Immigration Essay Writing Guide

Essay paper writing

Academic writing


Immigration essay as a kind of educational assignment

Immigration has long been taking place in the life of mankind; however, nowadays it’s getting more wide-spread. The reason for this is the contemporary progress in the field of travel and technology in general. Besides, at present, the gap between poor and rich countries increases and this fact only favors the further growth of people’s migration. That’s why educators turn to the theme of immigration nowadays more and more often, they widely use essays about immigration as educational assignments for their students.

There are multiple aspects of the migration process and many of them can be enlightened. Do not forget that in your work you should follow certain guidelines, which remain the same for each kind of the educational assignment.

Further in the article, we will see in more detail how to approach a research paper regarding immigration.

As any other kind of essay, it should be properly planned, contain relevant data and facts, be well-cited and arranged.

Research topics about immigration are variable: you can touch upon the history of the process, its advantages, and disadvantages, causes and reasons, its influence on the society, the illegal aspect of the process, legislation and the financial costs, problems met by immigrants and much more.

essays about immigration

Reasons and causes for immigration

Nowadays migration is a global issue from the point of view of economic and business. The population of certain states and regions is nowadays expanding due to the immigrants, who come to new places looking for better life.  Some individuals even immigrate in search of adventures, or simply want a different area for living and retirement.

Still, giving up the native land in favor of another country is often considered an act of courage. Getting to a new place an individual is always exposed to another culture and has to adopt a different lifestyle, besides, the cost of living in a hosting country is often higher. In addition to the pain of parting with the immediate family, the aliens face such problems as unemployment, abuse, lack of governmental support and non-acceptance by the society, being viewed as part of a minority group.

But if immigration is not at all a bed of roses, why do people still struggle for leaving their native places?

There are lots of reasons, which make people escape from their Motherland, but all of them can be generally divided into the push and pull factors.

The push or driving factors are the reasons why people wish to leave their native land, while the pull factors stand for the reasons why the individuals want to settle in a new area. In case of migration, both these factors can be social, economic, political and environmental.

So in your causes and effects of migration essay you may pay attention to all these aspects.

Safety reasons are the ones, which prompt individuals to immigrate causing danger to them or their family. People may look for a place, which is safer for their living. The reasons for this search may be variable, persecution and discrimination based on religion, race, nationality, political views or social status are among them. Official dangers, like war, are imposed on people as well as unofficial, like criminal activity.

Economic factors are common for immigration, and they may be seasonal as well as permanent. People often move from the poor developing countries into rich areas with more job and earning opportunities. Lots of immigration college essays deal with this aspect.

Social factors are the ones, which lead to the growth of migration due to the human needs and wish to attain the life of a better quality. The individuals thus try to acquire better prospects for their families and themselves. It can, for instance, be sending children to a better educational establishment or getting a job not only with a satisfactory salary, but the one, which guarantees additional paybacks and career growth. People may also look for certain services, like medical treatment or life-saving surgery, which may be unavailable in their native country.

Immigration to the United States and European Union

At first sight, both regions seem to experience similar immigration pressures: each area has accepted the recent working immigrants’ waves from poor regions and has already huge groups of skilled aliens as well as asylees.

Nevertheless, the immigration pressure on European countries and America is quite different. While Europe experiences the influx of incomers from Africa and the Middle East, the USA will soon experience 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.

Ever since the 11 of September there has developed a tendency of making American immigration laws tougher, as to the European Union, the same was caused by the Eurozone crisis. So now it actually seems that there is a call to build walls on both sides of the Atlantic.

In case America decides on “building a wall”, it may be quite irrelevant to the global migration patterns, with the EU the decision as to the regulating the borders seems more consequential.

Let’s see what are the major tendencies of immigration to the USA in the coming years. This information will be helpful for anybody working on the papers on immigration in America. Despite the fact that the schemes of natural disasters, civil conflicts or potential macroeconomic disturbances are difficult to predict with any accuracy, the changes in labor supply are that one significant determinant 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 been already born, that’s why their number requires no guess. Besides, generally 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 definitely contract demographically, and the high-population-growth regions, like Central Asia, Iraq, Iran, North and sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, will make a ring around it.

