U.S. Immigration

Push and pull factors!

These include...

Conflict: Push

People are forced to migrate, fleeing war or conflict to save their lives (these migrants are often known as refugees). One example is events in Ivory Coast where the conflict going on has forced more than one million people to flee during the last months.

Government: Push

People are fleeing governments who aren't ruling in the interest of their people or are treating different groups poorly for reasons of ethnicity, religion, or political opinion. For example, more than one million people have left Burma where the military government is treating different ethnic groups, or groups fighting for democracy poorly.

Religion: Push

Freedom of religion is a basic human right but some states do not accept other religions and often actively treat those with different religious beliefs poorly. Many Christians are leaving states in the Arab world or Middle East because of bad treatment because of religion, for example in Egypt, Iraq and Iran.

Job Opportunites: Pull

People, in particular young people, are leaving poorer parts of the world in search of job opportunities in the richer part of the world. For many years economic migrants have been leaving Mexico and parts of Central America in search of jobs in the US.

Family: Pull

Once an immigrant has found better economic opportunities in a country, he or she will often try to have the family reuniting with him/her.

Growing up: Push

Young people seeking better educational opportunities at the higher levels will often look towards other countries offering opportunities not available at home.

Nature: Push

Bad environment, climate change, limited access to water, bad food production are factors forcing many people to leave their countries and will be the main cause for migration in the coming decades if nothing is being done to prevent the effects of climate change. Whole islands might dissapear in increasing water levels. For example, the President of the Maldives, an Indian Ocean island, has already publicly stated that he may have to look for land elsewhere if his country "drowns".

Nature: Pull

Conversely, many people will leave for better environments where it is possible to create living conditions conducive to a better life and future. However, such moves will eventually cause further pressures on availability of good land, water and public facilities and may again lead to onwards migration.