This a continuous flow of capital, culture, ideas, commodities

This essay argues for the opening up of national borders, a removal of the barriers which separate the world and perpetuate global inequality. This is an argument put forward by nick Harris and several other thinkers. The deregulation of borders would allow for a free flow of people around the world, which can be seen as the last step in the process of globalisation. Globalisation is the process by which the world has become increasingly interconnected and interdependent, and there is a continuous flow of capital, culture, ideas, commodities and people across national boundaries, these boundaries becoming “increasingly porous” (xavier inda and rosaldo 4).The one barrier which is still heavily restricted is that which regulates the flow of people into countries, particularly developing countries. While policies vary from country to country, the process for choosing what groups of people from foreign countries will be allowed to work in developing countries is very selective. Legally immigrating to developed countries for work is overwhelmingly a privilege which exists for the highly trained, highly skilled population ( Harris 41). Thus, the privileged are given the opportunity to move around freely and prosper in the global economy while the less skilled are not given the chance to escape the economic situation of own country, at least not legally, therefor remaining locked into their poverty. The world is the ongoing process of globalisation, and governments have “reduced trade barriers and liberalised capital markets but have not lowered barriers to immigration” ( Freeman 150). In fact, as evidenced by The Trump Administration’s current construction of a wall between the US and Mexico to further fortify the border, some countries are increasing the barriers to entering the country, legally and illegally. This essay will argue that this is counterproductive to the progress of individual countries and of the world as a whole. It is a fact which has long been established by economists that immigration is good for economic growth. Rita Simons reported that Eighty-one percent of american economists believed “immigration was very favourable for economic growth and the other 19 per cent thought it slightly favourable” (Harris 51). According to a report from the United Nations, the aging of populations has become “one of the most significant social transformations of the twenty-first century”, which requires a great deal of strategic planning in order for the economy to adjust to this shift in population (UN 2015). They found that “Between 2015 and 2030, the number of people in the world aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 56 per cent, from 901 million to 1.4 billion”, and by 2050, is expected to be double that of 2015 (UN 2015). This trend is particularly prevalent in developing countries. The larger life expectancy combined with the decreasing birth rates results in a shrinking of the workforce, and an increasing cost to governments to provide pensions, health care and other vital services for the aging population. The fact that immigrants are overwhelmingly of working age, and come for that purpose, is a way to subsidise the population, providing more workers who pay taxes, subsiding this change in population. As Nigel Harris points out, in order to equalise the working/aging ratio of a population, immigration way beyond the current level is necessary, with the UN predicting that, in the case of Japan, the most rapidly aging society, in order “to stabilise the working population to the year 2050, 609,000 immigrants would be required annually” (100). Open immigration would mean that there would be a free flow of available workers who could easily and readily go wherever they where needed, benefiting populations with both an abundance, and a shortage of workers. However, it is true that the population of the world as a whole is decreasing, and with the further economic growth for developing countries that open immigration would allow, this number would likely keep dropping. Therefor, this would not totally solve the problem of supporting the global aging population in the long term, however, it is, for the foreseeable future, a great option. For a future of a global aging population and a prosperous global economy, a policy of open global immigration in combination with the automation of some jobs, has the potential to level out the amount of workers needed with the jobs that need doing in every economy. Another factor which affects the workforce of developed countries is the increasing of the average levels of education. With more highly skilled and educated workers, there are less people willing to do certain types of jobs, upon which their qualifications would be lost. However, as Harris points out, these unskilled jobs are a vital part of the economy; “this unskilled workforce alone makes it possible for the skilled to work. Without it, there is no economy and no high productivity” (77). Jobs in areas such production and agriculture in particular draw very few native applicants. Immigrants are usually willing to take the jobs that native people don’t want to do, and for wages below what would be expected of most local people. Harris cites an example of how immigrants in Nebraska saved an old town in Nebraska from turning into a ghost town after the collapse of its tractor making business around which the town was based. A meat packing plant, which employed “employed mainly Latinos, with a few Asians – on wages for dangerous and dirty jobs”, revived the whole town ( Harris 49). Restricting immigration into a  country impacts  negatively on the that country and economy as a whole. In the absence of people willing to do these jobs for low paying