Thedistribution of human beings in all the five continents of the worldcan be attributed to the process of immigration. Immigration involvesthe movement of people from one geographical location to another.People decide to immigrate for different reasons, but the most commonones include the employment, business opportunities, andhumanitarian. About 244 million people live in countries other thantheir mother nations, but the U.S. serves as a home for the 19 % ofthe world’s immigrants (Orrenius & Zavodny, 2013). This paperwill address key issues of immigration, including insecurity, drugtrafficking, expansion of the labor market, and economic growth.
Immigrationis an inevitable process that is as old as human beings, but themovement of undocumented people has become a major concern in themodern world. This is because people immigrate to different countrieswith different motives, which creates the need to prevent themovement of those who intend to cause harm. The U.S. has about 12million illegal immigrants, where over 75 % of them originated fromMexico (Klenowski, 2016). The law enforcement agencies are able toapprehend and prevent about 10-20 % of people living in the U.S.without permission. This has increased the risk of more than 4million undocumented immigrants getting into the U.S. each year(Klenowski, 2016). Some states are disproportionately affected by theissue of illegal immigration. For example, the state of Californiaalone has about three million individuals who reside in the urbanareas close to the border illegally (Klenowski, 2016). In addition,the issue of illegal immigration is likely to lead to civil conflictsin the future in case the citizens develop a perception that theforeigners are taking their opportunities. Although the issue has notreached this level, employed youths and investors who suffer from thestiff competition between them and migrants might feel disgruntled inthe future. The exponential increase in the number of illegalimmigrants is an issue of concern to the state as well as the federalgovernment.
Therelationship between national security and immigration
Inmost cases, immigrants are motivated by economic factors (such asemployment opportunities) and humanitarian issues to move from theirhome countries to their preferred destination. However, a significantincrease in cases of foreign-grown terrorists has become an issue ofconcern since it is suspected that some terrorist pretend to benormal immigrants in order to access the countries that they wish toattack. In the case of the U.S., the relationship between insecurityand immigration came to the attention of the stakeholders followingthe attack that occurred in September 11, 2001 (Alden, 2010).Investigators found out that 11 out of the 19 key perpetrators of theattack violated immigration laws in order to get into the U.S.(Alden, 2010). The terrorists violated several aspects (such asoverstaying) of the visas that admitted them into the U.S. This hasforced countries, especially the U.S., to reconsider theirimmigration policies.
Immigrationand drug trafficking
Althoughthe majority migrants move into different countries in search forjobs and business opportunities, there a small percentage of themwhose intention is to trafficking drugs across the borders. Thepopulation of foreigners with the intentions of trafficking drugs isless than those who are motivated by economic factors. Their impacton the national as well as the global levels is significant and itcannot be ignored. It is estimated that about 1.3 trillion pounds and6.9 million tons of cocaine and heroin respectively are seized by theU.S. authorities every year (Klenowski, 2016). These drugs are worth$ 80 billion and between 80-90 % of them are brought into the U.S. byillegal as well as the documented foreigners from Mexico (Klenowski,2016). This makes drug trafficking the biggest black market that isassociated with the immigration. There is a possibility ofcollaboration between immigrants and some U.S. citizens infacilitating the movement of illicit products across the border.However, controlling illegal movement of persons can deny the localpeople an access to the black market that has flourished in theneighboring country of Mexico.
Thereare two major factors that make the U.S. a lucrative market for drugtrafficking and a destination of choice for foreigners. The firstfactor is the lack of adequate measures to control borders and limitpeople who get into and out of the country. The U.S. upholds theconcept of globalization, which is based on the tenet of freemovement of the people and goods in order to facilitate global trade(Klenowski, 2016). This has resulted in the implementation of alimited boarder and port control measures. The second risk factor fordriven drug trafficking is the large number of people and cargo thatget into and out of the U.S. each year. It is estimated that over 70million people travel into the U.S. by air and 6.5 million by sea androad (Klenowski, 2016). Although the U.S. authorities are able toarrest about 500,000 illegal immigrants each year, it is difficult toscreen tens of millions of travelers and sort out undocumented ones.This creates a loophole for people without proper identification toget into the U.S., where some of them come with illegal substances.