Most likely migration destinations like Italy, Spain and the UK will experience sensible increases in the number of first-generation immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, while the USA will most likely see a gradual decline in the newly arrived residents. The inflows to the US will mostly be from India and China - the states generating legal immigrants.

Immigration Pros and Cons

As any other process in our life moving from one place to another has the positive and the negative sides, so advantages and disadvantages of immigration essay is rather a popular educational assignment.

With the modern processes of globalization and merging of the entire world into some kind of a single economic space, where the individuals are free to transfer for employment or business affairs to any country, immigration becomes a quite common and a large-spread phenomenon.

In your benefits of immigration essay you can mention such positive aspects of the process as:

  • The improvement of the quality of living.

The majority of those who immigrate look for the better conditions and it involves various aspects of life like more favorable employment and earning opportunities, social security and benefits for citizens’ crimeless environment.

  • Better personal and professional perspectives

Having left the usual setting, the immigrants face different challenges: they become more independent, live alone, as a rule, and have to save to meet the new living standards. It also makes most people take on new professional commitments and self-actions, imbibe the new useful working methods and standards, thus growing as specialists and gaining new experience.

  • Contact with new cultures and knowledge expansion.

Any traveling provides you with the opportunity to learn more about the new cultures, their traditions and way of living, with immigration you have an opportunity to dive deeper into all these and know more about gastronomy, language peculiarities, idioms and stable phrases and overcome the language barrier in case there is any. The life in a new area opens the new knowledge doors providing the opportunity to get acquainted with the autochthonous history and historical sites of the area.

Most often disadvantages of immigration essays mention the following aspects:

  • Racial intolerance and cultural differences.

There are only a few countries, which are hospitable to the foreigners, the aliens are mostly victims of racial discrimination or intolerance in the new cultures.

  • Language barrier.

To avoid problems in a host country, it’s better to know at least some basic essential notions in the language. Basic social terms, phrases for shopping, traffic signs meaning and polite formulas belong here.

  • Labor supply shortage.

There are plenty of research papers about immigration work and this is actually due to the fact that unemployment is a noteworthy disadvantage the newcomers may face, particularly, if they have made up their mind to live in a new place without validation of the academic or qualification credentials they already have in their native land. Everyone living in a foreign country should try his best to put into practice the knowledge, skills and education gained at Motherland.

Besides, the advantages and disadvantages for those, who immigrate, the process has its benefits and drawbacks for the countries, both the one, which loses people and the one, which accepts.

The advantages for the native country are as a rule the following:

  • The citizens, who left send money home, favoring certain economic improvement.
  • The pressure on working places and resources decrease.
  • People may return with the new useful skills.

The disadvantages are usually as follows:

  • The potential amount of working force inside the country reduces, as the country is often left by the individuals of working age.
  • Gender imbalance sets in as the 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 perspective 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, low skilled jobs and services are performed by the immigrants.
  • Economic growth is sustained by the new young workers paying taxes.
  • Innovation and cultural diversity are brought by the people from abroad.

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, which may be a result of the uncontrolled amount of the 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. Some of them are like these:

  • How has the community growth and diversity been affected by the immigration tendencies in the last 50 years,
  • Are host countries’ population tolerant to the immigrants coming,
  • 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, in this case, will still remain illegal immigration.

Further on we will see how to create a research paper on illegal immigration in more detail.

How to write a research paper on illegal immigration

First of all the illegal immigration is a socio-political issue, that’s why the majority of written works are focused on this aspects, looking at the particular legal state of affairs in the country or region under review and the laws and acts preventing illegal entry in the area, America in our case. Illegal immigration research papers can reveal both sides of the story, enlightening the issue from the aliens’ viewpoint and taking into consideration the position of the country they wish to move in.

First of all, 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 the 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, as well as assisting it by supplying the cheap and effective workforce (content 3).

