The Encounter of a New (Dis)order: Trump and Immigration Chaos

Author:   Sadananda Sahoo
Publisher:   

The Encounter of a New (Dis)order: Trump and Immigration Chaos

By Dr. Sadananda Sahoo 

There has been increasing barriers on human movements in almost all countries across the world. This is the result of partly due to the identity politics that is increasingly visible in almost all countries. Recent times, political leaders in some of the There has been increasing barriers on human movements in almost all countries across the world. Thanks to the identity politics that is increasingly visible in almost all countries. Recent times, political leaders in some of the countries have galvanised the public opinion successfully against the many humanitarian concerns that are carefully nurtured by many UN organisations, enlightened political and industry leader, human right activists etc. Last two decades there has been a growing understanding that migration or human mobility is very crucial for economic growth and global harmony. However, such understanding is no more found in the multicultural spirit of the many countries. Countries such as USA, etc. that are predominantly immigrant society now are in the forefront of anti-immigration campaign.

countries have galvanised the public opinion successfully against the many humanitarian concerns that are carefully nurtured by many UN organisations, enlightened political and industry leader, human right activists etc. Last two decades there has been a growing understanding that migration or human mobility is very crucial for economic growth and global harmony. However, such understanding is no more found in the multicultural spirit of the many countries. Surprisingly, countries such as USA, etc. that are predominantly immigrant society now are in the forefront of anti-immigration campaign.

There has been increasing barriers on human movements in almost all countries across the world. Thanks to the identity politics that is increasingly visible in almost all countries. Recent times, political leaders in some of the countries have galvanised the public opinion successfully against the many humanitarian concerns that are carefully nurtured by many UN organisations, enlightened political and industry leader, human right activists etc.

USA has been one of the largest receivers of immigration since last two centuries so much so that the entire population is the result of immigration. The only natives or indigenous people are American Indians who constitute negligible 0.9 % of the total population. However, history of the making of America is almost forgotten in the present day discourses. Most of the immigrants who settled in America are now considered themselves as native.

 As per the record of immigration office, it stood at more than 42.4 million, or 13.3 percent, of the total U.S. This is still very high as compared to many countries. This percentage of population is highly chosen one from across the world who constitute the backbone of American economy.

Though it is completely unthinkable for American to run their economy without immigrant workforce, yet the antagonism towards people from other nations has gradually been cultivated since last three elections. The main reasons were the (a) jobs and (b) security issues. The reasons given were again does not have any solid base. As most of these immigrants forms mostly two categories (1) Entrepreneurs who generate jobs and hence provide jobs for both Americans as well as immigrants, and the next (2) category of workers who do petty jobs that are no more done by Americans. Most of the arguments are related to security challenges by immigrants are rather highly exaggerated.  Several studies  (OECD: 2014) shave shown the immigrant population rather contribute to the social and economic security of the American by contributing taxes and revenues.

On the other hand, immigrants, especially those in H1B’s have contributed immensely to the USA’s economy.  The following table may give some idea about the role played by immigrants in top industries in USA.  

 

 

Jobs Created by Immigrants

Company

Founder

Country by Origin

Employee

Intel

Andy Grove

Hungary

86,300

Sun

Bechtolsheim/Khosla

Germany/India

34,900

Yahoo

Jerry Yang

Taiwan

13,600

Google

Sergey Brin

Russia

20,222

eBay

Pierre Omidyar

France

16,200

Source: www.antolin-davies.com

 

The above statistics is just a tip of the iceberg and it is to show how important it is for USA to have immigrants to sustain their economy. Several studies have shown that Immigration is an Entrepreneurial Filter that favors those with entrepreneurial talents. The impact of migration is so much positive on development that prompted UN organizations such as UNDP, ILO etc. to advocate development based on managing migration rather than restricting flows. Migration is linked to news ideas, flow of entrepreneurship and promoting prosperity. Evidences show, most of the countries which have have been welcoming  migrants with cutting edge skills in the last centuries have only benefited the local economy out of this inward flow.

 

Trump’s Immigrant Ban

All across the world, elections and politics are increasingly more about mobilising people on certain emotions rather than basic economic logic. Trump’s promise to get rid of immigrants, especially from certain selected Muslim countries, dual citizens etc. are mostly based on fear of losing jobs and security concerns. However, there has been already concern shown by various corporate leaders. Both Google  and Microsoft CEOs Sudar Pichai and Satya Nadella respectively shown concern about the negative impact of Trump’s decision on banning refugee and immigrants on their own corporation. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already warned the long term ramification  of the ban on immigration on American economy. Just recently, the Alibaba founder Jack Ma says the US wasted large amount of financial resources on  fighting wars rather than productive economy.

