Many countries are often affected by the issue of an increase in the
number of immigrants from less developed countries. The presence of a vast
number of illegal immigrants creates a lot of challenges to the host country,
these ranges from the distribution of wages to scrambling for the available job
opportunities. In most countries it’s hard to ascertain the exact state of
immigration, this is because the number of immigrants often increases every
year (Solano-Garcia, (2009). Also, there is a large number of illegal
immigrants who possess threat not only to the labor market for the natives but
also to the security. According to Eurostat, the number of immigrants in Spain
has increased exponentially, in 1990 the number of immigrants was estimated to
be 390,000 but by the year 2002, the number had increased to 1,980,000 (Ngai,
(2010). Such huge changes are bound huge effects on the host country. Although
there are many negative effects of immigration, other sectors of the economy
also benefit from the presence of immigrants. Immigrants provide cheap labor
especially with the presence of unskilled workforce. Therefore, this paper will
detail the effects caused by immigration to the host country.
One of the significant impacts of immigration on the host country is
that it affects the distribution of wages among the natives. Therefore the most
affected group is the lower or the unskilled section of the workforce. On
average a large number of immigrants fall into the category of the unskilled
workforce, this causes a surplus in the labor force causing a reduction in
wages offered. However, the upper section of the labor force that is not
affected by the immigrants’ experiences an increase in salaries (Sprain, &
Hughes, (2015). This is because the pressure placed by a large number of
immigrants causes most companies to reduce wages paid for the skill set. This
causes a lot of effects on the native workers since they can easily be
substituted with immigrants having similar skill sets but are willing to work
with reduced wages. According to (Yuill, (2014) the native workers can be
perfectly substituted with immigrants having a similar set of skills, as long
as the immigrants have the necessary education, qualification, and experience
it is assumed that they can perfectly execute the roles of the native workers.
According to the statistics from the United States city data the values of
substitutability of the native workers and the immigrants are small, this
implies that the natives can be perfectly substituted by the immigrants (Yuill,
(2014). Thus, unskilled native workers are highly affected by the presence of
immigrants. Since the immigrants are comfortable with the wages offered
compared to the natives, they are considered to be more productive thus contribute
a lot to the economy. Therefore they get a faster increase in ranks and wages.
Immigration also causes a lot of
wage and employment displacement in host countries; this is because most
immigrants tend to concentrate in certain parts of the country instead of equal
distribution. This causes an increase in the labor force in certain sections
while other sections are not affected by immigration. According to (Greenblatt,
(2008) the employment displacement occurs because the immigrants offer cheap
and ready labor. Thus, the natives who previously worked in the same category
are forced to seek employment within other regions that are not highly affected
With an increase in the number of
immigrants in a country, the welfare services and social benefits offered to
the immigrants also increase. This may cause a huge burden to the host
countries if the immigrants are jobless, to add on these most host countries
offer generous welfare services and social benefits compared to the immigrant's
host countries. A survey conducted by (Jennings, (1995) shows that there is a
welfare magnet effect where immigrants move to countries with better social
programs. Therefore, countries like United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and
northern Europe are often affected by immigration due to their generous social
programs. According to (Dustmann, Frattini, & Preston, (2013) weak labor
market forces immigrants to use social benefits. Also, the use of these
benefits has increased drastically among immigrants. (Dustmann, Frattini, &
Preston, (2013) showed that there was an increase in the use of social benefits
among the immigrants from 18 percent to 65 percent between the 1980 and 1990
among the aged immigrants.
Although a majority of the
immigrants who are old depends a lot on the unemployment benefits, those
immigrants who are within the working age limit do not depend on the social
benefits compared to the natives. In Denmark, the rate of unemployment among
immigrants is higher compared to that of the natives. Therefore, most of the
unemployed immigrant will depend on social benefits as their main source of
income. A survey conducted showed that 44 percent of the population depends on
the social benefits as their primary source of income; this was also found out
to be five times higher compared to the percentage of natives depending on the
same (Immigration, & Schiff, (2013).
Natives in most countries blame
the immigrants on the increase in the rates of insecurity and crime, According
to a survey conducted by a poll in the United States, 70 percent of the natives
places the blame of insecurity to the immigrants. There is also the association
of certain type of crime to a certain group of immigrants; Muslim immigrants
are blamed for the increase in the terrorism rates while the Latinos are blamed
for the increase in drug-related crimes. This causes the natives to place a lot
of pressure on the government to increase border restrictions and tighten rules
on immigration. According to (Solano-Garcia, A. (2009) the government of the
United States increased the number of funds allocated to border security and
deterring illegal immigration. Over the last two decades, the funds allocated
for border patrol have been increased by a huge percentage. In 1980 the funds
allocated for border patrol was $300 million, however, by the year 2000 the
amount had been increased to $1.7 billion, this shows that the government is
under a lot of pressure to ensure that it reduces the number of illegal
immigrants entering the country. Immigration is, therefore, causing the
government of united states to spend a large percentage of its budget to
regulate immigration by increasing the number of control agents, officers, and
other equipment's used to ensure immigrant don't enter the country. The
countries political environment has also been affected by immigration (Ferri,
Antonio, Gómez-Plana, & Mart, (2006). A large number of voters are always
keen to know how the presidential candidates address the issue of immigrants.
