Globalization and Immigration, Research Paper Example
Words: 5476Research Paper
The world of yesterday was always as diverse as it is today; however, before the rise of modern technologies and communication innovations, the world seemed like a very large and spread out place. People from around the world were separated from each other and communication was cumbersome and slow, as there was no real efficient way to remedy this situation. To talk with someone on the opposite side of the world was done by telephone or through snail mail. Also, the world’s people and cultures were pretty much separated, even though the United States and other developed countries were the places where various cultures would migrate. This is why today’s world is a vast melting pot of cultures, diversity, skills, and ways of living. The old saying, “It’s a small world” has more meaning today than in the past because of the rise of the Internet and technology age. The world of today is technologically advanced with much innovation and progressive movement that fosters global interaction among people throughout the world and also free enterprise. The economy is greatly affected by this and creates opportunities for globalization. Merriam-Webster defines globalization as “the development of an increasingly integrated global economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor markets” (Globalization). This basically means that people around the world are a part of an economy of standards. This is influenced by modern communication, advanced transportation, and the mass movement of people, due to immigration. Merriam-Webster refers to immigration as the process of a people “to come into a country of which one is not a native for permanent residence…and usually become established” (Immigrate).
The purpose of this report is examining the relationship between globalization and immigration and the problems associated with it.
Why Immigration Happens
Immigration is not a new concept. People have been migrating from one place to another since the beginning of time. The reasons behind why people choose to migrate are what consisting makes migrating a standard in many societies. Immigration is a process that allows people of one country to seek relocation to another country for various reasons such as the search for better economic opportunities, being in a more comfortable living environment, the availability of work and a higher income, or often to escape persecutions in their home countries. These are not the only reasons that many people from foreign countries desire to migrate to developed countries such as the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom, for example. However, these reasons are likely the main ones (Kahanec and Zimmermann). People are always looking for something better and to pursue the most happiness that they can. They are always seeking for better conditions and opportunities for their families. This is something that has been true over time and is why the United States is the “melting pot” that it is, with its diverse cultures, races, and ethnicities. America is, no doubt, one of the most sought after destinations of immigrants from around the world. This is because America is a place of opportunity and a place where people can find success and happiness, as well as a more secure, safe, and quality-driven life for the family. This is the common perception.
According to Kahanec and Zimmermann, at least 3 percent of the people in the world migrated from their home countries in 2005, and up to 9.5 percent of international migrants made their way to a developed country in 2005. A popular reason for such a move is a new job that pays much more than the migrants earn in their home countries. However, there are downsides to the move as well for the migrants, such as becoming home sick, missing family members still back home, and the stress and difficulty of adjusting to a new land, a new culture, and new laws. In addition, migrants moving into a host country may plan to be there in the country permanently or temporarily. Some immigrants temporarily move to the U. S., for example, to complete a work project, sending money home to their families during the course of the project, and then returning to their home lands when the project is over. (Kahanec and Zimmermann). The motivation for temporary immigrants to do this is because they can often earn a lot more money in a foreign country than they can in their own countries, and when they send money back home it is often worth more in their home country , due to exchange rates.
Immigrants send money back home to accumulate assets and of those who do this, it is estimated that up to 75 percent of them are undocumented, as compared to only 64 percent of legal migrants sending money back home. It is also noted that a higher percentage of immigrants with less education (59%) are more likely to send money back home than those with more education (50%) (Pozo). The types of assets purchased by immigrants who send money home to acculate wealth include businesses, property, land, farms, livestock, and vehicles. As it relates to trends in immigration, temporary immigrants help make up the total immigrant population in the job market.
The following chart (Camarota) shows immigrant population trends in the U.S. from 2000 to 2010, as reported by the United States Census Bureau’s 2000 decennial census report.
These recent immigration trends show growth in the foreign-born segment of the population over a 10-year period from just over 31 million to 40 million, showing steady growth over this time (Camarota). This type of consistent growth in immigrant arrivals impacts the American job market and the economy as well. This is a main reason that many people in the United States are opposed to immigrants entering the country, especially when the immigrants enter the country illegally. The thought is that immigrants are free-loaders that do not have to pay employment taxes and they are here to just take advantage of America so that they can be treated better than native-born Americans with all the benefits and perks they receive.
Immigrants in the Job Market
Immigrant Worker Characteristics
The immigrant worker population in the United States is made of people with distinct characteristics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the United States labor force was comprised of 25 million foreign-born workers in 2012, which equates to 16.1 percent of the total workforce population. When it comes to other demographic information on this, statistics also show that 48.3 percent of foreigners in the labor force were Hispanic and 23.7 percent of them were Asian, in 2012.
