By Sarjo Bayang
Depending on your economic status and professional ranking in another country you are called immigrant or have the class title of expatriate. Check the meaning of these two words.
Politics of immigration has underpinning economic instruments of measurement that we may not all know or see, observing by the naked eye. In the open, it is clearly seen that immigrants are profiled according to classified economic ranking. That fact remains unshaken.
History of immigration will be omitted with crucial missing information without proper account of first explorers as immigrants who ventured faraway territories searching for wealth or fame. Discovery of valuable treasure triggered an economic interest that saw the emergence of colonies.
Deep search into many history books by renown scholars failed to reveal the mission of ancient explorers as immigration. If immigration means settlement by travellers in the host country, then colonial settlers constituted the first leg of immigrants without being called that name.
Free universal movement of people in ancient society permitted the occasion for exploration and exploitation. Colonialism as historical epoch paved the way for massive scale control over people and resources which continues until modern face of globalisation as we know it today.
Economic Value Contribution of Immigrants
Immigrant contribution account for high volume wealth being enjoyed by others. They accept low wages where others enjoy high salaries. The informal sector employers take undue advantage of immigrant workers to generate and grow their profit through low wages for all the hard work.
Remittances and other forms of support rendered by immigrants account for larger contribution in their native countries. By account of their value adding contribution, immigrants are key economic stakeholders for their native and host countries. Unfortunately, political injustice permits the alienation of immigrants by both native and host countries.
Considering the cost and enduring pain of travel, there are always good reasons why people undertake journey to faraway territories.
For some people travel is an adventure. Number of people travel for the joy of it. Business travel is mostly for economic reasons.
Apart from geographical boundaries, there are also flags of economic barriers in place preventing immigrants.
Occasioned by universal movement, all countries put in measures where people considered economic burden are restricted while those seen to make value adding contributions are encouraged to stay temporal or permanent. That is the economic logic of immigration politicians often don’t talk about in the open.
Immigration is a challenge faced by those moving and the ones that control their movement.
Immigrants Working More for Less
From least developed to higher ranking economies, immigrant workers are most ready to take up tougher challenging jobs than the rest.
For the immigrant it is a matter of readiness to do something with their valuable time. There is hardly an occasion for pick and choose. Immigrants often work round the clock sometimes for least paid jobs. They work long hours to make up any difference in the pay gap.
Immigrant workers are prone to colossal scale of marginalisation and exploitation. Profiteering commercial business outfits raise and grow their capital mostly from exploiting immigrant workers.
Job security is not mentioned when immigrant workers are hired. That is why they get easily fired. Although laws may be in place as though out to protect everyone, immigrants do not always enjoy the same level of protection in some countries.
Alienation of Immigration
Experience of alienation meted out to immigrants comes in diverse ways. In some countries immigration rules are not friendly enough. Besides legal and political restrictions, immigrants also face social barriers.
By experience in some countries, immigrants are granted political and legal status which does not readily translate into economic integration.
Immigration as we know it today came about with bars raising higher and tougher travel restrictions imposed in protection of mapped out territories.
Alienation of immigration taking economic and social dimension makes the challenge most real. In some places and communities, alienation of others outside their immediate habitat is not a matter of nationality.
There are communities with least or no tolerance for anyone from elsewhere. They want to remain by themselves with no room for new settlers. This type of alienation is seen even in some developed nations, especially within remote communities.
Social alienation in the experience of immigrants varies. Immigrants are profiled in different outfits. There is this general belief that immigrants are job grabbers or exploiters of business opportunities. The truth is that in some countries, immigrants have more to offer than others. They take up jobs that others consider less paying or rather inferior. Immigrants also accept less commitment from employers who enjoy the free hand of quick hire and fire without legal penalties. Some immigrants create employment; thereby contributing to taxable revenue.
Nationalism and protection of economic interest are two common reasons why talks about immigration generate lot of noise.
Undocumented immigrants face even more challenging constraints amid the ugly experience of alienation.
Misinformed sectors of society who normally form good numbers tend to believe that immigrants are alien invaders from another planet. Those least informed in society act, talk, and like to molest immigrants. For some of them, immigrants simply don’t deserve good life. Such extremes are found in deprived communities or within a class of those with antiimmigrant sentiments even within society.
Success stories of immigrants
When immigrants face the hostile environment infested with alienation by governments and individuals, it sometimes fuels their determination to succeed.
After all the alienation coupled with antagonistic political environment experienced during their stay in another country, some immigrants rise higher.
Some immigrants having acquired life changing skills land themselves on lucrative job positions within the host nation or upon return to native homeland.
Success stories of immigrants include those becoming high profile politicians, doctors, lawyers, professors, business tycoons, and other key responsible post holders in public or private sector.
Immigrants have also become state ministers. Others have risen to the position of President or Prime Minister in their native homeland.
Some countries have encouraged immigrants become value adding contributors in various disciplines.
Solving the immigration quagmire
Immigrants constitute most active population of human capital from somewhere. Given the opportunity and enabling environment, some immigrants have value adding contribution wherever they are. It is also true that other immigrants are not all that resourceful.
In all nations, reality of immigration relates to political, economic, social, and legality. The bottom line is that immigrants can be assets or liabilities. Alienation of immigrants has consequences. Politicians have the challenge of dealing with immigration in ways that create best shared gains.