This forces many candidates to place strict measures on immigration on their
manifestos that can sway the voters to their side, at the end the expenditure
on immigrants keep rising after every election.
In terms of public finances,
most of the immigrants within the working-age bracket contribute a lot to the
economy in terms of the financial input. A study conducted by (Hidalgo, J.
(2014) showed that the immigrants who are working contribute more to the economy
compared to the amount they spent on social benefits. In terms of taxes, the
immigrant remitted $30 billion more than the cost of social benefits they used
in 1996. This shows that there the immigrants contribute positively to the
economy. However, the immigrants who are aged above 60 years and the unemployed
contribute to the economic cost to the host country. According to the studies
conducted by (Hidalgo, (2012) a single unemployed immigrant can cost the host
country between $38k and $100k in his or her lifetime depending on their level
of education. Other costs incurred by the host country due to immigrants
include infrastructural impact, allocation of public services such as
education, national defense, and health.
According to a CBO study conducted
in 2007 in the United States, illegal immigrants create a lot of burden to the
United States government compared to native citizens (Brasher, 2014). Providing
social services to illegal immigrants causes the government and states to spend
a lot. Most of the unauthorized immigrants lack work permits. Therefore it is
difficult for them to access any formal work. Catering to this group of
immigrants costs the states. The study also found out that the revenues
collected from illegal immigrants are minimal compared to the amount they
consume through social programs. Most of the illegal immigrants fall into the
category of unskilled labor. Also, most of them do not have the necessary
academic qualification required for a decent job (Anderson (2012). Therefore,
the amount of wages they get reflects the low life they live in and the amount
of taxes they remit. This negatively affects the government since it has to
cater to the illegal immigrants living within the population.
In terms of education, the
cost increases in public schools having immigrant children. Most of the
immigrant children have poor language and reading skills. Thus the children
require remedial classes and extra tuition. The cost of extra tuition increases
the expense used per student in the public school; this burden is passed to the
government. According to a study conducted by (Dove, (2010) in 2006, there were
1.8 million illegal children in public schools. These children are educated at
an average of $7500 per student annually; this results in the government
spending an average of $30 billion on illegal immigrant children.
Illegal immigrants detained in
various detention centers and prisons cause the government to spend a lot of
revenue in terms of their upkeep. According to CIS, the detention centers hosts
thousands of immigrants every year. The cost per bed is very high. Therefore
the government has reduced the amount of time an illegal immigrant stays in
jail before they are deported back to their country of origin (Ottaviano, &
Perri, (2012). Other measures introduced by the government include releasing
the illegal immigrants on bond as a way of reducing congestion in the detention
centers (Light, (2014). Such measures are necessary for the government to
reduce the cost of detaining illegal immigrants. Another challenge caused by
illegal immigrants is that they avoid departing, by all means, a survey
conducted in 2010 showed that 700,000 illegal immigrants ignored the court
orders. This increases the number of illegal immigrants in the country yet a
lot of resources have been used to reduce immigration.
Their extended families depend on most of the immigrants working in the
United States in their native countries, this, therefore, means that they have
to remit money to their countries to support their families. In 2012, the
amount of remittance through the formal route was $530 billion, the World Bank
also estimates that over half of this amount is remitted through the informal
channels (Kimberlin, (2009). This, therefore, shows that more money is removed
from the United States circulation by the immigrants. Although the domestic
workers are affected by the presence of unskilled workers in their countries,
the host countries benefit a lot from the presence of immigrants. Studies
conducted by (Dick, (2011) indicate that although there is an earning gap
between the native works and the immigrants at the beginning, these gaps
reduces with time. Thus, they are in a position to contribute more to the host
country as their salary increases. The increase in the immigrants earning
contributes to the increase in the economy for the host country as they begin
contributing to the tax and reducing the burden brought about by unemployment.
Although the government
may be affected by the presence of illegal immigrants, they offer economic
benefits to the host country. Employers in host countries benefit a lot as they
are offered with cheap labor from illegal immigrants, the employers are also
not burdened with paying welfare contributions (Vossen, (2014). Illegal
immigrants contribute to a large percentage of the workforce thus contributing
to the government revenue and consumer demand. Illegal immigrants also
contribute a lot to the economy through income tax returns and contribution to
social security. An advantage with immigrants is that most of them fall within
the working class bracket. Therefore they fall ill less often (Morrissey,
(2013). Therefore, their contribution goes towards catering for the aged
population. Apart from receiving cheap labor from immigrants, the government
also benefits since most of them return to their country of origin to retire.
Thus, the burden of retirement does not fall on the host country. With the presence
of people from different ethnic backgrounds, the population learns to be
tolerant and accommodate people from other communities (Jost, (2011).
Immigration affects the host country in many ways; there are many
negative effects of immigration such as the cost incurred by the government in
the process of hosting the immigrants. For the government to reduce these
costs, policies and immigration rules should be revised to ensure that the
immigrants entering the country are in a position to work and contribute to the
economy of the country. The government should also ensure that the immigrants
are in a position to benefit from the social programs since they also
contribute to the same. To reduce illegal immigrants, the government should
work closely with employers to ensure they employ genuine immigrants.
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