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Illegal Immigration Causes

Why Do People Illegally Immigrate?

Why Do People Illegally Immigrate?

There are a number of reasons and causes for immigration to be seen as a necessary course of action.  Reasons like poverty, family reunification, war, natural disaster, overpopulation, and political instability all pose an endangerment to the affected people and their families. Illegal immigration has been a major issue in debate for many well-developed countries. Immigration policies are always being updated and revised.




Poverty is a leading cause for the affected person's decision to immigrate to another country. Poverty can be measured by the lack of food, resources, shelter, and education of a territory and is often correlated to a high crime rate or death rate in the state or nation. In a poor economy with little or no government insurance – or at times, interest -for the well-being and maintenance of its citizens, people are left destitute and helpless.


Poverty leaves people struggling to find food with sufficient nutrition and will sometimes make it impossible to even find drinkable water. Yet, poverty is a time-tested gauge of the solvency of that nation's economical flaws, which result in a lack of money in the economic flow of the society at hand – including the lack of money to be earned by citizens. Without money to purchase needs or wanted goods, people might be prone to criminal actions for their gain.


With so much destitution and despair, families will opt to immigrate to a land full of promise, food and resources. The new country they inhabit will be more than likely to have a flowing economy and opportunities for the illegal immigrants to find work. However, further problems arise when immigrants are paid less than minimum wage, as well as find themselves in dangerous and harmful working conditions that often lead to injuries or even deaths. This is due to the large amount of immigrants in the industry of physical and work labor jobs.


Family Reunification 


Family reunification has been known to be another leading cause for immigration. Many times, one or two family members residing in a country with a struggling economy will explore other residential prospects, with the hopes of gaining financial prosperity due to steady cash flow. In the specific example of the United States and Mexican immigrants, many Mexican immigrants have crossed the border to find work to make money that would then be sent back to their families in Mexico. This scenario rings true for immigrants to other popular countries of immigration. 


Once families comprised of illegal immigrants grow accustomed to a lifestyle in their new host land, they will undoubtedly make decisions that will not only determine the date of their return to their country of origin, but also the future plans for their extended family. Many times, the family still residing in the country of origin will seek to start a new life both with better opportunities, as well as more breathing room from overpopulation or dangerous political rule. The family, wishing to reunite, might make the choice to immigrate in order to be with each other once again. Once fully reunited, it has been found that immigrants do not tend to stay in the new country permanently and are found to eventually go back to their country of origin.


Family immigration contributes to the rising rate of illegal immigration. There exist many instances where family members will also immigrate because of the legal residence and status they can attain through a family member already legalized in the respective country. 




War is another huge contributing factor for the number of immigrants in a new country. There exists many ways in which a war can generate displaced people from all areas of the world. refugees 


In the midst of such dire series of events, all displaced persons will seek a new home and a new life; a quest, which at times, is contingent on illegally immigrating to another country where they may try to pick up the pieces and start all over again. Wars have been many of the primary catalysts for so many immigrations and displaced persons all over the world, especially following World War II 


Natural Disaster


Another reason for immigration is due to the destruction and wreckage caused by natural disasters. In the event of a terrible tornado, tsunami, or earthquake, myriads of people in the affected area will find themselves homeless, hopeless, and sometimes at a loss of their family members. Devoid of all possessions, many people will turn to the option of immigration to start life anew. Many times, an already impoverished area will be struck by a natural disaster that not only leads to displaced people, but also to a complete economic and societal collapse.


Most recently, the wake left by the earthquake in Haiti 


In recent news, Obama has agreed to give 30,000 Haitian nationals a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that will grant their statuses in America for an indefinite amount of time. Relief efforts plan to relocate 400,000 Haitians from makeshift camps to tent cities that will be government funded by many countries joining in the world effort to bring relief to the tragedy.




Overpopulation is another major cause for people to opt to immigrate to another country. Overpopulation is the result of an excessive amount of people overcrowding a piece of land, and the problems that arise as a result of overpopulation include food shortages, a lack of resources, an increased rate of crime and murders, susceptibilities to illnesses and diseases and climate change. Under these tight and terrible conditions of living, many decide to flee and immigrate to a new land which would be filled with resources, food, water, and plenty of comparable living space.


