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State and national governments efforts in decreasing the number of illegal immigrants in the us

This paper examines the status of illegal immigration in Botswana and South Africa. The definition of illegal immigration is discussed. It draws extensively from similar experiences in the United States of America and other Sub-Saharan African countries.

The major hosts of illegal immigration are South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

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Primary sources are Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Huge economic disparities between Southern African states are largely responsible for illegal movements in the region. Apprehension and deportation of illegal immigrants are actively pursued in Botswana and South Africa. An effective method of border control in the past was the erection of electrified fence along parts of the South African borders.

Some immigration policies are noted and proposals are made for implementation of measures that would assist in controlling illegal immigration in southern Africa. Unlike legal residents, illegal immigrants live under desperate conditions that may have economic, social and especially psychological ramifications.

They are therefore quite illusive due especially to the social networks that protect them from legal apprehension. It is therefore not surprising that the motives of such migrants are frequently viewed with suspicion. Largely due to its notoriety, illegal immigration remains an area of serious concern to governments throughout the world. Its magnitude partly explains why several governments are reluctant to adopt less restrictive immigration policies. Hanson and Spilimbergo 1996 observed a correlation between decrease in real wages in Mexico and apprehension of Mexicans at the Mexico-USA border.

Though the economic gap between Mexico and the USA has declined reduced since the 1980, it still serves as state and national governments efforts in decreasing the number of illegal immigrants in the us incentive for illegal movements of Mexicans into the USA.

There are indications that increasing restriction on inflow of capital tends to push out those who become illegal immigrants in countries with favourable economic environment Bandyopadhyay and Bandyopadhyay, 1998. Southern Africa has been the most targeted region in sub-Saharan Africa due to its relatively high level of economic and social development. The most attractive countries in the region are South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

While economic factors are not the sole motivator of illegal immigration, they are the dominant ones. The increasing outflow of Zimbabwean illegal labour migrants to Botswana and South Africa is partly in response to the downturn of the Zimbabwean economy in the 1990s.

Similar conditions in Ghana contributed to large-scale illegal movements of Ghanaians to Nigeria between 1980 and 1983. Since 1994, the government of South Africa has invested considerable time, money and human resource in the preparation of an immigration policy.

It was recently adopted by parliament. Botswana, on the other hand, does not have an immigration policy. Its actions towards immigrants are guided by its Immigration Act and Constitution. They also contribute state and national governments efforts in decreasing the number of illegal immigrants in the us to economic and social development in home countries through remittances. But the opportunity cost of hosting illegal immigrants is frequently perceived by some politicians and the natives to out-weight the benefits to such countries.

Several countries throughout the world have therefore enacted laws aimed at stemming the number of immigrants living and working in their territory illegally. In a desperate move to rid Italy of illegal immigrants, an immigration law was passed in 1998 with provisions that would strictly prevent and contain illegal immigration in the country. Though the law is lenient on minors, pregnant women, women with children less than 6 months old and persecuted persons, parts of it have been criticised for violating human rights Bonetti, 1998.

On numerous occasions illegal immigrants have been used as scapegoats in matters related to national economy. By the late 1960s the government of Ghana blamed the economic turn of events as well as criminal activities on the immigrant population in the country Adepoju, 1995; Makinwa-Adebusoye, 1995.

In desperation, the Aliens Compliance Order was legislated in 1969. It gave all illegal immigrants in the country only two weeks to legalize their status or leave the country. The next Sub-Saharan African country to receive world-wide denunciation for ill-treatment of illegal immigrants is Nigeria. The astronomical rise in its GNI from 3. As in the case of Ghana, Nigeria attracted a massive influx of illegal immigrants due to its buoyant oil-based economy in the 1970s when demand for skilled labour exceeded its supply.

When the demand for oil dropped in the 1980s it caused a fall in global oil prices. Nigeria subsequently experienced an economic recession in 1982 and the government identified illegal immigrants as perpetrators of all that was responsible for price inflation and increasing unemployment among Nigerian citizens.

In January 1983 an expulsion order of illegal immigrants from Nigeria was implemented. Due to the subsequent return of many previous illegal immigrants to the country as well as the fact that several others were given protection within the country, a second Act on expulsion of illegal immigrants was implemented in 1985. It is estimated that a total of 1. Again, the distance factor was partly responsible for Ghanaians comprising the majority of the deportees.

But additionally, and equally important, is the massive economic depression that Ghana experienced during the late 1970s and early 1980s. This has implications for future discussions because illegal immigration seems to thrive most when two countries with widely disparate economies exist close to each other. Defining Illegal Immigration The meaning and implication of illegal immigration needs clarifying. In effect, illegal immigration constitutes a criminal offence for which, if apprehended, could carry the full penalty of the Immigration Act.

Not surprisingly, in countries where criminal behaviour is dealt with very seriously, persons accused of attempting or making an illegal entry may be treated harshly.

