Economic Migration: A Threat or a Blessing to Developed Countries?

Topics: Immigration, Immigration to the United States, Spain Pages: 7 (2134 words) Published: May 10, 2010

Individual Report

To what extent is economic migration a threat or a blessing to developed countries?

In general, the primary human right is life and to lead this life wherever desirable, where it is possible to live the most freely, easily and in complete security. In order to do this, people move across the world, voluntarily or forcibly, in the search for this new place. Migration is the movement of people from one place in the world to another, due to vital reasons for a better quality of life: political reasons and economic reasons. We know certainly two basic trends that are the base for migration. The first is Global Population growth and the second is the global shift in employment. The first one is referring to the global population, which has deep roots in the past and is concern with the problem of birth and death occurring each day. It is estimate that the world population is continuing to increase starting from the year 1950, when it was just 3 billion people in the world and nowadays, in 2007, when it is 6 billion citizenry- according with the statistics realised by the Census Bureau. The second trend is related to the economic reasons and we will focus on them, being the principal theme for this report. Economic migration results from economic activities that result in the movement of persons from one country to another for entrepreneurial, industrial, professional, labour market or commercial motives. In an era of globalization, economic or labour migration is on the rise. Due to lack of employment opportunities in developing countries and increased demands for low-wage workers in developed countries, youth, women and men are pursuing work in other countries in order to support themselves and their families back home. Recent statistics demonstrate that there are around 200 million persons per year who migrate throughout the world. The International Organization for Migration estimates that there are 80 million economic migrants worldwide. These migrations are most often from poor countries to rich countries rather than the reverse. The principal places attracting migrants are the petroleum producing Persian Gulf countries, the United States and the European Union. It is not confined to poor countries - inhabitants of rich countries also migrate for economic reasons to other countries. Traditionally and historically, the USA has been hotspot of economic migrants since it is seen as the ‘land of opportunity’. Thousands of people from all across the world, including Britain, try to move to the USA for a better life. For example a lecturer at an Ivy League University still earns more than someone at a top university in the UK. Many economic migrants to the USA come from Latin America and the Caribbean. About 150,000 Mexicans enter illegally each year, resulting in 3 to 4 million illegal Mexicans in the USA. They arrive in dangerous conditions such as hidden in the backs of lorries under legal produce. The chart below shows the projected U.S. population growth if immigration and fertility remain similar to today’s rates.


But is economic migration a threat or a blessing to developed countries?

A threat is any activity whose appearance is likely to break the social equilibrium and peace in a part of the world. Growing immigration into the rich countries whether voluntary, forced, regular or clandestine tends to be built up into a bubbling volcano that can become active at the least pressure from the lava. It can give rise to three types of threats. On the security level, the influx of migrants can be a source of recruits for a possible terrorist network, on the one hand. On the other hand, neglected immigrants, without means of subsistence, can form networks of criminals; can be contributors to urban insecurity and creators of communities favorable to possible terrorist recruitment efforts. On the economic level, immigrants can be a significant reservoir for the...

Bibliography: ▪ The Economist print edition- ‘of bed sheets and bison grass vodka’, Jan 3rd, 2008
Web pages and TV:
▪ Suman Gupta and Tope Omoniyi- The cultures of economic migration: international perspectives, 2007
▪ Bjorn Lomborg- Solutions for the world 's biggest problems: costs and benefits
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