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Essay: Today’s Immigration Challenges: Globalization and the Human Race

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With the development of the world humanity has to face new problems such as global warming, destruction of natural recourses, wars, poverty, corruption, hunger and many others that put a challenge for the human race. As the globalization spreads around the planet all these problems will influence every each of us. This time we cannot just leave the issues to be solved by our posterity, the consequences are approaching quickly. The first step will be to understand and analyze the problems, so all the possible outcomes can be carefully examined and weighted. Today, one of such important problems is immigration. It is widely discussed, especially with the new president of the United States, but the outcomes of immigration are not very clear, even though humans migrated from the beginning of the history. According to the scientists, people originated in Africa and slowly spread around the Earth as nomads. However, about 10,000 years ago humans decided to live in the settled communities, which we now call an agricultural revolution. This became a turning point in the relationships between people, the world which was “ours” suddenly divided into “mine” and “theirs”. The idea of identity, culture and community formed. Later, people’s appearance became to change to adapt to their habitat, which segregated people even more. In 1684, François Bernier suggested to divide people by the race. The term quickly became accepted and widley used. Nowadays, the terms “ethnicity”, “nationality” and “race” are becoming vaguer as the people are moving around the world, much quicker than before the agricultural revolution. We are at the crossroad again. Should we mix cultures together? Should we control immigration? What will be the results of this process? Or should we let it happen as it is and make the world “global” again?

The immigration as we understand it now, started in 1607, when the first English settlers came to the America seeking religious freedom. Shortly after, in 1619, the importation of black slaves began. Between 1815 and 1860, right before the civil war, 5 million people immigrated in the United States, which was about 13% of America’s population [Gabaccia 75]. For comparison, in just a ten-year period from 1990 till 1999 the numbers counted more than 10 million people to immigrate in America. Naturally, as the number of immigrants was rapidly growing, local population (mostly the first settlers, so in some way immigrants as well) became worried about preserving their culture and identity. As the result, various limiting laws were implemented to control the immigration. With the advancement of technology, the process of immigration became more convenient. You can get from one continent to another in just several hours, you can learn any language from your home, you can read about what is happening in any part of the world in the news. All of this and a lot more is causing the immigration rate in the United States to grow very swiftly. In 2015, the foreign-born share of total U.S. population was 13.5% [2]. Considering the diverse background of the United States and the rapid immigration process it is safe to say that America will be one of the first countries to decide whether to make the world global or not. There are a lot of opposing thoughts on this topic and the discussions can go on for a long time, but the decision has to be made soon. Even though there are some negative sides of the global world, the price is worth paying for the benefit of the whole population. It looks very much like any major change in the history of human beings: there will be some problematic transition time, and people as individuals might not profit from the change, but the social and economic advantages overweight the downsides in the long run. The idea of global nation has a lot to offer for the human race.

There is various negative feedback about the immigration going on. Most of them relate to the main idea of diversity – people are not used to being around other cultures. According to Robert Putnam’s statistic in the article E Pluribus Unum, ethnically and racially diverse areas have negative influence on communities. The more diverse the habitat is, the less is trust in other races, trust in neighbors decreases, even trust to the own race decreases. As the result, this leads to the other various consequences such as lower social and political activity. People become more self-centered, they have “less expectation that others will cooperate to solve dilemmas of collective action, less likelihood of working on a community project, lower likelihood of giving to charity or volunteering, fewer close friends and confidants” (Putnam 150). So, by making the world more diverse, the people become more egocentric, which prevents the diversity from spreading and/or slows down the process of merging. There are number of other issues arising with immigration. It causes problems for the country where immigrants are coming from. Most of the immigrants leave at the working age, so some countries might have lack of work force as the result and not enough taxes collected to develop the country. At the same time, more developed countries have better opportunities for educated and wealthy people, so “brain drain” can happen, when smart people emigrating. It also has some negative influence on the immigration destination country. Government money has to be spent on the immigrants to collect and organize data about them and to provide with necessary support and help. It can also influence the minimum wage: some immigrants tend to work for less money, so local people can either lose their jobs or get paid less. There are even more complications with immigration if we try to resist it – illegal immigration and criminal elements, local government can use immigrants as an excuse for any problems, so the local people can be manipulated using the small groups of immigrants that actually commits crimes as an example, a lot of money has to be put in in order to control immigration. However, if we decide to implement the idea of the global nation, thus encourage immigration, these issues can be avoided. Overall, all the downsides of immigration are mostly concentrated on the recent time or nearby future. After the merging will be over, most of them will vanish and remain part of the history.

The idea of fusing different nations in one emerged with the rapid grow of immigration. Even though at the beginning of 20th century there were just not enough recourses to make the world global, some people had faith that the United States can become a “new world”, first country where people of different backgrounds, cultures and religions could live together in unity. One of such people was Israel Zangwill, a Jewish immigrant in Great Britain. In 1908, when the immigration was the hot topic for discussion, the play “The Melting-Pot: Drama in Four Acts” was staged in Washington, D.C and it was a huge success. It opposed the hostile thoughts on the immigration in natural and comedian way. The protagonist, David Quixano– a Jewish immigrant from Russia, whose family was killed during the pogrom, has a dream of America becoming a “…God's Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and re-forming!” (p. 37, Act 1). He wants the group hatred to disappear, so people could coexist peacefully and work towards the better future. First traits of such a country appear in the beginning of the play: the living room of Quixanos family has Hebrew and English books, pictures of Mizrach as well as Wagner, Columbus, Lincoln and “Jews at the Wailing place” and “Stars-and-Stripes” are pinned over the street door. Such a “curious blend” of different artifacts represent the “new American” person. The idea of melting pot can be extended to include more countries or even the whole world and instead of “new American” person we will have “global” person. The same merging will happen, just on a larger scale. After the process is over we will benefit not just from the absence of group hatred but form other, larger things like open borders and global trade.

The process of immigration has a large positive influence on the economy of the country both in a short run and after the global nation will be reached. Immigration powers the economy by bringing more labor force and thus, raising GDP. Moreover, immigrants are more willing to work in areas and industries with lack of workers. It could be dangerous and risky jobs or some specific sections of labor that are in need. Immigrants have different skills and job preferences. According to the article The Economic Benefits of Immigration by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, “Immigrants complement rather than substitute for native-born workers[…] The economy as a whole gains, with substantially more winners than losers. In our society, this makes it possible for the winners to compensate those who lose from immigration, and still come out ahead”. The immigrants can serve as a balancing instrument for the economy of the country as they adjust more willingly. With the all restriction and control that the United States have over the number of immigrants, they still remain a valuable part of the economy. Furthermore, immigrants often become entrepreneurs. As Putnam notes in his article, citing other researches, “Creativity in general seems to be enhanced by immigration and diversity” (140). Immigrants tend to be more risky and creative because they chose the hard path of immigration in the first place. If the person is more passive and has less desire to change, then one has less likelihood to immigrate. According to the economist Robert Litan, “…the U.S. economy now generates about 15 new companies a year that are likely to grow to have a billion dollars or more in annual revenue,” and there are multiple examples in real life: Google, Intel, Yahoo!, eBay, SpaceX and others. Overall, in the short and medium run immigrants can balance and boost the economy of any country. When the globalization will be over, there will be even more benefits to the economy. The first is the open trade, which will have major influence on it. The global trade equalizes the market around the world and makes it more efficient.

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