The ban on immigration and growing restriction on human movement will certainly create a new kind of (dis)order in the economy, which may be catastrophic if not checked in time.

 

Number of U.S. Jobs Moving Offshore

Job Category

2000

2005

2010

2015

Management

0

37,477

117,835

288,281

Business

10,787

61,252

161,722

348,028

Computer

27,171

108,991

276,954

472,632

Architechture

3,498

32,302

83,237

184,374

Life Sciences

0

3,677

14,478

36,770

Legal

1,739

14,220

34,673

74,642

Art, Design

818

5,576

13,846

29,639

Sales

4,619

29,064

97,321

226,564

Office

53,987

295,034

791,024

1,659,310

Total

102,674

587,592

1,591,101

3,320,213

Source: US Department of Labour and Forrester Research Inc. All numbers rounded.

From the above table it shows that the number of jobs moving offshore is becoming more than the double in every five years time. These are the new jobs and in the growing sectors. This is certainly a growing concern for the American citizens. However, the irony is that most of the jobs are also created by the immigrant entrepreneurs (See the above Table). Hence immigration per se does not take away the recources and jobs from America.

 Impact on India

India is one of the largest suppliers of workers and skilled and semi-skilled workers in the world. Quite often, they are being targeted in many countries such as GCC, USA, Australia etc. Being second class citizen having no political rights they often succumb to all injustices.

Once the process starts targeting immigrants, the situation may be out of control. Indians and Chinese workers have been reference point in past political campaign during Obama during last election too. Trump has just accentuated the already hidden fear in a more provoking manner. Indians who form a sizable portion of the immigrants and highly successful entrepreneurs in the USA will certainly find it difficult to cope up in the hostile social, cultural and political environment. As the goal post shifts in future, there is no end to the levelling and profiling of the immigrants. India should certainly take the scenario and act in a more pragmatic manner to absorb the future shock. It’s time to prepare better institutions and environment back home to retain the entrepreneurial talent with dignity. The crisis after crisis starting from Gulf, Australia to America must be taken as a lesson. Most American believe that the jobs are going out depends on one sided perception of the nature of industry. Though these jobs are going offshore due to the following reasons that add only to the efficiency of the USA economy.

 

Cheap labour, Higher level of service with lower cost, focus on core business leaving the operational details to be managed by external experts, access to the world class capabilities, freeing financial and human resources for other projects, secure resources not available within the country etc.

One of the leading areas of business in India has been BPO sector in the last two decades owing to its large pool of English-speaking graduates, which is about 25 million now. Trumps attempt may subvert the already established link and derail the industry.

 

One of the Trump’s slogan during election campaign was “Buy American and Hire American”. Though it is much early to predict what will happen to the Indian IT and ITeS industries, surely there is a cloud of uncertainty as these industries are mostly depended  on US market. Buying American and hiring American will drastically raise the cost for Indian outsourcers, thus impacting their margins and overall profit. The consequences of Trump’s policy has already felt as top 5 Indian IT Firms Lose 50,000 Crores in Market Value (Indian Express, January 31, 2017)

The ban on immigration will certainly give a big shock not only to the domestic economy but to the global economy as a whole. The success of American entrepreneurship is an outcome of many conditions such as multicultural composition, high skills, youth population, openness to ideas from across the world. The growth of Silicon Valley and other modern entrepreneurial hubs can proudly boast their multicultural environment created by immigrant population. The ban on immigration will certainly hamper the growth in a big way. Many countries such as India, Africa and Asian countries, which have seizable outsouring industry, will be affected by the policy.

Conclusion

It sounds the world is inviting an imminent chaotic situation, rather than solving or managing the issue that is in the interest of humanity. In a globalised world, no country can think only from the point of their narrow interest. Trump’s arrival into the American politics will certainly create more uncertainty, confusion and fear within and outside America.

____________________

I thank Dr. Mahalingam, Vijay Soni, Rahul Kumar and Monika for their input. The views expressed in the article are of authors. 

Dr. Sadananda Sahoo, School of Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Studies, IGNOU, New Delhi, Contact email to the author: sadanandajp@gmail.com

Publication Date:   Sunday, Jan 01, 2017
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