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Immigration essay as a kind of educational assignment

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Nowadays, immigration is getting more wide-spread in the world than it was a couple of decades ago. The reason for this is the progress in economic and technological spheres. Besides, the gap between poor and rich increases, favoring the further growth of migration. That’s why the theme of immigration becomes more acute these days, and educators choose essays about immigration as assignments for their students.

There are multiple aspects of the migration process that can be enlightened in the paper. However, before that, do not forget that in your work, you should follow certain guidelines, which remain the same for each kind of assignment. In this article, we will see in more detail how to approach a research paper regarding immigration.

Like any other kind of essay, immigration essay should be adequately planned, contain relevant data and facts, and be well-cited. Research topics about immigration are variable: you can touch upon the history of the process, its advantages and disadvantages, its influence on the society, the illegal aspect of the process, as well as legislation and costs.

essays about immigration

Reasons and causes for immigration

Nowadays, migration is a global issue from the point of economy and business. The population of many states is expanding due to the immigrants who come to new places looking for a better life. Some people even immigrate in search of adventures or desire a different place for living and retirement.

Still, leaving a native land in favor of another country is often considered as an act of courage. Moving to a new place means getting accustomed to another culture and a different lifestyle; besides, the cost of living in a hosting country is often higher. In addition to leaving the family, the foreigners face such problems as unemployment, abuse, lack of governmental support, and non-acceptance by society. There are lots of reasons why people decide to change the place to live in. In the case of migration, factors can be social, economic, political, and environmental. In your causes and effects of migration essay, you may pay attention to some of these aspects:

  • Safety reasons prompt individuals to immigrate due to the danger posed to them or their families. These concerns may be variable: persecution and discrimination based on religion, race, nationality, political views, or social status. Other reasons could be war or one’s criminal activity.
  • Economic factors are common for immigration, and they may be either seasonal or permanent. People often move from poor developing countries to wealthy areas to find a job and earning opportunities. In your immigration college essays, you can deal with this aspect.
  • Lack of fundamental human needs and desire to attain a better quality of life are social factors that lead to the growth of migration. The individuals thus try to acquire better prospects for their families and themselves. Sending children to a better educational institution or getting a job which guarantees additional paybacks and career growth are among the social reason that force people to migrate. People may also look for certain services, like medical treatment or a life-saving surgery, which may be unavailable in their native country.

Immigration to the United States and European Union

The United States and the EU have both accepted working immigrants from poor regions and have already established good labor relations with employees. Nevertheless, the immigration pressure on European countries and the US is quite different. While Europe experiences the influx of incomers from Africa and the Middle East, the USA undergoes gradual population growth due to the entrants from the adjacent territories. You may study the information more carefully and reveal it in a separate why do immigrants come to America essay.

After 9/11, American immigration laws became tougher; as to the European Union, the same was caused by the Eurozone crisis. Identifying the major tendencies of immigration to the USA in the coming years will be helpful for anybody working on the papers on immigration in America. Even though the schemes of natural disasters, civil conflicts, or potential macroeconomic disturbances are difficult to predict with any accuracy, the changes in labor supply are one of the significant determinants of immigration pressure, which is quite easy to foresee. There are 2 main reasons for it: those who are going to join the working force in 20 years have already been born. Besides, the further population growth is likely to be smooth, and it allows experts to forecast with certain accuracy the amounts of those going to enter the market of workforce 3 to 4 decades from the present moment.

If you have an assignment of creating a research paper on immigration in Europe, you should mention that Europe will contract demographically, and people from high population growth regions, like Central Asia, Iraq, Iran, North, and sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, will relocate. Most likely, migration destinations like Italy, Spain, and the UK will experience an increase in the number of first-generation immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, while the USA will see a gradual decline in the newly arrived residents. The inflows to the USA will mostly be from India and China.

Immigration Pros and Cons

Moving from one place to another has both positive and negative sides, so the advantages and disadvantages of immigration essay is a rather popular educational assignment. With the modern processes of globalization and merging of the entire world, people are free to transfer for employment or business opportunities to any country, making immigration common and a large-spread phenomenon.

