Cheers to technology and the internet, the world has over the years turned to be a small village where physical and geographical barriers that hindered people’s movement from continent to continent no longer exist. As a result, people’s movements are no longer mired geographically, but rather by man-made policies. Such policies are termed as immigration policies. They denote a country’s set of rules and regulations that are formulated with the objective of guiding people entering and leaving the country. Worth mentioning early on is the fact that each and every country formulates its own set of immigration policies, and they are at liberty to change them any time they deem appropriate. They are also applicable to not only persons entering or leaving a country, but also the goods and services that would be imported/exported into and out of the country. Various aspects determine the nature of policies various countries might adopt at certain times. Outstandingly, the capitalist and socialist forms of governments play a major role in the determination of the form of immigration policies countries are likely to adopt. It is from that rationale that this paper will endeavor at comparing and contrasting the capitalist as well as socialist systems in the world. In addition, the paper will be giving further details on how the ideologies of capitalism and socialism shake the immigration policies of various countries around the world.
A capitalist economy is one that is centered on making profits. Usually, capitalist economies have been seen to give little consideration to the common good of its citizens. The sole purpose for the functioning of such an economy is to make profits through industrialization and globalization. Every move capitalist economy makes must be associated with economic benefits. In such a country, the citizens thrive on small businesses since opportunities are often created. The accumulation of wealth is a means with no ends since the rich continue become more affluent. Capitalist countries grow richer as opposed to poor countries. Countries like the USA and Germany come to mind the most capitalist countries in the world. In the USA, the bulk of the labor force emanates from immigrants who go to the country to make a living. Since the 1950s, the USA has welcomed guest workers who mostly are of Mexican descent (Schuck & Wilson, 2008). After the economic depression caused by the Second World War, industrialization was the only consolation left for the USA. The industrialization process resulted in the embrace of capitalism, which led to the free laws on immigration.
Absolute profit delivery is one of the principles of capitalism, from which immigration benefits. A capitalist economy does not see immigrants for anything other than the profit they would help accumulate (Kaye, 2010). They are not interested in integrating them into the system, or accounting for them. The economy requires people who have no property to give them a bargaining power. The bourgeoisie in these economists is the greatest supporters of free movement of immigrants. The reason is that the rich want a class of people to provide labor, which the locals cannot do because they are in the system and need to benefit from it. Therefore, capitalist economies have encouraged the immigration of people but have not been keen on their integration into society. Capitalist economies exist to protect the rich and their capital. The capital of the rich goes directly into the economy. Therefore, the economies find ways in which immigration policies protect the bourgeoisie in these societies. The rich class of the USA is presently satisfied with the increased cases of illegal immigrants in the country. However, there has been a push to control the entry of such immigrants in the country. The 2005 bill was passed and allowed the deportation of such immigrants. It resulted in riots across the USA, which the affluent members of society watched with pleasure. However, congress stipulated that it only needed to control their numbers. In addition, they had a great influence in the economy and were hence given a chance of integration. Their presence is seen to benefit the country greatly, but their influx also leads to a demand for the government to look after their well-being. Such would mean the national cake had to be shared among the locals and the immigrants. The same was one of the reasons for the Chinese exclusion act of 1882. Therefore, the US government congress required immigrants to acquire citizenship and pay taxes. Failure to adhere to the rules would lead to deportation. Because most immigrants lack the necessary papers, their subsequent deportation ensued.
Capitalism exists because of the need for economic and political domination (Bowles, 2012). In the world of politics today, the economic prowess exhibited by a country plays a key role. A country that is economically stable can meet the demands of the political realm, which explains why the USA is the most powerful nation on earth. To achieve this, the country, like every other capitalist nation, heavily relies on immigrant labor. The immigration policies in such countries are controlled depending on the need for labor at the time. When the economy sees the need for provision of cheap labor, the country will relax its laws on immigration or provide leeway that would ensure they got such labor. The policies leave control to the borders of immigrant countries while still maintaining their policies. The control would ensure the flow of labor to serve capitalists is regulated and adjusted according to the needs at the time. When the local workers fail to satisfy the needs of the economy, outside labor is made flexible. In addition, capitalism is influenced by the private ownership of land and property. The regulation on the labor market will, therefore, be controlled by the demands of ownership of property. The immigrants are not supposed to demand property. When they acquire citizenship, they have the right to acquire property, which has to be controlled by controlling their numbers. The best way to put a stop to the numbers or reduce them is through changing the immigration policies.
