What is Immigration?
Immigration is when individuals move away from their native countries and seek to settle in other countries out of need, war, and other negative factors that may push them to seek refuge elsewhere. Immigration happens when individuals leave their native countries to go to other nations whose citizenship they lack, settle, or become naturalized. Immigration is, in this light, different from emigration.
What is Emigration?
Emigration is when individuals permanently leave their native countries to live in another country. Immigration is moving away from one’s native country, and emigration is permanently leaving one’s country.
Immigration and How It Propagates a Surge in Refugees Worldwide
Most often than not, immigrants will end up as refugees in their destination countries where they are required to make asylum applications and wait for their cases to be considered. Each individual case is considered separately, and the results can vary significantly for different individuals. Nations will accept some refugees and asylum seekers, and others deported back to their home countries. Nations and regions reserve the right to deny or accept asylum applications as per jurisdictional law or international law.
The Designation of Countries as First, Second, or Third-World Countries
The world’s countries are divergent in that they are different in their economic prowess, social norms, religion, and governance. This inequality or a lack of par means that some nations have done well compared to others in terms of ensuring a better quality of life for their citizens.
Depending on the roots of a nation, its formation, history, and values, some nations have, over time, become global leaders or what we refer to as first-world countries. Excellent examples include the United Kingdom and the United States. Nations can be categorized as first, second, or third-world nations. These designations are accorded as per the various facilitations that nations afford their citizens.
The Importance of Designating Countries as First, Second, and Third-World
A global perspective and these designations ensure that all countries understand the need for cooperation and globalization to ensure that the global community is inclusive and interdependent. Nations can grade themselves, and their place in the global space, and find ways to better their designation. The World Bank and International Monetary Fund, IMF, are vital economic institutions or organizations that help rank nations in economic, fiscal, monetary policy, and overall development.
Third-World Countries and Why They are So
Nations such as Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and many others have continually been ranked third-world nations. On top of such a designation, they are also categorized as warring countries or nations at war. In the last decade or so, Libya is such a country gripped by war.
What are Push and Pull Factors in terms of Migration?
Nations that are at war, be it a civil war or war with external entities are the main contributors to the influx of immigrants. Factors such as war and poverty are what are referred to as push and pull factors for immigration. In ideal situations, everyone would be content, peaceful, and happy in their own countries, and there would be more people emigrating than immigrating.
The Increasingly Difficult Situations in Third-World Countries and How They Lead to Immigration
Unfortunately, the world is not a utopia. More and more people find themselves in a position where they cannot stand the current factors in their native or home countries and opt to leave to seek a better future elsewhere. As seen in strongman syndrome, some leaders are authoritarian and have continually oppressed their citizens in a way that denies them social justice and fundamental human rights. When such leadership has propagated or participated in a war, citizens suffer the most and lack access to food, shelter, healthcare, education, and other necessities and rights.
The Increasingly Young Population in Third-World Countries
A majority of citizens in such nations are young, and some were born after the war started. They have grown to have their own children while the same war continues to ravage the nation, as is Afghanistan’s case. War heavily impacts the quality of life in a country and heavily reduces life expectancy while increasing mortality rates. You can imagine what a terrible plight war is for children.
The Lack of Basic Necessities Such as Education in Third-World Countries
Some children never get the opportunity to attend school, be educated, or lead normal peaceful lives. War also has long-term mental health effects, and nations such as Afghanistan have seen increased drug abuse due to the trauma of being at war for decades. The after-effects of war necessitate therapy and mechanisms to defeat addiction and the adverse effects of trauma. Most citizens will likely suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, and, therefore, need cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT.
Immigration Destination Countries and Why They are Attractive to Citizens of Other Countries
On the other hand, nations that have historically done well economically and have afforded their citizens high living standards and a better quality of life are destination countries for immigrants. Immigration is like a see-saw where the push and pull factors come to play. These factors contribute to or take away from the number of immigrants trying to reach a destination country or region.
Destination countries are peaceful nations whose values, governance, and tenets have been developed over centuries. They are nations with stable and egalitarian governments and those that believe in pragmatic and citizen-centered governance. Even as some leaders of these nations continually portray the strongman syndrome, like Trump in the U.S., destination countries are generally well-led.
The Facilitation of Human Rights as a Part of the Attractiveness of First-World or Immigration Destination Countries
Such nations’ governments ensure that all citizens are afforded and accorded their fundamental human rights and freedoms, including freedom of speech, ensuring there is no censorship. These nations are also economic powerhouses meaning that their employment rates are high and unemployment rates low. As such, destination nations and regions are seen as proliferated with opportunity and tied to a promise of a good life, a proper standard of living, and a better quality of life.
Examples of immigration Destination Countries
Immigration Destination countries include the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Spain, and Europe as a whole. These are nations and regions that are drivers of the global economy and play a significant role in the global scene regarding policy, governance, and investment.
