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Migration and National Security Qualitative Research Essay

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Updated: Jun 8th, 2019

Introduction

Migration is the movement of people from one place to another in search of education, jobs, investments, leisure or curiosity. State security refers to all issues that relate to human welfare and which can be affected by an increase in the number of foreign immigrants (Bryans 2009). This essay explores the relationship between migration and national security.

Literature Review

Immigration’s Impact on U.S. National Security and Foreign Policy by Kenneth J. Franzblau (U.S Commission on Immigration Reform).

This paper explores the ways the state interacts with immigrants and evaluates their impacts on the citizens and welfare of a country. The paper notes that immigrants affect the state in terms of national security, foreign policy and immigration.

It was produced by the U.S. Commission on Immigration and presented to the state for actions to be taken to amend or establish any policies that will ensure there are effective ways of handling immigrants. The author has noted that there is a close relationship between immigrants and these issues and this call for the need to evaluate the application of these policies in controlling the activities of immigrants in the United States.

He notes that national security does not have a specific meaning due to the complexities involved in defining and grouping all issues that form this policy.

He uses the theory advanced by Hans J.Morgentha to explain that state security is defined by logic and variables that determine the existence of peaceful, democratic and legal social, economic and political activities within a state. Even though, initial definitions of national security revolved around military interventions to restore law and order this has changed to include social, political and economic logistics that affect the activities of a country.

This paper acknowledges the failure by many states to identify national security threats posed by immigrants since they have amplified security variables to necessities. This means that most immigrants have been unfairly treated due to the presumption that they are threats to national security.

In addition, the author notes that the United States has contravened its constitution in many occasions since it has repeatedly failed to respect the provision that it should not trade or compromise the primary interest of the state.

Even though, this author claims that the United States has failed to apply logic in its immigration and refugee policies it is important to explain that sometimes logic depends on variables to attain its legitimacy. For instance, immigration has social, political and economic issues that should be solved regardless of whether the policy concerned follows logic or variables.

First, the American culture must always be respected, preserved and supported by foreigners and natives. However, an increase in immigrants means that this culture will be diluted regardless of the steps taken to promote it. Secondly, immigrants look for all kinds of jobs to allow them to survive the harsh economy in America.

Therefore, they will sacrifice and do any work regardless of the amount they earn. This means that most Americans will become jobless as competition for the few jobs available will not favour them. Lastly, terrorism is a serious challenge facing the United States.

Immigrants have been used in many occasions to stage suicide bombings. This is a political and economic consideration that must be addressed regardless of the logic used to establish immigration policies.

On the other hand, Franzblau uses the example of immigrants who fled Italy and Germany before the First World War broke out to illustrate the importance of immigrants in developing the United States of America.

It was during this time that the U.S managed to produce the first nuclear weapon courtesy of the talents from the immigrants. Therefore, the author appreciates the contributions of immigrants in terms of labour, skills, knowledge and expertise that place this country above others in global markets.

He uses Myron Weiner’ migration effects to explain the advantages and disadvantages of immigrants to three parties (foreign and home country and their relationship). He notes that there are five positive and negative impacts of immigrants to these parties.

They include opposition to the government of the home country, political security threats, cultural; development or dilution, social and economic burden or contribution and hostages.

He illustrates how immigration policies are changed to reflect the need for the United States to advance its national security policies. Lastly, the United States does not associate with a country that has repressive policies that force their citizens to flee. He gives the example of the wide spread immigrants in America from communist countries during and after the first world war as a way of weakening these countries.

Conclusion

Therefore, this paper contributes to the discussion presented by this essay explaining various issues affecting immigration and national security. All states have a responsibility of ensuring they protect the lives of all people living within their boundaries regardless of whether they are foreigners or natives. It is necessary to explain that the above discussion has identified and explored various impacts of immigration on national security.

