Thursday, October 06, 2022

Undocumented Immigration and Threat To the Economy: The Need for State Action

By EMN Updated: Aug 03, 2018 9:51 pm

By Philip Nyam

The fear of exodus of undocumented immigrants’aftermath the National Register of Citizens in Assam has alarmed across the North East.Several states have stepped up security at inter-state borders with Assam checking the influx of undocumented immigrants. At least at this juncture and on this issue, Nagas should once and for all do away with the aggressive divisive culture of tribalism, regionalism, groupism, factionalism and ideological differences and come together with pragmatic frameworks and actions to address this impending menace. The clock has already ticked and so we should swiftly make a strategic way forward to stop the flocking of the undocumented immigrants into our land because the threats of their presence is a gigantic peril to the economy, security, development, religion, politics and social life of the Nagas.

The chances of adverse effects on our economy through the influx of undocumented immigrants is crucial. Naga society is at the point when there is about to be a shift in the distributive systems in various forms of social life and development. It is supported by the fact that the presence of non-indigenous peoplein the state have vast implications for the organization of business, the economy, the roles which they are able to play in the society and to the polity. These structural changes are bound to have a profound effect primarily in the content of our economy. The immigrants’ imperialism and their market hegemony would overshadow the local economy and development and soon make us dependent on them. The basic assumption is that these people may develop a “dependency model” for the Nagas and may change the economic power structure of our society. Its effect will be invisible but bring a slow death to the Nagas.

Not relating to the influx of undocumented immigrants in the Western and European countries, the immigrants that we fear of will mostly be unqualified for the Government jobs (which the Nagas are much after) or jobs that require strong communication skills. But those immigrants are much likely to take jobs in agriculture, constructions, markets and other entrepreneur opportunity. The theory is that when there are more undocumented immigrants in the state, there will be more people looking for employment. They can ingeniously lower wages and drive out the locals who always demands an exorbitant rate in almost every capacities. For their survival, they would be desperate for any works andsimultaneously prepare to accept poor wage. When immigrants lower the wages for their works, our people will recognize these profits as a way of new revenue and would choose those immigrants rather than the locals. Nagas easily get melt by the word “dada” sowould even go to the extent of accommodating them at home.

We are aware that those immigrants whose eyes are on our stateare adaptable to any given situations. They have no problem sleeping besides the drainage as long as there is a space. Literally they would go to the extent of cleaning our feces addressing Sir/Madam to every individual in our household and we would become a prey and emotionally carried away by their wily talks. Another aspect is, in the long run, the immigrant women are also more likely to have children. In 2014, immigrant women between the ages of 15 and 44 had 44 percent more kids than American born women of the same age. The similar things can occur with us too.

We should not wait for the time to comprehend the intensity of migration only when its effects and consequences are given due attention for analytical study. If the concern authority do not strike the iron when it is hot, then very soon Nagas will be completely outnumbered by the immigrants in due course. The fact can be justified by citing the example of Tripura, the state which ought to have been empowered by the local population, have been in the hands of these immigrants for over a half century now. The indigenous population of Tripura feels that their rights have been taken away by the immigrants and live insecurely both economically and politically in their own land.

Undocumented immigration is fundamentally an issue of law violation. The lack of adequate enforcement would encourage immigration to the state. Government has to take intense critical scrutiny and remain extra vigilant while tackling such issues. Another major area for deterring undocumented immigration is local cooperation with the state. Citizens can collectively work to check the influx of undocumented immigrants in their respective locality. This can be done by conscientizing the masses about what is taking place in Assam and its magnitudes. Strangers with suspicious movements in the villages and towns should be interrogated by any local citizens and ask to produce valid documents. Any individual with no proper documents should be detained and report to the police or the village councils immediately (Youths can take proactive part in this). We can also systematically deny jobs including the manual works. Government officials,tribal andvillage authoritiesshould be very conscious and not take bribe for issuing of certificates or permits. In such way, the magnet that draws immigrants can be cut off.

Nagas are naturally very accommodative and hospitable. The Bible teaches us to love our neighbors but the concern is different today. Strict measures has to be taken in order to save our future from the hands of the infiltrators. Through such conscious actions, we can keep ourselves watchful to the formidable dangers which lies ahead of us.

By EMN Updated: Aug 03, 2018 9:51:25 pm