Bad Governance and How It Forces Immigration
Immigrants will do anything possible to reach a destination country, hoping for a better future. Immigration is a promise, a misconstrued promise that when individuals leave their country, they have a better chance of leading a prosperous and more fulfilling life in another country. Immigrants realize too late that this promise is a lie and that, indeed, immigration is a calamity. Hundreds, if not thousands of immigrants lose their lives every year while trying to cross seas to reach destinations such as Europe.
Immigrants Fleeing Persecution and Authoritarianism in South America
Even in South America, people will do all they can to leave places like Cuba that are led by communist or socialist governments. As seen last year, there have been droves and droves of people from all over South America, including Guatemala, Venezuela, and Mexico, trying to cross the Southern border into the United States. You can imagine the toll of such an exodus on the immigrants. Most of these immigrants are fleeing organized crime, poverty, societal breakdown, and oppression by their governments.
Immigration Out of Venezuela as a Result of Bad Governance and the Dilapidation of the State
A case in point is Venezuela which has for two to three years now been in a political crisis and extreme poverty due to the failing policies of Maduro’s socialist government. For about three years now, activists and members of the opposition have called for and attempted to instigate a Maduro ouster with no avail.
The consequences of the political crisis have been a standoff that has led to human rights abuses and alleged crimes against humanity. The Maduro government has systematically denied citizens’ rights and has used its police force to clamp down on protestors. There has also been censorship, and numerous people, especially protestors, have been disappeared and allegedly killed by the regime.
How Fleeing Persecution Leads People to Migrate Away from their Home Countries
In such a situation, and when the people of a nation can no longer bear persecution, war, poverty, or social ruin, they opt to carry what they can; and undertake several-thousand-mile journeys to countries or regions where they feel that they may have a chance at a better life. International law grants individuals who have significant reason facilitation to seek asylum in other nations, as per the various antecedents agreed between nations. The United Nations has continually played a crucial role in ensuring that it brings together the world’s nations to agreements and accords that guide international facilitation. \
The Role of Regional Bodies Such as the European Union in Ensuring They Find Solutions to Common Problems such as Immigration
Regional bodies such as the European Union have also been a mechanism for regions to present unified solutions to their common problems. When several nations come together to present and chart a unified path, they strengthen each other and the world by ensuring equality, respect for the rule of law, economic empowerment, innovation, and the sharing and appreciation of values.
Unfortunately, in some instances, when nations are lumped together into a regional body, they may collide in terms of their views and the compromises they are willing to make to find a way to tackle societal issues such as immigration. The E.U. is an excellent example. It has struggled to unify member nations on immigration and the various ways to tackle it.
Some of the Possible Long-term Solutions to the Immigration Problem
The situation is so bad that for about a week or two this month, immigrants have had to sleep rough on the streets of the Greek town of Lesbos; after the Moria refugee camp went up in flames. It is so disheartening to see children and mothers sleeping on the streets in a continent regarded as the epitome of human civilization and prowess.
The Complete Failure of the European Union in Tackling Immigration in Places Such as Lesbos
The situation in Lesbos and other places on European shores has exemplified a complete failure of the E.U. and individual nations in tackling the issue of immigration. Immigrants have continually been denied entry to Europe at islands such as Lampedusa. Some have had to spend weeks stranded on the Mediterranean sea before they are allowed to disembark the rescue ships.
The Inhumane Nature of Refusal for Embarkation
The refusal for embarkation has meant that these immigrants have remained on rescue ships for more than a fortnight without food and in the rough sea. Such conditions have heavily inflicted their mental health and the health of the vulnerable ones among them, including children and pregnant women.
The Exodus Out of Africa: Why Africans Risk their Lives to Cross the Sahara and Migrate to Europe
Unfortunately, most of these immigrants are people who have spent almost a year crossing the Sahara desert, in a trek to reach Libya, and then embarking on the deadly journey of crossing the Mediterranean sea to Europe. Others have entered Europe through Turkey or the Syria-Turkey border, as they escape the Middle East and war-torn nations such as Syria and Yemen.
They are individuals and families fleeing war, who face danger and the risk of death during their journey, and then on reaching their destination, are put in camps forcing them to live in squalid conditions. Conflict resolution should be a major topic of discussion when it comes to finding ways to prevent immigration.
Why Immigration Destination Countries Should Afford Immigrants Descent Food, Housing, and Shelter
Immigrants should be afforded proper accommodation regardless of their origins. The situation is likely to worsen in the current pandemic and lockdown, and host nations should do their best to grant the refugees food, shelter, and even a vaccine when one becomes available for COVID-19, as part of promoting health. Numerous N.G.Os have done all they can to help and should get lauded for their efforts. When we help each other, we show our inner beauty. May God bless all those who have helped and accommodated refugees all over the world.
