Background: Migration is moving from one place to another due to different reasons. Both human beings and animals have a tendency of moving from one place another especially after exhausting natural resources in their original place, and they move to look for the natural resources in other places. Human beings have a natural tendency of migrating from one place to another. The aspect of migration began from ancient times where individuals were moving from a certain location to another because of exhaustion of resources which were found naturally. After several years of establishment, individuals do not only move from one place to another searching for natural resources but also move looking for a better life with high living standards, social security and education. The number of people migrating from their country of origin to another country has increased greatly. Some of the factors which cause migration are conflict or riot, environment issues, poverty, and a big gap between the poor and the rich, among others. Evidently, most people move from developing nations to developed nations like France, United States, Germany, Canada, and Italy so as to find stabilization as well as freedom. According to a survey done by United Nations in 2013, 3.2% of the population in the globe, more than 230 million individuals were worldwide migrants in the year 2013. New statistics of migration as per United Nations in 2015 indicated that the number of immigrants was 244 million in the world where the number had increased to 41% as compared to the year 2000. Many people argue that migration has negative impacts on developed countries, but that does not mean that migration has no positive impact on those countries. Most of the time, the economy of developed countries improves since skilled people move to such countries and end up getting employed where they work together with citizens of the country and the economy improves (Carr, 2005). This paper seeks to review the impact of migration on the developed countries with evidence which is supported by examples. The paper aims at providing both the negative and positive impacts of migration on developed countries.
Thesis: Although migration is viewed as though it has many advantages in developed countries, it should be stopped due to the many disadvantages it has.
Argument: Migration affects the economy of developed countries in different ways. Migration increases the level of population which leads to the supply of skills exceeding the demand thus employers exploit this to lowering salaries and wages which result in decreasing the living standards of the citizens and the immigrants (GARIP, 2016). Additionally, migration results to increasing the number of people in a certain developed country which results in a lot of competition when it comes to the job market and employers have no otherwise other than reducing the wages of every employee in different organizations in order to sustain them in the field of employment (Afonso and Devitt, 2016). For example, there has always been a competition in the job market between the immigrants and the citizens of developed countries to the point that citizens claim that immigrants steal their jobs, therefore, making that jobless and lowering their wages which affect the economy of developed country negatively where it deteriorates.
Counter Argument: Migration affects economy positively in developed countries whereby skilled individuals migrate to developed countries to look for employment and when they are employed in good organizations, they improve the economy of that country in a great way. Evidence proposes that when the level of migration advances the supply of labor, organizations increase investment to balance any decrease in money per employee, thus keeping regular salaries from deteriorating above the long term (Freeman and Kessler, 2008). Mostly, immigrants are never perfect in the labor market when compared to the citizens of developed countries meaning that they are not likely to compete in the same job field as well as put slight downward force on the wages of citizens. Notably, immigrants have a tendency of creating chances for native employees who are less-skilled in certain fields, and they end up becoming more specialized in those particular fields resulting to an increase in their productivity and the country benefits economically. The immigrants also advance the fiscal situation of the government in general as most of them pay a lot of taxes as they stay in developed countries than they put away in government facilities (OECD, 2014). The economic demand expands where most immigrants have to work hard to sustain their lives in developed countries although they increase the supply of labor in those countries. Clearly, most of their salaries are spent in sustaining basic needs such as food and clothes, TVs and other services in the country which requires them to put more effort in their working firms which in return improves the economy of the country (Lucas, 2008). For example, both citizens and immigrants work in different organizations, productivity in the organizations increases thus improving the economy of the country.
Refutation: The issue of migration lowering the living standards of individuals in developed countries should be proven because no much evidence indicates the truth about it. When people work together as one, and they are focused to increase the productivity of different organizations in the country, the chances of improving the living standards of individuals is high. Since both skilled immigrants and citizens work together in several organizations, their salaries and wages increase after increasing their productivity in the organizations which result in improving their living standards. For example, when the wages and salaries are good and well paid, an individual can afford to live a comfortable life with his or her family without worrying about the basic needs. It is so clear that some immigrants can even afford a luxurious life in foreign countries which shows that their living standards end up improving (Mosley and Singer, 2015).
Argument: Migration has led to population growth and at times overpopulation in different developed countries. When the population increases, people tend to look for free land to settle there and when these lands are not available, deforestation, desertification and other environmental degradation end up occurring in order to create free land which may accommodate immigrants in developed countries (Hugo, 2008). Several locations show that deforestation, as well as land degradation, can occur in developed countries so that immigrants may find a place to settle in such regions. Both huge forced migrations that may happen in the process of civil war and after natural calamity has occurred, and deliberate migration by families to a fresh region to make use of available resources and land might lead to rapid environmental change. Evidently, the results of deforestation are negative since they lead to low rains which might lead to drought in such countries (Griswold, Taylor and Norris, 2010). Additionally, there is the issue of poor sanitation, contamination of water, soil erosion, overcrowding and these are some of the negative impacts of migration on the environment. For example, the tropical forests which are on Amazon were cleared off so that individuals could settle down in such areas. Some individuals may migrant to developed countries, yet they are very poor, and they cannot afford somewhere to live comfortably in a house, so they are forced to use natural resources for survival. Many of these people cut down the trees where they end up building simple houses for shelter. Additionally, they also fetch some firewood from the forest to prepare their meals as well as keep themselves warm especially in cold regions. They also gather and hunt wild game, herbs, fruits, as well as other plants for medicine and food. Natural resources are also used for income generating activities and for livelihood (Millock, 2015). For example, some immigrants use natural resources to generate income whereby they engage in agricultural activities and making fuel out of the trees. Nonetheless, inappropriate use of natural resources may lead to degradation of the environment and may affect people who depend on that environment for survival. Immigrants who relocate to a new environment for livelihood and economic reasons are likely to affect the environment in which they settle. The investigation which was carried out at the Carolina Population Center analyzed the impacts of the migration to the environment at the long-term (Blanquart and Gandon, 2011). For example, some immigrants may establish oil companies where they end up drilling the oil without taking caution of the land which leads to huge holes in the land.