Inaddition, the issue of insecurity has forced the government toevaluate the border control systems and policies. The main objectiveof reforming the border control measures is to ensure that onlyforeigners with proper documentation are able to get into thecountry. Before the terror attack that affected the U.S. in September11, the country had one of the most porous borders in the world.According to Alden (2012) people could easily get into and out of theU.S. along the 7,500 mile between the country’s border with Mexicoand Canada. The process of scrutinizing the visa was described asbeing cursory, where only a few checks were performed. However, theconfirmation of the positive correlation between the level of borderpolarity, insecurity, and drug trafficking has forced countries toimplement strict border control measures. For example, the U.S. hasexpanded its border patrol security agents from 3,000 to 21,000 tocover about 700 mile boundary with Mexico (Alden, 2012). Othermeasures that have been taken include the use of unmanned aerialvehicles and a proposal to establish a wall.
Impactof immigration on the labor market
Immigrationinfluence dynamics in the labor market in several ways. The mostimportant effect is the increase in the inflow of employable persons,who may be skilled, unskilled, or semi-skilled. Labor supplyincreases in countries where most immigrants target as theirdestination and reduce the supply of employees in their homecountries. The U.S. has experienced a drastic increase in the numberof people looking for jobs. An inflow of immigrants reduces wages aswell as the employment opportunities for the local citizens.According to Orrenius & Zavodny (2013) an increase in the numberof foreign employees in several states (such as Los Angeles andMiami) reduced the average wage of holders of high school diploma bynine percent between 1990 and 2006. However, the U.S. has alsobenefited from the inflow of unskilled laborers who take menial jobs(such as construction) that the citizens may not be willing to do.Emerging markets (such as China) have adequate sources of cheap laborfrom their own citizens, which developed countries can only obtainaffordable human capital for menial jobs from immigrants.
Impactof immigration on the national economy
Althoughimmigration at the global level has been associated with negativefactors (such as insecurity and drug trafficking), there issufficient evidence to show that it plays a critical role in theprocess of economic growth. Immigration boosts economic growth byexpanding the labor force and enlarging the national economy.According to Orrenius & Zavodny (2013) immigrants comprise about16 % of the U.S. total labor force. These foreigners, both documentedand undocumented, replace the baby boomers who are continuallyretiring, thus helping countries like the U.S. maintain a steadysupply of human capital in the era of the population aging. It isestimated that about 80 million baby boomers will reach theretirement age within the next 20 years, which implies that the U.S.will rely on immigration to expand its workforce and compete withemerging economies in the production of goods and services. In mostcases, immigrants are willing to accept lower wages. This helps thelocal companies produce goods at a reduced cost. The supply of cheaplabor to the local companies result in a significant decline in thecost of production, which not only allows the domestic consumers toenjoy cheap products, but also the products manufactured in thecountry to compete fairly with imported goods.
Theprocess of immigration has been associated with negative issues (suchas insecurity, terrorism, and drug trafficking), but it also booststhe national economy. Drug trafficking and insecurity are experiencedwhen the government fails to prevent the entry of illegal immigrantswho have wrong intentions into the country. Immigration is part ofhuman life and it cannot be prevented entirely. The government needsto control its borders and ports in order to ensure that thedocumented immigrants who will add value to the country are allowedto get in. A properly control process of immigration expands thenational economy and facilitate the growth of GDP. This isaccomplished through an increase in the number of employable peopleand consumers of the locally produced goods.
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Klenowski,M. (2016). Drug trafficking. Immigration.Retrieved July 20, 2016, fromhttp://immigrationtounitedstates.org/466-drug-trafficking.html
Orrenius,M. & Zavodny, M. (2013). Immigrantsin the U.S. labor market.Dallas: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.