Land of opportunity
Economic migration is when people migrate to another country for
economic benefits -for work and money.
It is not confined to poor
countries - inhabitants of rich countries also migrate for economic
reasons to other countries. Traditionally and historically, the
USA has been hotspot of economic migrants since it is seen as the ‘land
Thousands of people from all across the
world, including Britain, try to move to the USA for a better
life. For example a lecturer at an Ivy League University still earns
more than someone at a top university in the UK.
Thousands of people try to enter America through both legal and illegal
routes. To enter the USA legally, you need to apply for a visa
and, for permanent residence, a Green Card. This then entitles
people to apply for citizenship.
In certain parts of the world,
people can also apply for Green Cards through the Green Card
lottery system. There are 50,000 Green Cards on offer but they are
offered to those who have completed high school or to those who
have worked in a job which needs two years training in the US.
Many economic migrants to the USA come from Latin America and the
Caribbean. About 150,000 Mexicans enter illegally each year, resulting
in 3 to 4 million illegal Mexicans in the USA. They arrive in dangerous
conditions such as hidden in the backs of lorries under legal produce.
Many are willing to risk their lives crossing dangerous water in
leaky boats or running the risk of immediate arrest as they burrow
under barbed wire marking the USA – Mexican border. They
are seeking to escape crippling poverty and hope that the American
Dream will come true for them.
Many economic migrants find the reality is very different from their
dreams. Some people experience hostility from their new countrymen
and feel that they are treated as second class citizens.
work in low paid jobs that no one else want to do. Also there
is little protection from unscrupulous employers who take advantage
of these illegal workers, in the terms and conditions they offer.
As a result, many economic immigrants live in appalling conditions
and again find themselves in the poverty trap they sought to