Immigration and Sustainable Development

Population and National Security by Jennifer Sciubba, Carolyn Lamere, and Geoffrey Dabelko broke down the concept of national security and its relation to the population size of a nation-state. The authors describe the history of public policies and the evolution of the rhetoric constructing national security, throughout which population has played a critical role in the development of society and international relations. The negative effects from climate change are an external factor of stress on each nation that directly conflicts with the rise in population. Each country now faces the challenge of maintaining their state’s population to a sustainable limit while supporting their international responsibilities as well as their growing economy.

The way a country handles immigration fluctuates and differs by country depending on the values of the people living in that country at the time. The reason it is highly political in each country is because an immigration policy reflects a certain view on the value of human lives, and even within on country, each citizen does not hold the same views on the role a host country must play for immigrants, particularly refugees. For a country as large and powerful as the United States, the weight of taking in immigrants from another nation would not be a burden so strong as to hurt our economy beyond repair.

The ethics that are being challenged with immigration policies are on the values of human life outside of your own country of origin. In my personal opinion, I do not think that we should, as Americans, be restricting the number of immigrants based on their country of origin, religion, or economic background. The threat we have to face is our own growing population. The question we have to answer is do we risk the lives of those already living by not accepting them into our country or do limit the rights of our citizens on the amount of children they are allowed to have to a sustainable level (according to our resources).

The thesis of the chapter, Environmental Security and Sustainable Development by Bishnu Raj Upreti, states that sustainable development needs to be pushed through governmental policies in order to establish an environmentally focused infrastructure in every nation. This compliments the previous chapter in that our current lifestyles, particularly added with the increase of population, will not be able to support the people in a sustainable way. What I believe we should be doing is changing our public infrastructure (making it less dependent on carbon emitting energy processes) and our lifestyles (i.e. the food we eat and the amount of water we consume) to be able to support our population based on our slowly depleting natural resources.

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