Politics of Minority Development

POLITICS OF MINORITY DEVELOPMENT 14

Politicsof Minority Development

Politicsof Minority Development

Theimportance of economic development cannot be gainsaid as far as thewellbeing of the citizens is concerned. Indeed, it is wellacknowledged that economic development has a bearing on the provisionof other services that enhance the wellbeing of the lives ofindividuals in any particular country. This explains why policiesthat touch on economic policies are fundamental and have to bescrutinized prior to their adoption and implementation as they couldhave dire ramifications in the short-term and long-term. However, ithas well been acknowledged that there are numerous aspects of aneconomy that have a bearing on economic development. This is more soin the case of a country such as the United States, which is composedof numerous races and people from almost every ethnic group in theentire world. Of particular note is the fact that each of thesegroups has a distinctive set of characteristics that determine howfar they develop economically in the short-term and the long-term.However, one of the most controversial topics in the United Statesremains the illegal immigrants from Mexico. It is noted that as muchas the United States government has been particularly concentratingon the majority or dominant groups, it has kept a steady eye on themigrant population. Needless to say, numerous policies and strategieshave been put in place in an effort to not only curb their entry intothe country, as well as increase or enhance their economic wellbeingin the contemporary human society.

IllegalMigration and Assimilation

Migrationand assimilation have been some of the most controversial issues inany country. In the United States, the issue becomes even morevolatile especially considering that the country is primarily basedon this issue. Migration has been cited as crucial is enhancing thestability of the diversification of a country. Research has shownthat if all migrants were combined, they would make the sixth largestcountry in the entire globe. At the beginning of this century, it wasreported that around 175 million people lived outside the country inwhich they were born, with researchers predicting an increase in theflow of people as a result of enhancement of commercial agreements,transportation, as well as communication. Scholars have categorizedmigrants into five groups including asylum seekers and refugees,settlers, professionals, contract workers and unauthorized workers.Asylum seekers and refugees leave their homes to escape persecutionor danger, while settlers get to the country with the intention ofpermanently living there. Contract workers are in the country moveinto the country for a particular period of time as stated in theircontracts, while professionals move to other countries on the basisof their being employees of multinational or transnationalcorporations. It is the last group, however, that is most importantto this discussion. Unauthorized workers are primarily illegalimmigrants who get into the country through back doors and areusually unregistered or undocumented.

Theimportance of immigration to the economic development of a minoritygroup and the country at large rests in its pros and cons. Indeed,there have been questions about the effects of immigration to thewelfare of minority groups. In carrying out research on this, I willexamine the volumes of literary works that have been written in thepast, as well as documented research especially pertaining tostatistics of immigration, their assimilation and subsequent effectson their economic growth and development.

LiteratureReview

Volumesof literature and studies have been written regarding the issue ofimmigration and particularly, illegal immigration in the recenttimes. Indeed, scholars have noted that the complexity and magnitudeof international migration would make it a crucial force indevelopment, as well as a high-priority issue pertaining to bothdeveloped and developing countries. It has well been acknowledgedthat a large number of migrants cross the borders in search of bettersocial and economic opportunities. Indeed, economic migrants make upthe fastest category of migrants in the entire globe. One of thepertinent questions has particularly revolved around the role ofglobalization in this change of trend. It is noted that globalizationenhances the mobility of labor. This has been complemented by thedecline in the working-age and fertility of populations in a largenumber of developed countries, which results in an increase in demandfor workers from other countries so as to sustain the nationaleconomies. This introduces the notion that migration almost alwaystakes place from countries that are less developed to those that arewell developed.

Migrationis primarily facilitated by social networks. Indeed, the influencepertaining to networks occurs in the form or flow of wage and jobinformation, transportation, communication, desire for completely newexperiences, as well as assistance organizations. It is noteworthythat individuals have a much easier time getting used to newenvironments in instances where they already know a person in theirnew destination. Further, it is noted that migration results inpermanent transformation in perception and motivation over time,which, essentially, encourages more migration. However, scholars havenoted that once migration starts, it may persist over time even whenthe conditions that originally resulted in its eruption are notthere. This is because of the income distribution, network formationand modificat

Ionof consumer behaviors and habits of the immigrants and theindividuals who observe the socio-economic and status improvementspertaining to the emigrants, which make up strong incentives thatestablish cyclical processes pertaining to cumulative migration.

