Last updated on: 8/15/2017 | Author:

How Are Illegal Immigration and Globalization Related?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

Katharine M. Donato, PhD, Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University, and Douglas S. Massey, PhD, Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, in the abstract for their June 14, 2016 article, “Twenty-First-Century Globalization and Illegal Migration,” published in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, stated:

“[I]llegal migration emerged as a structural feature of the second era of capitalist globalization, which emerged in the late twentieth century and was characterized by international market integration. Unlike the first era of capitalist globalization (1800 to 1929), the second era sees countries limiting and controlling international migration and creating a global economy in which all markets are globalized except for labor and human capital, giving rise to the relatively new phenomenon of illegal migration. Yet despite rampant inequalities in wealth and income between nations, only 3.1 percent of all people lived outside their country of birth in 2010. We expect this to change: threat evasion is replacing opportunity seeking as a motivation for international migration because of climate change and rising levels of civil violence in the world’s poorer nations. The potential for illegal migration is thus greater now than in the past, and more nations will be forced to grapple with growing populations in liminal legal statuses.”

June 14, 2016 - Katharine M. Donato, PhD

Aviva Chomsky, PhD, Professor of History and Coordinator of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies at Salem State University, in a Sep. 24, 2016 interview with Keera Annamaneni, “An Interview with Aviva Chomsky, Professor and Immigration Activist,” available at, stated:

“When we’re talking about globalization, one of the things we’re precisely talking about is the ability of companies to move wherever they want to get the absolute cheapest conditions. It’s called a raised bottom, and it’s putting countries in competition with each other to lower working conditions, to lower wages, and to offer perks to companies to try to attract them there.

Along with the Border Industrialization Act, we have NAFTA, which has had devastating effects for not just United States workers, but in particular, for poor rural Mexican corn farmers because heavily subsidized, mechanized agro-industries can produce corn more cheaply than Mexican workers who have been surviving on corn for thousands of years. So their system worked before but now is being flooded by corn from the United States market, while as a result of NAFTA, government protections for poor farmers are being undermined, so many of the Mexicans who have been crossing the border in the last couple of decades have been called by one historian ‘refugees of NAFTA.’ They are people who have been forced by government policies into this migrant strain. I would say that kind of globalization, which is called neoliberal globalization, works to the detriment of poor people everywhere and to the benefit of investors and corporations.”

Sep. 24, 2016 - Aviva Chomsky, PhD

Paul A. Harris, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Administration, International Studies and Philosophy at Augusta State University, wrote in his Oct. 2002 Southeastern Conference for Public Administration paper “Immigration, Globalization and National Security: An Emerging Challenge to the Modern Administrative State”:

“Globalization has been the defining feature of the late twentieth-century, exemplified by sharply increased trade in goods, inter-connected financial markets and large-scale international migration. Globalization is defined by cross-border connectivity, including porous borders, which serve to expedite flows of goods while at the same time increase the level of immigration – both legal and illegal.”

Oct. 2002 - Paul A. Harris, PhD

Demetrios Papademetriou, PhD, Director of the Migration Policy Institute, wrote in his Sep. 2005 Migration Policy Institute essay “The Global Struggle with Illegal Migration: No End in Sight”:

“For nearly two decades now, capital and the market for goods, services, and workers of many types have weaved an ever more intricate web of global economic and social interdependence… No aspect of this interdependence seems to be more visible to the publics of advanced industrial societies than the movement of people. And no part of that movement is proving pricklier to manage effectively, or more difficult for publics to come to terms with, than irregular (also known as unauthorized, undocumented, or illegal) migration…

Most international mobility — regardless of legal status, whether permanent, temporary, or circular, and whether for work or to join families — also preoccupies the less developed countries, albeit from different perspectives. For them, movement is an essential lifeline to both their citizens and their economies because of remittances [goods or currency sent back to country of origin], now probably approaching $150 billion per year.”

Sep. 2005 - Demetrios Papademetriou, PhD

Victor Davis Hanson, PhD, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, wrote in his May 31, 2007 article “The Global Immigration Problem”:

“Thousands of aliens crossing our 2,000-mile border from an impoverished Mexico reflect a much larger global one-way traffic problem. In Germany, Turkish workers – both legal and illegal – are desperate to find either permanent residence or citizenship. ‘Londonstan’ is slang for a new London of thousands of unassimilated Pakistani nationals. In France, there were riots in 2005 because many children of North African immigrants are unemployed – and unhappy. Albanians flock to Greece to do farm work, and then are regularly deported for doing so illegally.

The list could go on. So why do millions of these border-crossers head to Europe, the United States or elsewhere in the West? Easy. Stable democracies and free markets ensure economic growth, rising standards of living and, thus, lots of jobs, while these countries’ birth rates and native populations fall. In contrast, immigrants usually flee mostly failed states that cannot offer their people any real hope of prosperity and security.”

May 31, 2007 - Victor Davis Hanson, PhD

Jesus Nebot, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and speaker, wrote in an Aug. 14, 2011 email to

“The massive influx of migrants in the past several decades, particularly from Mexico and Central America, cannot be traced to a single cause. However, economic globalization policies supported by the U.S. government are significant factors. NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) almost certainly contributed to the sharp increase in the number of Mexicans living in the U.S. without authorization, from 2 million in 1990 to an estimated 6.2 million in 2005.

With barriers to agricultural imports lifted, Mexican farmers have found themselves competing with an influx of cheap, heavily subsidized U.S. agricultural commodities. Facing dire poverty in the Mexican countryside, millions have made the wrenching decision to leave behind families and communities and head northward.

Throughout the developing world, farmers are particularly vulnerable to import competition because of World Bank- and IMF- cuts to support for small-scale agriculture.

Additionally most developing-country governments are pressured by international financial institutions to slash spending for social and environmental protections, look the other way when foreign investors damage the environment, and devote scarce resources to pay interest on external debts.

If we fail to recognize the connections between migration and globalization, our policies will provide a temporary Band-Aid solution at best.”

Aug. 14, 2011 - Jesus Nebot