Place an order for a custom essay, research paper on this or related subject.
- I. Definition of migration
Immigration can be defined as the movement of people, animals or plants from one place to another across specified boundaries, in many instances to settle there permanently.
A. Classification of migration
1) External migration
External migration is the movement of people from one country to another.
2) Internal migration
Internal migration implies the migration of people within the same country.
B) Factors explaining why people migrate
There are two factors that are used to explain why people migrate. They include the push and pull factors.
1) Push factor
Push factors are those that cause people to move from their area of residence. Examples of push factors are increased crime rates, famines, floods, insatiable services, insecurity, wars, poverty and drought among many others.
2) Pull factors
On the other hand, pull factors are reasons that cause people to move to a new area such as better services being offered, higher rates of employment, favorable climate, good security, fertile soils, stable political situations etc.
- II. Reasons why people migrate.
These can be classified into four categories which include;
1) Economic reasons, where people move to another region because its economic conditions are better or more favorable than those of the place that they are migrating from. Examples of economic conditions that may cause people to migrate are inflation, poor economic growth and unemployment.
- Social reasons which may be necessitated by desire to live a better and quality life or to move closer to family or friends. An example of this migration is a person who moves from Mexico and buys a house in New York in the pursuit of a better social life.
- Environmental reasons like famine, frequent earthquakes, droughts, and flooding. These cause people to move to areas with a more favorable environment.
- Political reasons. Political instability may result to wars, discrimination and persecution. People who are forced to migrate because of political instability related issues become refugees. (Stalker’s guide to international migration, 2007).
- III. The first immigrants in America
A. The proof of who they were.
The first immigrants to come to America were the Indians who came from Asia. This has been proofed by some researchers who were led by Eske Willerslev, a Danish professor. It has been proofed that these Indians were not of either an African or European origin. Professor Eske, a professor at Copenhagen University collected some fossils at the caves of Oregon desert. These fossils were later recognized as human waste. Several tests were run on the waste and the results showed that it contained two major types of Genes with an Asian origin. These genes match with
those of the present day Indian Americans. More information on this research’s findings is that this waste was back dated to almost 14,340 years ago from the day of the research (4th April 2008). This is approximately 1000 years earlier than any other sources have assumed as the date when these immigrants first arrived in America. This is enough proof that American Indian’s ancestors were the first immigrants to come to America.
1) Where they settled
They first settled in North America but later on spread to other parts of America, although their main area of residence remained North America.
2) Treatment given to the Indian immigrants by the white Americans.
A short history on the treatment of the early Indians in America shows that they were discriminated and treated unjustly, with prejudice and hostility. Indians managed to get the same education as the American citizens, but after their graduation at the colleges, they could not get jobs in the American companies. This discrimination was unfair and against liberty rules, because they had the same qualifications as the other American students and yet couldn’t be employed. The Indians in America kept long hair and beards besides wearing a turban on their heads. It is for this reason that they used to be called the “red rags”, another way in which they were discriminated. Despite the mistreatments they underwent, they still had to look for means to survive. They were forced to work on poor working conditions and to accept low salaries and wages. In 1907, about 300 Indians who were employed at various mills owned by Americans lost their jobs. They were chased away by the white American citizens so that they could not be employed while the Americans remained unemployed. This led to the formation of the Anti- Indian immigration movement in 1913 which pressurized the American Government to pass the
Alien Land Law. This law allowed the Indians that were not eligible for citizenship to own property in cities like California. Indians then started to intermarry with the American citizens. This led to the writing and passing of the Cable Act which stated that any American woman who got married to any man that was not an American citizen, would cease to be an American citizen. Another law, the immigration law was passed in 1917, and it prevented all Asians from migrating to America. This law also stated that only Asians that could speak English could enter America. Some Indians, in great anger, left America and returned to Asia, while those who could speak and understand English were allowed into the country. This decreased the number of immigrants from Asia to America. With the passing of other laws that favored the Indians, approximately sixty seven Indians acquired citizenship from 1908 to 1923. Their citizenship was however revoked later on in 1923, and at the same time they were not given back their Indian citizenship which they had surrendered. Their luck at last came in 1946, where President Trueman enacted the Luce-Cellar Bill that allowed the Indian natives to become citizens in America. This was a great success for them, since the law granted them the same rights as the white Americans. (Singh, 2006.p 1-4).
B. Immigration policies
Immigration policies are those that govern the manner in which immigrants should behave, and also regulates what types of immigration there should be. Today’s immigration policies have been modified to relate with other types of policies. Examples of such policies include:
- Tax, tariff and trade policies that restrict the immigrants from bringing some goods with them when entering the country and what activities they are allowed and not allowed to engage in while still in the country. They also state the qualifications a person should
have if he wishes to stay permanently in the country. This policy also states the manner in which the immigrants should pay their taxes.
- Investment policy. This policy favors the wealthy immigrants to be granted citizenship as fast as possible, permanent houses to reside in and to have easy access to passports.
- Agricultural policy. Such a policy regulates the entrance of who immigrants who come to America for purposes of farming and other agricultural activities. These immigrants are normally in the country for a short period, like during the harvest seasons, and then go back to their countries.
- Health policy. Immigration can result to the spread of many diseases especially through the illegal immigrants who are not screened for diseases before they enter the country. This policy’s work is to ensure immigrants are free of contagious diseases, especially those that have been eradicated in America. (Wikipedia, 2008)
1V. Effects of immigration
Immigration has both positive and negative effects.
A. Positive effects
The effect of immigration on the economy can be determined by considering factors like capital and resources. If the immigrants come to the country as investors, then it means that they will have a positive effect on the economy, since they will bring in capital and income to the country. They also bring in more labor if their motive for migrating was to search for employment. Immigrants also contribute to the growth of the economy because they pay their taxes.
2) Transfer or cultures
Another positive effect of the immigrants is the introduction of good cultures from the immigrants, which are copied and practiced by Americans.
B. Negative effects
1) Over crowding
Some of the negative effects of immigration to the economy include overcrowding. This causes the population of a country to increase, and in some instances, the resources available in the country are not enough to cater for the huge population.
There’s also the problem of the spread of diseases where the immigration is illegal, since the immigrants are not screened of any diseases before they get in to the country, especially those that have been already eradicated.
3) Language influence
In America, the high numbers of immigrants have caused an influence on English, since there has been the introduction of new words and ascents borrowed from the languages of the immigrants. (Hirschman etal, 1999)