The Advantages and Disadvantages of Free and Illegal Immigration

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Immigration referring to the worldwide movement of individuals into a destination nation of which they are not natives because of social, economic and political reasons. In this paper I am going to present four authors arguments that are Risse and Kukathas relatively in favor of immigration. Brock and Mills is in favor of reducing immigration. They all have different reasons for free and restricted immigration but have similar views which will be further discussed in this essay. To support my thesis this paper is organized into three parts. First section briefly describes the synopsis of the views expressed in the four texts. Second section briefly compares and contrasts their perspectives. Third section explains whether the texts are mutually complementary or contradictory in their argument and gives solution to the problems.

“On the morality of immigration” (2008), Risse argues in favor of free immigration, but he also argues against immigration that is what is good for us as a citizen. According to Risse, he viewed immigration, both as practical and moral issue. In the debate about immigration policy, the practical issue is that lots of land is underused. The moral issues that he argues about are egalitarian and common ownership. “He argues that the earth belongs to humanity in common. In order to prove this argument, he provides an example that is; the United States shrinks in two, yet that these two can control access into the nation through complex electronic border‐surveillance systems. He contends that under such conditions, these two citizens should allow for immigration based on the fact that they are terribly underusing the domain under their control. If this is so, it pursues that what we do with the space the control must matter for assessing immigration policy. Hence, illegal migration should be naturalized and more widespread immigration should be permitted. He also supports egalitarian and collective ownership. He argues that there should be no borders. People should be able to live wherever they want, regardless of when and where they were born.

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In addition, “The Case for Open Immigration” (2005) Kukathas is in favor of free immigration. There are two reasons which he provides in defense of free immigration that is the principle of freedom and humanity. He argues that by keeping the borders closed would intend to keep out individuals who might, as a result, lose their freedom, yet in addition the opportunity they may look for an attempt to escape out of line or tyrannical regimes. People will lose the freedom to exchange their labor, freedom to associate, freedom to rejoin with their family, and freedom of movement. The other reason which he gave in defense of free immigration is humanity. He argues that respecting the lives and dignity of poor people who don’t have the opportunity. For example, some people live in poor condition so it’s an opportunity for them to improve their condition by immigrating and if someone’s life is in danger in their home country so they can immigrate to another country. Therefore, it would be worse off to deny their opportunity to help those people. However, in his article he argues the challenges that come with free immigration such as economic, national and security perspectives.

Furthermore, “Compatriot priority, health in developing countries, and our global responsibilities” (2011) Brock is in favor of reducing the immigration of health workers from poor to rich countries because it results into devastating impact on the health of developing countries. For example, “In Africa alone, where health needs and issues are most noteworthy, around 23,000 qualified academic professionals emigrate every year. South African medical schools recommends that a third to a half of its alumni immigrate to the developed world because of the poor working conditions, low pay and little opportunity for professional development. Therefore, lack of sufficiency in health care. He also provides some solution in order to get rid of these problems such as to establish codes of practice for international recruitment. He argues that there is an important connection between us and them in order to trigger the obligation of justice. He argues that, do we have more prominent duties towards citizens than towards foreigners? There is also problem of tax haven and tax evasion because of the open borders.

“Should active recruitment of health workers from sub-Saharan Africa be viewed as a crime”, Mills incorporates that there is a lack of health staff to provide basic health facilities in Africa than rich countries like the UK. For example, in the UK have multiple times a bigger number of doctors per population than Malawi and almost one out of ten doctors working in the UK are from Africa. Therefore, many developing countries lost many dollars in training cost. He also argues that active recruitment of health workers from African countries by rich countries should be viewed as international crime because they are violating human rights of people in Africa. The Government should implement guidelines to keep recruitment companies from enticing health workers away from their local work, and developed countries should adequately compensate less-developed countries for the human resources they have lost.