It has noted that even though most nations appear to condemn and limit foreign nationalist from invading their spheres there are sufficient evidences to prove that they appreciate the contributions associated with immigrants. Therefore, this analysis shows that immigrants can develop or build a country depending on how they are handled.

How the United Kingdom Manages Immigration and National Security Issues

The United Kingdom has experienced major changes in its foreign and immigration policies within the last two decades (Buzan 2011). The Second World War had a significant impact on the United Kingdom’s immigration policies due to a high number of people seeking asylum there, and this forced this country to amend its policies.

Traditionally, the United Kingdom was used to sending people out to other countries including the United States of America and countries within the European Union. This was influenced by poor living conditions and a stagnant economy that offered limited opportunities for investments and economic growth.

However, the last 15 years have transformed this trend, and now people are seeking entrance into this country owing to the robust economy that offers a variety of investment opportunities to foreigners and locals.

Currently, this region receives about six million immigrants annually compared to the four million that migrate to other countries Kulischer, M, 2008. Research conducted between 1997 and 2007 shows that most immigrants and emigrants are non British and British respectively as shown in the table below.

Non-British British Total
Gross Emigration 1,747,000 1,867,000 3, 614,000
Gross Immigration 4,412,000 1, 054,000 5,466,000
Net Migration 2,665,000 -813,000 1,852,000

Consequently, the United Kingdom’s working population had been dominated by a mixture of people from various racial and ethnic backgrounds. This shows that this region has good foreign and immigration policies that encourage immigrants to settle and look for jobs or investment opportunities available in its robust economy.

A research conducted in 2007 by the London School of Economics showed that there are more than 618, 000 illegal immigrants in this region with London having about 70 % of this population (Katzenstein 2009). This trend seems to be increasing despite existing policies to regulate this condition.

However, the government through the UK Border Agency established the following stringent measures to ensure illegal immigration is controlled due to the risks it posed on this country.

The agency observed that the September 11 terrorist on the U.S was successful due to lack of identification of immigrants. Therefore, it established the use of biometric registration of all immigrants that stayed in the country for six months or more. This exercise started in 2008 and focused on students from non EU countries and later involved all categories of visa applications.

Even though, this move was highly criticised by non EU countries the United Kingdom argued that it was for the best interest of both natives and foreigners to be protected against terrorism and other security risks. Secondly, employers were put on notice regarding employing illegal immigrants and face fines of about $ 7,500.

Despite this threat, there was an increase in civil cases involving employing illegal immigrants (Cohen 2012). In addition, public service providers like schools and hospitals were asked to report all cases of illegal immigrants to the immigration department. This move contradicts the constitution of the United Kingdom that requires all children (illegal and legal residents) to attend schools.

Lastly, it has made some changes in its administrative policies regarding immigration and offered permanent residence to asylum seekers who had been in the country for more than 13 years. However, this did not discourage people from migrating to the United Kingdom (Kleinschmidt 2011).

There was an increase in the number of immigrants to this region and this caused the government to readdress measures to control this situation. The graph below shows the changes that have been witnessed in the United Kingdom regarding its immigration statistics.

The changes that have been witnessed in the United Kingdom regarding its immigration statistics

Another recent development in this region includes the debate on cultural integration between legal and illegal immigrants. The United Kingdom has been synonymous with racial discriminations for very many years. First, its immigration policies allowed members from the EU countries to migrate to its member states without restrictions.

However, the same standards were not observed when it came to those affiliated with the Soviet Union. Some members within the government circles were not happy and expressed their dissatisfactions openly.

For instance, Roy Jenkins (Home Secretary during the 1970s) criticised the policy claiming that it was not a standard way of enhancing racial integration since it based its regulations on mutual benefit rather than cultural diversity.

Recent criticism on the United Kingdom’s racial immigration policies led to the formation of a sovereign commission to ensure this issue is addressed owing to the high number of people seeking residence in this region. The Commission for Racial Equality was established in 2002 to promote good racial relationships and enforces other immigration requirements (Huntington 2012).