As it relates to the employment sector, more likely than native-born workers, foreign-born workers were employed in the service sector or jobs in production, construction, transportation, labor, and maintenance. It is stated that foreign-born workers, on average, earn less than native-born workers, with median weekly pay of $625 and $797, respectively. The variance is due to factors such as education levels, occupation type, and geographic location (BLS). This leads to the notion of whether or not immigrants in the U.S. compete for jobs against native-born Americans. This is because of the fact that they are paid lower wages and lower salaries, and this is perceived as a way to make the over salaries and wages in the country lower for native-born Americans as well. This is an issue that is a constant controversy in the United States, because there are opposers and supporters of immigration. Immigration laws and immigration reform are two of the main topics on the political agenda in America.
Many people may know of instances where immigrants are working in jobs for less than the averge wage and this contributes to the perception that immigrants are not a good idea in the American job market. However, many people also do not have all of the facts about immigration, so their views may be a bit skewed.
The following chart (Cournoyer) illustrates the rate of growth of the immigrant work force from 1970 to 2010, according to surveys by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Immigrants Competing for U.S. Jobs
According to USCOC, many Americans believe that immigrants coming to the country are taking job opportunities away from Americans who are unemployed; however, many immigrants are reportedly not competing for jobs with Americans. There are so many immigrants who have varied backgrounds, training, experience, and expertise. So it is thought that some immigrant skill sets are not competitive with those of Americans; however, many of them are and of the immigrants who have competing skill sets, they are more complementary with American workers, instead of taking away from them. Also, it is reported that immigrants actually create jobs in the U.S. economy because they are consumers that pay for food, housing, clothes, cars, and other products and services. This helps stimulate the economy. For example, results of a study done at the University of Nebraska shows that the immigrant presence in Nebraska generated about 12,000 jobs in 2006. In addition, many immigrants are also entrepreneurs who do not tax the job market, but are able to offer jobs in the market (USCOC). This is contributes to the strengthening of the economy by way of immigrant participation in economic productivity.
Immigrant Productivity in the Market
Furthermore, workers (whether native-born or immigrants) are not necessarily the same in the labor market, regarding their skills and productivity. There is a difference between those in the labor force with high education levels and those with lesser education. Each levels require different skill sets and are for different jobs. Therefore, there are two separate groups of workers based on their education levels. Regarding this, wages in America are affected by immigrants occupying jobs along the labor demand curve. If the relative supply of those of them who are less educated is large, they weaken wages of less educated native workers, in relation to those natives who are highly educated. Therefore, because of immigrants at the top and at the bottom of the education distribution levels, the distribution of immigrants in the job market are similar to that of natives workers (Peri). This all basically means that there are almost as many immigrants in the country capable of doing all types of jobs on all levels as are Americans, if they have comparable education. According to Peri-2, research shows that immigrants do not dominate employment in the U.S. but their presence in the job market positively associates with the total productivity factor of the market, but their presence is negatively associated with high-skilled production technology jobs. It is also noted that immigrants in the job market make task specialization more efficient and stimulate efficient unskilled technologies (Peri-2). The chart (Cournoyer) below shows immigrant education levels in the U.S., per a 2010 study, and shows that almost 1/3 of them do not have a high school diploma.
It is interesting to note that this chart also shows that although lower percentages of immigrants have diplomas, some college education and Bachelor’s degrees, they are comparable in obtaining the advanced degree credentials of a Master’s or other professional degree and Doctoral degrees. However, even in low-skill industries, immigrants show significantly lower levels of education that native-born workers, as shown in the following chart (Cournoyer).
The Problem with Immigration
It is a well-known fact that some immigrants in the United States are in the country legally and there are those immigrants who are not in the country legally. The issue with immigration stems from the number of illegal immigrants in the country. Recent reports state there are 11 million undocument immigrants in the United States illegally. Additionally, statistics show that approximately 6 million of these immigrants are Mexicans and 60 percent of them are men. In addition, they mainly reside in large states such as Texas, New York, California, Illinois, Georgia, and Oklahoma. Other immigrant ethnicities include those from Salvadore, Guatemala, China, Korea, and the Phillipines (Florido).
