Pros of Immigration

While many view immigration as a cultural crisis, the pros of immigration are significant. Immigration is a point of contention as immigrants change the face of a population and bring their own culture with them. Moreover, immigrants receive criticism if they do not fully integrate, by not speaking the country’s primary language. Some people simply feel there’s no room for immigrants. They fear their jobs will be taken or undercut by the low wages some immigrants are willing to work for.

In spite of these concerns, it is undeniable that immigrants infuse much needed vitality into the economy. They build businesses, create jobs and bring new perspectives. Most importantly, welcoming immigrants supports and promotes an international standard of human rights. Everyone should be able to settle somewhere safe, healthy and stable—especially if their native country is not so.

Below is an immigration case study of sorts, demonstrating the economic benefits of immigration in Japan, the U.S., and Western Europe.


Plagued by an aging population and declining birth rates, immigration provides Japan with a new source of young workers. The Japanese Health Ministry predicts that by 2060, the country’s population will fall to 86.74 million. This is a 40 million decrease since 2010. Currently, 20 percent of Japan’s population is over 65 years old. As a result, this burdens Japan’s shrinking workforce with the funds for their pensions and healthcare. But immigration into Japan ensures the nation’s economy can maintain itself as people retire.

Japan is historically unwelcoming to immigrants, believing peace and harmony to be rooted in homogeneity. As such, the nation’s immigration policy reflects this. Japan only allows a small number of highly skilled workers into the country. This policy has been in place since 1988 to combat labor shortages. However, this is no longer enough to combat Japan’s worsening economy. In 2018, labor shortages in the nation were the highest they had been in 40 years.

However, the pros of immigration in Japan are clear. Without it, Japan faces an incredibly insecure economic future. With no sign of population growth, the nation’s perpetually shrinking workforce will become unable to support its retired citizens. However, immigrants can round out the workforce in Japan. And they can neutralize any economic woes the nation might face in the future by preventing labor shortages.


The cultural and economic contributions immigrants have made to America are vast, overwhelmingly advantageous and long-lasting.

A study done by economists at Harvard, Yale and the London School of Economics found US counties that accepted more immigrants between 1860 and 1920 are doing better today as a result. These counties have significantly higher incomes, higher educational achievement, less poverty and lower unemployment because immigrants provided the low-skilled labor needed to support rapid industrialization. Undeniably, immigrants have always and still continue to increase economic growth in America.

Similarly, immigrants in the U.S. have been integral to innovation and entrepreneurship. Half of all startups in America worth over a billion dollars have been founded by immigrants. Eleven of these startups employ more than 17,000 people in the U.S. Some of these companies, such as Uber and WeWork, have significantly changed American culture. They modify the way Americans live their daily lives. Therefore, the pros of immigration in the U.S. are grounded in the diversity of thought brought by immigrants, necessary to further American innovation and economic growth.

Western Europe

Like Japan, Western Europe is battling an aging population and declining birth rates. Fertility rates are expected to hit zero in the next decade. Consequently, this region may not be able to sustain its expansive social welfare programs as its workforce shrinks and retired populations grow. In Germany, the median age is 47.1 years, the oldest in Western Europe. This is only slightly younger than Japan’s 47.3 years. Besides convincing its native populations to have more children, immigration is their only alternative.

Immigration into Western Europe is an undeniable win for both the immigrants and the host countries. Many new immigrants in Western Europe have escaped unstable regimes, religious persecution, and economic downturn in North African and Middle Eastern countries. Thus, immigrants give the region a younger workforce that is able to sustain the region’s expensive social benefits. In return, Western Europe provides immigrants with jobs, stability, and a safe place to live.

While still a very divisive topic, the pros of immigration lie in its plethora of economic benefits. It is undeniable that immigration has always been the driver of economic growth, despite all of the criticism. Immigration provides immigrants with an alternative to oppressive regimes and other instability, of course. And the pros of immigration for nations absolutely outweigh the cons.

Jillian Baxter
Photo: Pixabay

3 Benefits of the XenoscopeOver 5 billion people in the world lack access to affordable and safe healthcare. The invention of the Xenoscope has changed the way laparoscopic surgeries are performed in developing areas of the world. The Xenoscope has benefited these areas in 3 ways:

Cost effective
The Xenoscope only costs $85 to make and is mostly comprised of cell phone parts. These devices sell for a few hundred dollars, compared to other equipment that can cost as much as $20,000.

The benefit of the low price is that if the Xenoscope breaks, it is easily replaceable. Rather than needing to pay for expensive repairs, users can simply buy a new one.

The Xenoscope uses mostly cell phone parts, as well as an image sensor and LED light to capture images. The smartphone camera is able to capture high quality images of the abdominal cavity. This cost-effective solution efficiently captures the images needed to perform the procedure.

The Xenoscope is just as efficient in taking images as normal laparoscopy equipment. For example, the Xenoscope was first tested by using it in a procedure to remove Fallopian tubes. The patient recovered from the procedure very quickly.

The device also removes the need for disinfection of the scope between surgeries. This in turn reduces the cost of sterilization services.

The most highly regarded benefit of the Xenoscope is its versatility, especially in areas with unreliable electricity. Many areas that have limited access to expensive equipment also have unreliable electricity, requiring a battery-operated piece of equipment. The Xenoscope can be used in hospitals with unreliable electricity as well as outside of a hospital environment.

