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Detailed Analysis of the Migration Phenomenon

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People become immigrants because they lack the possibility of prospering in their country of origin, so they decide to seek a better life where they can support their basic needs; However, there are also those who come to the United States with the intention of committing crimes or damaging the country. The migration phenomenon has been analyzed in depth for several decades; through time, many theoretical contributions have been made to understand and explain the phenomenon. Among the main concerns are criminal indices and the impact that immigration has on a political, economic and social level. The strength of the recent positions adopted by the US President, Donald Trump, and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, in relation to illegal immigration in that country, have led to a debate in different areas of opinion. Trump’s opinion on illegal immigration is not ambiguous.

The president has reiterated, implicitly and explicitly, on numerous occasions, his disdain for illegal immigration. One of its central arguments is that it has negative effects in crime rates. However, contemporary criminological research focused on the study of the link between immigration and criminal incidence, contradicts Trump’s thesis. Scholars who specialize in the topic point out that this consistency in the findings of various researches supports the healthy immigrant thesis, proposed by Tim Wadsworth. The main argument of this hypothesis is that immigrants contribute positively to the development of the country and of internal social relations. The experts in the subject argue that the results obtained by the studies, in addition, are consistent with the perspective of immigrant revitalization. This approach proposes that immigration has the potential to change the inhospitable conditions of the neighborhoods in which immigrants have to accommodate.

Immigrant communities have the capacity to strengthen the family and social ties associated with most urban problems and, additionally, to strengthen and expand the influence of community institutions that function as protection factors against crime. The research, in fact, indicates that Latino immigrant communities are the ones that show the most robust evidence of the effect of immigrant revitalization. In practice, the failure of government strategies to address the issue of immigration is further evidence of the disastrous results of attempts to condemn and label immigrants as criminals. Leaving the country of origin requires bravery, courage, or despair. Immigrating is not easy. It has a series of economic, social, cultural and affective costs that are or can be very high. This means that immigrants tend to be more courageous, bold and imaginative people than the average of their country of origin and also the average of the inhabitants of the host society.

When an individual decides to leave his country and assumes the costs of doing so, there are no barriers that can stop him. Migration flows have accelerated substantially in the last fifteen years and everything indicates that this trend will intensify in the short, medium and long term. At present, people who live outside their homeland for a year or more constitute 3 percent of the world’s population. Between 1989 and 2002, immigration to the US was of a size of 1 million legal immigrants and around 500,000 illegal immigrants per year. America has a long experience in making different cultures coexist. Immigrants cannot receive any discriminatory treatment in favor or against. Their customs, their values, their traditions must be allowed as long as they are exercised in a healthy way and do not violate the current legislation.

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