The main reason of immigration around the world is to obtain higher wages and better living conditions, so why hasn’t any nation solved the problem from its roots? Capping immigration through the implementation of tougher laws, quotas or thousands of kilometers of physical and virtual walls have proven to not resolve the problem. So, let’s have a look at the overall situation.
The following video is proof that our current government officials and bureaucrats can only see solutions within the same mentality that created the problem in the first place, where the sheer existence of massive inequality between nations has lead to consequences such as implementing tighter immigration processes so that the benefits of a certain nation remain only within the citizens of each nation, without realizing the obvious consequence that this would create, where the rich and powerful countries get the most influx of people from other nations, seeking to have a better living standard.
As we discussed in our Living Income Guaranteed Google Hangout on Switzerland’s vote for Basic Income, it is quite obvious that more people would want to be part of a nation that has a high living standard and on top of that, is already voting with great support to provide a Basic income Guaranteed to every citizen. This is how due to the general crisis existent in some of the poorer countries of the EU, more people were arriving to Switzerland to have access to better living conditions. The EU and Switzerland had an agreement of free movement between their citizens, however the referendum by the Swiss reveals that the majority votes to curb the immigration influx. This already creates more friction and conflicts between nations, as you can witness from the interview posted above.
“Quite a few Europeans have been taking advantage of the right to move to wealthy, stable Switzerland. About 64,000 people migrated there from the EU each year over the last decade, 69 percent of them highly skilled. About a quarter of the country’s population of 8 million is foreign-born, about four times the average proportion for the EU.” – Bloomberg Switzerland’s Immigration Dislocation
This is a malady that world powers tend to endure, getting massive influx of people from poor countries seeking a better life abroad. The EU and America also have the same problem. The UK started off this year with new immigration controls wherein newly arrived immigrants won’t be able to immediately have access to unemployment benefits, which makes it more difficult for immigrants to venture into seeking a better living standard in the UK. So far, the measures have worked since only two dozens of Bulgarians have arrived to the UK since January 1st.
In America, the massive influx of Mexicans, Central and South Americans has left many Americans without jobs, which is partly true since many of the jobs taken by immigrants are those low-wage/ menial jobs that most of Americans are not willing to do – which is the same pattern that happens in every other country where immigrant workers have become a necessity or an ‘economic efficiency’ convenience (due to providing lower wages to immigrant workers) – yet the reasons why people are seeking better living conditions are not seen within the greater picture, wherein the hierarchical relationships created through treaties like NAFTA and Neoliberal policies provoked the impoverishment of agricultural work in Mexico as an example, pushing people from the rural and agricultural areas to seek for ‘better incomes’ in the cities, having little to no success either. Therefore, the need to get a better living standard becomes a necessity and a possibility when crossing the border. This has led to the creation of a wall that physically divides the US-Mexican border, becoming yet another source of abuse, corruption, deaths and detention, treating immigrants like criminals, without there being any bilateral treaty that works in order to benefit both countries and curb the need for immigration.
Immigration creates a general resentment that in extreme cases might lead to xenophobia, since people mostly argue that immigrants take all the jobs, make use of unemployment benefits and in some other cases impose new languages and religions that create social segregation as well as new requirements like polyglot schools to raise children that do not speak the mother tongue of the country they arrive to, among others. This is how we’ve seen that even with the intention to make Multiculturalism succeed, it has failed due to the inherent economic aspect that comes with immigration.
Why complain about Immigration?
The reason why most of the people complain about immigration is because all current welfare and unemployment benefit systems are paid with taxes. So, the people that work and pay their taxes complain that their hard earned money funds an immigrant’s right to unemployment benefits without having to work.
This is one of the main reasons why we suggest that the provision of a Basic Income is Not funded by people’s income taxes, as this creates the general scorn and discrimination toward immigrants and/or unemployed people receiving the right to live with a living income, while others see it as an unequal measure because they do the work. And if a basic income was given to those that do work, it would be an unnecessary move, since such money will go anyways through taxes back to those who need it in the form of basic income – which doesn’t make sense, and is the reason why we also suggest that personal income taxes cease to exist as such.
It is only natural that we all seek better living conditions no matter what, and the variety of problems and conflicts that come with immigration are often more than the benefit that countries get, such as the need for workers for jobs that are not being done by the native citizens. Some other immigrants are skillful and educated workers that some countries cannot produce at home, which also creates another problem: brain drain and as such, developing/poor countries have their productive and best educated members of society living abroad to obtain greater benefits and wages from their skills and capacity, which also furthers the stagnation in an ‘underdeveloped country,’ an euphemism to call third world nations or poor countries.
Discrimination, racism, xenophobia, the failure of multiculturalism among other problems still exist today as a byproduct of immigration – but also the disruption of families, the acceptance of underpaid jobs due to not having proper working-visas and being ‘illegal,’ where all menial jobs are mostly then taken by immigrants.
There is also another form of immigration that comes with war refugees, placing enormous pressure on neighboring countries to the conflicted areas. And this can also be solved by preventing the problems in the first place – which we will explain in a moment.
Is the solution to Curb Immigration with more laws and restrictions?