Inaddition, there have been concerns regarding the effects of illegalimmigrants on labor and the economy at large. Scholars haveunderlined the fact that a large number of migrants relocate to theUnited States primarily in search of better economic conditionsemanating from the availability of better paying jobs. It isnoteworthy that migrant labor has become a necessary and desirableingredient in the sustenance of economic growth of the country,particularly at this time of recession. Indeed, migration has beenseen as crucial in the transfer of skills and manpower, as well asthe provision of the necessary innovation and knowledge that enhancesthe country’s growth. This would explain why migrationconsiderations are currently being examined and integrated in thebroader planning policies, especially considering their impact on theattainment of Millennium Development Goals, as well as Post 2015development strategies. Of particular note is the fact that migrationusually takes a circular and temporary nature, where a large numberof migrants maintain connections to their home countries. Indeed, asmuch as migrants make crucial contributions to the host countries’economic prosperity, the flow of social, human, financial andtechnological capital to the countries of origin impacts on theeconomic development and poverty reduction as well. In 2012, researchshowed that the total amount of remittances flowing to the developingcountries amounted to around $406 billion, while the globalremittances were $534 when those to high-income nations wereincluded.

Alsoplease include a literature review. This describes what scholarsalready know about the topic

ResearchResults

Therehas been immense controversy with regard to the need for givingcitizenship to illegal immigrants. A large proportion of oppositionto the legalization of immigrants has focused primarily on concernspertaining to the fact that such actions would invite a fresh influxof illegal immigrants or undocumented workers, as well as the factthat it would be rewarding individuals who have already violated thelaws of the land. As much as these discussions are crucial, thefragility of the American economy particularly in the case ofminorities would necessitate an examination of the effects ofimmigration (both legal and illegal) on economic development ofminorities. Varied issues would be considered in this regard.

MinorityEmployment

Oneof the key aspects of that may be considered would be employment andwages of the minorities. Of course, it may seem obvious thatincreased illegal migration would lower the wages of Americans.Indeed, demand and supply models imply that more workers would exerta downward pressure on the wages. However, the function may be morecomplicated when minorities’ economic development and the entireAmerican economy are considered. A 2010 economic literature surveyunderlined the fact that immigrants increase the overall livingstandards of America workers through lowering prices and boostingwages. This is because immigration would change or alter the jobsthat employers would need to fill up. An increase in the amount ofcheap labor would increase the feasibility of certain businesses suchas restaurants and farming (Painter et al, 2007). Further, immigrantsalso demand supply labor apart from supplying it too. Indeed,immigration would increase the domestic population, which essentiallyincreases the number of potential customers for businesses.

However,the effects on the minority populations are different from the caseof the overall economy. Indeed, it is noted that they would becompeting with the minorities for jobs. Scholars and researchersacknowledge the fact that the rates of illiteracy is high amongminorities, not to mention the fact that a large number of them haveno college degree or high school education (Martin &amp Midgley,2003). In essence, the kinds of jobs that they would take up wouldparticularly need few skills. Immigrants, on the other hand, alsoshare the same characteristics. A research done in 2005 showed that30 percent of immigrants who were already in the labor market did nothave high school education and in the case of those who had gotten inthe country from 2000 to 2005 about 34 percent did not have a highsdegree (Painter et al, 2007). This would explain why the immigrants’occupational distribution exhibits or indicates that they are highlyconcentrated in jobs that need considerably few skills. As at theyear 2005, immigrants formed 6 percent of individuals in legalservices occupations, 9 percent in managerial positions, while 26percent were in construction labor and 34 percent occupied buildingand maintenance services (Painter et al, 2007). This implies thatimmigration enhanced the supply of some types of workers compared toothers, in which case any effect on employment and wages for nativesand minorities would potentially be felt more by Americans alreadyin low paying and less skilled occupations (Ottaviano &amp Peri,2006). Considering that they face higher level of job competition, itis no wonder that less educated workers do not view immigrants in apositive way. Studies show that a one percent increase in thecomposition of immigrants in a metropolitan area enhancedunemployment for minorities by around 0.13 percent. Indeed,non-whites seem to lose their jobs to immigrants, while theirearnings were immensely depressed by the increase in immigrants. Acase in point would be California where between 128,200 and 194workers were withdrawn from the workforce as a result of immigration.Of particular note is the fact that almost all of the employees whowere rendered jobless were either high school drop outs or had highschool degree. Further, a large proportion of them were minorities orwomen.

