“In 2013, approximately 41.3 million immigrants lived in the United States, an all-time high for a nation historically built on immigration ” (Batalova & Zong, 2015), showing how immigration has greatly impacted the culture of the United States. Immigration both legal and illegal can have a primarily negative impact on the cultural aspect of the home country. Some reasons on how it can be a negative impact include the potential loss of traditions and cultures in the home country and it can lead to an easier spread of certain unhealthy diseases.
Lack of New Introduced Traditions One negative effect to culture due to immigration is the gradual loss of traditions and cultures in the home country. As more people from a specific region move into a country, the traditions they celebrate can ‘overshadow’ the traditions and way of life of the place they migrated to, and they could refuse to attempt to learn about new cultural lifestyles. Charles Hirschman is Boeing International Professor in the Department of Sociology and a social demographer with interests in race and ethnicity, immigration to the United States, and social change in Southeast Asia. In his article, “The Contributions of Immigrants to American Culture”, he talks about how immigrants that move to a different country can feel somewhat pressured with how different the country is from their place of birth. While the majority of immigrants will try to introduce the country’s cultures and ways of life into their household, others may refuse to change their ways and will not try to adapt to their new environment. This ignorance can cause social discord, which could possibly lead to violent altercations and an increase in social pressure.Increased Risk of Diseases In addition to the potential lack of new traditions being introduced to the home country, another point one could talk about is an increased risk of diseases.
Many immigrants come to a country due to their original country having a serious disease or potentially deadly health conditions. According to Douglas W. MacPherson, a member of the faculty of health sciences, and Brian D. Gushulak, a member of the Medical Service Branch, about 2% of the population are immigrants and that “the factors that support and sustain the prevalence of diseases in the less developed world are beyond the control of national and state public health programs at the migrants ultimate destination, making national disease control and elimination nearly impossible.” One example of this is tuberculosis, or more commonly known as TB, a disease that severely affects the lungs and can be spread through the air when a person with the disease of the lungs or throat sneezes, talks, or coughs (NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 2017). TB became prominent in populations with specific environmental, poverty-associated, or other behavioral risk factors. In many immigrant-heavy areas of the world, cases of TB now observed in the foreign-born population related to importation from high-prevalence source nations to low-prevalence host nations. This is also true when during late 2014, West Africa had experienced its largest recorded outbreak of Ebola, which is a potentially fatal illness that can be transmitted to people from wild animals and spread through human-to-human transmission.
As the disease became more prevalent in the country Africans begin to feed other countries, especially Australia and Canada, spreading the disease to two other continents in the world, increasing one’s risk of obtaining the disease. This had caused the Australian government in October 2014 to cancel temporary visas for those who hadn’t come to Australia yet from Africa. This is very closely related to the case of tuberculosis, as both were spread more frequently partially due to the immigration of people from different parts of the world to the home country.
Counterargument However, there is a very strong positive factor that immigrants can contribute to the home country. As many immigrants from the same area migrate to the same region, they begin to further introduce their traditions, cultures, and ways of life to the people of the home country, making the home country have a wider variety of diverse cultures. For example, in the book published by the National Academies Press, The Integration of Immigrants into American Society (2015), a book talking about the origins and roots of the United States, it gives the readers the realization that some countries–for instance, the United States– is entirely built on the idea of immigration. The successful integration of immigrants and their children contributes to the nation’s economic vitality and its vibrant and ever-changing culture. It states that “The United States has offered opportunities to immigrants and their children to better themselves and to be fully incorporated into this society”, showing how immigrants being willing to adapt to a new/different society, it can create a successful thriving nation. Despite this, there are still numerous other nations that are negatively affected by immigrants coming into the country. However, though, immigration is too uncontrolled at this point of time to consider this 100% positive.Possible Solutions There are many possible solutions to the immigration epidemic regarding social-cultural perspectives.
A solution in which scientists are currently starting to take initiative of is keeping scientific notes and observing which people from specific regions can bring fatal illnesses to another part of the world. According to Dinesh Kumar Makhan Lal Bhugra CBE, a professor of mental health and diversity at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London who specializes in researching immigration, “Mental health practitioners need to be attuned to the unique stresses and cultural aspects that affect immigrants and refugees in order to best address the needs of this increasing and vulnerable population” (2005). However, this is most likely going to prove very difficult because one can’t blame just one place for the spreading of a specific disease; as many countries could have the same illness being spread.