A referendum took place on February 9th, 2014 asking the people from Switzerland whether they agreed to curb the immigration to people from EU, and even if the difference was quite small, the majority votes to cap EU immigration:
“Stop mass immigration’ was introduced by the nationalist Swiss People’s Party (SVP). Its goal is to introduce annual quotas on the number of foreign workers entering the country. The result will likely vex multinational companies based there; Roche, Novartis, UBS, and other industry giants frequently utilize foreign labor. […]
Many in Switzerland – which is surrounded by the EU but is not a member – believe that rising immigration levels are putting pressure on infrastructure, rent prices, the social security system, and unemployment rates.” RT Switzerland votes a narrow ‘yes’ to cap EU immigration
Ever wondered why Bulgaria and other Eastern Europe countries showed an extensive support to implement a Basic Income Guaranteed? Bulgarians and other Easter Europe countries are amongst those whose citizens immigrate places like the UK, searching for better quality living, only to face now greater difficulty to do so.
It is to realize that for millions of people, the lack of opportunities at home place individuals in a catch 22 situation: either they leave their family and friends, their hometown behind looking for a better living wages to send money back home, or they remain ‘at home’ and resort to crime to make a living? We have really not left too many options for us, and it’s astounding that we still cannot see the origin of the problem when it comes to immigration.
Let’s walk the solutions
Can immigration cease to exist as an extreme necessity in order to get a better living standard? Absolutely. Within this it is to realize that better living conditions and having higher living standards only in a few countries in this world invariably becomes a center of attraction to anyone that wants to have better quality living and more money to live.
So, the way to curb immigration in a long term basis, without having to resort to tough immigration policies and harsh measures that lead to further separation between nations is by implementing a Living Income Guaranteed model, wherein each nation’s economy is strengthened in order to ensure that every person has access to their living necessities and live in a dignified manner, as a Human Right.
Nations that currently face the most influx of immigrants should directly endorse and support poorer countries to implement a Living Income Guaranteed model, so that long-term solutions are implemented by supporting other countries to stand on their own feet. This is part of what organisms like the UN should look into, as this will not only curb immigration but also support peace between nations.
A Living Income Guaranteed model should be voted and implemented by all of us, the people of each nation deciding implement the use of citizens’ dividends as our share of the economy, which implies that the profit made by major corporations in the nation – or the strongest sources of income in a country such as natural resources or certain industries – becomes the direct source to fund our Living Income.
This measure ensures that every person is supported to live in dignity, which in turn creates and provides general stability and economic revival with corporate profit being also shared with the people, and we also then actively become part of the economy that the majority is often excluded due to living in poverty or at the brink of disappearing from being part of the middle class.
This money is in fact entitled to each one of us as part of our human right to access the resources that we require to live, and since money is the mechanism we use to purchase our living necessities, the provision of a living income as an unconditional right to life, to have the necessary to live is the solution. But, it doesn’t stop there.
What about people that do work?
People that work and won’t perceive a Living Income, will instead have their wages be at least double the amount of the living income that each particular country decides to give. This means that people will have better and equal opportunities to become a successful individual in society and as such, the need to immigrate to have ‘better wages’ and ‘more opportunities’ in another country is eradicated, since no one really wants to face the problems, trauma, stress, family separation and even death that comes with having to live abroad.
This process will in turn ameliorate the strained relationships between nations, leading also to the prevention of wars – since wars are mostly waged due to economic interests – and as such, it will become part of the necessary peace treaties between nations: to support and aid each other to establish a self-sufficient and self-governing way to develop their own economy along with a genuine democratic system to achieve a good quality living standard, a higher level of competence that enables all nations to genuinely have a ‘free market’ that is on an equal-opportunity basis, as well as supporting to eradicate xenophobia, racism and anti-cultural measures that further divide us to remain conquered.
This is also why we say that the implementation of a Living Income Guaranteed must not be limited to certain economic block or nations, but every country in the world must implement it so that there is no more high inequality between rich and poor nations, creating immigration as an outflow – since everyone would want to also benefit from something like a living income guarantee. This will in turn also cut down the massive surveillance and border patrol services that are constantly upgraded in order to ‘prevent immigration’ – which even after all these massive expenses on border patrol and tighter laws to immigrate, are still not solving the problem yet.
So, we suggest that instead of countries raising their quotas or deliberately shutting down the ability to immigrate into their country, part of the responsibilities from the international community is to support nations to stand on their own two feet – not as another form of ‘foreign aid’ but as a genuine unconditional support to get people empowered in their own nations and as such, be able to revive the economy that will ensure each person stays ‘at home’ with family and loved ones, as well as supporting their society and country as well.
What will Immigration become then?
Immigration will stop being a problem. It will become solely a resource and a decision an individual makes based on the opportunities for self development, such as the usual labor exchange that takes place between nations, personal relationships or simply aiming for new ventures. Yet it won’t be a resort to seek for ‘better living conditions’ because each nation has to focus on first strengthening the economy at home to then expand further to trade with other nations and become more successful in our current globalized world. It will take more reasons than ‘good wages’ to leave the country one is born in, when every country can have good living standards and higher wages which create better opportunities to live satisfactorily.
If money is the source of the problem, we can always make money the solution as well. Empowering each other is the way.
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- Switzerland’s Immigration Dislocation
- UK immigration bill could create ‘climate of ethnic profiling’ – UNHCR
- UK immigration minister resigns after employing illegal immigrant cleaner