June Johnson on Illegal Immigration
June Johnson in her book -‘Global Issues, Local Arguments’- discusses various aspects concerning culture, immigration, alternative energy sources, human rights, outsourcing, and global finance. In general, Johnson discusses the key global issues causing significant concern. Primarily, Johnson’s book requires its readers to make a connection between global issues and local actions to understand how these issues are used as agents of effective change. For purposes of this study, this essay discusses the issue of immigration as presented by Johnson in chapters four and five, in her book. A narrower subtopic talks about illegal immigration. According to her discussion on illegal immigration, Johnson maintains that this social aspect results to significant effects on a country’s social, political, and economic issues.
Primarily, illegal immigration is facilitated by the movement of people from low socio-economic countries to those with high socio-economic environments. People from developing countries have a tendency of moving to developed countries. However, as economic conditions improve, the rate of immigration tends to decrease. Potential immigrants undertake illegal immigration when they realize the benefits and probability of migrating successfully to another country with better living standards. They benefit they consider include, expected improvement in living standards and income.
Among the major challenges facing current society include rapid population growth. Whether society’s response to this issue with result from despair or pride, the status of the near future will be dependent on how this issue is handled today. Since concerns over the environment began in the 1960s, society has made significant efforts to reduce the negative influence on the environment. The United States society, for example, has adopted practices such as recycling and carpooling. Industries and governments are striving to reduce pollution and clean up waste. However, these conservation efforts are gradually proving futile as population increases.
Even if the environmental impact by society is reduced by twenty-five percent, a feat beyond the levels predicted by environmentalists, societies will still consume more resources thus leading to more pollution. Ultimately, illegal immigration is a chief cause of increased population growth. Continued growth in population compromises efforts directed towards resource efficiency and conservation. Only when populations are stabilized will the immigration impact on the environment be controlled. Conservative measures cannot achieve their objective unless managing immigration becomes part of the solution.
From what Johnson discusses, we understand that the key to stabilizing population involves developing effective policies. In this regard, the rate of births per woman and rate of immigrant replacement need to be regulated. For example, the United States managed to achieve the ‘replacement rate’ in the 70s. However, the rate of births has increased due to illegal immigrants. Even if immigration ceased, momentum would still cause global population to continue growing. Despite immigration being out of control, national governments are not doing enough to quell the issue that fuels population growth. To control damage to the environment, society must stabilize population. For the sake of the environment, average annual immigration needs to be reduced and illegal immigration needs to be eliminated.
Furthermore, the United States census bureau states that US population will rise from the current 303 million to 400 million in thirty years. While other industrialized countries such as Japan and Western Europe are going through reduced population growth, the United States is rising rapidly and trails China and India in total numbers. Japan and many Western Countries have managed to lower population growth due to little immigration and replacement birth measures. Advocates for population stabilization and environmental organizations fear that immigration influx forces nations to exceed their carrying capacity. This stresses an already overburdened environment.
For instance, consider a family of five immigrating into the United States from a developing country. In their home country, the probability of owning a vehicle was highly unlikely. However, once in the United States, they are more likely to own a vehicle with 0.85 cars for every family member. Hence, for every mile traveled, they contribute to pollution and consume resources that would have remained unaffected. Crossing borders allows them to adopt lifestyles that affect the environment adversely. By living in America, they adopt pollution and consumption patterns considered the most environmentally destructive in the world. Additionally, when a family migrates, their house needs to be built. This implies that forests will have to be cut down to provide timber and the loss of farmland and wilderness to provide the home site. The family will also need space for schools, roads, incarceration, medical care, food production and shopping.
Additionally, illegal immigrants are potential threats to a country’s security. These immigrants cross borders without going through the proper precautions and restrictions required to access a country. While they assimilate themselves in the culture of a country, illegal immigrants can pose as drug dealers, murderers, or terrorists. With dangerous people living amongst a country’s citizens, the overall safety and wellbeing of the citizens is threatened. While governments are unable to control illegal immigration completely, the safety of the country is jeopardized.