In your benefits of immigration essay, you can mention several positive aspects of the process:

  • The improvement of the quality of living. The majority of those who immigrate look for more favorable employment conditions and earning opportunities, social security, and a crimeless environment.
  • Better personal and professional perspectives. Moving to a different setting, the immigrants face various challenges: they become more independent and have to meet the new living standards. It also forces people to take on professional commitments and self-actions and work with new methods and standards, thus growing as professionals and gaining unique experience.
  • Contact with new cultures and knowledge expansion. Immigrants have the opportunity to learn new cultures, traditions, and ways of living, diving deeper to know more about the cuisine and language of the hosting country.

In disadvantages of immigration essays mention the following aspects:

  • Racial intolerance and cultural differences. There are only a few countries, which are hospitable to foreigners; the aliens mostly become victims of racial discrimination or intolerance.
  • Language barrier. Difficulties in communication are among the problems in a host country; that is why it’s better to learn at least some basic social terms, phrases for shopping, traffic signs meaning, and polite phrases in advance through online language training.
  • Labor supply shortage. There are plenty of research papers about immigration work, as unemployment is a noteworthy problem the newcomers may face; particularly, if they choose to live in a new place without recognition and validation of their qualifications and skills.

Despite the advantages and disadvantages for those who immigrate, the process also has its benefits and drawbacks for countries which lose and which accept people.

The advantages for the native country are the following:

  • The emigrants send money home, favoring certain economic improvement.
  • The pressure on job positions and resources decreases.
  • People may return with new useful skills.

The disadvantages are as follows:

  • The potential amount of workforce inside the country reduces, as emigrants are often the individuals of working age.
  • Gender imbalance sets in as men commonly leave in search of employment and earning opportunities, while the children and women stay.
  • Brain drain happens in the states and areas, where lots of young and prospective workers leave.

With the host regions, the following advantages should be mentioned in your research paper on immigration:

  • A labor shortage is reduced, and skills gaps are often filled.
  • Low-paid and low-skilled jobs and services are performed by the immigrants.
  • The new young workers are paying taxes that sustain economic growth.
  • The people from abroad bring innovation and cultural diversity.

When speaking of disadvantages, you should not forget about the:

  • Overcrowding, which may also cause additional pressure on public services.
  • Unemployment and depression of wages as a result of the growing number of newcomers.
  • Disagreement and tension between certain social, cultural, and religious groups.
  • Increased risk of criminal and gang activity.

Topics for writing on immigration

As you could have already noticed, the immigration research paper topics for college students are variable. Here are some examples:

  • How has the community growth and diversity been affected by immigration tendencies in the last 50 years?
  • Are host countries’ population tolerant to the immigrants?
  • What health concerns are the most vital in the communities with a large amount of the incomers?
  • What kind of stress are the families of immigrants exposed to in regards to assimilation in new communities?
  • Are security systems and modern immigration policies safe enough?

Research paper topics on immigration in America can be more narrow, but the most popular and disputable aspect will remain illegal immigration. Writing about the immigration issue in Europe, think about European migrant crisis.

Further on, you can see how to create a research paper on illegal immigration in more detail. Let us provide you some insights.

How to write a research paper on illegal immigration

Illegal immigration is a socio-political issue; that is why it is important to mention a particular legal state of affairs as well as the laws and acts preventing illegal entry into the area, the US in particular. Illegal immigration research papers can reveal both sides of the story, enlightening the issue from the migrants’ perspective and taking into consideration the position of the country they wish to move in.

You should make up your mind as to the topic you want to work on and set it forth. We can consider the following subject matter as a sample one - Illegal immigration and its influence on economic life in the USA.

When putting forward a thesis statement on illegal immigration, you can use a usual subject-description-triple content model of it.

Illegal immigration (subject) is prevalent immigration laws violation (description) taking various forms (content 1), having varied and complex reasons (content 2) and placing significant stress on the current economic superstructure of the USA, by supplying the cheap and effective workforce (content 3).

To make your work well-planned and structured, you should create an immigration research paper outline. The example below might be of help.           

