Immigrants reputedly threaten national identity and societal cohesion, especially the newcomers whose perceived distinctiveness challenges the assimilative capacity of their host societies.
These claims fuel populist movements, nativist agendas, and anti-migrant sentiments.
For example, the focus on “selective immigration policies”—a euphemism for the pro-active import of highly-skilled workers—may be good for Silicon Valley, but it irrelevant (if not bad) for other parts of the country, where there is a labor shortage in low-skilled occupations.
The cosmopolitan ideal of open borders is unsustainable for political, economic, and security reasons; yet, increased border controls do not curb the number of illegal immigrants, nor solve the roots causes of migration in sending countries.
States have the full authority to select who is allowed to enter the country, apply for asylum, and be granted citizenship.
The inability of Western democracies to manage the dynamics of the migratory process should therefore not be interpreted as an indicator of their limited capacity to rule.
Such a belief is used to legitimize “extraordinary measures” such as the reestablishment of border controls within the Schengen area in the aftermath of the 2015 refugee crisis; the erection of fences in Central and Eastern Europe; the violation of the Dublin regulation in Europe and of the Geneva Convention elsewhere; and the stationing of military troops at the US-Mexican border.
Consistent with those scholars “bringing the state back in,” I argue that immigration policy remains one of the few bastions of state sovereignty.
It allows restrictionists to claim that Western societies are “invaded” by immigrants, which in turn leads public opinion (and often media coverage) to overestimate the size of migrant communities—and by extension the level of threat they allegedly pose in their country of residence.
Yet, how should people born in their country of residence be defined when they do not have access to citizenship?
Or how should nationals who are perceived as immigrants on the basis on their foreign origin be defined when they are citizens?
Turning ourselves into an anti-immigrant police state could actually increase the population of long-term undocumented people in the U. READ MOREON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC, current debates about immigration (broadly defined) are divided into two opposing controversial perspectives.
Proponents of restrictive policies argue that immigration is bad—for the economy, the safety of citizens, and national identity.