Other steps taken to promote safety measures and address humanitarian concerns regarding immigration include the adoption of the European Convention on Human Rights and Race Relations Amendment Act Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 1998, 2000 and 2006 respectively.

The Future of Immigration and National Security in the United Kingdom

It is expected that there will be a net immigration level of about 200,000 people annually within the next ten years. Even though, most nations are experiencing an economic recession this figure will not reduce.

In addition, the three pending bills (The Citizenship, Borders and Immigration Bills of 2009) are likely to be made part of the British law, and this will increase the cost and time for becoming a British citizen since it will introduce short time citizenship (Graham 2010).

Lastly, public spending is going to be reduced due to the recession experienced in this country, and this means less money will be allocated to the immigration department.

However, the joint effort by the United States of America and other global organisations like the United Nations are likely to create additional rooms for illegal immigrants to enjoy their rights.

How China Manages Immigration and National Security Issues

Most eastern countries like China, Taiwan, Singapore and Japan amongst others do not have strict immigration regulations. In addition, their foreign policies are less strict compared to those of the United States and United Kingdom. The following reasons are responsible for a casual; foreign policy in most eastern countries.

First, the economy of this region is not active compared to that of European Union, United States or United Kingdom (Hobsbowm 2010). This means that this region has limited investment opportunities and recreation facilities for investors and tourists respectively. Secondly, this region has experienced regular conflicts that have discouraged investors and learners from visiting this region.

Lastly, it has limited natural resources that are drivers of developments. This limits its abilities to attract visitors from other countries. However, few North Koreans find this country to be an attractive region due to its average economic status. The neighbouring regions experience worse economic problems and this makes China a lucrative country amongst its peers.

However, recent financial developments in China have made this country an attractive investment hub in the eastern region. It is necessary to state that China is giving the United States competition regarding the production of nuclear weapons. China has benefitted greatly from African countries that seek cheap services including development loans and grants (Guild 2009).

This has led to an increase in illegal immigrants in China from African countries. However, China is adopting restraint in processing application permits for legal and illegal immigrants to ensure it controls this population.

It has also declared that all illegal immigrants must be reported to the local authority and a reward of 100 Yuan give to the whistleblower. However, it is also discouraging its residents from migrating to other countries even though this is not a legal requirement. On the other hand, it has established strict immigration policies to ensure illegal immigrants from Mongolia and North Korea are not given asylum in China.

Conclusion

Immigration is an important aspect of national security, and it cannot be separated from foreign policy and international relations. Immigrants (legal and illegal) may develop or destroy a nation depending with the relations between the host and home nations.

However, there must be strict guidelines regarding illegal immigrants to ensure their welfare and that of others are respected. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that a nation develops good relations with others by valuing their sovereignty. On the other hand, citizens must not run away from their countries when they experience economic problems.

References

Bryans, D, 2009, Introduction to International Politics: The Logic of Anarchy, Columbia University Press, New York.

Buzan, B, 2011, Is International Security Possible? New Thinking about Strategy and International Security, HarperCollins, London.

Cohen, R, 2012, Diasporas and the Nation-State: Redefining Security, Preager, New York.

Graham, D, 2010, Migration, Foreign Policy, Globalisation and Human Security, Routledge, London.

Guild, E, 2009, Cultural and Identity Security,” in Elspeth Guild and Joanne van Selm; International Migration and Security, Routledge, London.

Hobsbowm, J, 2010, Nations and Nationalism since 1780, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Huntington, S, 2012, Who Are We: The Challenges of American National Identity, Simon and Schuster, New York.

Katzenstein, P, 2009, The Culture of National Security, Columbia University Press, New York,

Kleinschmidt, H, 2011, Migration, Regional Integration and Human Security, Columbia University Press, New York.

Kulischer, M, 2008, Europe in the Move: War and Population Changes, 1917-1947, Columbia University Press, New York.

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