Other crippling effects of an overpopulated area can be the lack of job opportunities available to the people. Such shortages in employment opportunities result in people without having any means to make a living and provide for themselves and their families. In these communities, citizens have been found to trade or sell produce – as well as whatever resources are available to them. In light of this issue, the desire to illegally immigrate to a country with a stable economy filled with job opportunities would seem to be a brave and clever method for survival and better living.


However, the immigrants that wish to escape overpopulation start to pour into already overcrowded cities and countries. This dynamic creates the problem of overpopulation to their hosting country, especially in a society for which so many of the illegal aliens can not even be accounted. The implications of more and more immigrants in, for example, the United States creates statistics such as the following: more than 55 million people have been added to the U.S. since the 1970's which is equivalent to all of Central America's growth in thirty years.


Political Instability 


Political instability is another popular reason for immigration. In times of war, genocides and ethnic cleansing processes, many people had been subjected to the harsh cruelties and torturous deaths under their land of origin's tyrannical government. Many deaths occur as a result of dictators and the political instability that ensues under their rule. In this scenario, political instability can be a cause for all the reasons to immigrate; under an unstable authoritative rule, crime rates escalate, people are overcrowded into interred (as found in the example of the Holocaust 


Under these terrible living conditions, families will choose to illegally immigrate and flee the impending dangers and threats of their own country. As was in the case in World War II, millions of people were dislocated and even more were voluntarily displaced because of Nazi Germany and their threatening policy to Jews or anybody of non-German descent.


When people flock to another country, they will seek a government with a calm temperament, to a land that offers freedom, independence, justice and security. As a result, well-established countries like the United States, France and England are looked at favorably because of their stable government and their steady economy. 


As seen, there are a number of reasons why people find the need to immigrate to another country. Too often, the living conditions of the affected area or the implications of an impoverished and corrupted land will drive people to seek better for their lives and for their family's lives.


Pull vs. Push Inasmuch as Galileo's exposition of the heliocentric theory overturned prior astronomical conventions, the work of Ernest Ravenstein and other anthropologists challenged the idea that human migrations could not be understood under any guiding principles. In particular, one binary that has been of lasting significance to migration studies is the "push versus pull" principle of emigration/immigration.


Push factors, on one hand, govern catalysts for refugee, displaced persons and migrant worker movements to foreign lands because of adversity at home, such as civil unrest, natural disaster and economic downturn. Pull factors, meanwhile, are those positive attributes of foreign nations that attract said groups to their shores, even in the absence of immediate threats to their existence; such examples include something as seemingly banal as nicer weather, or something as grave as enough available food. 


As droves of Mexican/Latin migrant workers migrate illegally to the United States, there exist clear push and pull factors at work. In terms of push factors, poverty, crime and pollution of urban areas in Mexico are all means for undocumented laborers to risk life and limb crossing the border. In terms of pull factors, education, employment and First Amendment guarantees are among the reasons America is so appealing to refugees and illegal aliens. On one hand, overpopulation of illegal aliens can cripple an area, with demands for health care and financial support exceeding the ability of officials to supply it.


Yet, on the other hand, advocates sympathetic to the cause of overworked, underpaid illegal migrant workers believe in the myriad benefits of the immigrant presence in the United States, and oppose mass deportations due largely in part to these push/pull factors. Consequently, American policymakers must be careful not to upset the balance between nationalist interests and pro-illegal support.

How Poverty Increases Illegal Immigration

How Poverty Increases Illegal Immigration

Illegal immigration has been a huge cause of debate and controversy in the White House and in countries all over the world. There are various causes and reasons for one to reside illegally in a foreign country.


One of the major reasons for illegal immigrants to make their move over to a new territory is as a result of both poverty rates, as well as a lack of opportunity in their homeland. Poverty is a leading cause because within a poor economy, with little to no government involvement, people are left to struggle and scramble to find their own means when resources in the nation are scanty or tainted.


Without a government to protect the rights and well-being of its citizens, financial needs will not be cared for as they would be in a more economically-developed country. These results in a lack of purchasing power, which means food and living resources, are scarce or unaffordable. In these cases, an illegal immigrant will look towards a more thriving economy whose currency is much more valuable than the currency in circulation in their country of origin. 


There exist many contingencies potentially responsible for the poverty suffered by many illegal immigrants. Primarily, they may be living in an overpopulated Mexican natural disaster 


Illegal immigrants wanting to escape their poverty-stricken land will seek work in the country to which they immigrated. Often times, an employer will prefer to hire an illegal immigrant because they could be paid without documentation, usually under the state's minimum wage – allowing the employer the opportunity to avoid taxation.


