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Immigration term paper

"Why do large immigration flows come from certain countries while other countries generate small flows or no flows at all, given the equal treatment of US immigration policy toward nationals of all countries in the post-1965 period? Although most prior studies are not cross-national analyses in nature and do not explicitly or directly answer this question, they do offer several explanations relevant to the present analysis. However, these explanations are often conflicting and there is no generally accepted theory. The most common explanation of cross-country variation in migration stems from development theory (also known as modernization theory), which dominated the thinking of international migration studies until the mid-1970s. Basically, development theory assumes that every society is located at certain stages of development and will transform from traditional to modern societies or from a lower level of development to a higher level of development. Corresponding to different stages of development, migration goes from less developed societies to more advanced ones. This theory posits that the underlying cause of cross-country migration, especially migration from LDCs to MDCS, is the underdevelopment of sending societies. Underdevelopment may include a cluster of demographic, socioeconomic, and political "push-pull" factors, which push people to leave their countries of origin and pull them to receiving countries. Hence, development theory to international migration is also the macro version of "push-pull" theory. Overpopulation, economic stagnation, high unemployment, and poverty are usually cited as the underdevelopment problems that cause emigration."

"Economic concerns associated with immigration have not abated. During the occasionally acrimonious debate in Congress during June 1984 on the Simpson-Mazzoli bill, the issue of immigrants and jobs was again at the forefront of the arguments. This time, however, the discussion on the floor of the House of Representatives focused on so-called "undocumented" or illegal workers. For example, Congressman Shaw stated that "the people left out of the immigration debate are the American workers who are being discriminated against, because they are losing jobs to illegal aliens who are coming to this country and working for less." Congressman Burton shared this view: "Part of the unemployment problem is that not everyone employed in this nation is an American ... illegal workers take jobs from Americans. There are nine million Americans looking for work. There are five to twenty million illegal aliens. These numbers suggest a solution to the unemployment problem." Some even voted against the bill because certain workers already in this country would be granted amnesty. Thus, Congressman Hance stated that, "For every job now occupied by an undocumented worker, it costs the country. Amnesty costs jobs for American citizens. It legalizes the theft of American jobs." He cast a vote against the bill. On the other hand, a conservative Republican leader, Congressman Kemp, argued rather eloquently that immigrants do not take jobs from Americans. He, too, voted against the bill. The vice-presidential nominee of the Democratic Party also voted "no" because it granted amnesty, an unpopular issue among her blue-collar ethnic constituents."

"When immigration first became a national issue, the rhetoric of its debates claimed for some the right to join the American community. Moral and racial criteria distinguished potential Americans from those the nation should reject. Policy advocates empowered to speak assumed that there was a causal relation between race and morality. Asians and dark-skinned Europeans were sexually predatory, willing to work like slaves, and worshiped foreign gods or yoked themselves to popery. Most important, these immigrants were unfamiliar with republican virtues. Social elites, especially from small, rural towns and suburbs, prevailed in these claims to exclusivity on religious, racial, and class grounds. Local charities and labor leaders played an especially prominent role in defining the terms of immigration restriction. The first efforts to control immigration excluded contract laborers and the Chinese. Lawmakers acted at the behest of labor and local officials, and excluded potential immigrants likely to end up on aid."

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