Not only is the Xenoscope itself versatile and mobile, the equipment it is compatible with is equally as mobile. The Xenoscope can be used with most laptops or smartphones and does not require expensive imaging equipment.

The Xenoscope is a beneficial, low-cost tool that gives access to effective medical equipment to those that need it. Even though it was originally intended for laparascopies, its use has expanded to other minimally invasive procedures involving thoracic and peritoneal cavities.

Rebekah Covey

Photo: Flickr

Benefits of Charitable ActionThe inability to see the direct benefits of charitable action keeps many from contributing to charity and advocacy. However, there are several individual benefits to charity despite being unable to see the direct impacts of donation.

Below are the top 3 individual benefits of charitable action.

  1. Numerous studies show that people who act charitably and compassionately are often happier. In a psychological study on compassion by Barbara Fredrickson in 2008, participants of compassionate meditation showed increased levels of daily happiness. Also, participants experienced less depression and had higher satisfaction with life. Another study by the National Institutes of Health reported a similar finding in their research on donation. Participants of this study who donated money experienced activated pleasure centers in their brain.Findings of the Do Good Live Well Survey also reported higher happiness in charitable people. The survey consisted of 4,500 Americans, of whom 41 percent were volunteers. Of those volunteers, 89 percent claimed that volunteering had improved their overall wellbeing and 73 percent reported that it lowered their stress.
  2. As well as improving overall happiness, charitable action has also been shown to improve overall health. In the 2008 compassion study by Fredrickson, participants of compassionate meditation were in better physical shape.The Do Good Live Well Survey reported the same, as 68 percent of volunteers said that volunteering made them feel physically better. Compassion was also shown to boost immune and stress responses, according to a 2009 study by Thaddeus Pace.
  3. Charitable action has the capacity to improve important life skills such as empathy, helpfulness, and money handling. A study done by Antoine Luiz in 2008 shows how compassion impacts people’s ability to process their own and others’ emotions. The brains of participants were scanned, which showed the brain regions responsible for emotional processing were enhanced for those who completed compassionate meditation.Another study by Jennifer Mascaro in 2013 investigated further into the impact of compassion on empathy. Participants in the study were given the “Mind in Eyes Test” to evaluate their empathic accuracy. The participants who had completed a course on compassion scored higher on the test, meaning that compassion enhanced empathic accuracy.Compassionate people were also found to be more helpful, according to a 2011 study done by Susanne Leiberg. Those who participated in the study played the Zurich Prosocial Game, which tests whether they respond when others are distressed. Participants who went through compassion training before taking the test “demonstrated more pro-social behavior,” meaning that they were more helpful.

    Lastly, charitable action improves personal money management through scheduled donation. Having a scheduled donation to a charity calls for closer attention to personal finances, thus training people to be attentive to their bank account. On top of this, many charities grant a tax deduction.

Charitable action goes beyond helping those in need. Compassion and charity also can improve individual lives by making them happier, healthier and more skilled.

Haley Hurtt

study abroad
Studying abroad is at an all-time high. Not only is it the latest coveted experience for employers, but studies have shown that studying abroad can have a substantial impact on one’s mind and creativity.

The role of learning a language pays off, according to the Huffington Post. Learning languages benefits the individual personally and professionally, as it increases one’s access to people, places, markets and ideas. Language formally benefits the environment through the ability to share environmental practices. Knowledge of another language also contributes to communication in the business and economic sectors. Language also contributes to political relations among governments and is indispensable in being assimilated into a new culture.

Learning a language can help an individual achieve his or her dreams in a variety of ways. Exploring a new language allows one to cultivate a more intimate experience when traveling, increases one’s accessibility to foreign recipes, art, literature and landscapes and can give vitality to new relationships.

To the delight of many students, scholars and societies, it has been recorded that learning a language influences the brain. A recent Swedish MRI study reveals that acquisition of a language increases the size of the brain, specifically in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex.

Recent studies have also concluded that bilingualism improves the brain’s ability to multitask, delays the onset of Alzheimer’s and promotes creativity. Language learning assists in other intellectual areas, specifically math and music. Each language provides insight into a different society or worldview.

The benefits of studying abroad surpass the benefits of just learning a language, although language is a key aspect of the international experience. According to the Institute of International Education, or IIE, “international students in the United States and study abroad by American students are at an all-time high.” The number of U.S. students studying abroad has more than doubled over the past 15 years.

The IIE claims that international education is one of the most important components of contemporary society. “International education is crucial to building relationships between people and communities in the United States and around the world. It is through these relationships that together we can solve global challenges like climate change, the spread of pandemic disease, and combating violent extremism,” said Evan M. Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. “We also need to expand access to international education for students from more diverse backgrounds.”

Studying abroad changes neurons, and it challenges one’s worldview in a way that may have not been previously acknowledged. Opportunities such as the Fulbright Scholarship, Critical Language Scholarship, Gilman Award and numerous others are renown for their prestigious international education programs. The focus on international education is steadily growing, and for earlier this year, the IIE launched Generation Study Abroad. This campaign aims to double the number of students who study abroad by the end of the decade, while increasing diversity and accessibility to international education.

– Neti Gupta

Sources: Institution of International Education, The Chronicle, The Diane Rehm Show, The Guardian, The Huffington Post 1, The Huffington Post 2

Photo: Honors Advising Blog