A socialist system, on the other hand, is, one that appreciates the principles of collectivism. Such principles allocate for the distribution of wealth is a group based activity for all members of society. In this economy, wealth is not privately owned (Hyndman & Morris, 2000). Every person, regardless of their class or place in society has the same share of resources. They are, therefore, coupled with doctrines of communal sharing. Socialism tries to strike a balance between communism and capitalism. The systems available for the generation and sharing of wealth are established. In such a setup, the stand of the country being a socialist one is most of the time, clearly outlined in the constitution. Portugal is one of the countries that appreciate socialism. In socialism, which is unlike the case in capitalism, everything is not founded upon the making of profits. The stand taken by immigration policies is different in socialism is different from capitalist.
Socialists believe that countries should keep their borders open, and should not make the rules on immigration flexible when it best suits them .According to these countries, immigrants form a deep part of the wealth countries acquired. One of the principles of socialism is that whoever contributes to the wealth must have some of it. Therefore, it is wrong to close borders because countries do not want to integrate immigrants into their world. Socialists have no burden of including immigrants into their sharing plans. The reason is that immigrants do help to provide labor that creates a strong economic system. The wealth is formed by the immigrants who deserve to have a share of the hard work. The immigration policies in such countries are, therefore, flexible and contain aspects of free movement and trade. There are a lot of immigrants in Portugal (Angenendt, 1999). They emanate from all over the world, some having journeyed from as far as Africa. They have established homes and participate in the labor markets, for both skilled and unskilled work. The immigrants chose Portugal as a destination because of its flexibility on the laws. The country has made it comfortable for immigrants. They can own homes, easily become citizens and learn their language. They do not just form an illiterate set of people, but have acquired education and can serve in the skilled workforce. Unlike in capitalist societies, socialist immigration policies allow for the complete integration of immigrants into the culture and economy.
Unlike capitalism, the policies in socialism tend to protect the immigrants as opposed to exploiting them. Immigration policies in the latter have the best interest of the immigrants (Cole, 1999). For instance, they would only restrict a movement when they know that there is little they can offer immigrants. In such occasions, immigration policies are renewed to become tougher. For instance, when countries are faced with an economic depression, continuous immigration could lead to underpayment of immigrant workers. Socialist countries seek to protect the rights of the immigrants and would, herefore, not want to underpay them. The case in capitalist economies is different because immigrant labor is interpreted as cheap labor. Therefore, in socialism, free movement across borders would be limited because it does not reflect the spirit of socialism when workers are underpaid. In socialism, the right of the labor worker is the main goal for restriction in an otherwise free society. Even though, the mechanisms for supporting socialism are notably few, socialist countries still strive towards communal sharing. Socialists are not influenced by political dynamics that exist in the world today.
Obviously, both policies need to be adjusted to suit the world economic and social position currently. Socialism is a good aspect to incorporate to the society, but it is damaging to an economic and unrealistic. When there are too many immigrants in the country, the population cannot be controlled by the economic means available. I recommend that socialists find a balance in their free movement or ban free movement completely. Immigration should be very minimal in socialist countries because they need to help improve the wages of the locals through the very principles of socialism. In capitalism, the rules afforded to immigrant citizenship should be made flexible. Citizenship is beneficial to both the immigrant and the countries since they will be eligible to pay taxes and help build the economy from which they benefit.
Angenendt, S. (1999). Asylum and migration policies in the European Union. Berlin: Europa Union Verlag.
Bowles, P. (2012). Capitalism. Harlow: Pearson.
Cole, G. D. (1999). The principles of socialism. London: Issued by the Society for Socialist Inquiry and Propaganda.
Hyndman, H. M., & Morris, W. (2000). A summary of the principles of socialism. London: Twentieth Century Press.
Kaye, J. (2010). Moving millions: how coyote capitalism fuels global immigration. Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley & Sons.
Schuck, P. H., & Wilson, J. Q. (2008). Understanding America: the anatomy of an exceptional nation. New York: Public Affairs.