As explained in (Joch), it is generally known that there are limits to the rights of people leaving one country to enter another without the consent of the host country by right of being a sovereign nation that can choose who they want to allow into the country. In fact, any government has “a right to decide their immigration policy and establish how many immigrants they wish to admit annually, and from which countries or territories” (Joch 33). Regarding this, three issues with immigration in the United States exists: 1) the freedom of anyone to immigrae and the freedom of any country to allow it or not; 2) the enforceable law in the host country to which immigrants must abide; and 3) immigration as a tradition in America (Joch).
It is noted that immigrants have the freedom to choose to immigrate to the United States and the United States has the freedom to allow them to do so. Ilegal immigration, however, is against U.S. law and poses a serious problem (Joch). In addition, the fact that immigration is an American tradition stems, in part, from globalization, as already defined. This means that people migrate in response to globalization and the potential opportunities it can bring to them and their families. When people migrate, they are in search of something that will give them a chance to do better in their lives and live a better quality of life, and many times this is something that they are not able to obtain in their home countries, so they migrate to take advantage of globalization.
Globalization is one area in the world market that is opening up the door to increased immigration and also terrorism. U.S. policymakers have a challenge when dealing with this issue, partly because it is difficult to distinguish real immigration problems with those that are just surface glitches. Consequently, immigration reform is a big topic in America at this time. Changes in immigration policy includes better border security, more scrutinized employer verification of employment regulations, revamping the program for temporary guest workers, and offering amnesty to some illegal immigrants who already live in the United States (Kane, Ph.D. and Johnson, Ph.D.). To fully combat the problem of immigration, it is noted that immigration reform needs to encompass the total problem, and not just border security. This is something that makes a great deal of sense. The problems associated with illegal immigrants that are already here has little to do with border security. So, while tightening border security is important, another real issue to deal with regarding immigration is how to deal with the illegal immigrants that reside in the country. With 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, it would be virtually impossible to find them all and process them for deportation. The thought of that is really out of the question for logistical purposes.
According to Kane, Ph.D. and Johnson, Ph.D., the immigrant population is growing at a rate of about 700,000 per year, added onto the 11 million immigrants that are currently in the country. This is a little bit scary because it just goes to show how free and open the border still are. For decades, the United States borders have been easily breached. At times, foreigners just come right into the country with little to no resistance at the borders. The problems with this are vast and Kane, Ph.D. and Johnson, Ph.D. explain:
Typical illegal aliens come to America primarily for better jobs and in the process add value to the U.S. economy. However, they also take away value by weakening the legal and national security environment. When three out of every 100 people in America are undocumented (or, rather, documented with forged and faked papers), there is a profound security problem. Even though they pose no direct security threat, the presence of millions of undocumented migrants distorts the law, distracts resources, and effectively creates a cover for terrorists and criminals (para 5).
This says that security is a major issue in the immigration crisis in the United States, more so than the threat to the economy because immigrants are reported to actually help the economy. Consquently, some argue that more energy and time should be spent on fixing the border issues than on worryig about immigrants and the economy. However, a guest worker program that is efficient and gives immigrants a sense of safety from deportation is a way to start (Kane, Ph.D. and Johnson, Ph.D.). Many immigrants go into hiding for fear of being caught and sent out of the country away from their families.
A Look at Globalization
As the world continues to develop and grow in many ways, globalization will continue to expand and increase its reach in the international community. Globalization is the product of an ever-changing, ever-advancing technological world, especially when it comes to the reach of the Internet. Going global and establishing a global presence in today’s economic arena is big business. Major corporations and small businesses, alike, are taking advantage of the opportunities available online and through mobile access technology. Anyone in the world can sell goods and services to any other person in the world with ease. This includes people in remote villages and communities in underdeveloped countries who have custom-made items to sell (or other commodities or items), and this is all made possible through the instant telecommunication opportunities on the Internet. Many countries previously in poverty are now wealthy nations that flourish due to globalization.
Globalization is also how so many businesses and corporations have gained significant levels of power and influence over the last couple of decades. World trade and commerce expansion, advanced communication, immigration, and multinational business dealings are now a part of the mainstream global marketplace. This is also a reason for mass migration of people from their home countries to other more prosperous countries. Therefore, globalization is related to immigration in many ways and sometimes problems arise from this relationship.
Why Globalization Exists
Companies expand their businesses to foreign countries for various reasons, but mainly the reason is their bottomline and wanting to remain relevant in the marketplace and competitive. To stay competitive, it is necessary for companies make the decision of going global quickly to better position themselves in a favorable stance in the world or emerging markets. They need to customize their products and services to better meet the demand and needs of their global markets. This is part of an effective globalization strategy. World markets attract new capital investments, so this serves as incentive for companies to go global because of things like trade barriers, market demand, competition, and regulations (Anwar).