All the three authors that are Risse, Kukathas and Mills give different reasons for the freedom but they have similar views. Everyone has the right to freedom. For example, at some point this idea is similar to Risse’s argument of terribly underusing resources. If some country is underusing its resources such as, U.S and Canada has the lowest population density than many other countries of the world. Therefore, if some people get an opportunity to live there no one should have any problem with that. This argument also complies with egalitarian and common ownership like morally everybody has an equivalent share of the planet's overall resources. People should be able to live whatever they want. According to Kukathas, people will get the freedom to sell their labor such as if the workers’ pay as a taxi driver in Canada is more prominent than her pay as a doctor in Bangladesh, productivity necessitates that she works in Canada. Freedom to associate; people can interact with their family, can come for business and work purposes. According to Mills, health workers should have freedom of movement and decision of where they live and work, similarly as any other worker. You cannot restrict them because health workers have rights too.

All the authors give different reasons for the economic argument, but they have similar views. The first impact on immigrants is on the local market economy, large number of people entering into the society can change the balance of the economy which results in high cost of goods. As immigrants would take jobs that might have gone to locals therefore, it will reduce wages. It will also impact on education, health care, welfare and the infrastructure. Immigration would be a problem for the welfare state because the burden would impose on the taxpaying individuals and firms such as services like unemployment relief, old age security and disability benefits. It will also result into tax evasion. As tax avoidance compromises both development and democracy, particularly in developing nations. Since large corporations and rich people have viably avoided taxation, the taxation burden is moved onto ordinary citizens and smaller organizations which results into cuts in social spending, and these cuts can dramatically affect different objectives, such as, developing and maintaining robust democracies. It makes a connection between us and them such as, should citizens have more rights to local jobs than foreigners? Citizens should think for themselves or for the foreigners for their jobs, education and health care system.

According to Kukathas, Brock and Mills, brain drain problem occurs when numerous talented citizens from a specific nation emigrate, hence depleting the nation of laborers with high levels of training and leaving behind the less skilled workers. Brain drain among health professionals is particularly widespread and dangerous for developing countries which results in lack of sufficient health workers. “Countries lose a greater number of nurses consistently than they train, for example, in 2001 Ghana lost 500 nurses, which is more than double the number of new nurses graduated in that year. Billions of dollars of aid that is accessible to address worldwide medical issues, such as, HIV/AIDS, are not being put to use due to the lack of health care professionals. These countries usually have poor health care resources, so the loss of trained health care workers is felt more significantly than it may be in places that are better resource.

Moreover, Risse’s argument for illegal immigration and there should be no borders is contradicting the Kukathas argument for security and nationality. Kukathas concern about the security of citizen because if we permit illegal immigration and there is no border then we are risking the lives of the citizens and the state. For example, the threat of terrorism has added significantly to the security concerns of a number of western states. The modern states have been worried about the security of political systems from foreign threats, smugglers, traffickers, and the security of society against international criminal organizations. Also, if immigration increases the level of social solidarity will breakdown since everybody has diverse comprehension of what their rights and commitment are in this way, if they disagree; at that point it is difficult to establish a standard of social justice. Risse argument for illegal immigrant also contradict with Brock argument of tax avoidance because very few illegal immigrants pay taxes, some people send the earned money back to their home country therefore they don’t contribute in the economy too.

In conclusion, all the authors at some point argued about both the advantages and disadvantages of free and restricted immigration. Some advantages are that wealthy nations will invest more in poorer nations which will improve their condition, create job opportunity, expand the size of the workforce, extend division of labor and create revenue. However, there are some disadvantages the idea that the earth collectively belongs to humans and have the basic responsibility to help everyone, whether they are citizens or not but the state has responsibility to manage who is traveling in and out of its borders so as to ensure the prosperity of its citizens. Therefore, government should make strong laws to regulate illegal immigration which will improve life within the state, ensuring everyone’s interests are adequately protected, proper disclosure and transparency of resources to solve the problem of tax evasion, by offering adequate compensation to the source country, improve the working conditions and pay rate to solve the brain drain problem.

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Free and Illegal Immigration. (2022, July 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from
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