The United States of America is a multinational country. This fact is undisputable. The initial population of the U.S. arrived there hundreds years ago from different countries to start a new life. The culture of the United States is the composition of various cultures, habits and mentalities. The U.S. is one of the richest countries in the world possessing the best army and the most sophisticated technologies than any other country. The population has recently reached 300,000 million people that made U.S. the third most populated country in the world. Only China and India are ahead of the U.S.
Such a growth of population is provided with not only the demographic policy of the government. The immigrants make a substantial contribution to this process. The continuous flow of legal and illegal immigrants creates certain issues even for such a powerful and economically developed country as America. It was the reason and still is of continuous immigration from different less developed countries. Mainly, immigrants arrive from Latin America countries like Mexico, Brazil and others. China, India and some other countries of the Eastern world are also in the list of immigrants’ major suppliers for the United States.
The paper explores the issues connected with Latin America immigration. It discovers the history of immigration to the United States from the very beginning of the immigration process. Historical events and important documents are shown in this paper for a better understanding of the subject. Contemporary issues were explored to reflect the current situation in the American society and to understand the attitude and relations between the Americans and immigrants in the cultural and economic area. The economic issues caused by legal and illegal immigration to the United States are presented to show how immigration affects the job market and the overall losses of economy.
The Great Depression of the 1930’s changed the situation drastically and another situation occurred when more people left America for good, rather than immigrated to it. However, the situation normalized in time. In 1965, the Immigration and Nationality Act removed the system of national-origin quotas. Such policy of equalization resulted in the new waves of immigration to the U.S. The ethnic situation within the United States changed. In 1970, European-born immigrants were near 60% of foreign-born population, but in 2000 this number was only 15%. In 1990, Immigration Act of 1990 was signed by President Bush that increased the level to 40% (Fix, 1991).
The years of immigration to the U.S. have changed the ethnic face of the population greatly (Mahler & Ugrina, 2006). Too many people moved to America looking for a better life and, especially, from Latin America. Such a situation could not be left without any reaction from other ethnical groups living in the United States. People became angry and intolerant towards the immigrants from Latin countries. The current situation is that immigrants from the South America are associated with the various threats including terrorist, crime, various potential deceases and even disintegration of the culture of American nation. Another criticism of the immigration from Latin America is connected with the potential threats as people say to make Euro-American population “a new minority,” while Latinos with Afro and Asian-Americans will establish “a new majority” (Barreiro, 2008).
The statistics showed that wage cut among low-skilled Americans is about 45% and it happens because of the immigrant low-skilled workers. Such a situation leads to the unfair competition and makes a lot of American labors lose their jobs. The immigration becomes the reason of a job loss for approximately 1,9 million American workers and the U.S. government and taxpayers lose every year over $15 billion per year for rendering assistance and welfare to these people (The American Resistance, 2010).
According to The American Resistance (2010):
The net annual cost of immigration has been estimated at between $67 and $87 billion a year. The National Academy of Sciences found that the net fiscal drain on American taxpayers is between $166 and $226 annually per native household. Even studies claiming some modest overall gain for the economy from immigration ($1 to $10 billion a year) have found that it is outweighed by the fiscal cost ($15 to $20 billion a year) to native taxpayers.
According to the latest research (The American Resistance, 2010), each year illegal immigrants in the U.S. earn $60 billion dollars. One of the biggest revenue streams for Mexico after oil sales and exports is the money sent home by legal and illegal immigrants. Economists estimate that it can help Mexico in reduction of their $18, 7 billion shortage and might reinforce peso. Immigrants that work in the U.S. send $10 billion dollars each year. Mexico annually obtains the same sum from the tourist industry.
President Barack Obama is still the highest official in the government, who takes responsibility for the situation and tries to change it for the best. This politician has made some strong promises before regarding the immigration issues and kept following their execution responsibly (Barack Obama on immigration, 2012). His position allows making changes on the highest level. Obama represented the Democratic Party while not being the President yet funded the right of the Americans to avoid immigration-related issues in the economy area. Obama, while being the elected president already, in 2008 promised to keep the pace in solving the immigration issues and kept his promise (Barack Obama on immigration, 2012). In addition, he was the initiator of trilateral agreement in order to facilitate trading in the region.
The voters, who supported Obama again (and voted against Romney), showed their support because they believed in the changes, initiated and implemented by this highest official from the Democratic Party. Taxpayers voted to keep the current program of actions on track because it was effective during the previous presidency term of Obama. However, the work in this area still needs to be improved. Immigration causes damage to the economy of the U.S. as well as the major events on the international political stage.
