In today’s world of globalization, immigration is prevalent issue that is discussed by many, including scholars, economists, and everyone in between. As people immigrate to new countries and form heterogeneous populations, their presence enriches the host country’s economy, culture, and society in different ways. In the United States, multiple waves of immigrants have kept the country demographically young, enriched the culture, added to productive capacity, and enhanced American influence around the world4. This paper will briefly elaborate upon these areas in which immigration can enrich a country, with an emphasis on the economic and organizational perspective.
When discussions of the effects of immigration arise, a common dependant brought up is the economy of the subjected country. If one is to interpret the word “enrich” literally, it would mean, “to improve the quality or value of” something. Assuming ceteris paribus (holding all other factors constant), the fundamental theorem of welfare economics and the principles of free trade indicate that when factors of production (in this case, human resources) move from a first country to a second, the effect is an increase in the second country’s total welfare and efficiency.
This is especially evident in the comparison of foreign and native-born workers with low levels of education. While immigrants tend to specialize in manual tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and building, native-born workers of equal educational achievement possess a better understanding of local networks, rules, customs and language and specialize in interactive tasks such as coordinating, organizing, and communicating6. The two groups compliment each other pretty well. If one considers immigration from a labour market perspective, it is can be viewed as a strategic resource that can support economic growth and competitiveness while maintaining the host country’s wages and work conditions.
The collective diversity associated with immigrants helps a country boost innovation from within individual organizations. When people from different countries with different values communicate, it is more likely these people will think outside the box and be able to solve problems better and faster. A perfect example of this phenomenon is Silicon Valley, where American companies such as Intel, Yahoo!, Google, and eBay were all co-founded by immigrants5. These organizations have benefitted from the different experiences and backgrounds of different cultures’ experiences and backgrounds by way of creative ideas and unique solutions to problems. Not only do companies that support cultural diversity profit with tangible business benefits, but they also express humanistic values in realizing the value of all people. This translates into a better reflection of the global environment, a better marketplace understanding, and a greater ability to reach a worldwide audience. The ability to understand other cultures when doing business is a vital component in today’s global marketplace and it can lead to improved business activity, which in turn improves the quality of life of the stakeholders that are involved.
In conclusion, there is much evidence to support the theory that immigrants can enrich the quality of life. It is interesting to analyze the ways in which immigration enriches life through economic and organizational activity as these phenomena heavily factor in on many other aspects of life, such as the refreshing aspect of different mentalities, the availability of ethnic cuisine and other ethnicity-oriented and themed events and wonders. Well-managed immigration leads to the cultural diversity, which in turn breeds innovation and societal change for the better.
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