Immigration can be defined as the international movement of people from one country into another country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle or reside there, especially as permanent residents or naturalized citizens, or to take-up employment as a migrant worker or temporarily as a foreign worker. Immigration has been around for a very long time now. People have been moving from one country to another since the very early days. We are going to look at the pros and cons of immigration to a country.
1. Job vacancies and skills gaps can be filled: Immigration can allow people with varied expertise to move to another country where the specific expertise is not available and settle there.
2. Economic growth can be sustained: Immigration has led to increased economic growth since as people move into other countries, they bring in some level of expertise that was not initially available which leads to job creation.
3. Services to the elderly: Services to an ageing population can be maintained when there are insufficient young people locally.
4. Increased pension and taxes to the economy: The pension gap can be filled by the contributions of new young workers and they also pay taxes which increases the overall tax bracket of the country.
5. Immigrants bring energy and innovation: When people move into new countries, they usually bring with them new energies and creativity that was not there initially which also contributes to the growth of the economy.
6. Host countries are enriched by cultural diversity: Immigrants usually bring with them some new level of diversity as far culture is concerned.
7. Failing schools (and those with falling numbers) can be transformed: Immigrants come in numbers and add to the numbers of already failing schools by rejuvenating them and transforming their standards.
8. Foreign Direct Investment: Developing countries benefit from remittances (payments sent home by migrants) that now often outstrip foreign aid.
9. Unemployment is reduced and young migrants enhance their life prospects: The immigrants also benefit from immigration because the young immigrants are accorded the same opportunities as the citizens and are able to improve their life’s prospects.
10. Returning migrants bring savings, skills and international contacts: When they go back to their countries, the returning immigrants take home more skills and savings which go to improve the living standards of the people back at home.
1. Depression of wages may occur but this seems to be temporary: Sometimes when immigrants go to a destination country, they may infiltrate the workforce which increases the availability of labor and this may decrease the cost of labor.
2. Reduced quality of work: Having workers willing to work for relatively low pay may allow employers to ignore productivity, training and innovation.
3. Migrants may be exploited: In many cases, immigrants who move into a destination country are usually subjected to inhumane treatment and may end up being exploited by the employers of the host countries.
4. Increases in population can put pressure on public services: As the immigrants come into a country, they contribute to the increase in population which may, over time, put a strain on the already low resources.
5. Causes Unemployment: In some cases, unemployment may rise if there are unrestricted numbers of incomers into a country which may pave way for other social ills.
6. There may be integration difficulties and friction with local people: Immigrants may not feel welcome in a country of destination and they may be subjected to ill treatment by the locals of the destination country.
7. Large movements of people lead to more security monitoring: As immigrants move into a country, it may cause a breach of security since most people from different countries may not always be straight forward people.
8. Crime: In some extreme cases, ease of movement may facilitate organized crime and people trafficking which may lead to security concerns among locals.
9. Economic disadvantage through the loss of young workers: When immigrants move from their country of origin to their destination country, they leave their country economically disadvantaged since they deny it the manpower it requires to grow.
10. Racism: Immigrants are sometimes subjected to inhumane treatment that boarders on racism and this may lead to violations of their human rights in the destination countries.