The United Nations describes migration as the movement of a person or persons from one place to another, involving a permanent (one year or more) change of address. Migration can be within a country or to another.
Why Do People Migrate?
- For economical, environmental, sociocultural or political reasons.
- Migration can be voluntary or forced, temporary or permanent, national or international.
- Population movements are driven and sustained by potential push and pull forces due to an imbalance in economic activities and opportunities.
- Push factors are features of the home area which creates pressure and so causes people to move away. e.g. persecution, unemployment & poverty.
- Pull factors operate at places outside of the migrant’s home area to attract individuals to a new location. e.g. political asylum, a promotion, high living standards in another area.
Consequences Of Migration On The Country Of Origin
- The area benefits from remittences sent home.
- Upon return, migrants bring new skills to the country such as the ability to speak foreign languages.These new skills can help to improve the economy in the country of origin.
- There is less pressure on resources such as food and social services such as health care.
- Loss of young workforce; those with skills and those with entrepreneurial talents move, slowing economic development.
- Loss of labour may reduce inward investment by private companies, increasing dependencies on government initiatives.
- Population density is reduced and birth rate falls as it’s the younger population who migrates. This can help ease overpopulation.
- Remittances sent home by economic migrants can be used to finance improved education & health service.
- Returning migrants increase social expectations for communities, for example, increasing demand for better leisure facilities.
- Marriage rates fall and family structures break down as men migrate producing a generation of single mums.
- Lots of young people migrating out of the country can increase the dependency ratio.
- Returning retired migrants may increase social costs on the community as support mechanisms aren’t in place for them.
- Migration of men and young families can cause a loss of cultural leadership and traditions.
- Policies to encourage natural increase can be developed.
- Policies to encourage immigration to counteract outflow.
- Requests for international aid.
Consequences Of Migration On The Host Country
- Migrants take up less desirable, menial jobs which natives would not take but need filling.
- The host country can gain skilled labour for cheap.
- There is a labour surplus; those with skills and education fuel the economy.
- The “skill gap” in many host countries can be filled by migrants.
- Costs of retirement can be transferred to the country of origin.
- Migrant children must be educated, they won’t necessarily speak the native language of the host country.
- There is an over dependency in some industries on migrant labour, leading to a lack of jobs for people native to the host country.
- Much of the money earned by the migrants isn’t spent in the host country and is instead sent back to the country of origin.
- More people increase the pressure on resources and services such as health care systems.
- The creation of a multiethnic society increases understanding and tolerance of other cultures.
- There is an influx of new or revitalised services e.g. Kebab shops & Turkish baths.
- People from other countries can encourage the learning of new languages, helping people develop skills for working internationally.
- The dominance of males is reinforced (due to the large number of male migrants), especially in cultures where women already have a low status.
- Aspects of cultural identity are lost, especially in second generation children.
- Segregated ethnic areas are created e.g. China Town. Schools become dominated by migrant children.
- Discrimination agains ethnic groups & minorities which can lead to civil unrest and extremism.
- Calls for control on immigration.
- Entrenchment of attitudes which may encourage fundamentalism.
On The Mexico - USA Border
- 9,150 border control agents.
- Use of electronic equipment such as heat sensors, night vision goggles, air vehicles & Black Hawk helicopters.
- Multiple operations to keep mexican immigrants out; Operation Rio Grande in the El Paso; Operation Gatekeeper in San Diego; Operation Hold-The-Line in El Paso; and operation safeguard in Tucson.
In Other Areas
- Limiting the number of migrant workers at the source.
- Insisting on boundary arrangements.
- Preventing illegal crossings e.g. Sea patrols between Florida and Cuba.
- Returning ineligible asylum seekers.
- Use of holding bases for visa checks.