To make your work easier, better 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 (Provide statistics) – Information on the number of people worldwide involved in the process, the countries which lose people most and areas accepting foreigners most.

b. Inform the readers about the process – Some historical background, the current state of things, main concerns. The main reasons why it still exists, though considered an act of courage.

c. Set the thesis forward – (We 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, as well as assisting it 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 in the workforce.)

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

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

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

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 economic. (Go deeper into the matter.)

a. Consider the stress caused to the American economy.

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

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

V. Conclusion

a. Summarize

b. Emphasize the information

c. Offer solutions

As soon as our outline for research paper on illegal immigration is ready you can proceed for the main part of your work – creating the body of your essay, containing, as a rule, an immigration introduction paragraph, the main part, and the conclusion. The introduction should capture your audience’ attention and make them read your piece of writing up to the end.

The following facts on US illegal immigrants may help you grab the audience attention from the very start. In 2015 the illegal immigrants constituted 3.4% of the total population of America. The peak in the number of incomers was fixed in 2007, it exceeded 12 million people, making up 4% of the US total population.

American manpower 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 latters, which exceeded 65% of their overall number, has lived in the US for minimum a decade.

Following your immigration essay introduction go the body paragraphs. The following information may be provided in our sample essay.

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 crossing the country’s border in an unlawful way or staying in the US without getting the necessary permission from the Governmental body. There are a number of ways when 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 of such entrants use land borders, however seaways can also be regularly employed, wherever it’s possible, the same is valid for air routes. The weakest access points for such kind of the US incomers lie on the Mexico-American border, it was estimated that around 6.5 million settlers got to the USA in such a way. It’s actually a little more than a half of the total amount of American illegal residents and half a million of unlawful entries are still realized in this way.
  • Border Crossing Card Violators: those, who slip into this category constitute a relatively small group, 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 American border for a limited period.
  • Visa Overstays. Almost five million entrants came to the US in a legal way- having obtained a proper visa, however, people often choose to stay beyond the allowed time period thus violating the official terms of the US entry. The majority of such unauthorized residents are students or tourists, having traveler or business visa type. Generally, visa overstays have better education and better financial position than the ones, who cross the border through the illegal entry.
  • Violators of visa terms and conditions:  the violations in such cases are mostly associated to the acceptance of a job when it’s not presupposed by a visa type or systematic abuse of the time and geographical aspect by those border crossers, who have special visa privileges. As a rule, the latters are the residents of the adjacent countries.
  • Undocumented workers - undocumented migrants, which are hired by the U.S. employers. As a rule, they are eager to work at low-income jobs and in bad conditions. In such a way these individuals become susceptible to exploitation and are often abused at the services like janitorial and household, clothing production or alike. 10 years ago 5% of the total workforce in the USA were constituted by the unauthorized workers.

Proceeding to the next point of your immigration essay outline, pay attention to the judicial aspect of the problem. We’ll touch upon this aspect only in the frame of our topic, however, argumentative essay on immigration reform can be an independent assignment as well.

The US Government takes measures to clampdown unauthorized immigration. In case one has overstayed his visa or crossed the border violating the legal norms, the fact will be revealed and the procedures of incarceration or extradition started. 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, and sometimes both 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.
  • The persons, avoiding inspections of the immigration agents or those initiated by the American Administration.
  • The entrants, who attempt to cross the US border providing a false or misleading representation of their personality or willfully concealing certain facts.

Besides, 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. By the way, should immigration laws be reformed essay is a popular assignment, which allows students declare their point of view and suggest their viewpoint.

The proceeding of deportation is usually held by a special immigration judge of the US Immigration Court. The person proved guilty of unauthorized residency, should be deported to the native country. Yet, there are cases, when complications arise, most often it happens when the parents live in the USA illegally, while their children are the US-born.

The American Customs and Border Protection agency bears responsibility for capturing the persons, who make attempts to unlawfully enter the country. 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 persons, who have overstayed their visas. The abbreviation stands for the US Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, which gathers personal, travel and biometric information of the foreigners applying for the American entry. It demands electronically readable passports with the necessary data, photos, and fingerprints.

