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Migration
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population

The United Nations describes migration as the movement of a person or persons from one place to another, involving a permanent (one year or more) change of address. Migration can be within a country or to another.

Why Do People Migrate?

  • For economical, environmental, sociocultural or political reasons.
  • Migration can be voluntary or forced, temporary or permanent, national or international.
  • Population movements are driven and sustained by potential push and pull forces due to an imbalance in economic activities and opportunities.
  • Push factors are features of the home area which creates pressure and so causes people to move away. e.g. persecution, unemployment & poverty.
  • Pull factors operate at places outside of the migrant's home area to attract individuals to a new location. e.g. political asylum, a promotion, high living standards in another area.

Consequences Of Migration On The Country Of Origin

Economic Impacts

Positive

  • The area benefits from remittences sent home.
  • Upon return, migrants bring new skills to the country such as the ability to speak foreign languages.These new skills can help to improve the economy in the country of origin.
  • There is less pressure on resources such as food and social services such as health care.

Negative

  • Loss of young workforce; those with skills and those with entrepreneurial talents move, slowing economic development.
  • Loss of labour may reduce inward investment by private companies, increasing dependencies on government initiatives.

Social Impacts

Positives

  • Population density is reduced and birth rate falls as it's the younger population who migrates. This can help ease overpopulation.
  • Remittances sent home by economic migrants can be used to finance improved education & health service.
  • Returning migrants increase social expectations for communities, for example, increasing demand for better leisure facilities.

Negatives

  • Marriage rates fall and family structures break down as men migrate producing a generation of single mums.
  • Lots of young people migrating out of the country can increase the dependency ratio.
  • Returning retired migrants may increase social costs on the community as support mechanisms aren't in place for them.
  • Migration of men and young families can cause a loss of cultural leadership and traditions.

Political Impacts

  • Policies to encourage natural increase can be developed.
  • Policies to encourage immigration to counteract outflow.
  • Requests for international aid.

Consequences Of Migration On The Host Country

Economic Impacts

Positive

  • Migrants take up less desirable, menial jobs which natives would not take but need filling.
  • The host country can gain skilled labour for cheap.
  • There is a labour surplus; those with skills and education fuel the economy.
  • The “skill gap” in many host countries can be filled by migrants.
  • Costs of retirement can be transferred to the country of origin.

Negatives

  • Migrant children must be educated, they won't necessarily speak the native language of the host country.
  • There is an over dependency in some industries on migrant labour, leading to a lack of jobs for people native to the host country.
  • Much of the money earned by the migrants isn't spent in the host country and is instead sent back to the country of origin.
  • More people increase the pressure on resources and services such as health care systems.

Social Impacts

Positive

  • The creation of a multiethnic society increases understanding and tolerance of other cultures.
  • There is an influx of new or revitalised services e.g. Kebab shops & Turkish baths.
  • People from other countries can encourage the learning of new languages, helping people develop skills for working internationally.

Negatives

  • The dominance of males is reinforced (due to the large number of male migrants), especially in cultures where women already have a low status.
  • Aspects of cultural identity are lost, especially in second generation children.
  • Segregated ethnic areas are created e.g. China Town. Schools become dominated by migrant children.

Political Impacts

  • Discrimination agains ethnic groups & minorities which can lead to civil unrest and extremism.
  • Calls for control on immigration.
  • Entrenchment of attitudes which may encourage fundamentalism.

Immigration Control

On The Mexico - USA Border

  • 9,150 border control agents.
  • Use of electronic equipment such as heat sensors, night vision goggles, air vehicles & Black Hawk helicopters.
  • Multiple operations to keep mexican immigrants out; Operation Rio Grande in the El Paso; Operation Gatekeeper in San Diego; Operation Hold-The-Line in El Paso; and operation safeguard in Tucson.

In Other Areas

  • Limiting the number of migrant workers at the source.
  • Insisting on boundary arrangements.
  • Preventing illegal crossings e.g. Sea patrols between Florida and Cuba.
  • Returning ineligible asylum seekers.
  • Use of holding bases for visa checks.