With trade barriers, corporations are required to export products to manufacturing outlets overseas to avoid tariffs, quotas, and the local policy that would otherwise restrict exports to foreign markets. In addition, companies must pay close attention to consumer demands to be effective in its operations. This includes adequate product reliability and keen solutions to logistical problems. The foreign market will have consumers who want accessibility to suppliers, may even insist that suppliers have a local presence to enhance production flow. Companies usually adhere to this to make sure they do not lose any business (Anwar).
For competitors, globalization makes companies understand if they have operations overseas without any competition for too long, their foreign operations and investments in the global market may come at a high price for competition. Most governments may enforce restrictions on companies, and these may be inconvenient and too expensive. This limits expansion and cuts in on company profits, and this can skew costs out of control. This is way companies opt to move operations to broader markets with less foreign restricitons. The benefits of this include 1) opportunities for expansion, 2) economies of scale, 3) perks, 4) and cost savings. However, there are some companies who invest excess profits so that they can realize expansion. This, at times, limits them because of market maturity. To offset this, new markets oversees are entered for growth opportunities. Not only do these companies invest profit overages, they also look to being more efficient by taking advantage of resources that are not efficiently utilized such as human capital and business assets. In addition, economies of scale help companies achieve higher output levels. This is where globalization needs global management, particularly when diverse workforces are employed which can include native-born workers as well as immigrants (Anwar).
How Globalization is Related to Immigration
Globalization has opened up many income opportunities in various forms thorughout the world for many people, and this is something that is a primary attractor of immigrants who seek better lives for themselves and their families, particularly when migrating to the United States. America is often a destination of immigrants because they know of the many opportunities that are available to them in the country. However, some of the immigrants enter the country illegally, and this has become a major issue in the country. As stated by (Munck), globalizaiton is a complex process with many levels, but it stands as an entity on its own.
As it relates to globalization, migration is also complex and it is an issue that needs governing, according to Munck. As well, it is stated that “Migration still symbolizes the importance (or the relative weakness) of national sovereignty as implemented through the control of national borders” (161). Therefore, migration in the United States is made possible by the ease in which to gain entry into the country. However, migration due to globalization has an effect on the national economy by way of immigrant jobs, businesses, and patronage. Immigrants work and they spend money in the U.S. economy. Many believe this is an issue but many others believe immigration actually helps the economy. This is based on the notion that capital, as well as investments and knowledge is international, so why not labor? Although, entering the country is not as easy as it was in the past, due to globalization (Munck).
In the labor sector, migration causes increased challenges as well as opportunities. Globalization has caused the restructuring of industries and trade unions because of issues of development on a global level. The influx of migrant workers into the labor system is related to how the system operates. This means that global governance related to migration is important.
The world is not as large as it used to be because of globalization, and this makes the world seem like one global village. Additionally, there have been so many changes in the way the world communicates, travels, does business, makes sales, and interconnect. The world has become a global economic marketplace with high priorities on labor and the mobility of labor. This leads to migration and this is something that all nations have experienced (Marchi). Although the global opportunities made available to immigrants through globalization are vast, there are still some glitches.
Problems Associated with Globalization and Immigration
Migration policy in the United States is often developed through the help of national strategies. This is not an easy task. National approaches to immigration should deal with collaboration and the cooperation of various agencies, as an international framework should be integrated into the system. In addition, global governance needs to be carried out without disrupting national priorities. Migration, at its current rate, is a direct result of the globalization process and the movement of people is only going to continue and increase. Migrants are becoming assilimated more and this is something that deserves attention, particularly as it relates to the importance of politics and policy. The gap in governance is due to national laws that govern each state (Marchi).
One of the main issues associated with immigration is that it is all over the place. Over the past decades, immigrants came into the U.S. almost entirely freely with little or no regulation, but now immigration reform is a major topic in political and public sectors.
Another concern pertaining to immigration is unskilled immigration. Many immigrants come to the country with some type of skill, but there are many that do not. This poses an obvious issue because many in the U.S. believe that immigrants tax the country of its resources, especially those who are not able to contribute anything to the economy. Immigrants who know a trade are complements to the labor force in America (Shepard). They are able to be productive in the economic environment and contribute to the economy. Therefore, those immigrant workers who do have a useful trade have incentive to migrate more than those who do not. However, immigrant workers in sectors of the labor force that are skilled many times suffer welfare losses, even this balances out when including the benefits and gains those who can work get.
