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In the United States, there is a heated discussion about the situation of immigration. The 1965 and 1990 Immigration Acts boosted the likelihood of foreigners immigrating to America; nevertheless, contemporary legislation pushes for reduced movement, border closing, and tighter government services (Critin et al 858). Such policies have sparked debate, with politicians and political parties attempting to reach a consensus on the costs and benefits of immigration. Some who urge for immigration restrictions claim that immigrants increase competitiveness in the labor market, displacing local employees and draining fiscal resources by being more of a liability to the government than incurring tax returns (Critin et al., 859). Factors that influence immigration resistance and advocating for factors that discourage immigration are resources, pessimism, and competition in the labor market, tax burden and specifications.
Two hypothesis questions were asked in this paper are:
Which parties are more likely to advocate for restriction immigration policies? (i) those who experience employment competition with immigrants, those with high tax burden and those with low financial prospects or (ii) those who are economically stable with secure jobs (Critin et al., 860)
Are those who are pessimistic about the national economic status more likely to support immigration restriction policies than those who are optimistic about the nation’s economy? (Critin et al., 860)
There is a tendency for politicians and labor union heads to blame unemployment and reduced labor wages on immigrants. According to studies, increased levels of immigration can be directly linked to increased unemployment rates and reduced economic status in the United States. In Critin et al (860), a research study was conducted to determine how Americans’ economic status and concerns affects their attitude toward immigration at a personal and aggregate level. Additionally, the paper addresses public opinion on immigration policies.
In accordance with the resources hypothesis, financially unstable individuals are more probable to resist immigration than those who are financially stable hence supporting policies that restrict immigration (Critin et al., 862). According to the pessimism hypothesis, an individual can have a negative perception of the nation’s economy. Despite one’s financial status, if a person has negative prospects about the nation’s economy, he or she is more likely to oppose immigration because of the assumption that immigration will result to increase in individual tangible liabilities.
According to labor market competition, immigration is associated with decrease in available jobs for native workers, thus decreasing wages in various occupations (Critin et al 860). Those who are more likely to oppose immigration are individuals, who are in vulnerable job situations, unemployed or suffer anxiety due to job insecurity. People in low-skill and low-paying jobs are most affected by immigration.
According to the tax burden hypothesis, immigration increases fiscal burden to the government. For this reason, numerous State governments have sued the federal government because of supporting refugees and offering services to illegal immigrants. Therefore, increased tax burden on the government due to immigrant costs will lead to support for immigration restriction policies (Critin et al 859). Someone who feels the burden of paying heavy taxes coupled with high immigrant numbers is more likely to oppose immigration.
According to specifications, an individual is likely to support or oppose immigration depending on one’s economic experience and evaluations. (Critin et al., observed that, blacks are opposed to immigration due to fear of political and economic displacement. Therefore, it can be concluded that blacks suffer economic anxieties, which makes them have more negative immigration attitudes than whites (Critin et al 861). Recently immigrants have been heavily concentrated in few States in the U.S. thus increasing competition for resources between Native Americans and the immigrants. States that suffer immigrant overpopulation are more likely to support policies that restrict immigration.
Analysis reveals that people occupying blue-collar jobs are more likely to favor anti-immigration policies that those in white-collar jobs because of unstable job security (Critin et al 864). Studies also reveal that increase in an individual’s formal education reduces opposition to immigration because education guarantees job security and increases confidence in one’s future financial prospects (Critin et al 865). Another possible reason is that formal education enlightens ones perspective of different ethnic groups, which makes one tolerant to minority groups and foreigners (Critin et al 865).
Victims with low income are highly likely to support government spending on immigrant services. Similarly, blacks are more likely to advocate against immigrant access to government services than whites are. Therefore, factors affecting people support for immigration reduction and delaying of immigration benefits include belief about decreased resources caused by immigration that is, jobs and taxes, negative attitude about the nation’s economy and adopting a neutral attitude toward Hispanic and Asian immigrants (Critin et al 872). Furthermore, formal education and liberalism decrease the demand for immigration restrictions.
Citrin J., Green P.D., Muste C. and Wong C. “Public Opinion Toward
Immigration Reform: The Role of Economic Motivations” The Journal of Politics
Vol. 59 No. 3, 1997, pp. 858-881
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