The U.K. government has recently declared that it would broaden its unpopular anti-illegal immigration campaign. The campaign has been aggressive in its methods that include putting ads on vans driving around London that cite “In the U.K. illegally? Go home or face arrest,” or sending mobile phone text messages or email to suspected illegal immigrants. Although the government received lots of criticism for the offensiveness of its campaign, the government will not stop taking its aggressive stance, as it believes illegal immigration has exacerbated the recent recession by taking away jobs for its innocent citizens. Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party said its objective is to reduce annual net immigration to the tens of thousands from more than 200,000 in recent years.
Although the government’s intention behind the campaign is understandable, it is doubtful that its aggressive stance against illegal immigrants will be highly beneficial. Even if the campaign succeeds, there will be a negative consequence against the nation. Generally speaking, many of the illegal immigrants in the U.K. are blue-collar workers; manufacturing industries have been benefited with them as their labors cost cheaper. Therefore, if working illegal immigrants are caught and sent back to their home countries, the companies in such industries will take a hit in its business operations due to their labor losses and costs involving replacing them. Similarly, the home countries of the illegal immigrants will be indirectly affected by the campaign as well. In fact, the very unwanted illegal immigrants in the U.K. had been the benefactors to their economy in a sense that they acquired and sent foreign currencies to their families in home. Now, however, the immigrants who got kicked out from the U.K. will not only be able to bring them free money but also turn into their own problems that worsen the economy by increasing competitions in job markets.
This text was written and presented by Mr. Kyoung Ho Lee, Student at the McDonough School of Business of Georgetown University in the course on International Business (STRT-261-01) on October 21th, 2013. You can contact the author here.