Why do countries need immigration controls?

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Why do countries need immigration controls?

In: Economics

4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

“Need” is a strong word.

Immigration can affect a country economically. Some of these effects are beneficial: immigrants are already moving, so they usually go to where jobs are, and they add new productivity to the system. Some of these effects are detrimental: rising labor supply means more competition, so wages usually fall for laborers while profits rise for those who hold capital, meaning immigration can suck money away from the poor and funnel it to the rich.

Immigration can also affect a country socially. Different groups have different values, traditions, and interests. This can result in strife if those things come into conflict. On the plus side, a greater internal diversity usually results in greater creativity and breadth, enabling a nation to succeed more in more areas. There is a reason multiculturalism generally succeeds; it’s *useful.*

Hence, some degree of control over immigration is desirable, and it’s a disagreement about *how much* control should be exercised. Favoring highly trained immigrants, for example, helps to mitigate the “rob the poor to feed the rich” problem, because those are workers who expect very high wages and thus apply competitive pressure to upper- or upper-middle-class wages more than to minimum wage workers. Having a reasonable—fully achievable but not at all trivial—naturalization process (e.g. citizenship testing) helps to ensure that those who enter have some understanding of what they are getting into, and the basic skills and knowledge to get by once they arrive. Etc.

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