Seeking Asylum on Arrival and the Need for a Spirit of Accommodation Toward Asylum Seekers
Problems as complex as immigration and asylum-seeking should not be ignored or disregarded as efforts to put immigrants into refugee camps, as seen in Moria’s case, are only band-aids to the overarching problem. Analysts have suggested having a framework to accommodate immigrants equally for all European nations, where every country would take in a certain number of immigrants and naturalize them or at least accept their asylum requests.
The Need for Housing and the Creation of Economic Opportunities for Immigrants in the Spirit of Accommodation
Unfortunately, there have been divergent views on the matter, and places such as the Greek Islands or entry points through the Mediterranean shores have had to deal with an influx of immigrants that grows every year. A probable solution would be to find places where immigrants can be housed, such as sparsely populated areas, where refugees can be appropriately housed and accommodated as part of a long-term solution. By creating economic activities in such places and a spirit of accommodation, refugees, including political refugees, can be accommodated in these and other transitory areas awaiting asylum consideration.
The Need for Immigration Destination Countries to Speed Up the Processing of Asylum Applications
The nations in that region, such as European nations, can then find ways to speed up asylum applications and put in place mechanisms to ensure better and more humane ways to deal with the immigration problem. There is also the argument that when the native countries of immigrants get stabilized, and their human rights and basic needs met, they are less likely to be motivated to risk the journey to places like Europe or the U.S. In some situations, this is true, and such facilitation would discourage immigration.
Why Government Stability in Immigrants' Native Countries is Not Always the Solution
However, in places such as South America, where there are notorious drug cartels and a lot of organized crime, stabilizing the nations would be tantamount to rooting out the drug problem. Unfortunately, when governments try to do this, there is a drug war, and numerous citizens get killed in the crossfire.
Other nations such as Libya are nations where a lot of foreign influence has curtailed stability, as numerous global powerhouses and influential countries have funded, armed, and supported warring factions. The result is constant civil war and the propagation of immigration into Europe. It is quite hypocritical for European nations to help propagate war in Libya, and then deny entry to immigrants and refugees fleeing that same war.
The National Responsibility of Dealing With Immigration and the Need for First-World Nations to be Accommodating to Immigrants
Immigration is a problem that will not go away anytime soon. Governments globally and regional bodies such as the U.N and E.U should chart a way forward through agreement and consensus. All nations should accept the responsibility that comes with immigration and play their role as member countries of the global community by ensuring that they humanely accommodate immigrants and refugees. There is no point in denying refugees’ human rights, and it is a misdeed that should not be propagated but condemned.
Discouraging Immigration by Incentivizing People to Remain in their Own Countries
Immigration should also be discouraged through the incentivization of remaining in one’s native country. This means that nations should be empowered to empower their people by finding ways to avoid corruption and impunity, the global community through Non-Governmental Organizations or N.G.Os can find ways to ensure that aid reaches all citizens of individual nations. Authoritarian, oppressive, and corrupt leaders or leaders suffering from the strongman syndrome should be prosecuted under international law for their wrongs and as an example to other global leaders.
The I.C.C and Its Role in Prosecuting Bad Leaders
The International Criminal Court or I.C.C., is a capable and internationally mandated court to listen to, judge, and prosecute those who commit crimes against humanity and deny others their human rights. Leaders should always remain responsible, and citizens should remain vigilant and speak up against and condemn impunity, corruption, authoritarianism, and disregard for the rule of law.
The Need for a Culture Shift as a Way to Stop Immigration
Immigration should get dealt with willfully and in a humanitarian way by capable national and regional governments. There is also the need for a culture shift away from the inherent belief that one will automatically succeed when one moves to a particular country or region. Such notions are misleading and can even lead people to leave their native countries as immigrants to other nations. There is also the risk to personal security as people who have left their countries as immigrants are likely to fall victim to organized crime, human trafficking, and even slavery.
Why Immigrating Isn't Always an Assurance of Provision and Prosperity
Even those who move from their home countries to seek jobs elsewhere are at risk of being stranded in their host countries without food, shelter, and employment. Such individuals can be led to crime or even prostitution and sex work for women. Educating people to stay in their home nations would empower them to buy in to the love yours way of thinking and not take a chance with immigration. It would also prevent brain drain and distribute knowledge and expertise equitably.
The Need for Education on the Opportunities for Growth in Africa
As Africans, we should educate fellow Africans that life here in Africa is good enough and can be better. There is a part of epigenetics at play with the belief that Africa is inferior. Such a notion is misguided, and all of us should recognize that we are enough and capable of becoming global leaders in governance, human rights facilitation, and economic prowess. If we believe in ourselves and our nations, we can usher in a new age of prosperity, higher living standards, good governance, peace, and economic leadership.
The Potential of Africans in Africa
Africa is at the cusp of a new and prosperous era, and we need to believe in ourselves and lay the foundations for such success. We should all play our parts, hustle, develop our crafts, and be brave in business, arts, and attracting investments. We are a capable continent, and our potential is much greater than that of any other continent on the planet. We are Africans in Africa, and we are capable of being the best.