wages, these struggling industries are left with few options. One option would be to increase wages in order to attract native people to these jobs, however as I will demonstrate this is not always effective, as there seems some jobs native workers won’t do in some areas even for a decent wage. And for small and struggling businesses having to increase wages could drive them into the ground. One such example is for smaller business farms. Restrictions on immigration has a thoroughly negative effect on farming, which has been for many years a struggling industry. An article from this year cites how the increasing tightening of controls of the border between the US and Mexico has led to a shortage of workers for California farms, and how despite a considerable increase in wages offered, local people are still not filling the gap (Los Angeles Times). Many immigrants, legal and illegal are employed on farms throughout the country. Increasing wages for all of these low paying jobs occupied by immigrants would also lead to increased prices and inflation. The idea that immigrants take jobs which would otherwise go to native people, while an often cited, is not one based on convincing evidence. As Harris notes, in reality, in terms of the majority of immigrants which come to developed countries, who are at the unskilled end of the labour force, there is not much competition for jobs between them and the native people, as they tend to go for different jobs;”Even if the effect of immigration was to lower wages and drive existing workers out of work, it would affect very few native workers – the educational system has removed them from those jobs” (Harris 58). Immigration has an overwhelmingly positive effect on the economy. Not only do immigrants occupy jobs otherwise difficult to fill, but they also create jobs. Many immigrants set up their own businesses in foreign countries, creating jobs which otherwise would not have existed. A study from 2014 found that one in seven companies in the UK were created by immigrants coming from outside Britain, and where responsible for created fourteen percent of jobs the nations jobs (Financial Times). Another factor of consideration is the number of female immigrants who work as nannies in foreign countries, which gives mothers the freedom to work.  (Ritzer and Dean 276). On top of creating jobs, and paying tax, immigrants are additional consumers to spur on the economy; “They are not only workers but consumers – of housing and furnishing, food, entertainment, transport and so on, much of which is provided by the native population. This impact is very much larger than any effect on competing workers” (Harris 59). Immigrants, of all different education levels bring with them different skills, and countries benefit from having a diverse range of people working together with different strengths and life experiences. This essay has, thus far focused mainly on the benefits which unskilled immigrants have had on the economies of the receiving countries. This is due to the fact that the importance of these workers is often understated, and many countries have policies which actively keep them out. This means that in order to fill jobs which need filling in developing countries, and while benefiting the economy of that country, many hardworking and motivated people are required to work illegally (Harris). As mentioned in the introduction, most legal immigration from the developing to the developed world is for workers who are highly skilled and educated, who have specialised skills which the receiving country is lacking in. Immigration policies of individual countries readily encourage these workers to come and work in their country, as their contributions to developing the specific industries to which they belong are clear. The IT industry, which is rapidly growing and which requires a constant stream of innovators and creators, is one of the leading industries which employs vast amounts of people from all over the world. Silicon Valley tech companies were part of the driving force to increase the number of working visas awarded to international workers each year in the United States. From the introduction of the H-1B visa for highly skilled temporary workers in 1998, “The numbers were consequently raised to 115,000 for two years, followed by 107,500 for 2001 and 65,000 for 2002”, however, companies argued that this was still not enough to meet their needs for workers (Harris 98). The tech industry have again spoken out to emphasize the necessity of the ability for industrys to hire high numbers of foreign workers in light of Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigration. This shortage of native skilled workers in specific fields is not specific to the United States. Though many students all over Europe graduate with the relevant degrees to work in the industry, there is still nowhere near enough enough native graduates to fill the number of jobs required  in individual countries. Anthony Walker, the CEO of TechUK spoke about this shortage; “The tech sector is creating jobs faster than we can fill them, and for every ten high skilled roles, the sector creates four more jobs elsewhere in the economy” (Anthony Walker qtd. in info security).  Although many countries provide working visas for highly skilled people, there are still restrictions, to the number of visas awarded, and to the time that the people working on these visas can stay. The process of applying for visas is a lengthy one. Therefor open immigration would also benefit big companies and businesses who need to hire large numbers of international workers in a short space of time. Full mobility for everyone around the world would result in all different industries and sectors being able to choose from a diverse pool of candidates and to select the absolute best workers for any particular job. This would surely lead to innovation and growth in important areas of society. So it is clear that the countries that receive immigrants benefit from doing so. How then can we explain this paradoxical anti immigration sentiment and policies which exist throughout the developed world, and which have again recently resurfaced? Why do many politicians rally against something which supports the interests of their country?  