I. Introduction

a. Capture the interest of the audience with the statistics: information on the number of people worldwide involved in the process, the countries which lose people most, and areas accepting foreigners.

b. Inform the readers about the process: some historical background, the current state of things, main concerns, and reasons why it still exists.

c. Set the thesis forward (you may use the thesis statement for immigration research paper already mentioned above): Illegal immigration is prevalent migration laws violation taking various forms, having varied and complex reasons and placing significant stress on the current economic superstructure of the USA, by supplying the cheap and effective workforce.

II. First point – the main types of unauthorized immigration. (Illegal entry, border crossing card violation, visa overstay, the undocumented workforce.)

a. Define the illegal forms of immigration to the US.

b. Focus on the main goals and reasons people migrate.

c. Point out the main groups of people immigrating to the country.

III. Second point – immigration laws violation. (Reveal the important aspects of the problem.)

a. Provide information.

b. Outline the major concerns.

c. Define the spheres associated with the problem.

IV. Third point – the influence on the economy.

a. Consider the stress caused to the American economy.

b. Look at the problem from the workforce resources point of view framework

c. Point out the possible measures as to the immigrants without documents.

V. Conclusion

a. Summarize the stated facts and arguments.

b. Emphasize the information.

c. Offer solutions to this issue.

As soon as our outline for research paper on illegal immigration is ready, you can proceed with the main part of your work – creating immigration introduction paragraph, main part, and conclusion. The introduction should capture your audience’s attention and engage them in reading your piece of writing up to the end.

The following facts on US illegal immigrants may help you grab the audience’s attention from the very start.

  • In 2015, the illegal immigrants constituted 3.4% of the total population of the US.
  • The peak in the number of incomers was fixed in 2007, exceeding 12 million people and making up 4% of the US total population.
  • American workforce comprises 8 million illegal foreign workers, accounting for 5% of those who were occupied or out of work and looking for it. This quantity did not change in 2009 - 2015.
  • Six states: California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, and New York account for almost 60% of unauthorized settlers.
  • A rising share of the immigrants, which exceeded 65% of their overall number, has lived in the US for a decade.

Immigration essay content and structure

Following your immigration essay introduction, move to the body paragraphs. You may use the following information. Illegal immigration in the USA refers to the violation of the immigration laws and regulations by the citizens of foreign countries. It may happen through unlawfully crossing the country’s border or staying in the US without getting the necessary permission from the Governmental body. There are a number of reasons why one can be characterized as an unauthorized immigrant; they are as follows:

  • Illegal US entry. Some individuals cross the country border with the help of specialized entities, which smuggle unauthorized incomers across the USA border. The majority enter through land borders; however, seaways and air routes can also be regularly employed. The weakest access point for the US incomers is the Mexico-American border; it was estimated that around 6.5 million settlers entered the USA in such a way. It’s actually a little less than half of the total amount of illegal American residents.
  • Border Crossing Card Violators. Those who slip into this category constitute a relatively small group as the majority of the recorded non-immigrants enter the USA with the help of the Border Crossing Card - a proof of identity which allows crossing the American border for a limited period.
  • Visa Overstays. Almost five million entrants came to the US without a proper visa and stayed beyond the allowed time period, thus violating the official terms of stay. The majority of such unauthorized residents are students or tourists, having a traveler or business visa type. Generally, visa overstayers have better educational and financial conditions than those who cross the border illegally.
  • Undocumented workers, which are hired by US employers. As a rule, they are eager to work at low-income jobs and in adverse conditions. These individuals become susceptible to exploitation and are often abused at works like janitorial and household, clothing production, or alike. Ten years ago, 5% of the total workforce in the USA were constituted by unauthorized workers.

Proceeding to the next point of your immigration essay outline, pay attention to the legal aspect of the problem. In this article, we’ll touch upon this aspect only in the frame of our topic. However, argumentative essay on immigration reform can be an independent topic as well.

The US Government takes measures to clampdown on the influx of migrants. In case one has overstayed his or her visa or crossed the border violating the legal norms, the fact will be revealed, and the procedures of incarceration or extradition starts. The most usual methods, which the American authorities use to disclose the illegal migration, are border protection and the investigation at working places.