Students, previously employed persons whose work and residence permits have expired, tourists, refugees and visiting family members do constitute sources of illegal immigration. Still, there are illegal immigrants who may be justifiably so for short periods. Asylum-seekers and refugees may stay temporarily under conditions associated with illegal immigration while awaiting decisions on their applications for legal residence in a country. But these should not be seen to be illegal immigrants because the government would have acknowledged their presence in the country from their application forms.

Although goods imported into these countries would normally be taxed, the governments have not yet made provision to award immigrants permits to engage in petty trading. As a result, a substantial proportion of migrant street hawkers operate illegally. Immediately after payment of the fine, the perpetrators were apparently free to return to their abode in Botswana because their migrant status was not investigated. Data Availability Partly due to the irregular nature of illegal immigration, it is extremely difficult to mobilize accurate data on the subject.

In Botswana, it is difficult to obtain information concerning the number of apprehensions and deportations. Indeed, there is no available estimate of the volume of illegal immigrants to Botswana and Namibia. There is hardly any estimate of the state and national governments efforts in decreasing the number of illegal immigrants in the us of illegal immigrants in South Africa for the years preceding 1990. As is the case throughout the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, much of the discussions on illegal immigration in South Africa are speculative.

The reliability of illegal immigration data is contestable because available statistics cover only those who were apprehended. From the study of Lesotho by Mcdonald et al.

This indeed reflects a reasonably high proportion of people who are at risk of being illegal immigrants in South Africa. It is estimated that the number of State and national governments efforts in decreasing the number of illegal immigrants in the us living illegally in the USA was 5. While South Africa is the only country in the region where statistics exist on volume of illegal immigrants, the information is crude and may at best be treated as guestimates.

In 1999 the South State and national governments efforts in decreasing the number of illegal immigrants in the us Broadcasting Corporation SABC reported that out of about 48,000 foreigners who applied for refugee status between 1994 and 1998, only 8,000 were genuine cases. From this exercise alone, South Africa may have had about 40,000 illegal immigrants. Current estimates of illegal immigrants in South Africa range from 2. With the exclusion of South Africa, the total population of Sub-Saharan Africa from which illegal migrations into South Africa occur is 466 million.

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Between 1994 and 2000, about 600,000 people were deported from South Africa Crush, 2001. In 2003 Botswana deported 26,717 Zimbabweans from the country Packard, 2003. These statistics indicate that a substantial proportion of non-citizens in South Africa and Botswana live there illegally. In view of the foregoing, should the academia ignore studies on illegal migration? No, because every additional information about methods, behaviour and effects assist to improve understanding of the dynamics of this phenomenon.

Government officials, the press and individual South Africans have voiced opinions reflecting intolerance of illegal immigrants in the country Danso and McDonald, 2000; Crush 2001. Since 1994, when the first democratic elections were held in South Africa, several measures have been taken by the government to protect its economy and society from migrant invasion from especially northern countries.

The Aliens Control Amendment Act ACAA that was adopted by the new government in 1995 primarily to control illegal immigration is generally acknowledged as an inheritance from the apartheid era. This has contributed largely to its unpopularity. These documents reflect the seriousness with which the South African government is striving towards implementing a humane and fair immigration policy.

Before 1990 there was hardly much concern about illegal immigration in South Africa. This may be partly explained by the myth and reality about the Apartheid government that was in place then. While its immigration policy seemed friendly towards whites, it was definitely hostile towards blacks. Perceived fear of the harsh treatment meted out to blacks who flouted civil or criminal laws in South Africa by racist immigration officers may have served to deter illegal border movement.

Indeed, South Africa has a remarkable history of legal migration from as early as the late 19th century by contracting international labour migrants Taylor, 1990. Still, in the years preceding 1990, there would have been considerable labour migrants living in the country illegally. Although most African governments overtly shunned economic relations with South Africa before 1990, its products were imported and sold even in State and national governments efforts in decreasing the number of illegal immigrants in the us Africa then.

In effect, the political and social costs of state and national governments efforts in decreasing the number of illegal immigrants in the us in South Africa before 1990 did not affect its economic attraction equally among labour migrants in Sub-Saharan Africa. Uncontrolled illegal immigration has serious implications for the status of the economy. While the direct costs continue to increase, the optimum state of the opportunity costs would occur if the immigrant gets apprehended at the border.

Trump is making inroads in reducing legal immigration

This is especially true as a rational person would have provided adequately for all or most costs, including time cost, associated with perceived apprehension measures. Naturally, such information would have derived directly or otherwise from previously apprehended illegal immigrants. But such costs are never eliminated until a change from illegal to legal residence status is attained.

As the study by McDonald et al. It may be surmised therefore that a desire for at least temporary legal residence status in South Africa exist in every illegal immigrant and every possible effort, legal or illegal, may be made to attain that goal.

Largely due to its economy, Botswana has had to contend with some degree of illegal labour immigration. In 1998, 18 illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe, whose planned destination was South Africa, were discovered dead in Botswana.

This incident made headlines in the Botswana news media largely because the bodies were discovered on the Botswana side of the Botswana-South Africa border. There are indications that similar events have previously led to apprehension of about 88 illegal immigrants and truck drivers in Botswana.