Individuals migrate from one place to another for a variety of reasons. It could be driven by a new work opportunity, a hope to start a new life, or a desire to flee from something. In most cases, migration is motivated by education and improved conditions. Unfortunately, people who attempt to leave their home countries often enter their destination countries illegally. Thus, over 40 million immigrants live in the United States, and approximately 11 million of them have entered the country without proper documentation (Bodvarsson and Van den Berg 318). The number of illegal incomers in the United States has steadily decreased throughout the years. Indeed, regulations implemented by the federal government in response to illegal immigration resulted in the reduction of illegitimate workers. Nevertheless, migration from Central America is still on the rise because the Mexican border is often regarded as the primary gateway used by foreigners to reach the United States.
The primary cohort of illegal foreigners that come to the U.S. are citizens of Central American and Asian countries. However, according to the Pew Foundation Research, the number of illegal immigrants, mainly from Mexico, has decreased (Bodvarsson and Van den Berg 403). Specifically, the number of undocumented Mexicans living in the United States has steadily declined since 2004 (Bodvarsson and Van den Berg, 201). The possible explanation for this decrease is that the United States experienced an economic recession and started to introduce strict policies during that period (Bodvarsson and Van den Berg 352). The quantity of illegal settlers inside America from Central America and Asia has expanded during the last decade (Bodvarsson and Van den Berg 348). Moreover, the number of Central Americans moving to the United States rose from approximately 1.5 million to about 1.9 million from 2007 to 2017, primarily from the countries in the northern triangle (International Organization for Migration 12). The overall trend is that many people in developing countries aim to relocate to the United States to seek better employment and education opportunities.
Many reasons make individuals migrate from their home countries to abroad. In fact, these are the same three reasons that make people move to the U.S: employment, education, and social amenities (Card 300). First, work and higher salaries are essential drivers for people coming to the United States. Indeed, the U.S. possesses better prospects for finding high-paying jobs for immigrants. Therefore, citizens of countries with less developed economies move to states with more employment opportunities, especially if they lack professional training. Second, education is another crucial non-economic incentive for immigration among many foreigners (Bodvarsson and Van den Berg 208). Parents aspire for their children to get an education in a place that provides advanced knowledge and resources. Many will migrate to allow the young generation to receive training in American schools and colleges that can potentially help them succeed in the future. Third, enjoying progressive social policies is another motivation for migration to the U.S. Indeed, people from developing countries may move to the United States to be able to access advanced healthcare services.
Immigration has a positive and negative effect on the economy of the U.S. Incomers contribute to the country’s workforce, leading to the facilitation of economic development. Immigrants working and searching for a job in the United States comprised 4.6% of the population in 2017 (Rodriguez 567). Construction, hospitality business, and agriculture are the most common industries where these people can find work and make the most impact (Bodvarsson and Van den Berg 293). However, since the federal government decided to make education and other social services more accessible for migrants, the overall cost of education increased (Rodriguez 583). In fact, children of illegal immigrants are provided with free public education either in schools or specialized centers (Rodriguez 598). Notably, the U.S. health care system is also affected by the continuous inflow of newcomers from other countries. The government budget on health is always strained because immigrants should be given access to health services; thus, a substantial burden is created for American taxpayers (Bodvarsson and Van den Berg 338). Overall, unauthorized incomers are crucial contributors in some sectors, but they also cause some fiscal burden for healthcare and education.
In summary, illegal migrants’ number in the United States has steadily decreased throughout the years. Still, the U.S. remains a compelling place to live due to more opportunities and better quality of life. Since the Mexican border is often regarded as the primary gateway used by immigrants to reach the United States, immigration from Central America is still high. Three primary reasons force individuals to migrate from their states to a more developed country: employment, education, and social benefits. Immigration impacts the United States’ economy both positively and negatively. The advantage of foreign employees to come to the country is their contribution to industrial and economic development. However, the drawback of this situation is that the need to provide illegal workers and their children with education and medical services negatively influences American taxpayers.
Bodvarsson, Örn B., and Hendrik Van den Berg. The Economics of Immigration. New York, NY: Springer, 2013.
Card, David. “Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?” The Economic Journal, vol. 115, no. 507, 2005, pp. 300-323.
International Organization for Migration. Central America, North America, and the Caribbean – Regional Strategy 2020-2024. San José: IOM.
Rodriguez, Cristina M. “The Significance of the Local in Immigration Regulation.” Michigan Law Review, vol. 106, no. 4, 2008, pp. 567-642.