The main laws referring to the illegal entrance or overstay can be found in the US Code, Section 1325, under the title “Improper Entry of Alien.” It presupposes fines or imprisonments for the people who fall under one of the following categories:

  • Those who try to move to the USA at the time or place not designated as due by the Government;
  • People avoiding inspections of the immigration agents or those initiated by the American Administration;
  • The entrants who attempt to cross the US border, providing fraudulent, fake, or misleading documents or willfully concealing certain facts.

In the US, there are detention centers annually holding about 300 000 unauthorized immigrants. Deportation is one more measure specified in the US immigration law and used by the American authorities. The proceeding of deportation is usually held by a special judge of the US Immigration Court. The person who commits the crime of unauthorized residency should be deported. There are also complicated cases when the parents live in the USA illegally, while their children are the US-born. By the way, should immigration laws be reformed essay is a popular assignment, which allows students to declare their point of view and defend their position. So using this info, you can ponder over this issue as well.

The American Customs and Border Protection agency bears responsibility for capturing people who make attempts to enter the country unlawfully. The Border Patrol is another law enforcement organization in charge of preventing, detecting, and arresting such incomers.

US-VISIT is a program, which helps to track those who have overstayed their visas. The abbreviation stands for the US Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, which collects personal, travel, and biometric information of the foreigners applying for the American entry. It requires an electronically readable passport with the necessary data, photo, and fingerprint.

The American Government makes regular audits on employment records initiated by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). Any discrepancies in audit records may lead to the deportation of illegal employees. The employers are alerted of mismatches between workers’ names and social security numbers and the SSA’s records. Besides, immigrants’ visas are regularly tracked by the US administration.

In 1996, Congress passed the PRWORA - Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. Even though undocumented residents do not have access to public benefits, they are still entitled to immunizations, medical care, disaster relief, and k-12 education. The implementation of this Act, in fact, makes the shift towards personal responsibility for “public dependency” evident.

The maximum punishment for the 1st time caught in the violation of migration rules is 6 months’ imprisonment; each following offense stands for 2 additional years. The immigrants whose term of overstay is between 180 and 360 days, face a 3-year ban when trying to re-enter America; those who violated visa terms for the period exceeding one year, get 10 years ban.

Most essays about immigration in the United States touch upon its economic influence; we’ll also consider it as one of the major aspects. The economic impact of illegal immigrants is usually challenging to measure, being costly, and influencing the financial security of the native citizens in various ways. It is often claimed to cut wages, as unregulated workers can be paid less. Employers benefit from this, while it keeps wages at a lower level in certain occupations and regions. Moreover, usually, illegal aliens have bigger families, thus putting a financial burden on local resources and law implementation.

Immigration and effects on economy research paper of 2010 showed that the household of an illegal immigrant got about $25 000 in state services and benefits; however, they only paid about $10 500 in taxes, generating a yearly fiscal deficit of approximately $14 500 per family. The US citizens had to cover those costs. Nowadays, all illegal households together create a total annual deficit of around $55 billion.

Besides, the illegal foreign workers pay little or no taxes, at the same time sending money home, causing a huge wealth transfer from the USA. Moreover, they use food stamps and social services, such as free medical care and education.  

This situation can set back technological progress and diminish competition in domestic and international markets. However, in the papers on immigration, one may find the opposing views, stating that certain employment areas benefit from unauthorized foreign employees as the latter contribute to reducing prices in the industries such as agriculture, catering, and building. The research has revealed that illegal residents bring profit to the USA in the long run, due to their consumption of goods and services. They are also one-sided contributors to Medicare, Social Security, and insurance program on unemployment.

You may ask why people are reluctant to arrive in the USA legally. Why does the illegal migration problem still exist and remain a burning issue for years? You may say that lots of people enter the USA legally; however, they face processing delays and formalities connected to Congress established immigration quotas. This results in significant waiting time and severe frustration for potential immigrants and American employers as well. Most Americans do not understand what a significant time lapse foreign guests and business travelers have to wait in order to get the US visa.