Thus, employers see the value in paying an illegal immigrant undocumented, unfair wages due to the fact that illegal immigrants are not allowed any of the rights afforded to America citizens. This creates a paradox, because the rights of American citizenship that are denied to illegal immigrants are the same rights that would protect them from that fashion of occupational exploitation.


In fact, the backbone of America's relatively stable economy is actually in part due to the amount of illegal immigrants that support and carry the businesses of middle to lower class families. While illegal immigration has been and will be an ongoing issue, there is no denying the ambivalence of the benefits as well as the detrimental effect to their hosting nation.

Family Reunification and Mexican Immigration

Family Reunification and Mexican Immigration

Over the past decade, illegal Mexican immigration has been a cause for debate, serving as a central example for all family immigration laws and policies.


In a study by Ramah McKay from the Migration Policy Institute, it was found that approximately two-thirds of permanent immigration is a result of family reunification. Family reunification is a leading reason for immigrants to immigrate illegally because they may be very culture-oriented and may find it necessary to always be near or living with their family.


Immigration through reunification is a means of keeping the family together, but it is also a way to gain admission and "lawful permanent residence" in the US. When immediate relatives already have citizenship in another state, it makes it easier for their family members to gain citizenship as well.


Some quick facts about illegal Mexican immigration and family immigration include the following statistics:


Due to the fact that Mexico and the United States share a border, illegal Mexican immigration was the single-largest group residing in the United States in 2006, and further studies have shown an annual growth.


Over 70% of immigrants living in New Mexico were originally Mexican natives. Family immigration greatly affects these numbers due to the likelihood of family immigration rises amongst illegal Mexican immigration when several family members depart to America first and their families follow. 


Almost 90% of Mexican-born American residents with legal citizenship were at one time family-sponsored immigrants. Family-sponsored immigrants includes four categories comprised of unmarried, adult family members of U.S. citizens, spouses and unmarried family members of US permanent resident aliens (or "green card


While the rate of illegal Mexican immigration rises each day, Mexican-born natives accounted for around 27% of all lawful permanent residents living in the U.S. in 2006.


In 2006, more than 50% of all unauthorized immigrants in the United States were from Mexico.


Illegal Mexican immigration will remain an issue both for American citizens who advocate for the enhancement of rights allowed to illegal immigrants, as well as those who wish to deport all immigrants lacking legal citizenship. However, a bulk of the American workload and economic welfare is dependent on the cheap and always accessible immigrant workforce.


Family immigration helps to keep the numbers and statistics of the dominant presence of Mexicans in America up and on the rise. There exists two subcategories under the umbrella of family reunification and immigrants will flock for legal residence through immediate relatives of US citizens and through family sponsorship.

How War Increases Illegal Immigration

How War Increases Illegal Immigration

Illegal immigration caused by war can be seen in these prime examples:


As they were being persecuted, tortured and killed by the NazisJewishWorld War IIAccording to an UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) spokesman, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon reported an influx of more than 885,000 Iraqi refugees4,600,000 Palestinian refugees.


The more current examples of American illegal immigration arise from the underlying tensions within the respective nation.  A prime example can be found in the Mexican gang wars that have ensued on Mexican soil over the past few years, which have resulted in the displacement of thousands of Mexicans.


The perils of war that are foisted on citizens who reside in the country in question are considered to be sufficient reasons to immigrate to more peaceful, prosperous countries. As was seen in the case of World War II, the rate of both illegal and legal immigration skyrocketed due to the violence and unrest that was taking place in Europe.


World War II left millions of Europeans homeless, many of whom were labeled refugees. Furthermore, causes for illegal immigration within a war include people fleeing their homes at notice of an impending attack, survivors of labor camps, work camps or concentration camps, political refugees having had been held captive, military personnel that were displaced after war, amongst a host of other reasons.


In the case of World War II, American immigration was the largest group of immigrants as the United States, due to the fact that the United States government had accepted more refugees than any other country – hosting more than 2 million people since 1980.

