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What they don’t want you to know about Immigration (Final Post)

Way back when I did my first blog post on the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Regrettably it’s only gotten worse since then. So I’ve decided to take a look at the actual economic and security effects of immigration, not what you hear in the media, through the lens of all our discussions and my own research. Casey’s final post goes into much more detail about security, so check that out too! I also follow a Facebook page, called Humans of New York. They recently interviewed groups of refugees who have been approved to travel to the United States. (One of which is the family shown in the cover photo) I strongly encourage everyone to read about their journey.

So, what is the media saying? If you’ve watched the news in the past week you know there is a very real concern that some of these migrants are Islamic State members. You also know that people coming over are just more competition for the same scarce jobs. We’ve heard this rhetoric before though, with Irish immigration, Mexican Immigration, and every other time people have come to live in the United States. We can peel back these layers and take a look at what actually happens.

First, some information about the economy. The United States is a postindustrial advanced democracy, which pretty much just means most of our jobs are in the service sector and we have some form of redistribution going on. The redistribution is the key part. In the United States the most known redistribution program is medicare. Well, we have a looming crisis on the horizon. Not enough money is going into the program through taxing the working population to provide the level of support we want for the non-working population. Just from the previous sentence, two solutions emerge. We can raise taxes, cut benefits, or both. Both actions have their pros and cons. The thing is, we have a scientifically proven third option to add more money to these programs without raising taxes or cutting benefits. You guessed it, immigration. Adding more people to the workforce raises the amount of taxes being collected without actually raising taxes. Some countries have caught onto this. (Ever wonder why Germany takes the most Syrian refugees compared to any other country?) Germany also happens to be in the middle of this redistribution crisis.

So, why aren’t we accepting immigrants to help our economy in the long run? Well, that’s where the security issue comes into play. If history has shown one thing, it’s that our nation of immigrants hates immigrants. The potential for Islamic State militants to be among the crown isn’t helping matters at all. Thankfully, research has been done on this as well. Turns out, immigrants just want a safe place to live, work, have children. Most violence around immigrants is actually directed at the immigrants themselves from citizens of the host country. Just check the number of property crimes against mosques if you don’t believe me. The truth is, the vetting process is so intensive and so incredibly selective that any militants could smuggle themselves into the country much faster then the time it takes to get a state department interview scheduled. (Which, in case you’re wondering, takes a long time).

In the end, economic and security issues seem secondary to preserving and helping other people. But if people really need evidence to justify helping, we can provide that. I’ll leave you with the picture I used in my first blog post which, in my opinion, really drives to the heart of the issue.




Rudolph, Christopher (2003). Security and the Political Economy of International Migration. American Political Science Review, 97(4) 603-620

Razin, A., Sadka, E., Swagel, P. (1998). Tax Burden and Migration: A Political Economy Theory and Evidence. National Bureau of Economic Research, 6734

Fitzgerald, J., Leblang, D., Teets, J. (2014). Defying the Law of Gravity: The Political Economy of International Migration. World Politics, 66(03) 406-465

Lekies, K., Cascante, D., Schewe, R., Winkler, R. (2015) Amenity Migration in the New Global Economy. Society and Natural Resources, 28(10) 1114-1151


Featured Image: Humans of New York

Social Class and the European Migrant Crisis

I wanted to tie my blog post into the international realm and take a look at class, criminal justice systems, and how we are reacting. The current migrant crisis that Europe is facing right now seems like the best place to start with that. This won’t be about just the criminal justice system for the countries involved. We’ll be speaking about what laws are at the forefront of the discussion, yes, but we’ll also be taking a look at topics more broad in scope. To start, here are a couple great articles that can bring you up to speed. I’m sure most readers are fairly up to date on this so feel free to skim the articles but pay attention to the various pictures and infographics throughout.


First, this top notch article from the BBC that does a great job using pictures to help you understand as well as outlining some potential solutions.

Second we have this New York Times article that talks about some hold-ups migrants are facing.


After reading (or skimming) those we should all be on the same page so lets delve into some major points and discuss the first major ‘law’. The BBC article mentions The Dublin Regulation. That’s a complex European Union Law that I’ll simplify here. Among it’s chief goals is to figure out what country is responsible for an asylum claim or in other words what country has to shelter migrants. The way this was working during the current crisis is most often the first EU country migrants reach receive the burden. This has placed enormous strain on countries like Hungary. I use the past tense because the Dublin Regulation has been suspended by countries like Germany and Hungary in direct response to this crisis. The Dublin Regulation is not strictly a Criminal Justice oriented law, however it does allow other member countries to transport migrants back to the country responsible for sheltering them. This crisis is pushing existing regulations to the breaking point.

The fact of the matter is that no existing laws are coping with this influx. The EU is scrambling to figure out a suitable course of action. Ideas range from using member country navies to cut off the sea routes and sealing the borders to taking a much more prominent role in ending the Syrian civil war to reaching out to the Gulf Arab Countries to aid in sheltering migrants. What the EU comes up with will likely have world altering effects. It’s worth staying up to date.

How does class play into this? I’ve got a great image to help answer that question. (Image Credit:


If those people seem familiar that’s because they likely are. If you didn’t recognize them right off the bat the people in that photo are high profile, some are even the leaders of countries. The attire of the people on the raft is in such contrast to the environment it’s comical. For me this really illustrates the class issue occurring. The migrants we are seeing are often in tattered clothes, bloodied, and have facial expression akin to despair. We don’t see the rich or elite fleeing in trucks, rafts, or various other means of transportation. Why? This photo brings me to the two questions (more like five) we should all be thinking about.

  1. Is class playing a role in this crisis? If yes, in what ways? If no, why not? Why don’t we see or hear about the elite dying as they flee?
  2. What are some ways the criminal justice system, and laws as a whole, could help ease the burden facing so many EU countries?

Finally, I’d like to leave you all with an image I think a lot of people have forgotten in the face of this crisis. (Image Credit:–g12atJpSWZ)



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