Illegal immigrants denote the people who unlawfully cross-national boundaries into host nations in a way that infringes immigration laws or individuals who remain in a given country beyond limitations of permitted entry. Whether legal or illegal, immigration is normally a rising move from a lower to a higher living standard. The level of illegal immigration into the United States (which comprises about 11 million individuals) has not differed tremendously from around 2005 (Garcini et al. 245). Attributable to the expansion of different concepts, numerous concerns such as the ones associated with the environment, socio-economic aspects, poverty, and migration across the globe have been considered security matters or threats. This essay will center on the aspects of the security argument that seeks to establish whether illegal immigrants create a threat to a country. Investigation of the affirmation that illegal immigration constitutes a threat to the host nation while considering societal, internal, public safety, and financial factors shows that it is not only a construed or alleged threat but a detrimental phenomenon.
Irrespective of their perceived benefits, traditional immigrant-welcoming countries such as Canada might embrace a different perception of national uniqueness hence could be more lenient and accepting of different cultures, religions, and languages that back the strategy of multiculturalism. Canada has incorporated immigration as fundamental to its development while the rising population of immigrants in Germany is an unplanned impact of its account of guest employees’ immigration over and above a huge influx of refugees and asylum seekers (Hjarnø 35). Every country’s distinctive account influences its immigration strategies, in addition to whether illegal immigrants may be alleged to constitute a threat to the nation. Nonetheless, the general affirmation is that illegal immigration does not pose a threat to a country since immigrants play a vital role in the support of multiculturalism and cultural diversity. Moreover, illegal immigrants assist a nation to uphold the characteristics of its multinational groups. Instead of incriminating illegal immigrants, a country should create a way of assimilation of such a population.
Illegal immigrants help in the effective understanding of cultural and ethnic affinity; practices that a country’s citizens are themselves threatening, and which do not vary over time. Moreover, what could be considered to constitute a threat in one country might be supported in another thus demonstrating that the concept of illegal immigration acts as a subjective instead of an objective risk to a nation’s security. Securitization of illegal immigrants as a menace to the country is unfair and problematic because it results in the labeling of migrants as the other group, which eventually seeks to exclude both legal and illegal immigrants from society (Mohl 47). Affirmations that present illegal immigrants as a threat to a country replicate the political illusion that a homogeneous state, society, or western civilization was extant and may be regenerated presently with the exclusion of all immigrants, who are wrongly categorized as cultural aliens. The action of securitizing illegal immigrants constitutes more threats to a country than migrants themselves because it occurs as a means of strengthening xenophobia and racial discrimination, eventually resulting in social disintegration.
On the contrary, illegal immigrants benefit a country economically through such practices as the increment of tax revenue, development of a cheap pool of labor, and rise of the amount of money that is in circulation. Illegal immigrants generate good values in a country, have motivations in line with the nation’s vision, and undertake jobs that citizens would consider odd. Illegal immigration should not be outrightly criminalized since the opposition of such immigrants reinforces the notions of racism.
The notion of economic, societal, public security and internal aspects primarily deal with the concern of collective distinctiveness. Such occurrences encompass the capacity of a country to persist in its essential character under varying situations and likely or real threats. Critics of illegal immigration affirm that individuals who violate the law by crossing a country’s boundaries devoid of legal authorization or the ones who overstay their visas ought to be deported devoid of being rewarded with the possibility of acquiring citizenship or obtaining necessary social services. They assert that illegal immigrants are criminals who contribute to economic and social liabilities to law-abiding and tax-paying citizens.
In line with global migration, illegal immigrants weaken the capacity of host nations to safeguard against negative effects on their linguistic, religious, national, and cultural distinctiveness (Kar and Beladi 705). From such a point of view, the national principles of the host state are under threat from illegal immigrants. Therefore, illegal immigrants pose tremendous challenges to the identity of the host country attributable to their varying culture, economic status, religion, and language.
The concerns of the threat of illegal immigrants on different aspects of the host nation do not constitute an objective and universal risk, but a subjective risk, reliant on the approach in which such a country protects itself. For example, while different countries might perceive multiculturalism as an undesirable occurrence, other nations may identify it as a benefit and feel proud of their cultural diversity. In the post-war era, many countries particularly in Europe have gone through a period of transformation from relatively homogeneous nations, whose members have been highly bound by a common feeling of ethnic and cultural uniqueness, to a heterogenous situation that consists of individuals from different nationalities. In such an incidence, illegal immigrants could be perceived to constitute a threat to a nation because they challenge a country’s unique identity, in addition to its core values (Kakaulina 195). Moreover, the failure of illegal immigrants to assimilate could contribute to negative effects on the linguistic, religious, national, and cultural aspects of the host country, as well as the instability of the government.
Despite their alleged positive contributions, illegal immigrants should be controlled or eliminated because they constitute a threat to a country. Most illegal immigrants are either asylum seekers or refugees who lead to threats to the host country’s social security, in addition to its welfare network. From this point of view, the benefit of eradicating illegal immigration is that most unlawful migrants present problems instead of opportunities to the receiving nation (Kar and Beladi 703). Illegal immigrants are free-loaders or profiteers who unlawfully exploit a country’s welfare network hence rendering it incapable to sustain an inflow of migrants. If such a situation is not addressed effectively illegal immigrants will rise to a level of constituting a profound economic threat to the country, leading to housing shortages, and overstretching the education and sanitation services to mention a few. Additionally, the failure of a country to control the entry of illegal immigrants will lead not only to their taking away employment opportunities that could have been enjoyed by native citizens and legal migrants, but also their overexploitation of social benefits.
Garcini, Luz M., et al. ““A High Price Paid”: Migration-Related Loss and Distress Among Undocumented Mexican Immigrants.” Journal of Latinx Psychology, vol. 7, no. 3, 2019, pp. 245-249.
Hjarnø, Jan. Illegal Immigrants and Developments in Employment in the Labour Markets of the EU. Routledge, 2019.
Kakaulina, Maria. “Budget Tax Revenues and Losses from External Labor Migration in Russia.” Journal of Tax Reform, vol. 5, no. 3, 2019, pp. 190-203.
Kar, Saibal, and Hamid Beladi. “A Model of Smuggling and Trafficking of Illegal Immigrants with a Host Country Policy.” Review of Development Economics, vol. 21, no. 3, 2017, pp. 698-712.
Mohl, Raymond. “The Politics of Expulsion: A Short History of Alabama’s Anti-Immigrant Law, HB 56.” Journal of American Ethnic History, vol. 35, no. 3, 2016, pp. 42-67.