Nowadays, illegal immigration continues to be a disputable and divisive issue, not only in the United States, but throughout the whole world. People who are residing in a country illegally are known as “illegal immigrants”. In addition to this term, we should mention that an individual who is residing in a country in illegal way could also be known as an illegal alien, illegal migrant, undocumented immigrant, undocumented alien, unauthorized migrant or undocumented worker. In this case there are almost as many titles as there are commentators and that is why illegal immigrants contain a vast category of people.
Like any social phenomenon, illegal immigration is not taken out of nowhere. It has its reasons which affect the underlying mechanisms of our society. Thus, I would like to discuss in this paper the problem of illegal immigration and understand its main reasons through the prism of contemporary reality.
First of all and in continuation of the information about the illegal immigration stated above it is necessary to pay attention to the actuality of this topic.
As it was underlined in the beginning of the paper, today we want to analyze the topic of illegal immigration with more details. We have several reasons for choosing this hot topic. In particular, and, firstly, it is valid. With the help of the media, both public (Euro-News and others) and independent (the Internet), it is increasingly possible to see stories about illegal immigrants. Increasingly, authorities agree with the recognition of the problem of illegal immigration. Such events as the demonstration of one million illegal immigrants working in Los Angeles several years ago, protesting against the attempt to equate traditional workers who have came to work in earnest in the country, to the criminals, in the country which, admittedly was built by immigrants – these events slam memory and make people think about the causes of the phenomenon of illegal immigration. Why do people who have most often just come from the dying in poverty and unemployment country of the Third World to another country or region in search of a better life, find themselves in the position of “illegal people”? Why are they, deprived of the rights of citizens of the country in which they operate, often powerless in the situation of slaves, dumb workforce which the employer in agreement with the official use as a cheap labor resource, which creates a living space of our society, ranging from cleaning floors in New York to construction of new skyscrapers in Moscow? Why do we hear on television appeals to deal with illegal immigrants, and often – in the literal sense – physically, and often – these appeals are incarnated in reality by teenagers? There are many questions, but there are also many answers on them.
Among the answers on the questions asked above we could define Blondell’s (2008) words, who said that “the poll results among immigrants who are already in the United States show a widespread feeling that the current immigration chaos is unfair to the millions who entered the country legally. There are hundreds of thousands each year who are eager to assimilate. There is the sense that fairness to those who have abided by the law requires that they be given priority over those who violate the law. This lends itself to the view that state and local cooperation with federal efforts should be mandatory because the problem of chaotic illegal immigration is harmful to both native and naturalized citizens in so many ways.”
In the minds of people the idea is methodically imposed that in all social evils of such and such people the “come in large numbers” are guilty, because they have different appearance, and they are afraid to answer. And these “come in large numbers” just work for such salary and in conditions for which no citizen protected by the law of any country would have agreed to. Our problem is to understand what is hidden behind the social stratum called “illegal immigration” and to dispel the illusions and myths, identify the root causes.
If we look at this issue globally, it is easy to see that illegal immigration is not the peculiarity of the United States, like any other state. The division of the world on the countries “where people go to” and “where they come from” is the basis of the modern economic division of the world. The modern world, with its famous globalization is a world tightly interconnected between the countries, constituting a single economic organism. In this world there are the countries of the “center” – economic superpower, the latest imperialists, the so-called “golden billion”, where the relative prosperity and reliability for today and tomorrow (USA, Western Europe, Japan) predominate. As it is generally known the growth and stability of the economies of the countries of the “center”, affluent countries, cause there the demand for labor, create jobs in enterprises. Just such situation pushes millions of people around the world to leave their home country and to go in search of happiness in the more affluent countries. If we think about the way of illegal immigrants, it is possible to mention the next directions and create imaginary map. According to this map it will be clear: Africa aims to Spain and Italy, Pakistan and India aim to England and the USA, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan – to Russia, Russia – to the Western Europe, etc., the list of the possible displacements is very diverse. The same can be seen in the scales of one country or even region: from the provincial remote places of Russia or the U.S. people tend to go to Moscow or New York – the cities of great opportunities, and the most important – job opportunities.
Thus, basing on the researched facts stated above among the causes of illegal immigration are the following:
The demand for cheap labor in one or another country, usually more economically developed than the country from which follow the flow of migrants;
Low level of life, sometimes wretched, that encourage people to indulge in the whirlpool of illegal immigration;
The need for political parties and forces (usually the left-liberal) in additional support at the polls. According to Tanaka (2007), we received the next information: in particular, the rate for immigrants was made by one of the candidates for the French presidency Segolene Royal on the elections 2007. Because of the large number of naturalized French the orientation on this category of people is the basis for the political platform.
