Immigrants Across the Globe

posted in: News | 0

Across the globe, people are making one of the most difficult decisions of their lives: to leave the country where they grew up, often for good. They do so for a wide range of reasons: poverty, lack of opportunities for work, conflict, natural disasters, discrimination or persecution, climate change, family reunification, retirement and even, in some cases, simply the desire to experience something new.

The term “immigrant” is often used indiscriminately to describe anyone who moves to another country, but it’s important to distinguish between different types of migrants. A person who relocates to a different country for permanent residency is considered an immigrant. However, people who travel to another country for short periods of time or move between countries regularly for work purposes—including tourists, business travelers and seasonal workers—are not immigrants in the traditional sense of the word.

Depending on the country of origin, legal immigrant status is determined through the immigration process or by family connections to existing citizens. Some immigrants are granted asylum or refugee status in a country, which allows them to live and work legally. Others come into a country through a visa, such as those for seasonal or religious work or as students. Still others are undocumented or unauthorized, and are therefore not recognized as having any rights at all.

As debates about immigration heat up, many Americans hold misconceptions that need to be corrected. For example, a popular belief is that immigrants are criminals who steal jobs from native-born Americans and drain local economies. In fact, most undocumented immigrants pay property, sales and payroll taxes, including Social Security, and contribute to their communities in other ways. They also spend their money on American products and services, which helps the economy grow.

Many first-generation immigrants struggle with psychological trauma or adverse health effects from their experiences on the journey to the United States. They may also endure hardships in their new home, such as racism and discrimination, economic instability or limited social support. In addition, they may face the challenge of learning a new language and adapting to a different culture.

For decades, the American Dream has been an attractive destination for people from around the world who want a better life for themselves and their children. But the country’s immigration system has a long history of ups and downs, with dramatic consequences both intended and unintended.