This has been a good point of debate among people and world politics that can legal immigration decrease illegal immigration. The world seems to be divided into two parts in this debate. Anyhow, lawful immigration can be considered acceptable, but illegal immigration may be different, and the results derived may not be good. Keeping this in mind, Illegal immigration is done not only by the poor but also by the rich. There are no barriers created here in the name of financial status. Legal immigration is fine, and the government also supports immigrants by providing them jobs, education, etc. If any illegal immigrant is caught, there are chances of facing serious consequences such as the risk of detention, deportation, and other sanctions. Before answering the question, let us first know about the meaning of both legal and illegal immigrants.
Legal Immigration is all about following immigration laws by the migrants. Immigration law includes national statutes, regulations, and legal precedents governing immigration and deportation from a country. Immigration laws are different from country to country. It may also depend on the social and political interests of the nations. The countries may tend to maintain a law that includes both rights of entry and exit and internal rights, which have the duration of stay, freedom of movement, etc.
For controlling immigration, different countries have set up customs at entry points. The entry points are some locations such as border roads and airports. The documents used for traveling are closely taken into consideration and inspected. Regular or essential documents such as passports are mandatory. Also, travelers are asked to declare the sum of money they are carrying with them.
The countries have established their law on immigration. In the United States of America, the immigration article is known as the United States Nationality Law, and citizenship can be granted to a person once he/she has completed permanent residence of 5 years. In the same manner, each country providing immigration to the migrants has set up its own law.
Immigration Policy is all about protecting border control and the transit of people into a country. The policies include each thing such as taxations, tariffs, and trade rules are set out what tasks they will perform while they are temporarily in the country. The policy also includes investment policies, agricultural policies, and other policies too. The investment policies include the investments that are to be made by the wealthy immigrants in businesses.
Illegal Immigration refers to those who migrate into a country by violating that countries immigration law. This violation can create a risk to those migrants and result in the risk of detention, deportation, and other sanctions. There are some cases where undocumented immigrants get temporary residence permit with the principle of non-refoulment in the international Refugee Convention.
As a gesture of human rights, there have been campaigns run where the terms such as ‘illegal immigrants’ are opposed. The reason given for this is that migrating illegally doesn’t make the people themselves illegal. In 2010, a campaign was launched in the United States where terms such as undocumented immigrants or unauthorized immigrants are discouraged. Further in 2014, a campaign was relaunched were the words that should be used in place of ‘illegal’ should be ‘Undocumented’ or ‘Irregular.’ A huge part of the news channels has also come forward to discourage the words ‘Illegal.’ These news associations include US Associated Press, UK Press Association, European Journalism Observatory, and Australian Media. The term ‘Undocumented’ is also used by the New York Times.
Reason For Illegal Immigration
The basic thing which one should know is that any person does not leave his/her like that. There are always specific reasons for immigrating from their native country. There are specific reasons which you should see before giving any conclusive result for immigration.
A) Poverty – Poverty is the primary point from where the issue of undocumented immigrants arises. The wage level and lack of education in developing countries will result in excess poverty. The undocumented immigrant labors then tend to leave their native home and migrate towards the developed nations. There has been a specific test conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center that has shown that the education and wage of undocumented Mexican immigrants in the US are around the median for Mexico. Apart from all these, natural disasters and overpopulation can also result in poverty-driven migration flows.
B) Overpopulation – If a country has minimum resources and half of them is already used, and the larger population uses the remaining, this can result in immigration by certain nation citizens. In developing countries, overpopulation is a serious concern, and it is still not taken into serious consideration.
C) War – If there is any civil war on-going in a country, this results in immigrations. The population is then forced to leave their native country, forcing them to go to another country illegally. They can be better called ‘refugees.’ They are protected in the migrant countries. There is a 1951 refugee convention that is signed by different countries. Countries that have not signed this convention do not follow its guidelines are likely to consider refugees and asylum seekers as irregular immigrants.
E) Education – Education is the primary key to success. Young immigrants leave behind their native countries for better education and facility. As a kind gesture, the developed countries look after the interests of the education of the immigrants.
F) Deprivation of Citizenship – The CSM in 2102 reported that about 7,50,000 Rohingya are one of the oppressed minorities in the world. The Rohingyas are in the complete absence of civil rights in Myanmar. In 1982, the military stripped the Rohingya of their Myanmar Citizenship and rated them as irregular immigrants. This is the case where a person born in his country has no state to claim his birthplace.
These are the difference between legal and illegal immigrants. From this, it is quite clear why one tends to leave their own country as such no one will leave them for fun. There are always some black sides and reality behind this. Coming to the question, the answer would remain in the middle, i.e., yes and no. If the countries start accepting the immigrants legally and make policies simple for accepting the immigrants, then there are high chances that those who are thinking of residing in that country illegally will take legal steps to be a part of that country.
The developed countries should step forward by making the policies and thinking deeply about taking those in serious trouble in their own countries. Major countries of Middle East Asia like Syria and Iraq have been facing civil war, and many of their own citizens have lost their lives and homes. They are looking forward to aiding and help from the developed European Countries and American regions. Countries like France, Britain have also come forward to help these people, and they have accepted these civilians of these countries in large numbers.
These developed countries can also look at this as an opportunity as a major immigrant population is educated and well skilled. The migrate can show their skill and practice their specialization in their migrated countries. These immigrants include large numbers of doctors, engineers, and other professionals.
As a kind, humane gesture, the developed countries can provide shelter to the immigrants. Further, they can give free educations in the beginning to the children of these immigrants. Jobs are the necessity for daily bread; the home government should try to give jobs and employment according to the immigrants’ qualifications.
These are some merits which the migrating countries can draw from these immigrants, and this can be a strong point for the developed nations to provide easy legal immigrations.
There are certain reasons, too, for which the countries don’t allow immigration, and this is why illegal immigration is born. The countries are always afraid of the damage that these immigrants can cause to their culture and land. Apart from this, they also know that there can be a negative impact on real wages by giving employment, and real GDP per capita may fall. The biggest fear to each country is the disharmony which is created from rapid immigration. This is created among people as they may have different cultures and religions and may not adapt to change quickly.
This reason puts a question on making immigration fully legal. Here a point of disagreement arises between people. An example of this agreement has been recently seen in France.
A strong and smooth policy should be made to accept the deserving immigrants. The countries should check whether the coming immigrant has a previously clean record or not. If the immigrant is good and the working professional, they should be accepted on their record. Even if there are some chances of illegal immigrants being caught up, then the countries should his/her record and based on it, further decisions should be made. Words like ‘illegal’ would not be correct to use. Instead, ‘Eligible’ should be used, both by attitude and criteria of the immigrants.