When it comes to mobile production factors, labor is sometimes considered the least mobile in the world because of barriers set up by legalities in sovereign states. It is also apparent that many people in the country see immigration as something negative. They see it as an imposition on this country when foreigners enter the country without any regard to the laws and border controls. The general public looks down on immigration, especially illegal immigration, in many regards. This is due to perceptions that immigrants take jobs away from Americans and that there presence drives down American wages because they are willing to work for such cheap wages. Also, the negative images of immigrants comes from an imperfect labor market structure and unionization (Zhao and Kondoh). Many people in the public believe that employers benefit from immigration because they can get work done cheap and realize larger profit margins, but they also believe that immigration hurts workers because it sets a precedent for low paying jobs in the marketplace.
The problem of immigrant low-wage trends hurts the competitive wage in the marketplace. For example, according to Zhao and Kondoh, a country economy is comprised of two sectors: manufacturing and agriculture. There is much competition in the agriculture sector and the manufacturing sector is mixed with both unionization and non-unionization within the same sector. So, therefore, there is also a mix of standards among the sectors as it relates to immigrant wages. Immigration affects wages, jobs, the union wage, and the non-union wage and causes gaps in national welfare. When immigrants are in the country permanently, it positively effects wages and jobs. However, when they are here on a temporary basis, the wage gap closes. Permanent immigration benefits the nation through income redistribution; however, this mostly beneﬁts labor unions and landowners but does not benefit those on the competitive wage (Zhao and Kondoh).
Regarding this, it is also believed by supporters of immigration that the economy is more stable because, even though many of the immigrants in the country are illegal, they still spend money in the economy, which has a major positive effect on the economy. It is estimated that 11 million immigrants in the country currently spend or produce about $1.5 trillon each year. This equates to about 1 percent that would be added to the gross domestic product (GDP) over 10 years. This means that goods and services that would circulate due to immigrant spending or labor production is about $15 trillion, as reported by the World Bank (Ordonez). Supporters of immigration say this is something positive for the economy, as it equates to more jobs due to the growth in the GDP. In addition, legalizing immigrants is a positive step toward helping the economy as well, because they would then be required to pay taxes. This would also serve to increase consumption and give immigrants more opportunities, based on their path to citizenship success. It is pointed out that deporting immigrants is too expensive and would tax the GDP by $2.6 trillion over a 10-year period, and this does not even include the high costs of deportation.
Adversely, those who oppose illegal immigration state that immigrants come into the country and create a burden on the American population by way of taking away jobs and causing American pay values to decrease. Opposers also say that legalizing immigration would only cause more immigrants to come into the country illegally, and further depressing the U.S. economy because they would further compete with U.S.-born workers and cause a strain on U.S. government-funded programs and benefits. Amenesty, opposers argue, will only cause more illegal immigration and that this is not fair to immigrants who are in the country legallly (Ordonez).
The realities of globalization and immigration are linked to future demands in the marketplace as well as the job market. It is clear that a specific objective needs to be in place for pursuing a global approach to immigration, as well as to manage risks while reaping the rewards of efficient and effective reform. As it stands, this is definitely something that should be a national effort with the nations of the world cooperating with each other. In addition, world leaders and policymakers are charged with the task of rethinking current laws, guidelines, procedures, regulations, and policies and being proactive in the global effort gain control of the situation involving illegal immigration. This is taking foreign labor and global development into consideration for the purposes of having a more organized and acceptable strategy for immigrant workers in the country, compared to native-born workers.
As it relates to temporary and permanent immigrant workers, labor market adjustments cause effects on employment and wages. This causes workers to be paid more equally. It is a fact that wages are often higher in host countries than they are in source countries. In response to this, the host countries could adopt policies to take taxes out of immigrant workers’ pay, just like they are taken out for native-born workers. This a possible partial solution to the problem, because Illegal immigrants in the United States are a major part of the workforce, even with laws against them being hired. Many employers choose to ignore this fact and this is why opposers of illegal immigration say that these employers are only looking out for their bottomline profits, and this hurts the native-born workers by driving down the wage values and contribute to unemployment rates for native-born Americans.
The global community is as complex as it is diverse; however, globalization has opened doors that were never before possible with new technologies and innovative communication advancements. The world is not so small anymore, and the people of the world are able to interact and interconnect with each through commerce, business, and socialization. The job market and the business market are no longer separated and this gives rise to an explosion of immigrations throughout the world. The United States, as well as other developed countries will continue to be destination choices for migrants in a world of progression and upward movement.
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