Political Issues of Migration: Border Security & Political Asylum

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  • 0:02 Reasons for Migration
  • 1:10 Push Factors
  • 4:07 Pull Factors
  • 5:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jason Nowaczyk
The following lesson will discuss the political issues of migration and its causes, including border security and political asylum. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.

Reasons for Migration

Meet Kyle. Kyle has lived all over the world. Many people are at least somewhat like Kyle in that it's very rare for people today to live in the same house, city, or state for their entire lives. When a person moves from one place to another, we call this migration. So as Kyle moves from place to place, he is migrating.

We normally associate migration as movement from one country to another, but far more common is the movement of people within countries and from one country to another but within a particular geographical or cultural region. An example would be if our world traveler Kyle moved from France to Germany. He is moving to a different country but is still also staying within Western Europe.

Although the causes for migration are diverse and vary from one person to the next, all reasons for migration can generally be divided into two categories: push and pull factors. Push factors are negative developments and circumstances that motivate or force people to leave their homes. Pull factors, on the other hand, are positive developments inducing people to move from their homes to someplace else.

Push Factors

There may be some unfortunate circumstances that push Kyle out of his current home. Some examples are more naturally occurring, such as natural disasters, famine, and disease, whereas others are largely man-made. Man-made push factors include many things and one of which is abuses of fundamental rights. So if Kyle were a Jew living in Germany during WWII, he most likely would have been forced to flee the country because of Nazi persecution.

The government of Kyle's country may also push Kyle to resettle elsewhere to achieve cultural sameness. This is particularly the case in newly independent countries where incompatible ethnic groups are forced to live within artificially constructed boundaries. Kyle may also be pushed from his country if he is seen as opposing the government, because strict governments do not like people who do disagree with them.

The country Kyle may live in may also push him to migrate to achieve economic and national security objectives. Borders and migration are of great political concern, and countries have forcibly removed groups from a country in order to stabilize their economic and cultural development, as well as to maintain their national security. Migrants sometimes become a strain on an economy because there are too many new people to support. Countries are also wary to let too many migrants come into their borders for fear that it may lose its cultural identity or come under threats of political dissidents, which could threaten national security.

High levels of violence and political instability may also be a push factor for migration. Lastly, globalization and discrimination are also push factors. Globalization's emphasis on diminished government involvement in the economy can result in inadequate support for small rural communities or alternative sources of employment. Thus, Kyle may have to move out of his small rural community to a place where he can have more opportunity for work and better pay elsewhere.

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