Impact of mass immigration into the US Unit
Impactof mass immigration into the US
According to the Office of Immigration Statistics, Department ofHomeland Security, 13.0% (40,824,392) of the US population as of 2012was born outside the US. Majority of these immigrants are from LatinAmerican and Asian countries. The number of immigrants has beengrowing steadily. Prior to 1990, about 15 million Americans wereforeign born. Between 1990 and 1999, 10.6 million immigrants enteredthe US which increased to 12.4 million the following decade(Migration Policy Institute, 2014). How do such a huge number ofimmigrants impact the US as a country?
Advantages ofmass migration to the US
The US economy benefits from a highlight skilled workforce ofimmigrants. This is because the country’s advanced economy offersbetter job opportunities and career advancement and developmentopportunities for highly skilled employees from other parts of theworld. This means that the country gets to benefit from such highskills without heavy investment in the training of such individuals.As of 2011, one in every six college educated Americans was bornabroad. These educated immigrants were most likely to be in high-techindustries such as science, engineering. Furthermore, 16% (9.4million) of the 58.8 adults with a bachelor’s degree in Americawere born abroad. About 1.6 million of these were found to beunderutilized (Migration Policy Institute ,2014) It is thereforeclear that the immigrant population in the US contributes positivelyto the growth of the economy
The immigrant population expands the American market. A good exampleis linked to the quest for skills. Consequently, a good fraction ofAmerican education institutions especially in higher learning,comprise of foreign students. These students pay comparatively highertuition fees than local students. Such money assists theseinstitutions to be economically viable and even pay for theiroperational expenses (Ji & Batalova, 2012). The data from theoffice of homeland security also indicates that significant fractionof these immigrants is from middle to high income families. Thismeans that they transfer their home purchasing power and disposableincome from their home countries to the US. Such huge amounts ofmoney are spent on luxury items and in tourism and hospitality. Thesefactors are very important in propping up the economy especially whendomestic consumption of aggregate demand falters.
Mass immigration into the US assist in creation of a global brand.The US is definitely the most widely recognized country in the world.A culture that accepts high number of immigrants from all corners ofthe world have popularized America as a brand. All these immigrantsassist in popularizing and creating awareness of amerce as a brandfrom their home countries. This has worked out very well to theentertainment industry and other American based global firms such asApple, Ford, Dell Computers and others (Camayd-Frexas, 2013). Thesebrands are able to sell globally because consumers they associatedwith a prosperous county known as the US.
One of the most cited effects of mass immigration in to the US is theloss of job opportunities to the local population. This is because asignificant fraction this immigrant population relocates to the US insearch of greener pastures in form of employment. As the world’sleading economic, wages in the US are relatively better than in othercountries hence the desire by some employees to transfer their laborservices in a better rewarding market such as the US (Hayes, 2012)Unfortunately, the growth in employment opportunities in the countryis not equivalent to the growth in the number of employees hence someAmerican citizens and also immigrants end up being jobless. Thisdenies the American government taxation opportunities and alsoincreased government expenses in terms of social support (Centre forimmigration studies, 1995). The proliferation of this problem variesfrom state to state and from region to region because some statesreceive higher number of immigrants than others. For instance, statesbordering Mexico in the south receive more illegal immigrants thanothers which adversely affect the job market.
Mass immigration into the US has led to oversupply in labourservices. This is evident in the relatively high employment casesthat have not subsided since the 2008 global recession. Under theeconomic law of demand and supply, this influx of workers has workedout well for the local employers who have taken the opportunity tolower wages. American employers are more likely to employ immigrantsas they are more willing to accept lower wages as opposed to Americancitizens. This is a loss to the American government as some of theseimmigrants remit back their earnings to their parent countries. TheUS Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that $51.6 billion wasremitted from the US to other countries in 2010 alone.
Mass immigration has been a major cost to the country in terms ofterrorism. The US has been a victim of its open arm policy ofaccepting immigrants from all corners of the world. The most recentreminder is the Boston Bombings that happened in 2013 during theBoston Marathon. The individuals who detonated the bombs wereimmigrants from Russia living in the country. Despite stringentmeasures being put in place, mass immigration has made it difficultfor the US government to fight off the threat of terror. The highnumber of immigrants has made is possible for terrorists to sneak inthe country undetected. Such immigrants such attacks from US soil oreven carry out intelligence gathering work.
Discrimination is a sensitive issue in the US that has been roused bymass immigration. The impact of mass immigration in the country hasbeen mixed. For one, the increase in the number of nationalities andraces in America has diluted the tensions that existed between themajor three ethnic blocks in the country namely African Americas,Whites and Hispanics. For a long time, African Americans have been atthe receiving end of discrimination following remnants of Jim Crowmind-sets that still view African Americans as a lesser race(Department of Justice, 2014). With the growth in the population ofHispanics, arrival of Indians, Chinese people and Arabs, the Americansociety has moved towards integration which has been vital ineliminating discrimination. With time, it is expected the minoritycommunities in the US will surpass the majority white in numbers inthe future.
From a different perspective, mass immigration has fuelleddiscrimination in the US. This is evident especially in publicdiscussions pertaining to unemployment in the US. Majority ofunemployed Americans feel that they would be in gainful employmentwere it not the immigrants. Others blame immigrants for stagnantwages in the labor market. While all these claims cannot be fullysubstantiated, they have resulted in immigrants being looked downupon at the workplace and in other places (Hayes, 2012). Suchattitudes have been accompanied by calls for the US federalgovernment to adapt a sterner policy on immigration.
Mass immigration has made the American society a mixture ofeverything. Nearly all nationalities of the world are represented inthe American society. What this does is that it creates anenvironment of cultural and ethnic integration where differentcommunities have to live and work together. This has fosteredcultural and social understanding that has the potential to eliminateprejudice. For instance, Americans have grown more aware of the needto recognize Islam as a religion rather than a representation ofterrorism (Hayes, 2012). All this has become possible through agrowing Muslim immigrant population that has sensitized ordinaryAmericans on a personal and community level of Islam as a religionjust like any other.
On the other hand a common prejudice of America as a war hungrynation is being addressed through immigration. Following Americaninvasion into Iraq and Afghanistan, a number of communities andcountries around developed a prejudice against the US. Through massimmigration, this masked image of the US as a war monger is beingslowly and gradually reconstructed to reflect a true nation in theeyes of the rest of the world. This transformation is being witnessedin form of legislations (Department of Justice, 2014). The US shouldthus continue to support mass immigration whereby it converts globalimmigrants into its ambassadors around the world.
From the discussion, it is clear that mass immigration into the UShas had a range of impacts on the nation. They range from bad to goodand neutral. However, from an objective standpoint, it is evidentthat the country stands to gain from mass immigration. The countryowes its growth to immigration from the time of Christopher Columbusup to today. This means that the country’s history and destiny istied to mass immigration. This means that as history has proven overthe centuries, selective mass immigration has made and continues tomake the US a superior nation.
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