Friday, July 15, 2016

Immigration is not a human right, but a granted privilege.

Immigration is becoming a very sensitive and controversial issue in many developed countries, it is a very important issue during this US presidential election for sure. Many countries like US, Australia or many European countries are favorite destinations for many immigrants from Asian countries as well as from other parts of the world. Actually, many of these countries get benefitted by the presence of immigrants, many immigrants work really hard to become successful in whatever field they choose and in that process help the country in which they reside. But this is not a one way process, in return immigrants also get benefitted immensely financially as well as socially. They get a better opportunity, fair treatment, many of them escape troublesome social and political environment of their birthplace to find a peaceful dwelling in their adopted country. This process works very well as long as it is beneficial for both the parties involved, mainly this happens when the economy is doing really well, there are enough job opportunities for everyone and in general country is in very good shape. But, does this process of mutual benefit can go on endlessly without having any side effects? Based on the current scenario, it doesn't look like that.

I am an immigrant to USA, even in India my family migrated from one part (Uttar Pradesh) to another (Maharastra), so I have a first hand experience about the issues which migrants within the same country or immigrants who move to different country face. There is no doubt that me and my family got immensely benefitted by the places where we lived. We got better opportunities, better education as well as better social and economic environment. In turn I am sure places or cities where we lived also got benefitted by our presence as a law abiding, responsible and hard working residents. We learned local culture and language, adapted to our surroundings and contributed to the diversity and rich cultural heritage of all places where we resided. This mutually beneficial and harmonic relationship is the main reason that I have so much culturally diverse thinking in my own family. Three generations of my family can claim to have three different languages as their primary language (often referred as mother tongue). Immigration is a beneficial activity for the immigrants as well as the country or city where people are immigrating. But, I feel appalled when I see this ugly fight over the issue of immigration, I don't understand how come both sides can be so ignorant and adamant about their arguments?

Whether we like it or not, but the truth is that in today's world immigration is a legal process, you have to come follow a legal process to immigrate to any country. I agree that it is cumbersome, lengthy, often very frustrating and expensive, but it is illegal to enter any country without any proper documentation. So anyone who has respect towards law of that country should follow this process or be ready to face the consequence for their illegal actions. Now I also understand that many people immigrate due to various reasons, many times they don't follow these legal requirements, but even after all this it is an illegal act and if there is no law which takes into account all these factors then all these people can be in big legal trouble. One thing should be very clear to everyone, to immigrants as well as to citizens of that country, immigration is not a human right but a privilege granted by the host country. It is a special privilege, not a favor or help or kind gesture or charity, immigrants come with certain rights and responsibilities, they need to be a law abiding residents and contribute towards betterment of that society otherwise this privilege can be taken away any time. Once both sides understand this simple thing, then I don't think there can be any issue which cannot be resolved by mutual discussion. Law of the land needs to be respected, any act encouraging violation of the law can result in long term social and political crises which can affect the entire country. I hope better sense prevails from both sides fighting over this issue and they come to some mutually acceptable solution, because once you make any issue a political hot potato it is almost certain that it will never get resolved. Political parties can use it to emotionally polarize their vote banks elections after elections without making any sincere efforts to resolve it. People also get emotional about these types of issues and give that opportunity to politicians to make fools out of them.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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