Ofcourse, the main question would revolve around the reason whyminorities may have their employment and wages threatened byimmigrants. First, immigrants are often bound to work forconsiderably less (Painter et al, 2007). This is particularly thecase for newly arrived natives and illegal aliens. It is noted thatthese groups of immigrants earn considerably less than thenative-born workers even in the lowly and unskilled jobs. This may bepartly as a result of their low education levels. On the same note,immigrants are often depicted as considerably better employeesespecially when compared to native-born African Americans. Indeed, alarge number of small business owners admit that they would prefer tohave Asian and Hispanic immigrants compared to the native bornblacks. The preference seems well based in the case of Asian andHispanic employers who usually prefer to get employees from their owncommunities even in instances where they are illegally in the country(Spencer, 2004). This may be shown in earlier studies that indicatedthat as much as immigrants made up only 11 percent of job candidatesHarlem labor market, they made up 26.4 percent of the individuals whowere eventually hired. In addition, 41 percent of immigrants managedto get employment within a year, which may be contrasted to themeager 14 percent of the native-born blacks. This resulted in theconclusion that immigrants manage better in low-wage labor market asemployers see them as considerably more desirable compares tonaïve-born African Americans (Borjas et al, 2010). Further, there isresearch that shows that downward pressure may be exerted on salariesand wages of minorities by the simple threat of more migration. Asmuch as there has not been substantial research carried out regardingthis question, scholars have noted that the threat of moreimmigration would exert considerable downward pressure on salariesand incomes (Sum et al, 2006). This is especially considering thatworkers in lowly jobs would recognize that their employers now haveanother labor pool that they can draw from. In essence, even ininstances where the immigrants make up a small proportion of theentire workforce, there would still be a substantial threat for moreimmigration as a result of the country’s open migration policy(Borjas et al, 2010). This means that native-born workers in thesejobs would cease their demands for increased wages as a result ofthis threat, which holds down the wages beyond the expectations.

Welfareof the Minorities

Oneof the arguments that have been put forth for restrictingimmigrations revolves around the fact that the deficiency of strictlaws limiting immigration would cause an influx of unskilled workersinto the United States, who would take advantage of the considerablyrobust welfare state. Indeed, there have been studies that have shownthat immigrants get more from benefits that they ever pay in form oftaxes although there are other studies to the contrary (Borjas et al,2010). While there is contention over this issue, it is noted thatimmigrants may be having a positive effect on the welfare ofminorities alongside the entire economy. Scholars note that contraryto some stereotype, welfare states concentrate on the old rather thanthe poor. Immigrants, on the other hand, are young and energetic asthey usually get to the United States in an effort to get jobsusually manual or menial in nature. In essence, they often end uppropping elderly natives instead of milking the system (Spencer,2004). It is noteworthy that illegal immigrants who remit taxes onfalsified or fake social security numbers are simply profit to thetreasury. Indeed, researchers note that the deficiency of the taxesremitted on falsified Social Security numbers would result in a 10percent worsening of the deficit of the funding hole of the system.Quite a large proportion of minorities is in the “old age”bracket (Spencer, 2004). This means that the increasing immigrationinto the United States would essentially have a positive effect ontheir economic status as it becomes easier to offer them welfarebenefits.