With this in consideration, countries such as the United States act by formulating policies to address the issue of illegal immigration. However, with the high rate of illegal immigration, the efficiency of these policies is normally compromised. Democratic nations in this case rely on their citizens to help implement the immigration policies and laws. For these policies to be successful, governments require the cooperation of their citizens. However, most citizens do not oversee their responsibility of reporting illegal immigrants to relevant authorities. Such disregard of responsibility only undermines these policies because governments do not have the capacity of implementing them alone.
While the world is still recovering from the economic crisis that occurred on 2008 and 2009, the issue of illegal immigration poses a problem on the economy. One of most controversial issues surrounding this topic has to do with wages and jobs. Some argue that immigrants benefit a country’s economy by subsidizing the labor force, and providing individuals willing to work compared to native citizens. They argue that illegal immigrants provide a country with necessary workers needed to satisfy the growing demand for labor. However, Johnson’s arguments maintain that reality holds contrary to these arguments.
More accurately, the aspect of immigrants and the economy revolves around wages. Every year, thousands of immigrants leave their home countries to seek new pastures in other countries. Business people in these countries take advantage of desperate immigrants who would go through anything to be employed. These immigrants are paid significantly lower wages compared to native workers. Ultimately, as the wage rate of a country is pushed down, many workers are pushed out of employment. The wave of low wages brought by illegal immigration has led to many workers earning near 1,200 dollars a year. This poses a negative effect on a country’s economy.
The issue of the economy and immigration goes beyond the workforce. Illegal immigrants in a country also influence its tax system. In countries such as the United States, illegal immigrants pay tax by simply living there. However, because the immigration system in the US is dysfunctional, it is not possible to keep accurate track on these taxes. Hence, it is impossible to account for all taxes coming from illegal immigrants. Therefore, if the government cannot keep track on illegal immigrants, it is less likely to verify illegal aliens who fail to pay taxes. Not only do many illegal immigrants bypass tax payment, they also cause massive tax increments on the average taxpayer.
Furthermore, as more poor people leave their countries to developed ones, the need for financial help and social services such as medical care, education, and welfare increase dramatically together with the taxpayer’s money. For example, California only has 56 percent of its unregistered immigrants paying tax. The rest then cost the average American family 1,200 dollars in state and federal taxes every year. Hence, the cheap labor force that comes with illegal immigration turns out expensive in the long term. Ultimately, the economy has suffered greatly with the increasing illegal immigration. From the increase of taxes and lowering of wages, illegal immigration is a burden to a country’s fiscal and economic status.
The book Global Issues, Local Arguments by June Johnson discusses various aspects regarding culture, alternative energy sources, human rights, outsourcing, and global finance. Collectively, these various aspects represent significant global issues causing major concern. In particular, this essay endeavored to discuss the issue of immigration and the environment as Johnson discusses in chapters four and five in her book. The two chapters are divided into a number of subtopics, and the subtopic of illegal immigration was deemed best for discussion in this essay. Ultimately, Johnson’s discussion on illegal immigration maintains that this social aspect results to major effects on a country’s social, political, and economic issues.
An analysis of these effects reveals that illegal immigration poses negative effects on a country’s social, political, and economic environment. Illegal immigration is one of the major causes of a country’s population growth. Unplanned growth in population compromises efforts designed for conserving the environment and utilizing resources effectively. The impact of immigration on the environment can only be controlled when populations are stabilized. Furthermore, conservative measures cannot achieve their objective unless management of immigration issues is undertaken.
Additionally, Johnson illustrates that illegal immigration also affects a country’s economic status. More accurately, the effect of immigrants on a country’s economy comes through jobs and wages. Illegal immigrants are normally desperate and settle for paltry wages to earn a living in the destination country. This eventually pushes down the minimum wage rate and hence, discouraging native citizens from working in the industry. Additionally, illegal immigration also affects a country’s tax system adversely. By using up resources that otherwise would have been conserved, illegal immigrants subject citizens to tax burdens to cater for those resources. Ultimately, illegal immigration is a cause for concern and requires effective solutions to alleviate the problems associated with it.