The individuals “playing by the rules” might spend many years waiting to obtain the status of legal permanent US residents. In the past several years, the situation with green cards has also worsened considerably; an immigrant has to spend about 5 years waiting to become a legal resident, even if he or she is an expert in some sphere. In your essay about immigrants, you may suggest the key to solving the illegal immigration problem; for example, making the admission system more workable along with providing enough visas for the working and family reunification. You may also bring forward the fact that sometimes it is easier and faster to enter the country illegally than to wait for official permission, which is the major problem of immigration.

Your immigration essay conclusion should answer the thesis and generalize the information of the essay. So you may give a summary of the problem and offer your point of view as to its solution. For instance, you may claim that the US still needs more workforce, and that’s why it’s quite reasonable to increase the number of visas for foreign employees, who can help keep the American economy running. Besides, the incentive to enter the USA illegally should be reduced and illegal immigration control increased.

Immigration and the rate of crime in the host country

You can mention that the research paper about modern immigration and crime holds leading positions among educational assignments. The connection between immigration, especially illegal one, and the level of criminal activity in the region has always been the subject of heated discussions. In short, aliens were criminalized, and even new classes of “law-breakers” were created, which are only applied to foreigners. Donald Trump, in his persuasive speech about immigration, mentioned that there were 2 million criminal aliens in America several years ago.

However, century-long research proved the powerful truth: immigrants commit fewer crimes than the native-born and are less inclined to get into prison. The high rate of immigration correlates with a lower rate of property or violent crimes. The results are valid for legal and illegal immigrants, regardless of their native country or education. That’s why strict immigration regulations will not help in overcoming the criminality. Plenty of information can be found about the life and experience of Chinese, Italian, Swedish, and Vietnamese immigrants, who came to the USA at different times. You can write an immigrant assimilation essay touching upon the problem of crime as well.

Here are more facts to support the above-mentioned claim:

  • Actually, the number of American entrants in recent decades was growing, while the rates of crime trended downward. Unauthorized US immigrants have more than tripled in the amount in the last 30 years. The official data indicates the decrease in the rate of violent crime for 48% in the same period, including the murder, rape, and robbery rates. The property crime rate dropped 41%. It was characteristic for most cities across the USA, especially for the so-called immigrant “gateways,” like Chicago, Miami, San Diego, and San Antonio.
  • Besides, roughly 1.6% of immigrant males between 18-39 years old are incarcerated, while among the natives the percent is 3.3. This difference in incarceration rates was preserved for minimum 3 decades; though it fluctuated, it still showed 2 to 5 times higher rate of the native population imprisonments compared to that of immigrants.
  • It’s essential to bear in mind that the majority of native prisoners are not in federal jails, while immigrants often get there because of immigration violations. In 2010 only 9% of all prisoners were kept in federal prisons.
  • A study conducted 3 years ago revealed that immigrants are less likely to be involved in criminal affairs than native US citizens. Moreover, Americans almost 4 times more often demonstrated violent behavior than Asians and Africans and 3 times than Latin Americans.

You may explain the reason for this trend in your research paper about illegal immigration. Immigrants are, as a rule, goal-driven and highly motivated individuals. They leave their native countries, families, and friends in search of a better life, so they would rather work hard and stay out of trouble than get involved in criminal activities. They come to a foreign land to pursue learning and financial opportunities unavailable in their countries of origin, so they have little to gain and much to lose by breaking the law.

The studies on the correlation between immigration and crime in Europe showed that immigration increase generally does not influence crime level; however, it goes hand-in-hand with growing community anxiety and anti-immigration mood. Going deeper into the topic, you may consider working on an immigrant experience essay as well.

In the United Kingdom, the consequence of 2 immigration waves was examined in relation to the crime rate. When the workforce from Eastern Europe flew into the country, the impact on crime was minimal; however, the wave of asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia, which came in the 90s, corresponded to a slight increase in the number of property crimes at that time.

As you can see, the topic of immigration is vast and interesting to study. It’s not a problem nowadays to find a good immigration research paper example and create a proper piece of writing following the standard guidelines. So we wish you good luck in your research work!


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