Immigration as a Refugee
The process of immigration as a refugee starts with arriving in the country and searching for a financial sponsor. At the time, one stays in a refugee camp with poor conditions and dangerous people, such as winos or prostitutes (Santoli 283). The person providing further assistance can be an employer usually interested in cheap labor, as happened to Trong Nguyen, who began his life in the United States by working as a janitor (Santoli 285). Meanwhile, a refugee status implies specific benefits and drawbacks accompanying immigration. The former includes the possibility of receiving substantial help while adjusting to the new conditions and educating children, which were critical for Nguyen’s extended family (Santoli 277). In turn, the latter is more numerous as the lack of acceptance from the local population and other groups of immigrants creates problems in employment, socialization, and all other aspects of life.
The US’ Role in Immigration
The role of the United States in immigration, as follows from Sassen’s argument, is conditional upon the country’s political efforts to create a favorable environment for newcomers. According to the scholar, the government views this process as purely domestic and, consequently, takes measures to make sure that a combination of legal regulations alongside foreign investment is an optimal way of monitoring the situation (Sassen 15). From this point of view, the authorities’ decisions lead to an increase in the number of people arriving in the country. For example, in the case of Mexico, this outcome was promoted by the creation of favorable circumstances for businesses in the country, which attracted individuals who could not survive due to the changes in demand (Bacon). Hence, immigration laws can reflect reality only if economic considerations are included. In addition, a reform in this respect would be the introduction of valid reasons for moving to the United States instead of other illegitimate motives.
Bacon, David. “How US Policies Fueled Mexico’s Great Migration.” The Nation, 2012.
Santoli, Al. “The Nguyen Family: From Vietnam to Chicago, 1975–1986.” Immigrant Voices: New Lives in America, 1773–1986, edited by Thomas Dublin, University of Illinois Press, 1993, pp. 275-297.
Sassen, Saskia. “Why Migration.” Race, Poverty & the Environment, vol. 4, no. 2, 1993, pp. 15-20.