Workplace Investigations: The American Government makes regular audits on employment records initiated by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. In such a way discrepancies in identification registers and papers are revealed. Such audits may lead to deportation for the illegal employees and the employers are alerted of mismatches between their workers’ Social Security cards and the real credentials of the card holders. Besides, immigrants’ visas are regularly updated and tracked by the US administration.

In 1996 Congress passed the PRWORA Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. Though it prevents public benefits from flowing to undocumented residents the latters 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 over "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 additional 2 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 influence of the illegal immigration is usually considered a heavy burden, extremely 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. 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 ordinary 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, taking into consideration that the illegal foreign workers pay little or no taxes, at the same time sending millions of dollars home, they cause a huge wealth transfer from the USA. Moreover, they use food stamps and social services, such as free medical care and education.

However, the economic influence of the illegal immigration is extremely difficult to be measured, being a very challenging aspect to quantify.

One point of view is that illegal immigrant workers make US wages lower, as they come in search of work and thus increase competition at the labor market. Low-skilled foreigners compete with the native specialists, simultaneously increasing the unskilled manpower supply.

This can offset technical progress and diminish the competitiveness of American goods in the international market. However, in the papers on immigration one may find the opposing viewpoint, stating that even in such a situation certain low-skilled employment areas benefit from unauthorized foreign employees as the latters contribute to lesser prices in those 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 American goods and services and the fact that they pay more taxes than consume in the governmental services, they are also mostly one-sided contributors to Medicare, Social Security and insurance program on unemployment.

You may ask why people are reluctant to arrive in the USA in a legal way. Why does the illegal migration problem still exist and remain a burning issue for years? The answer is rather simple lots of people enter the USA legally, however they face lots of 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 simply do not understand what a significant time lapse have foreign guests and business travelers 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 resident, no matter if an employer pays expenses or they are supported by family members. In the past several years the situation with green cards term has also worsened considerably, an immigrant has now to spend about 5 years waiting to become a legal resident, even provided he is an expert in some sphere. In your essay about immigrants you may suggest the key to solving the illegal immigration problem, which is actually making the admission system more workable and closer to live situation along with providing enough visas for the working and family reunification visas.

Your immigration essay conclusion should answer the thesis and generalize the information of the essay. So you may give a short summary of the problem and offer your point of view as to its solution.

For instance, you may claim that America still needs more workers than it has now and that’s why it’s quite reasonable to increase the quantity of visas for family members and foreign employees, who can help keep the American economy running. Besides, the incentive to enter the USA illegally should be reduced and illegal immigration sphere control increased.

Immigration and the rate of crime in the host country

When speaking of the influence of immigration, we should mention that the research paper about modern immigration and crime holds leading positions among educational assignments. The connection between the immigration, especially the illegal one and the level of the 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 the foreigners. Donald Trump in his persuasive speech about immigration mentioned that there were 2 million criminal aliens in America several years ago.

However, a century-long research proved the 2 powerful truths: immigrants commit fewer crimes than the native-borns and are less inclined to get into prison. Actually, high rate of immigration correlates with the lower rate of property or violent crimes. The results are valid for legal and illegal immigrants, regardless of their native country or educational level. That’s why tough 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.  Some sources even provide the stories of those who came to settle in America as early as 1865. Thus you can actually write an immigrant assimilation essay touching upon the problem of crime as well.

Actually, the number of American entrants in recent decades was growing year in year, 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 of 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 immigrants “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 made 3 years ago revealed that immigrants are less likely to participate in felonious affairs than native US citizens. Americans almost 4 times more often demonstrated violent behavior than Asians and Africans and 3 times more often than Latin Americans.

The explanation is quite logical and straightforward and you may use it in your research paper about illegal immigration as well. Immigrants are, as a rule, goal-driven and highly motivated, individuals. They leave their native countries, often families and environment in search of better life, so they would rather work hard and stay out of trouble than get involved in criminal activity.

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.

Speaking of the correlation between the immigration and crime Europe should also be mentioned. The studies 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 extremely 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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