Find a better life – is, in most cases – to search for work. The enormity of unemployment, the collapse of the economy, the absence of at least hints at the “welfare state” – all of this is an everyday reality for a large number of “peripheries”. In this situation, people are willing to work for the lowest paid jobs in wealthier countries, at the most abominable conditions, without any social protection at the level of a slave and an illegal immigrant but it is better than to die of hunger in their country.
Illegal immigration is something like a battlefield, because it causes many problems, both in the United States and in Europe. Due to Laham (2000) research, I will mention only the most notable of these:
Glut of market with the cheap labor, reduction in wages because of the competition from the side of immigrants willing to work sometimes for a pittance, the increase of unemployment.
The rise of crime, because illegal immigrants often work for little pay and are on the other side of the law, in particular, a significant part of drugs trafficking and trafficking deadly poison in the country is carried out by people from “dangerous” countries that are at the group of risk.
Overpopulation of the residential areas occupied by illegal immigrants, unsanitary conditions, threatening virtuous citizens. This, in turn, leads to resentment of the indigenous population forced to live in close proximity to clusters of immigrants.
The destruction of families as migrant workers have a very long time been away from their families.
The economic burden to the taxpayers, because they have to spend money on the health care of immigrants, even banal deportation costs money. At the same time, illegal migrants and their employers do not pay taxes to the budget.
In this part of our research paper it is necessary to think about the actions against illegal immigration. According to Addo (2006), we see that, for example, “in July 2006, EU Ministers and African leaders met at the Ministerial Euro-African Conference on Migration and Development held in Rabat, Morocco. European ministers adopted an action plan that included development aid, to dissuade illegal migrants who wanted to leave Africa. The European Union pledged 18 billion euros (approximately US$23 billion) to African source and transit countries over a seven-year period. This money will be used to institute development and poverty-alleviation measures. The ministers also discussed creating avenues for legal migration.” This decision shows us that government is interested in overcoming challenges, but the situation is serious enough and it is impossible to solve it in several years.
Evaluating the situation with illegal immigrants in the United States we should pay specific attention on several interesting facts. Actually it’s fair to say that the United States of America is a unique public formation, because now living in the country as a nation, Americans have been formed as a result of migration of many millions of immigrants, the vast majority is the Europeans. But the doors of the United States were not always opened for people coming to them permanently displaced. Throughout history, the United States at first called for immigrants, and then tried to get rid of them.
Obviously, due to the increased flow of immigrants into the country the anti-immigrant sentiment increased. The press began to arise debate about whether immigrants are necessary for modern America or not. As Blondell (2008) demonstrated, polls show that nearly two-thirds of the population of the United States was against the liberalization of immigration laws. But at the same time, it is obvious that without immigrants the United States can experience some difficulties in economic development. But on the other hand, the U.S. have tightened penalties for illegal immigrants, because they contribute to a decline in prices for labor and cause great resentment among American workers.
What is the solution for this problem? I think that Binswanger (2006) in his article suggested a good solution: “the problem of “illegal” immigration can be solved at the stroke of a pen: legalize immigration. Screen all you want (though I want damn little), but remove the quotas. Phase them out over a 5- or 10-year period. Grant immediate, unconditional amnesty to all “illegal” immigrants.”
It is also possible to suggest that the solution must be found in the group that suffered mostly from such situation, which actually is its subject and object. This group is exactly illegal immigrants, whose fate is entirely dependent on market requirements. I consider that, of course, the root of the problem of illegal immigration lies at the bottom of society, gave rise to globalization, do not equalizing, but actually intensifying polarization between rich and poor, both in the scale of individual countries and across the world – rich countries and poor countries, at the base, gave birth to the racist prejudices and chauvinism, and most importantly – a demiurge of capital over man. For the solution of our problem today it is necessary to change the essence of the whole society that generated it.
That is, in general, the picture of contemporary reality in the context of the problem of illegal immigration, our point of view on its causes, solutions and alternatives to the status quo. Thus, taking into account all the information discussed above it is possible to come to the conclusion that illegal immigration is a crime, but illegal immigrants need help and only right laws can help them to leave shadow and become visible. However, it does not mean that we should turn away from the current needs of this part of the social order, but on the contrary, we must look closely at the trends within it. I strongly believe that the answer must be found in the socio-political movement of the order itself, which we consider.