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Illegal Immigration: Europe and the United States
This hot topic issue will not be going away soon. Illegal immigration can cause intense debate. Because of the bad economy many illegal Mexicans immigrants in the US have started to move back home, or choose not to try their luck in America anymore. This news has been welcomed by many Americans. However, there are those who say that this will cause a labor shortage as the menial jobs that Mexicans have traditionally held will now go unfilled (farm work, factory work etc.) The usual argument by many liberal minded people is that these jobs will not be done by whites or other "legal" Americans. This is only correct if we look at the low wages that these illegal immigrants have been getting paid for the work. It these employers would pay at least minimum wage then the throngs of currently unemployed Americans would be more willing to do them. The greed of employers and the failure of the government to do much about illegal immigration due to economic reasons have let the situation get out of control. It all comes down to the bottom line of cheap labor=increased profits. Employers who employ illegals are rarely punished. Many Americans cry out against US companies moving manufacturing jobs overseas, but those who employ illegals inside America because they are a source of cheap labor are equally at fault.
In Europe the immigration problem has come mostly from Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The Arab Spring has caused an illegal immigration crisis in Italy, France and Greece as refugees from those conflicts have inundated European borders. Many North Africans have relatives in France also, which makes that country a popular destination. Germany, the UK, Belgium, and Portugal also have problems with illegal immigrants coming from their former colonies in Asia and Africa and South America, all hoping for the good life. With the present global crisis tensions between locals and illegals are getting tenser and tenser, especially with Muslims in France, UK and Germany. Europe's economy simply cannot handle all of these people seeking to settle down in Europe, especially as many who have lived there for years or decades have no interest in conforming to societal norms. In Europe, where countries have had their own cultures, languages and traditions for centuries, people understandably do not look too kindly on those who come expecting handouts but refuse to learn the language or to adopt at least some aspects of local life. This behavior can cause tensions in the best of times, not to mention presently during such a societal and economic crisis.
Illegal immigration is a trend that does not look like it will stop anytime soon. France has recently said that it has thought about putting restrictions on the Schengen Agreement which allows free passage between European Union internal borders in order to regain some control over who or what is entering their territory. The borders between Schengen and non-Schengen states in Europe are rife with human traffickers bringing in people from places like Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan who want to avoid going back to their home countries at all costs due to political and economic strife and civil wars.
The bottom line is that people are resenting illegal immigration more and more. Just imagine total strangers moving into your house, expecting to be accepted, not bothering to learn how to communicate with you, and doing some menial jobs around the house for a pittance, and perhaps even stealing your belongings. This is how many people see illegal immigrants on a national scale. Of course there are exceptions to everything, but as financial woes grow, tempers and patience lessens.
Another issue is that there are around 12 million illegal Mexicans in the US who live and work with no problems. However, coming to the US as a legal immigrant involves strict conditions, tons of paper work, medical exams, tests, interviews, background checks, documentation, time and at least $1,000 in Embassy fees. This does not seem fair: people who come here legally are put through a grinder of beauracracy, whilst those jumping over the border are basically free to do as they please for free. Those who move here legally have conditions and probation times put on their legal immigrant status, while illegals are free get around the system to roam around, buy cars, use the health system, get an education and enjoy almost more more than legal citizens.
We see more and more ultra right wing parties gaining votes throughout Europe including in traditionally tolerant countries such as Denmark, Norway, Finland and Switzerland, not to mention in those countries on the front line such as Italy and Greece.
Obviously this mass migration of peoples is constantly evolving, and only time will tell what the outcome will be. However, unless there is a marked improvement in the global economy, the tensions and conflicts are likely to get worse between locals and illegal immigrants in the United States and Europe.