On August 5, 2011, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the long-term sovereign credit rating on the U.S.A. to AA+ for AAA. Such a result was expected in the governmental circles (Goldfarb, 2011). However, it substantially affected Treasury yields: “the 10-year Treasury yield closed down 24 basis points” (Treasury.gov, 2012, p. 46), and created certain tension in the global economy (Goldfarb, 2011), related to the risks connected with debts of the U.S. government. According to Goldfarb (2011), it affected regular taxpayers due to the need of the U.S. government to borrow funds and thus, the interest rates for consumers and companies would grow as well (mortgages, loans for business, credit cards, etc.) and it will affect all the interested parties (people of the U.S., basically).
The most crucial effect for the U.S. economy is the decline of level of trust to its Treasury. It has been the institution with impeccable reputation of a highly stable government facility for the past 70 years. Based on this, the creditors of the U.S. will change their policy. They will revise the rates (Goldfarb, 2011).
Despite the obvious expectations of the rapid increase of the trade volumes and the eventual growth of the economies of the countries-members, it is not so. After the careful examinations of NAFTA’s economic consequences, the Congressional Budget Office of the U.S. government came to the conclusion that “The direct effect of NAFTA on U.S.-Mexico trade is fairly small, and thus, the direct impact on the U.S. labor market is also small” (Teslik, 2009). They also concluded that gross domestic product of the U.S. has expanded rather insufficiently and that the same situation can be noticed in the economies of Canada and Mexico. However, this agreement has affected trade (specifically) substantially, which can be considered as a positive trend.
This trade agreement can be rather interesting example of trade deals for the managers in Europe and Asia due to the consequences it has shown. As it can be noticed, cancellation of trade tariffs did increase the trade indicators substantially. However, it did not affect the economies of the countries-members significantly. Therefore, this experience should be considered in the areas, such as Europe or Asia, where such trade deals are rather possible (Teslik, 2009).
It is also possible that in the long run the situation will change for the best. However, the current state of things shows that the rapid growth of the economies should not be expected and even in the mid-term perspective it might not be considerably high (Teslik, 2009).
People from very different regions are able to cooperate, learn, and work with each other regardless of the geographical location – modern means of communication provide us with such an opportunity. Most of the products produced in the world are available on all markets of the world – electronics, cars, clothes, etc. Then, globalization has led to the situation of the overall standardization in the automotive industry, for example. We can drive any car we like and be sure that spare parts can be purchased in the dealer’s office, regardless of the brand or location of the manufacturing company (Jones et al., 2008).
However, globalization has its challenges as well. Despite the overall positive influence, its influence on the culture and economy of the developing countries is rather questionable. Local manufacturers can be pushed from the local market because they cannot compete with the production of multinational corporations - price, for example, can be the determining factor (Maskin & Kremer, 2005). Therefore, globalization can literally destroy local peculiarities of conducting business and thus, influence the culture, and other regional differences.
More to say, globalization ‘standardizes’ the world and makes it look the same in every region. Regardless of the country, the same cars, the same restaurants, the same companies are present on the market (Maskin & Kremer, 2005). Aggressive globalization can even destroy the culture of the region or country by providing standard approaches, standard products, etc. Therefore, this trend should be analyzed and understood as something inevitable, but yet, possible to be changed in every particular region.
The challenges may differ from region to region as well. The U.S. is a less challenging country for multinational corporations than Russia or China, for example, due to the developed legislative system that is able to protect the companies’ interests in the variety of cases. Decades of international cooperation have made the U.S. systems and traditions more appropriate for these operations than in the above-mentioned countries. Therefore, it is possible to conclude such a concept.
In order to evaluate the diversity of society, the appropriate survey was explored and evaluated. Workplace diversity is the differences between people within a workplace that create benefits as well as difficulties in different aspects. These differences usually make any company stronger in the professional way. However, the above-mentioned difficulties created by these differences could influence the ways employees cooperate and communicate with each other at their workplaces. In order to research the subject in terms of a company, we conducted the survey and the interview for the particular group of employees. These are the best research methods for examining the effects of workplace diversity on business environment.
The goal of the survey is to find the answer to the question of how workplace diversity affects business environment. The group of employees consists of one hundred individuals. Survey is needed to see how people understand the workplace diversity. The results of this survey within a company showed that understanding of diversity at a workplace and its role in the business environment among employees is very close to the results of national survey (Capital H Group, 2009). The respondents were asked to define diversity as they see it, point out the benefits of a diverse team, and evaluate the diversity efforts of their company in order to improve them.
