the major architects of the globalization principles. In a globalized world, it is illogical to argue against immigration. In fact, exchange of workforce and barrier less flow of goods, commodities and resources across the boundaries are some of the major objectives of globalization. Blending of different cultural elements for the creation of a unified culture is another objective of globalization. Under the above circumstances, it is illogical to argue against immigration.
The economic growth of many of the American states is controlled by immigrant people. For example, California is one American state in which large magnitudes of immigrants are staying. A vast majority of these immigrants are illegal immigrants. It should be noted that California is very close to Mexico. As a result of that, Mexican people can easily cross the borders. It is estimated that more than three million illegal immigrants are there in California alone. Californian authorities are not much concerned with illegal immigration because of the contributions given to Californian industries by this immigrant community. In fact the economic growth of the state is heavily dependent on the contributions of the illegal immigrants. Mexicans in California are ready to accept even hard jobs in industrial units even if the salaries are extremely low. Normally such jobs are omitted by the locals. Americans still interested in easy jobs which pay them better. In fact, California is the cheapest labor market in America, because of the readiness of the illegal immigrants to undertake lowly paid hard jobs. The companies operating in California are able to compete effectively with other companies in international market because of the immigrant community.
Today, most of the American politicians are bit concerned about the capital outflow in the form of outsourcing and offshoring. Former American president Obama was a strong criticizer of outsourcing and offshoring. Many of the American companies have already shifted their operations to cheap labor oriented countries such as China and India in order to exploit the cheap labor there. Moreover, many of the American companies are currently outsourcing their jobs to countries such as India. In other words, it is difficult for American companies to compete effectively in the market if they try to manufacture their products in America. This is because of the fact that the labor cost in America is extremely higher compared to that in many other countries. Under the above circumstances, restriction of immigration may prevent American companies from exploiting cheap labor which is coming to America in the form of immigration.
Americans often claims that they are the most civilized nation in the world at present. America is a secular democratic state in which democratic principles and human rights are valued and respected. It is a fact that people from different parts of the world are currently staying in America. Most of these people contribute heavily to the economic growth of the country. For example, a lot of healthcare professionals working in the country are foreigners. Moreover, a lot of foreigners are working in the construction and education sectors in America. It is totally illogical for America to keep a blind eye towards the contributions of these people and argue blindly against immigration.
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To conclude, immigration has brought more blessing than curse to America. The immigrant community in America helped the country to develop rapidly. The readiness of Americans in accepting hard labor oriented professions is still poor. Moreover, Americans never like to work in professions which pay them low salaries. Under the above circumstances, it is logical for America to encourage immigration and make sure that ample cheap labor is available in the country for the exploitation of companies. Otherwise, American companies will be forced to outsource or offshore their operations to cheap labor oriented countries. Such a scenario will cause capital outflow from the country which is not good for the economic prospects of the country in the long run. In short, immigration should not be prohibited or restricted in America.
- Archibold, Randal C. “Arizona Enacts Stringent Law on Immigration”. The New York Times. April 23, 2010. Print
- Kaushal, N., Reimers C.W. and Reimers D.M. “Immigrants and the economy”. In: Waters MC and Ueda R (eds) New Americans: A Guide to Immigration Since 1965. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 176–188.Print
- Rouse, Stella M., Cutaia Betina Wilkinson, & Garand James C. “Divided Loyalties? Understanding Variation in Latino Attitudes Toward Immigration”. 2010. Social Science Quarterly, Volume 91, Number 3, September 2010. EBSCOhost. Print
- Siggins, Peter. “Racial Profiling in an Age of Terrorism”. Web. 27 April 2017. http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/ethicalperspectives/profiling.html
- “US Airport Security Measures And Double Frisking Of Kalam”. Web. 27 April 2017. <http://www.pravasitoday.com/us-airport-security-measures-and-double-frisking-of-kalam>