How Natural Disasters Increase Illegal Immigration

How Natural Disasters Increase Illegal Immigration

Another primary reason for illegal immigration can be prompted by a natural disaster like an earthquake, tsunami or hurricane. In these instances, a person will lose their home and all of their belongings in the tragic event at hand. In the most recent natural disaster that began on January 14, 2010, Haiti's earthquake – with magnitude of 7.0 –  had hit the capital of Port-aux-Prince.


As did many Haitians left homeless and destitute, thousands of victims may choose to seek refuge through the immigration to another country or state. In addition, many other historical natural disasters have called for a global relief effort, which has propelled for the immigration of hundreds of millions of people over the course of history including:


         The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helene in Washington


         The 1993 Snowstorm that swept across the Eastern and Central U.S.


         The 2005 Hurricane Katrina  


Haitians in America are using this occurrence to leverage the humanitarian aid by requesting approval of residency for the illegal immigration of Haitian-Americans. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a Cuban-American Republican member of Congress, was quoted asking, "How much does Haiti have to suffer before Haitians in the United States are granted TPS pursuant to the law?"


This is a controversial period to bring up the long-debated concern of illegal immigration, but immigration rates may very well rise after this past week's unfortunate turn of events. The presidential administration under Barack Obama has promised to do all they can in aiding the Haitian relief organization, and have offered play host for many displaced persons. Additionally, talks of new immigration policies will be presented in the new presidential light as early as the end of January.


At the moment, Haitian-American activists, immigrant advocates, as well as South Florida lawmakers are all at once lobbying the presidential administration under Barack Obama in order to prevent Haitian immigrants from being deported back to Haiti – a country that is in absolute ruin.


Their goal will be to persuade the administration to grant about 30,000 Haitian nationals to have TPS, or Temporary Protected Status as to not be seen as an offender of illegal immigration.  Obama has and will continue to receive tremendous amounts of pressure for the relief efforts and tremendous progress a granted TPS for suffering Haitians would provide.


A decision like this may rouse concern and discontent among American citizens, as well a massive amount of media attention. Regardless, Barack Obama has a crucial decision to make in the following days and weeks. Whatever the outcome of his ruling, the rest of the world will be watching with discerning eyes. Can America be unselfish and humanitarian with its immigration policies?  That is the ultimate question.

Overpopulation Due to Illegal Immigrants

Overpopulation Due to Illegal Immigrants

Overpopulation in one's nation of origin is a leading cause for the desire to migrate; there exist many cities and rural areas that are overcrowded to an unhealthy degree. Natives that desire a better living environment will leave their respective areas to another country that they deem to be more desirable. Yet, herein exist immigration problems for themselves and for the countries where they intend to illegally reside.


If the immigrants are from an underdeveloped nation where food is scarce and water is scanty, they will seek out residence in an area more suited to provide health and prosperity. Overpopulation proposes many different problems such as, higher risks of contracting diseases, lack of food and resources, threatened water supply, poverty, climate change, and crime. Under these conditions and risks, a better life is invariably sought out and envisioned.


Ironically, the point can be argued that immigrants hoping to escape from the overpopulation existing in their nation of origin are merely contributing to a potential overpopulation in their new country of residence. the following are some statistics showing how their avoidance of overpopulation becomes the evil to their inhabitor:


"Post 1970 immigrants and their descendants have added more than 55 million people to our country; this is the equivalent of absorbing all of Central America in thirty years."


"Immigrants accounted for more than 45 percent of the growth in Colorado's population in the past two years1. An estimated 33.1 million immigrants now live in the United States, about 11.5 percent of the total population, according to the report's figures, based on still-unreleased U.S. Census Bureau data collected in March 2002."


"California has practically doubled in population in the last 35 years. 96% of its growth in the 1990's was due to immigration. California now has 35 million, and is larger than most countries of the world."


However, when one immigrates illegally onto American soil, they are not accounted for as a citizen. As a result, they are not entitled to the same rights and advantages afforded to legal residents of their new host country. More often than not, they will be hired as immigrants with no benefits and very small pay, which usually falls under the national minimum wage.


This immigration problem is either overlooked, or unknown to the immigrants. Yet, further problems arise in the event of work-related injuries. Due to insufficient permission to legally gain employment in the United States, many illegal immigrants seek out employment in project-based opportunities – a trait commonly found in manual, and day labor. Though worker's compensation could provide an injured worker with pay to cover doctor visits, as well as provide treatment for the emotional and physical damage suffered, those opportunities are not afforded to non-citizens of the United States.