Nigel Harris, in his book explores the origin of immigration controls, and argues that anti immigration sentiment was peddled by governments as a way of attempting to maintain control over their populations (21). Politicians and parties have often fanned the flames of an already existing aversion to the  other, a xenophobia, as leverage for political gain. As Mohammad A. Chaichian wrote, “Erecting walls on one hand signifies power and the ability of those who build them to dominate, but at the same time represents the builders’ insecurity and fear of the other” (1). Harris uses the example of a speech which Margaret Thatcher made in nineteen seventy eight about the country being swamped by black immigrants to demonstrate how policies on immigration are not simply a response to the demands of the public, but a conscious creation and implanting of these views; after this speech, the number of people who believed immigration was one of the most urgent issues facing the country rose from nine percent to twenty one percent ( Harris 51). People moving around in order to find work is not a new phenomenon and has occurred throughout history. The development of forms of transport such as high speed trains and planes has simply rendered travel from one country to another easier and quicker, while before the search for work may have been practically limited to movement within a certain country. It is, however, a relatively new thing to control this natural movement of people. This aversion of governments to global mobility, argues Ritzer and Dean, comes about as a result of ” the rise of the nation-state”  (266). They pinpoint the first world war was as the time when attitudes toward immigration took their most significant turn (266). The war highlighted to governments the absolute importance of having loyal citizens, who in times of war would be willing to fight and die for their country. This does not go hand in hand with a world where citzens can move about as they wish, transcending national boundaries and identifies. The aversion to to immigration can also be seen in a way as a fear of competition;”in order to prosper economically, nations must try to keep the labor they need, both highly paid skilled workers and professionals of various types, and masses of low-paid semi-skilled and unskilled workers. If nations routinely lost large numbers of such workers, their ability to compete in the global marketplace would suffer.” 266 Perhaps the most prominent argument against open immigration in the past few years has been due to the concern about terrorism. With the increase in terrorist attacks in Europe and the US, their has been increasing anxiety about who should be permitted within the borders of these countries. These anxieties have “served to reinforce, if not increase, the restrictions on migration” ( Ritzer, Dean). However, firstly, It is the case that the majority of terrorist attacks in Europe and The US are carried out by citizens of that country. Recent high profile attacks such as the 2016 Orlando Shooting and the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing demonstrate this pattern of homegrown terrorism. The access to instant communication within a globalized, interconnected world has facilitated this pattern. Western people can be exposed to terrorist propaganda through the internet and can become radicalised from within their own communities. Therefor, the strategy of restricting international mobility in order to limit the spread of terrorism is not one which adequately addresses the problem. Secondly, removing restrictions on people travelling for work to different countries does not necessarily mean a decrease in security. In fact, in removing the criminal element of immigration, the whole underground industry of smuggling people into countries would lose its function, aside from in the case of wanted criminals or terrorists. This would allow all the focus and resources of immigration security and control to go toward the people who actually wish to do harm. Taking the power away from these underground smuggling networks would result in individual countries having a greater level of knowledge and control about who is entering their country. With freer migration there would be “greater global cooperation, and global systems, that would allow for greatly improved tracking of flows of people and a much-improved ability to identify and apprehend those intent on criminal or terroristic activities.” ( Ritzer and Dean 278). So the current immigration restrictions for entering Western countries fuels the buisness of smuggling and trafficking people and illegal material not only smuggling, but human trafficking; “Just as the american campaign to ban alcohol in the inter war prohibition era was so effective in creating and sustaining the mafia, so the policing of borders i n europe creates and sustains the gangs that organise illegal movement across borders” ( Harris 23). This system creates a lot of suffering, from the countless people who have died trying to cross the border, or those who where lured into the trap of human trafficking through the promise of work and a better life in a developing country. IOM, the International Organization for Migration reported that in 2016, there where over 7000 deaths reported globally