In recent times, immigration has become an extremely sensitive topic in many countries. In the recent Presidential Election in the US, Republic candidate Donald Trump attacked the Mexicans, among many other immigrants, for stealing American jobs. He is planning to construct a border wall between the two countries to prevent illegal immigration. His prerogative is that such immigration is detrimental to the society. This, however, could not be further from the truth. America, in general, is a nation built by immigrants. If not for this open door policy, its society would be far less prosperous and progressive. To blame immigrants for social ills would be bigotry. Therefore immigration should not be blamed for issues like crime, racism, discrimination, family disintegration, drug addiction, poverty, and homelessness.
Social ills are born out of other societal factors and not immigration. If there is a breakdown in societal values like an increase in crime rates, this should be attributed to the lack of a good and capable government. It is up to the government to keep crime rates low. In societies like Singapore which embraces immigration, crime rates are exceptionally low. In the US, President Trump’s travel ban was overruled by the Supreme Court as there was no evidence to show that the countries included in the travel ban had any involvement in any terrorist attack against the US. Immigration should not be blamed for an increase in crime. The lack of a strong government and security force should be blamed for that instead.
A breakdown in family values and the education system is to be blamed for social ills instead. The increase in crime rates or illicit drug use can be attributed to a lack of a good support system. In most cases, when an individual commits a crime or gets involved in drugs, it can be attributed to the lack of good family support or poor educational background. Some states in the US like New Orleans have extremely high crime rates. In fact, in 2011, New Orleans had the highest murder rate of any US city. They also have extremely poor education systems and one of the highest divorce rates in the country. Yet they have one of the lowest immigration rates. In 2016 the number of people leaving New Orleans outpaced the number of people moving in. This clearly shows that in places like New Orleans, there is no correlation between immigration and social ills.
Government oversight is responsible for some social ills. The government of a country is responsible for setting the laws that govern its people. If a government adopts lax laws when it comes to illicit drug use, then there will be a higher rate of drug addiction in the country. With a higher rate of drug use, there is usually an ensuing higher rate of crime as well. Mexico has the most liberal drug laws in the world. Compare this to Singapore with extremely strict drug laws but with a very open immigration policy. Singapore’s crime rate is distinctively lower than Mexico’s even though she is extremely open to immigrants. Policies that govern a nation are responsible for the social ills that may bestow it, not immigration.
The liberal attitude towards family values in today’s mainstream media is to blame for social ills like family disintegration. Liberal attitudes towards marriage and the general acceptance of divorce have caused the breakdown of family values. The social taboo of having a broken marriage has been greatly reduced. Certain celebrities and prominent people in society exhibit behaviour that goes against the values of marriage and yet their status in society is not diminished. In 1995, then US president Bill Clinton had an affair with a 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He did not suffer any fallout politically and emerged relatively unscathed from the matter. Such incidents only serve to show society that such behaviour can be tolerated.
Immigration is generally a good thing if the immigrants are assimilated into the society gradually. Yes, there may be some inconveniences that come with immigration but to lay blame on immigration for the social ills of today would be incorrect.