Discussion: Migration

Look at figure 3.3.2 on page 56 and 57. Which countries have a net in-migration of 100 and above? Briefly explain what factors are pulling people into these countries. Looking at the same figure, check out the countries with a net out-migration of 100 and above. Why are people leaving those countries? 

PLEASE NOTE: Afghanistan is shown as having a net in-migration above 100. This country is a statistical oddity and, according to the author of our text, "because of the legacy of the wars in that area, a large number of Afghans were born in neighboring Pakistan or Iran as refugees but their families have since relocated into Afghanistan."

The following countries have a net in-migration of 100 or higher: United States, Canada, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Spain, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom and others that are too small to see on this map. The countries that are attracting immigrants are almost all also MDCs. As MDCs, they have greater freedoms, higher pay, and more stable governments.

Unstable or oppressive governments is one similarity I see with many of the high net out-migration countries. Other reasons would be over-population, economic instability, and climate-related problems.

Name an economic, social, and environmental "push" factor that would make you migrate. Do the same for three "pull" factors. Make sure you demonstrate an understanding of the difference between mobility and migration in your answer.

An economic push could be rising property taxes (and therefore rent as well). This can even push people out of homes that they own. I remember when this happened to Aspen Colorado when it became a popular ski town. A social push factor that would make me migrate would be becoming ostracized from my social circle (for something that I did, or was accused of). Having a lack of friends, or even a region full of enemies would be a powerful reason to re-locate. An environmental push would be if someone covered the surrounding countryside with subdivisions rather than farms and forests. I like being close to nature, and if that was changed, I would move away.

An economic pull factor would be the offer of a great job in another location, or a new industry hub that was being developed (like San Francisco and the tech industry). A social pull factor would be the night-life and cultural complexity of a city rather than the rural town I live in. An environmental pull would be better weather, and easy access to the wilderness ... I know! I want it all ... city and country in one place.

Name one migration (any type that is defined in the chapter) that is occurring anywhere in the world currently (within the past month or so). Where is it located? Who does it involve? What is the cause of the migration? From where is the migration originating and to where are the people headed? And add anything else to your explanation that you'd like to include.

Ireland is currently undergoing one of it’s largest emigration waves since the great famine of 150 years ago. The majority of the emigrants are 20-30 year old university graduates leaving their island home and the majority moving to London and Australia. The economic instability of much of Ireland seems to be the largest reason for emigration. There are towns in Ireland that are moving towards extinction because all of the young people have left for greener pastures.

sources: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0126/1224310759037.html & http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/stephanie-knox/dubliners-moving-to-london-the-london-wake_b_1249186.html?ref=uk

Illegal immigration is a hot topic in the United States. It's a complicated, difficult subject because there is so much emotion wrapped up in it. Aim for objectivity when answering this question: If you were a part of the discussion trying to find solutions to this issue, how would you go about helping others at the table to have an effective conversation without appearing prejudiced against the country of origin of the immigrants?

The problem is that many people have a very real prejudice against certain people. It doesn’t matter if a family has been living in the United States for a couple hundred years, if you look and talk a certain way, you will be classified as “one of them” and treated poorly. Until those attitudes are changed, it will be hard to bring anything short of deportation to the table without arguments based on fear and hatred being brought to the fore-front. That said ... I think it helps to understand WHY people are emigrating from their homes and why they chose our country to move into. When someone learns that a Mexican woman illegally moved to the United States because a drug gang killed the rest of her family, they are more inclined towards sympathy rather than a knee-jerk reaction to send her back. When I receive emails from certain friends about how horrible illegal aliens are, and how they are stealing our jobs (no mention is made about how we wouldn't take those jobs) and our taxes, I think they have forgotten that there are real people behind the numbers and propaganda.

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