from people attempting to migrate from one country to another (IOM iii). This was the highest figure ever recorded. For those who do survive the journey, some face further hardship and suffering. The vulnerability of immigrants who put their lives in the hands of smugglers, is, as IOM reports, often exploited (2). With these harrowing conditions, the flow of immigrants does not cease, the numbers of deaths and level of exploitation merely rises. Another argument against the current immigration system is that Immigration is a self regulating system which would function effectively and healthily without the legal restrictions currently in place. As mentioned earlier, part of the aversion to the idea of open immigration comes from a kind of fear of the other, and a fantasy that given the opportunity, countless outsider, of different races, religions and social values would flock to western countries, overwhelming and destroying the fabric of their society. However, as Harris notes, this is simply not the case (48). Uprooting oneself from one’s home country, family and friends can be a very isolating experience for those who chose immigrate. Those who do choose to leave, and to brave the journey, only do so because they know there is work available for them in the country to which they are travelling. As Harris puts it, “there is too much to lose to leap into the darkness, hoping there is somewhere to land”; economic immigrants are guided by logic, and will follow the trail of jobs available, regardless of restrictions (54). The current system disrupts what would be a natural ebb and flow of people coming in and out of countries as job availability varies. When there are less jobs available, less immigrants will come to that country. Harris cites the example of the Great Depression to demonstrate this pattern, immigration fell not because of controls, but because of the lack of available jobs ( 56). Increasingly tight border security between the US and Mexico has had a somewhat paradoxical outcome, in order to avoid the risk of getting caught leaving the country or when returning, immigrants are required to settle permanently in the US. “About 47% of undocumented immigrants returned to Mexico between 1979 and 1984, but the percentage of returns had declined to 27% between 1997 and 2003” (Ritzer. Dean 270). It is not only developing countries that would benefit from open immigration, but the world as a whole. For one, the money sent back from immigrants to their families in developing countries through remittances is the “largest source of money flowing into developing countries from the rest of the world” (Ritzer and Dean 278). The world bank estimated that in 2013 remittances amounted to $410 billion, making it three times as large as global aid budgets (278).  Though there are some arguements against the productivity of remittances for overall economic growth of a country, it is clear that they are a very important source of income for many people developing countries, and as opposed to international aid, they go directly to the people, making a very real impact on quality of life and future oppurtunitys for these families. For smaller countries, remittances make up a whopping percentage of the countries GDP, for example, in 2013,  they accounted for 48% of Tajikstan GDP, “31% in the Kyrgyz Republic, 25% in Lesotho and Nepal, and 24% in Moldova” Ritzer and Dean 278). This money can also help families to educate more of their children, thus creating more skills and human capital for the sending countries. This is an important factor, due to the issue within current global immigration of the  loss of talent and highly skilled people from developing countries, people who could have a very positive impact on their home countries. This loss of skilled workers to the developed world is referred to as the brain drain. A report carried out by the OECD showed that “While OECD countries constitute less than a fifth of the world’s population, these countries host two-thirds of high-skilled migrants” ( qtd in Journal of Economic Perspectives). Open immigration would result in healthy competition between countries in order to attract the workers it needs. Nations would be encouraged to improve conditions and wages for workers in order to attract workers back to work in their country, though for smaller, poorer countries at first it would of course be impossible to compete with wage levels in developed countries, it remains a motivation for improving general conditions for workers. With freer mobility for people of all levels of education, the loss and gain of workers to countries would become a more cyclical pattern. “It is also possible that in some cases nations may regain well-trained personnel who return with even more knowledge and training than they had when they left. This can be thought of as “brain circulation” (286)Open immigration would truly afford everyone with an equal right to work, regardless of the economic situation of their country, and would give any individual a chance to improve their situation, while helping to uplift those the families and countries they leave behind. As Harris puts it, “In so far as the world refuses to allow people to move freely, it chains people in poverty” 119. The current restrictions on immigration result in a situation where people who have all the necessary requirements and enthusiasm to fill a job which needs filling, are denied the opportunity to do so legally and safely. Considering the economic benefits previously mentioned, to both receiving and sending countries, the potential for a more cooperative and affective global security system, and the moral argument of the right to work, it seems open immigration is logically the final step towards a globalized, interconnected world.