The migration of people from one country to another is a common phenomenon in this era of globalization. The forces of globalization, such as social, economic, and political forces, are major drivers of migration across the world. Although these forces are common in all countries, the experiences that immigrants undergo vary according to the migration laws and policies coupled with the social, economic, and political conditions of the host countries. In this case, the study asserts that immigrants experience unique socioeconomic issues as they struggle to integrate into the host community. The ample literature review indicates that migration is a complex global issue, which requires comprehensive reforms. The research questions revolve around the nature of socioeconomic issues, current migration laws and policies, and the essential migration reforms. Hence, the study proposes to use a qualitative approach and descriptive research design in collecting data through the semi-structured interview from 100 immigrants. Thematic analysis of the collected data will provide insights about socioeconomic issues, current migration policies, and essential reforms. The study is significant because it enhances understanding of these socioeconomic issues, provides the basis for evidence-based reforms, and allows customization of the reforms.
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Migration is a complex global issue that has overwhelmed the international community because it is escalating with time in this era of globalization. According to Li (2008), owing to globalization, “the speed, scope, complexity, and volume of world migration under the global era are unprecedented” (p. 1). Essentially, forces of globalization, such as social, political, and economic forces, are the major drivers of migration patterns that are common across the world. Although the causes of migration are common, the experiences that migrants face in the host countries vary according to the migration policies, socioeconomic conditions, and political environment, amongst others. Countries such as the United States, Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan are struggling to accommodate the influx of immigrants. Since migration policies are unfavorable, different countries are undertaking reforms to protect immigrants and the native population at the same time.
Evidently, migration is a serious and complex issue across the world because it has far-reaching socioeconomic implications. As immigrants strive to assimilate into the host country, they grapple with overwhelming socioeconomic issues. Essentially, socioeconomic issues are problems that are unique to immigrants because of their state as migrants. These socioeconomic issues are poverty, labor exploitation, unemployment, ethnic violence, racial discrimination, human trafficking, harassment, sexual abuse, and diseases, among others (Czaika & Hass 2013). The prevalence of these socioeconomic issues shows that immigrants comprise a vulnerable population that requires affirmative action to alleviate the socioeconomic issues that they face. Given that forces of globalization cause people to move from less developed countries to developed countries, the United States, as a developed country, hosts millions of legal and illegal immigrants. According to Liz (2008), the United States hosts over seven million illegal immigrants. Therefore, a large number of immigrants justifies the use of the United States as a case study. In this case, the research proposes to identify and elucidate socioeconomic issues that immigrants face in the United States with a view of shaping migration policies and reforms.
Migration is a complex global issue that is threatening the economic, political, and social stability of countries. Migration threatens economic stability because it causes brain drain and loss of human resources in the home countries of immigrants while increasing unemployment rates and poverty level. In the aspect of politics, migration predisposes countries to political instability because the quest for anti-immigration policies led to the formation of anti-immigration political parties in some states in the United States (Stivachtis 2008). Owing to migration, vices such as ethnic violence, racial discrimination, exploitation of migrants, human trafficking, and harassment are prevalent among host countries. Stivachtis (2008) argues that migration threatens national and international security because it provides avenues for criminals and terrorists to propagate their crimes. Gushulak and MacPherson (2004) add that migration escalates the spread of diseases across nations. Thus, ample evidence shows that migration is a complex global issue that has negative impacts on the social, economic, and political aspects of populations.
Since immigrants experience great challenges in the host country, they comprise vulnerable populations. Fundamentally, immigrants are a vulnerable population because they experience racial discrimination, ethnic violence, labor exploitation, unemployment, poverty, and diseases (Li 2008). These experiences are common among immigrants than the native populations because they do not enjoy similar privileges that governments provide. The migration policies of a country determine the nature of the experiences that immigrants undergo. Czaika and Hass (2013) explain that the past migration policy used ethnicity and race in selecting immigrants, for example, the immigration policy of Australia, which allowed only the Whites as immigrants. Following the recognition of human rights by various constitutions, immigration policies have undergone a series of reforms. However, poor understanding of the experiences of immigrants has led to poor reforms, which are not favorable and responsive to the unique experience of immigrants (Stivachtis 2008). Therefore, there is a need to understand the unique socioeconomic experiences that immigrants face with a view of leveraging migration policies and reforms.
Main Research Question
- What are the socio-economic issues that immigrants face in the United States as they assimilate into American society?
- What migration reforms are necessary to alleviate or prevent the socioeconomic issues that immigrants face in the United States?
- What are the current migration laws and policies that alleviate or prevent socioeconomic issues that immigrants face in the United States?
