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Immigration: Causes and Effects

4 pages
899 words
Boston College
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Immigration is the movement of people from their native country to a different country which they do not have its citizenship. The individuals later settle there in the country as permanent residents. The emigrants cross the borders during the migration process. Currently, there are over 240 million immigrants globally with at least 40% living in less than 19 countries. Moreover, US has the highest number of international migrants living there. Several theories that explain immigration causes, the push and pull factor is the most common. The push factor explains the chief motive for the migration from one's country whereas the pull factor refers to the main attraction in the country the individual wants to relocate to. Immigration, therefore, can be generalized to be caused by some factors which can be broadly classified into political, economic and social.

Economic factors

Different countries have different wages and salaries variations. Anyone would opt to work in a country where the paid salary meets the daily expenses and accommodate saving culture. "Immigrant ows caused (and predicted) by country-of-origin, and geographic factors increase the employment and labor supply in the receiving country one-to-one" (Ortega & Giovanni 25). As a result, some people migrant to new nations where their standard of professionalism meets the earning. To attract more laborers, some counties have increased wages paid to employees at a certain percent, therefore, attracting more immigrants. Additionally, the good living standards availed by the new countries can be another cause of migration. Such individuals run away from their countries to escape the prevailing tough economic conditions in search of economic prosperity. Similarly, such immigrants may have been in pursuing access to the economic resources that lack in their countries. These scenarios are best exhibited when citizens belonging to the third world developing countries migrate to countries where the economy is doing well such as America, where people migrate from their countries in search of employment opportunities.

Political factors

The political factor that contributes significantly to the immigration is peace and stability. There are countries that always experience wars, ethnic clashes, and genocide which put the lives of the people at risk. Such citizens may opt to flee out of the countries that experience such political uprise causing instability settling into those countries as refugees. In reaction to this, they move to countries endowed with peace and stability. Moreover, some individuals migrate to escape from persecutions, abuse, bullying and oppression from their host country and government. Additionally, some countries have favoring political policies on immigration. They allow and welcome other citizens from other nations by guaranteed freedom and security. Other nations allow the immigrants permanent residents by even giving them citizenship and the privilege entitled to it.

Social factors

This is the main cause of immigration. Some of the people migrate to other countries to join the families and relatives who live there, therefore, strengthening relationships. There have been cases witnessed where people left their countries and forfeited their citizenship to be with and live with their spouses. Moreover, students have been on the front row of migration in pursuing of knowledge and studying. This is most frequent in countries where there exist world class education facilities and research centers which act as a major attraction. Similarly, there are others who migrate as a result of their natural character of adventure, where they go to explore in countries endowed by natural landmarks such as wildlife and forests. The wealthy group of people relocates their countries in search of countries where infrastructure is developed to facilitate their comfort. For instance, in Dubai, there has been a lot of immigration as a result of the luxuries found in the country such as the seven-star hotels and the tallest building.

Effects Short-term and long-term

Immigration has impacted both negatively and positively across the globe. This is evident by the various effects that it has been associated with. The politics immigration has been associated with issues such as terrorism and national insecurity. The western front countries are the most affected by the Islam religion presence. Similarly, there has been increased dependency and increase in budget in some countries as The inow of immigrants only increases the overall size of the economy without altering the distribution of income between workers and capital owners (Ortega & Giovanni 27), especially those with high numbers of refugees. If capital is mobile within a country we cannot estimate its response to immigrants with data from one country only (unless we have very long time series) (Ortega & Giovanni 26). On the other hand, immigration has facilitated the transfer of technology from one country to another. This has been enhanced when people with different professions and expertise migrate to other countries, therefore contributing to the addition of more accessible assets to that country. Also, immigration has contributed significantly to the exchange of cultures through assimilation and inter-marriages since Migrants decide where to reside based on utility comparison between locations (Ortega & Giovanni 26). This has played a major role in ending racism in some countries.

Immigration has been a controversial issue with different countries viewing it differently. As a result, some countries have embraced it formulating favorable policies. In contrary, some countries have implemented strict policies and bans on immigration due to the negative impacts that it has caused.


Ortega, Francesc, and Giovanni Peri. The causes and effects of international migrations: evidence from OECD countries 1980 - 2005. Working papers // University of California, Department of Economics, vol. 9, no. 6, Mar. 2009, pp. 142.

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