Counter- Argument: In contrast to the perspectives and theories which show the negative effects of migration to the environment, there are several researches which show that migration has no appreciate impact on the problems of the environment. Looking at the ecological footprint, it states that though migration leads to population growth, it may have less harm to the environment compared to other causes of population growth because migration tend to have a slight ecological footprint than the citizens of developed countries (Ewing et al., 2010, p. 114). For example, the residents of United States have one of the biggest ecological footprints in the world and immigrants usually have lifestyles with little demands on the ecosystem. The demands involve small consumption as well as waste, and normally produce less harm to the environment. Migrants usually have less affluent and they also use little of the technologies as well as luxury item which are usually associated with waste, consumption and environment harm. Additionally, migrants also live in smaller houses, more carpool and use public mean of transport all together end up in an ecological footprint which is smaller (Fiala, 2008, p. 524).
Refutation: Most individuals think that migration brings harm to the environment through air pollution, but there is no enough evidence on this. Although migration leads to overpopulation in most developed countries, there is still no evidence to show that the issue leads to air pollution (Walsham, 2010). For example, most researchers have done an investigation on the issue of air pollution due to migration, but the research does not show that migration leads to air pollution to the environment. The amount of air pollution in a certain country has never increased or the ozone layer due to pollution (IOM and UNFPA, 2008). Again, the issue of air pollution can be explained by ecological footprint. Since immigrants have smaller ecological footprint compared to the residents of the developed countries, it shows that migration does not lead to air pollution because immigrants have less waste and consumption thus reducing rate of air pollution (Galli et al., 2016, p. 231).
Conclusion: In conclusion, migration has both negative and positive impact on the economy of developed countries. When both skilled immigrants and citizens work together, they enable the economy of the country to develop through their productivity. In contrast, migration increases the level of population which leads to the supply of skills exceeding the demand thus employers exploit this to lowering salaries and wages which result in decreasing the living standards of the citizens and the immigrants. Also, the environment is affected negatively by deforestation and desertification by the large population of individuals. New construction of roads in an area due to mining may lead to development in that particular region. Although migration is viewed as though it has many advantages in developed countries, it should be stopped due to the many disadvantages it has.
Afonso, A. and Devitt, C. (2016) ‘Comparative political economy and international migration’, Socio-Economic Review, p. mww026. doi: 10.1093/ser/mww026.
Blanquart, F. and Gandon, S. (2011) ‘Evolution of Migration in a Periodically Changing Environment’, The American Naturalist, 177(2), pp. 188–201. doi: 10.1086/657953.
Carr, E. R. (2005) ‘Placing the environment in migration: Environment, economy, and power in Ghana’s Central Region’, Environment and Planning A, 37(5), pp. 925–946. doi: 10.1068/a3754.
Ewing, B., Moore, D., Goldfinger, S. H., Oursler, A., Reed, A. and Wackernagel, M. (2010) ‘Ecological Footprint Atlas 2010’, Global Footprint Network, pp. 1–111. Available at: https://www.footprintnetwork.org/images/uploads/Ecological_Footprint_Atlas_2010.pdf.
Fiala, N. (2008) ‘Measuring sustainability: Why the ecological footprint is bad economics and bad environmental science’, Ecological Economics, 67(4), pp. 519–525. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2008.07.023.
Freeman, G. P. and Kessler, A. K. (2008) ‘Political Economy and Migration Policy’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34(4), pp. 655–678. doi: 10.1080/13691830801961670.
Galli, A., Giampietro, M., Goldfinger, S., Lazarus, E., Lin, D., Saltelli, A., Wackernagel, M. and Müller, F. (2016) ‘Questioning the Ecological Footprint’, Ecological Indicators, pp. 224–232. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.04.014.
GARIP, F. (2016) ‘Social Capital and Migration?: How Do Similar Resources Lead to Divergent Outcomes??’, Demography, 45(3), pp. 591–617. doi: 10.1353/dem.0.0016.
Griswold, C. K., Taylor, C. M. and Norris, D. R. (2010) ‘The evolution of migration in a seasonal environment’, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1694), pp. 2711–2720. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0550.
Hugo, G. (2008) ‘Migration, Development and Environment’, Distribution, 103(35), p. 55. Available at: https://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/Migration--Development-and-Environment--Migration-Processes-from-the-Perspective-of-Environmental-Ch1-4438-0038-4.htm.
IOM and UNFPA (2008) Expert Seminar: migration and the environment, International Dialogue on Migration.
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Millock, K. (2015) ‘Migration and Environment’, Annual Review of Resource Economics, 7(1), pp. 35–60. doi: doi:10.1146/annurev-resource-100814-125031.
Mosley, L. and Singer, D. A. (2015) ‘Migration, Labor, and the International Political Economy’, Annual Review of Political Science, 18(1), pp. 283–301. doi: 10.1146/annurev-polisci-020614-094809.
OECD (2014) ‘Is migration good for the economy?’, Migration Policy Debates, (May), pp. 1–4.
Walsham, M. (2010) ‘Assessing the Evidence: Environment, Climate Change and Migration in Bangladesh’, Change, p. 89p. Available at: https://publications.iom.int/bookstore/free/environment_climate_change_bangladesh.pdf.
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