Socioeconomic issues and racial categories are the two variables of the study. Socioeconomic issues comprise the dependent variable of the research, while racial categories of immigrants constitute an independent variable of the research. Poverty, labor exploitation, unemployment, ethnic violence, racial discrimination, human trafficking, harassment, sexual abuse, and diseases are socioeconomic issues. Racial categories are Africans, Asians, Arabs, Europeans, and Latin Americans.
How to Conduct Research
The research methodology is the heart of research because it determines the validity and reliability of data collected. The collection of quantitative data requires the use of qualitative methodologies, while the collection of qualitative data requires the application of qualitative research methodologies. As the study seeks to collect data about the experiences of the immigrants in terms of socioeconomic issues that they face, the data comprise qualitative data. In this case, collection of qualitative data requires the application of a research methodology that effectively collects appropriate data, which are valid and reliable. Thus, the appropriate research methodology is collection of data using interviews.
The research proposes to use descriptive research design in identifying socioeconomic issues that immigrants face in the United States. The descriptive research design will collect qualitative data among the immigrants with a view of identifying socioeconomic issues that they face in relation to their host country. Descriptive research design is appropriate because it allows the accurate collection of qualitative information. In employing a descriptive research design, the research proposal aims to interview immigrants from diverse racial backgrounds.
The target population of the proposed research comprises of the immigrants to the United States, who reside in various states. To study the socioeconomic issues facing immigrants, the proposed study will categorize them according to their racial backgrounds. Classification of immigrants is essential to enhance thematic analysis of their responses relative to their experiences. The basis of the research is that immigrants encounter unique socioeconomic issues, which relate to racial backgrounds and the immigration policies in the host country.
Procedure of Acquiring Evidence
In acquisition of evidence, the study will sample the immigrants using a non-probability method of sampling called quota sampling. Since immigrants have diverse racial backgrounds and represent a small proportion of the population, quota sampling will enable selection of immigrants from all races, and thus, enhance representation of the population. In this case, the study will sample 100 immigrants by selecting 20 immigrants from each race. The races targeted are Africans, Asians, Arabs, Europeans, and Latin Americans.
To collect data, the study will interview immigrants using semi-structured questions. The questions will focus on ascertaining the socioeconomic issues that immigrants experience in the host country as they assimilate into the native population. The kind of questions that the proposed study will ask relates to the challenges that immigrants experience as they strive to settle in the host country. Specifically, the interview questions will touch on poverty, labor exploitation, unemployment, ethnic violence, racial discrimination, human trafficking, harassment, sexual abuse, and diseases amongst other socioeconomic issues. The use of semi-structured interview provides the interviewees with freedom of answering questions according to their own perceptions and unique experiences.
Since the collected data are in qualitative form, the method of analysis is thematic analysis. Evidently, the experiences of immigrants are unique and their socioeconomic issues are common. In this case, thematic analysis will provide an enhanced understanding of the experiences and challenges that immigrants face in the host country.
Significance of Research
The research will enhance understanding of the experiences that immigrants undergo in host countries. Socioeconomic issues are major challenges that immigrants experience in the host countries as they integrate into the native population. These socioeconomic issues make them vulnerable population because they endure poverty, suffer from diseases, encounter racial discrimination, experience exploitation in labor markets, and become victims of racial violence and human trafficking. Hence, the research will enhance understanding of socioeconomic issues that immigrants face in the host countries.
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Moreover, the research will provide important information that is essential in reforming migration laws and policies. Currently, migration laws and policies are very contentious because the migration of people has significant impact on political, social, and economic aspects of a country. In the United States, reforms of migration laws and policies have been dominant in political discourse as politicians and migration experts hold opposing views. Since the contentious issues revolve around socioeconomic issues that immigrants face, this research is significant because it contributes to the body of knowledge, which support evidence-based reforms.
The findings of the study will be significant in the formulation of customized migration laws and reforms. Given that racial background determines the vulnerability of immigrants, host countries need to formulate customized laws and policies, which reflect the unique needs of diverse immigrants. In this case, the study will highlight unique needs of immigrants from diverse racial backgrounds, and hence, form the basis of customizing migration laws and reforms.
Czaika, M, & Hass, H 2013. ‘The globalization of migration: Has the world become more migratory?’, International Migration Review, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 283-323.
Gushulak, B, & MacPherson, D 2004. ‘Globalization of infectious diseases: The impact of migration’, Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 1742-1748.
Li, P 2008. ‘World migration in the age of globalization: Policy implications and challenges’, New Zealand Population Review, vol. 33, no. 34, pp. 1-22.
Stivachtis, Y 2008, ‘International migration and politics of identity and security’, Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-23.