Immigration is a subject that many people find contentious. Some people consider immigration a threat to indigenous customs and culture, while others see it as a positive influence that could enliven a country's economy and society.
But whatever your opinion is on current immigration, current scientific research reveals that the human population has been on the move since the earliest human ancestors moved out of Africa thousands of years ago. Many people think that they come from one country or one family, but the truth is that most of us are a unique genetic amalgam of the different populations that have come and gone. And without immigration, many cities, countries, and empires would not have made their mark in the world.
The Eternal City
The real first city of immigrants is lost to time, but the first city that looked for immigrants as their founders was ancient Rome. According to legend, the ancient Romans welcomed strangers and outsiders to occupy their land. As the empire grew, Rome used immigration as a tool to control and empower their people. Anyone could apply to be a Roman citizen, as long as they were free and of Roman parentage. Slaves could aspire to citizenship, too, and social mobility in ancient Rome could be as flexible as any modern society's.
The Romans also used citizenship as an attraction to make foreign populations join the Roman Army. Most of the time, the Roman Army had more Africans, Spaniards, Greeks, Celts, and Jews than native Romans. The Legions were able to expand and conquer more lands than any other empire because of this unique composition of the Army.
The Land of the Free
Some historians say that the United States took its inspiration from ancient Rome. Many immigrants see the U.S. as a place of refuge and promise. From the time of the Mayflower to Vietnamese boat people, the country has offered new beginnings to those escaping religious persecution and political turmoil.
The country has seen waves of immigrants, and many of them have found a place in the country. These waves of immigration have given the country diversity, economic vitality, and cultural enrichment. Immigration has helped the U.S. overcome a graying population and has also helped increase the country's population even through continuous economic growth.
The Truth About Immigration
But the truth is that immigration is a double-edged sword. Immigrants can be a burden if they do not want to fit the country's culture. They could also become homeless or jobless, especially if they do not have the skills to assimilate in their country of choice. But more often than not, foreign workers often seek lawyers to help them immigrate and pursue legal means to become citizens.
But for governments and countries to see continuous growth, they need a thriving and growing population. One example of a country suffering from an economic plateau is Japan. The country did not welcome immigration in the past. But current policies are now making Japan more open to immigrants and foreign workers in a bid to address labor shortages and its graying population.
And Japan is not alone. There are more than 200 million immigrants worldwide, and the truth is that its beneficial effects are not immediate or obvious. But for many countries, immigration is the only possible solution to maintain growth.