However,there is the question of the cost of living in areas where blacks arethe majority. It is noteworthy that a large number of immigrantsoften live in the same neighborhoods as the black minorities, simplybecause these are the only areas that would be supported by theirsalaries and wages. However, there are two ways in which they wouldincrease the cost of living in these neighborhoods. First, they wouldincrease the population in these neighborhoods meaning that therewould be an increase in the demand for goods and services such ashousing, as well as foods and other commodities. This means that theprices of goods and services would increase in both the long-term andshort-term, which increases the cost of living for black minorities.In addition, they take up the same jobs that black minorities wouldhave taken up meaning that the latter group denied of some income(Camarota &amp Jensenius, 2009). Further, it is noted that they earnconsiderably more than the black minorities as a result of increasedpreference of employers for them. This means that they can afford topay more for the same commodities in the same neighborhoods as theblack minorities, which means that they drive up the cost of livingin these neighborhoods. This is besides the fact that the increasedpopulations and reduced employment opportunities create a fertileground for crime and violence. Too many people will have too muchtime and energy in their hands, which they have to look for an avenuefor venting it. In the absence of employment opportunities, it goeswithout saying that the only other avenues for venting this energywould be crime and substance abuse. These only end up worsening thesituation for the black minorities (Camarota &amp Jensenius, 2009).

Conclusion

Inconclusion, economic development of any country is of utmostimportance as far as the wellbeing of its citizens is concerned.Nevertheless, different groups of people are affected in a differentmanner by issues in any economy. One of the groups of people thathave attracted immense attention in the recent times is the blackminority. This may particularly be as a result of their history inslavery, as well as racism that is meted on them even in thecontemporary human society (Smith &amp Chow, 2008). One of theaspects in the modern times that affects their economic developmentis undoubtedly the increased immigration. There has been recentdebate pertaining to the increased immigration, both legal andillegal, with scholars noting that the effects of increasedimmigration are not well explored. Nevertheless, it is wellacknowledged that increased immigration has negative effects on theeconomic development of minority African Americans. This isespecially with regard to the fact that they exert a downwardpressure on the employment levels for particular jobs. It is worthnoting that immigrants usually take jobs that require few skills andlow levels of education. These jobs are primarily occupied by AfricanAmericans, which means that they would be the ones who are mostlyaffected by the influx of the immigrants in the economy. On the samenote, not only do immigrants reduce the employment levels for blackAmericans but also reduce the levels of wages. African Americans areless likely to demand increased wages as they know that theiremployers have another pool of workers from which they can hire thenecessary labor. In addition, immigrants are highly likely to ask forlower salaries than their African American counterparts. Sinceemployers are primarily concerned about profit making, it only meansthat they would go to the individuals who can perform the tasks atlower cost or at least demand that their African American employeestake pay cuts. Unfortunately, the negative effects are taken wellinto the neighborhoods where the African Americans live as theimmigrants are likely to invade them, thereby increasing the demandfor the services and commodities in these neighborhoods (Smith &ampChow, 2008). Perhaps the only positive impact or effect thatimmigration would have on the African American minorities wouldrevolve around their payment of taxes thereby allowing and welfare ofthe later. On the same note, scholars have underlined the notion thatthere is a high likelihood that African Americans are the same peoplewho own varied businesses especially in the black neighborhoods wherethere is an increase in the population and demand for goods andservices. In essence, they would be beneficiaries of high profits andoften increased employment, at least within these businesses(Ottaviano &amp Peri, 2006). Perhaps one of the most fundamentallessons from this research would revolve around the fact thatdifferent groups of people would be affected by immigration and otherfactors in a different way. This is subject to the level of theeconomy that they serve the most. The major question would be whethermaking the undocumented immigrants legal would also affect the upperechelons occupied by other dominant groups as the immigrants wouldtake up the necessary education and now compete for higher jobs.

References

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Camarota,S.A &amp Jensenius, K (2009). “A Shifting Tide: Recent Trends inthe Illegal Immigrant Population,” Centerfor Immigration Studies

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