The results of the survey were as follows: a vast majority of employees has rather shallow understanding regarding the workplace diversity (about 60%); only about 10% named other dimensions that were the most obvious ones, like gender, race, etc.; however, about 70% of the respondents claimed that diverse team was beneficial to performance; finally, more than 60% evaluated their workplace and activities more efficient because of the team diversity; and about 50% said that they would like to have more training regarding the interpersonal communication in order to improve their efficiency as a member of diversity team (Capital H Group, 2009; Morrisey,, 2010).
The results were rather predictable and understandable. Meanwhile, survey is only a representative sampling of how people think regarding something. Deeper understanding of the workplace diversity could be achieved by interviewing employees. We chose the group of twenty employees and asked them questions regarding workplace diversity and how they saw it. Our goal was to collect the following details: feedbacks on workplace diversity; how the issues of workplace diversity affect their working environment; how to improve the employees’ working morale and performance through workplace diversity; and what the complications of workplace diversity are.
The researchers have developed a questionnaire, based on these objectives, in order to gather as wide range of answers as possible. The following questions were asked: 1. Does your workplace employ people of a diverse range? 2. Does your workplace provide diverse opportunities for all employees? 3. Does your workplace have all the necessary equipment to provide access to all areas for people of all abilities? 4. Does your workplace have appropriate procedures so employees could anonymously report regarding discrimination? 5. Does your workplace implement new recruitment procedures that encourage diversity? 6. Does your workplace motivate people to improve their interconnection skills in order to improve performance? 7. Does your workplace provide encouraging measures for all employees disregarding their differences? 8. Does your workplace have a Diversity Officer or another employee with special knowledge and of diversity and authorities to improve the effectiveness of teamwork? 9. Does your workplace guarantee promotions and pay raises for all employees? 10. Does your workplace have mechanisms and policies to manage difficulties caused by the workplace diversity (discrimination, racism, etc.)? (Morrisey,, 2010; Mitchell, 2010; Pheifer, 2010; ProfessionalPractice, 2009).
The results showed that people are aware of the diversity influence on the workplace and the efficiency of work. The interviews also provided us with information regarding the view on the problem of motivation and managing diversity difficulties from the inside. Thus, most of the employees (about 60%) gave the answers regarding the improvement of the motivation at the workplace and how to deal with complications caused by new people in departments and units. More than 30% were rather confused by the questionnaire because they did not realize the benefits and problems caused by the diversity at all. However, they proposed their points of view regarding the further motivation of employees in order to improve performance (Mitchell, 2010; ProfessionalPractice, 2009).
The rest of the respondents were very precise regarding the diversity. Some of them (4%) wished to work in the homogeneous teams in order to avoid the necessity to adapt to the situation and people, very different from them (race, age, professional skills, etc.). The other 6%, on the contrary, would like to have as much new experience as possible working in very diverse teams. They concluded that it would be an excellent experience for their personal and professional development.
The further literature research provided us with interesting information regarding the state of things about workplace diversity in different companies. As we can see from the interviews, most of the employees understand the benefits of workplace diversity for the company and ready to deal with complications, called by it. The experience of many companies supports the concept that workplace diversity is good for sales, market share, profits, recruitment, promotion, etc. Thus, McGraw-Hill Companies emphasize diverse talent management in order to find new talents all over the world. It provided the company with the substantial growth and allowed to provide better services. McDonald’s recruitment policy has changed too when they realized that older workers were better motivated, disciplined and worked harder than younger workers did (ProfessionalPractice, 2009).
There are many examples of how diversity at a workplace affects the business environment. The main idea is that only the cooperation of people with their unique features and abilities can provide maximal efficiency in any situation.
The current issues of the United States connected with Latin America immigration have a serious foundation. The American society incurs the losses not only in the area of economy but in cultural and ethnical too. More and more immigrants from all corners of the world and, especially, from Latin America due to its geographical position arrive to the U.S. with hope to improve their economic situation and stay there for good. This situation causes great misbalance in the American population. Population of European origins slowly but constantly becomes the minority. The culture of America based on the traditions taken mainly from the European cultures gains more and more Latin traits.
This situation is not normal. Only strict laws that control the immigration processes could change it for the better. Borders should be partially closed at least for a while. People, who want to visit the country, should be questioned very attentively regarding the purpose of the visit. It will help to be sure that this is not next illegal worker that will live in the U.S. illegally and some American worker might lose his job because of this immigrant. However, all these restrictions and a special attitude to the immigrants should not be expressed with violence and other inappropriate ways. American people are civilized and live in the civilized society, which means that all issues can be solved peacefully.