Immigration is the movement of people into a country of their choice where they are not citizens to reside there permanently. The USA is known as the home of immigrants from the time the country was founded. The population of immigrants in the USA has been growing steadily over the years despite the fact that there are policies that have been put in place to combat illegal immigration. The issue of immigration is associated with globalization since nations have opened their borders. Overall, the population of immigrants in the USA includes naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, and legal non-immigrants like students, refugees, and people who have migrated illegally into the country. The paper will lay a focus on the issue of immigration in the USA since it is the home of many immigrants. The essay will explore economic, individual, cultural, and other impacts associated with immigration trends in the USA.
Current Trends in Immigration
Globalization has led to the integration of the world economies which has enabled migrants to send their remittances back to their home countries. Immigrants are attracted by the economic prosperity in the U.S. where they expect to find better job opportunities. For instance, the highest number of migrants from Africa to the U.S. migrate to source for higher wages in their professions compared to the little wages they earn in their home countries. Currently there are 42.3 immigrants in the USA (Zong and Batalova 1). This number is growing steadily since the immigrants are giving birth to children, and there are still other immigrants who are moving to the USA. Thus, such tendency has become the biggest challenge to the developing countries as there is always brain drain of workers. Education is another pull factor to immigration. There are a high number of students in the U.S. who migrate to further their studies based on scholarships and sponsorships, and many of them end up acquiring U.S. citizenship. In fact, this kind of immigration is conditioned by poverty in their mother countries as well as by lack of proper learning and research facilities in the higher learning institutions. Moreover, refugees and asylees as a result of civil wars and political instability highly contribute to immigration; for instance, the recent U.S. war in Iraq has resulted in over two million refugees.
Effects of Immigration on Culture
Effects of immigration on culture can be connected with the fact that successive immigration has kept the United States demographically young, enriching its culture and increasing the productive capacity of the nation. Hence, immigration has enhanced the country’s influence in the world. Furthermore, the effects of immigration try to predict the current attitudes and future behaviors of the immigrants in the country. Immigration is seen as a necessary component for economic growth in America, but as a result of globalization, many immigrants fear the future. The effects of immigration on society highly spread within the population of the country. The high numbers of immigrants in the country cause strain on the infrastructure and services across the host country.
The high population tendency may increase dependence on social welfare and threaten the national security, for example, through illegal immigration or terrorism. When migrants move into a new country, they experience many challenges such as adapting to the norms and cultural values, securing employment and accommodation, adjusting to new laws, and even learning the new language.
As a rule, a country faces hardships in assimilating immigrants into the communities and ensuring that they have the necessary support. Such challenge creates tension between the immigrants and the local population, which can lead to violence, crimes, and segregation from the society. For example, assimilation of Mexicans into America communities has been a problem. Though Mexicans can speak English, their language does not improve at once because they live in closed communities from other immigrated Mexicans. Hence, it is difficult for them to be assimilated to the Americans.
The Effects of Immigration on the Economy
The effects of immigration on the economy have significant positive contributions as it is the home for the largest number of immigrants in the world. Immigration improves the government fiscal situation because the newcomers pay more taxes to the government than they receive from government services, hence increasing the GDP. They also bring a wave of talent and innovation accounting for a high share of patent filings and senior positions in the top venture capital-funded.
Immigration also gives the country a high economic advantage in the world. For instance, most of the immigrants offer new innovative ideas and entrepreneurial skills to the U.S. economy. Immigrants provide a path for business linkages to outside markets, enhancing American trade and invest profitably in the world economy. Newcomers allow a flexible U.S. economy to increase the number of producers, maintain low prices, and respond to changing consumer demands. For instance, immigrants are represented in high-skilled jobs such as medicine and information technology as well as in the low-skilled jobs such as hotels, construction, and domestic services. Immigration does not cause overpopulation in the U.S. economy, but it leads to the creation of labor force. This characteristic exists because the population growth rate is one percent, which means that without the help of immigrant labor supply, the labor force in the economy would start to shrink.
Effects of Immigration on Education
An effect of immigration on education is one of the most significant challenges to deal with in the U.S. schools. Immigration creates difficulties because there are many variations in language, culture, customs, beliefs, and importance of formal education. These challenges are felt in U.S. schools; for instance, in terms of language variation, students try to learn a subject taught in English yet without being able to speak English. As for classroom cultures, for instance, students can speak to the teacher anytime during a lesson, which is not the case in many cultures where a student only speaks to the teacher when he or she is addressed. However, immigration has also allowed students from other countries to benefit from new skills and experiences.
Effects of Immigration on an Individual
Effects of immigration on individuals brings a life changing decision since a person is required to leave their country, culture, and friends and move to a new state with different customs. Communication becomes a major difficulty because an individual is forced to stop using the native language and adopt a new language. Hence, making new friends and accepting a new social environment become a major challenge to some people. Another challenge faced by individuals is the period they will wait before securing a good job. Moreover, homesickness is another unpleasant factor to newly arriving immigrants. However, in the long run, individuals learn more about new cultures, languages, customs, and norms of the new country.
How Immigration Policies Have Contributed to the Problem
The immigration policies applied by the US have also had a stake in the current problems of immigration. The USA has not been able to establish strong policies that will slow down the rate of immigration in the country. The congress and the presidents have not devised strong policies that would help in resolving the problem. It is like the US has accepted the illegal immigration and that is why the government is treating it as a non-issue. Current policies such as immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 have not helped in the reduction of immigration. It is unfortunate that mass immigration has increased despite the existence of the policy.
The Best Way to Approach Immigration
The best way to address immigration is to develop a pragmatic problem-solving approach. Installing operational control on the borders, such as putting fences where appropriate (between America and Mexico border), as well as erecting aerial vehicles, cameras, and sensors to monitor movements along the borders can be effective. Another way of approaching immigration is enhancing law enforcement at home. For instance, the laws should clearly state serious consequences to American employers who employ illegal immigrants. For example, there should be regular inspections in the workplace. Legal immigration should also be made easier and responsible to the needs of the economy. Due to the high demand of foreign labor, America should put in place a temporary worker program depending on the needs of the economy. Such method will encourage immigration through the legal channels and discourage illegal immigration.
Globalization has promoted immigration to a big extent. Overall, immigration is a common problem in the USA. Immigration has significant impacts on the economy of the US since the immigrants help in building the economy. However, other issues such as social problems increase. In fact, immigration affects culture and education and influences the life of an individual. The policies of immigration in the USA have played a role in the current problems of immigration since they are not strong enough to control arrivals of newcomers.