Immigration and Refugees – UPSC Ethics

It is said that by denying desperate people the opportunity to cross borders legally, European governments are driving them to risk of death. Critically examine ethical issues involved in this case. On the other hand, do you think allowing immigrants into a country is a sound policy compared to banning and sealing borders to such immigrants?  Comment. (200 Words)

Denying immigration involves the following ethical dilemmas:
Immigrant Country’s concern: The countries fear that immigrant population would appropriate a large chunk of resources, thus putting resource constraint on the natives. The countries fear that the immigrant population would disturb the cultural harmony and lead to increased conflicts in the existing societal structures. By denying the desperate people to enter into their lands, these countries are denying many of these immigrants the right to live, right to opportunity for better living standards, right to a safe and secure environment. These proponents of globalization and liberalization do not stand by what they preach.
Most of the developed world today faces the challenge of ageing populations, which will intensify in the future. Immigrants, who are mostly young, can fulfil the need for young working population in these countries. So, in effect stringent immigration policies do more harm than good.
Studies have shown that more immigrants do not lead to reduced resources for the natives, in fact the immigrant population helps in economic growth, thus augmenting the resources by increasing the size of the pie itself. Immigrants are not always inimical to the rights of citizen rather they enhance it by their Net contribution to society as a whole, for ex-As happened in countries like USA where immigrant from countries like India, Philippines, Mexico have contributed in sector such as Information technology, Medical science, space research and so on.
A denial of legal entry is violation of basic essence of humanism. It also violates values of brotherhood, empathy and human dignity. Countries may also be concerned about growing fundamentalism and immigrants bringing fundamentalist ideas into the society. But, immigration issue will be a persistent issue for many developed countries in the future, and encouraging Fortress Regimes is not the solution. The only way forward, is to create a sound policy for regulating such immigrants. It will help in checking illegal migration and ensuring that anti-social elements are denied entry. Also, a complete ban is not only undesirable but also not implementable and will only lead to illegal immigration.



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