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Should countries accept immigrants? Show more Show less
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Donald Trump wants to build a wall. The United Kingdom tries to leave the European Union in an attempt to regain sovereignty over its borders. Every year, thousands of people drown in the Mediterranean while trying to cross over into the EU. At the same time, many European countries sell citizenship to wealthy individuals. Do states have a right to pick and choose who may enter into their respective territories?

No, countries should not accept immigrants Show more Show less

Immigrants are a burden on the economy and drive down wages. Immigrants import different cultures and values, undermining those of the country they move to.
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Immigrants erode local culture and traditions

Immigration erodes local cultures by introducing new ideas and customs which do not mix. In order for the historic culture of any given region to be preserved, immigration must be stopped.

The Argument

A country’s heritage and traditions are essential and should be protected rather than undermined by waves of immigration. There are many examples of places where immigrants do not integrate into the local culture. It is not unusual for immigrant groups to form ghettos which do not interact with the local population. Sometimes they do not even learn the language of the country to which they move. Native people feel uncomfortable in their own country, as it becomes increasingly alien.[1] In some cases this tension can build up and may even lead to violence. Local values are undermined and challenged by migrants. Western commentators in particular point to the clash between Western culture and Islam. Cultural ideas such as the veiling of women, drinking of alcohol and disapproval of homosexuality among some Muslim immigrants make them difficult to integrate.[2] Commentators in countries such as France argue that foreign cultures do not respect French ideas about liberty and equality, which are important moral and cultural values. [3] Immigration leads to tensions between the local population and migrants. The values brought in by outside cultures often conflict with those held by natives.

Counter arguments

We should not make excuses for people who are uncomfortable with difference. The sentiment that different cultures represent a direct threat to your own culture is an irrational racial prejudice, and a form of xenophobia.[4] Although the values of other cultures may test our own, this is not necessarily a bad thing. If a set of beliefs or values are right, they should be able to withstand criticism and open debate. Anti-immigration proponents typically focus on the worst cases of culture clash, which only apply to a tiny minority of migrants. The number of people with extremist views in the native population of any given country is bound to outweigh the number of extremist migrants. Different ethnic groups enrich culture rather than destroy it. Culture is not static; it's constantly evolving through new forms of stimulus. Some people believe in the perpetuity of culture, but this argument is based on fear and lacks both proof and substance. Many people enjoy the benefits of a multicultural society, from foreign foods to new ideas and music.[5] Research shows that while integration takes time, it does eventually happen. The children of immigrants are normally completely acclimated to the new culture.[6]

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Migrants frequently fail to integrate into their new culture, leading to alienation and conflict. [P2] Migrants often possess values and belief systems that are incompatible with their host nation.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://anth1001.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/enoch-powell_speech.pdf
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/mar/12/nigel-farage-british-muslim-fifth-column-fuels-immigration-fear-ukip
  3. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/marine-le-pen-front-national-speech-campaign-launch-islamic-fundamentalism-french-elections-a7564051.html
  4. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2016/09/14/is-fear-of-change-at-the-root-of-europes-anti-immigrant-backlash/
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/mar/22/multiculturalism-blame-culture-segregation
  6. https://geographical.co.uk/opinion/item/2988-acculturation#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20most%20prominent,and%20harms%20its%20cultural%20identity.&text=They%20are%20typically%20changes%20that,members%20of%20the%20adopted%20society

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This page was last edited on Friday, 16 Oct 2020 at 10:24 UTC

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