The Two Faces of Immigration
Updated: Jul 14
Immigration affects different nations at different levels according to how the country prepares and deals with its influx. The mass evacuation of the Ukrainian people persists due to the ongoing war with Russia. Ukrainian nurses migrating to Germany are aiding the nursing shortage found throughout German hospitals. The Ukrainian nurses are working under supervision to learn German and prepare for upcoming licensure exams. German hospitals are content with the outcome and hope the nurses continue serving their medical communities in the long run (DW: Made in Germany).
German immigration efforts include vetting immigrants who need to show their ability to integrate and work skillfully within the German workforce. Germany also recognized the need for skilled workers and the benefits immigration possesses when qualified refugees are integrated into the working class, which offers a pragmatic solution to their immigration influx (The Loop).
"Without immigration, the potential number of workers in Germany would decline by 40% by 2060," Economist Herbert Brücker said.
The German economy remains strong due to a strict immigration vetting process—a system which promotes qualified immigrants in a professional capacity who serve to benefit the host nation. The integration method motivates refugees to seek work in their profession, which helps fill work shortages and balance an ageing native-born population.
Across the Atlantic Ocean, the United States is experiencing an entirely different story. The immigration from Ukraine, Mexico, and Afghanistan has overwhelmed an already taxed system due to poor protocols in place dealing with mass immigration.
The influx of patients comes after President Biden's changes in policies on immigration. The U.S. Citizens Act of 2021 focuses more on legalizing the immigrants already living in the United States instead of addressing the waves of immigrants at the border. The bill allows immigrants to cross the border and remain in the country until vetted for citizenship after five years (U.S. Citizen act of 2021).
"The USCA is an ambitious attempt at the legalization of undocumented immigrants. By reinforcing the existing emphasis on family unification, however, it lacks comparable ambition in reforming the granting of visas to reward skills and therefore misses an opportunity to contribute substantially to economic growth" (American Action Forum).
President Biden's elimination of Title 42, a stricter Trump-era policy placed during the Pandemic to limit Covid-19's spread, further exacerbates the issue of mass immigration in the nation. The removal of this bill denies the United States' ability to restrict entry into the country due to health concerns resulting in a greater quantity of immigrants often seeking treatment at Emergency rooms and hospitals, overwhelming an already strained medical system. A problem worsened as the United States encounters a shortage of doctors and nurses.
Medical professional shortages will see losses of 122,000 physicians in primary and speciality care by 2032 (Definitive Healthcare). Shortages in medical professionals were indicative in 2019 and onward. This trend will not end until roughly 2034 when more medical students enter the medical field.
The United States can use lessons from other nations like Germany on how a country can fill voids within crucial professions like medicine and healthcare workers.
The promotion of a vetting process which allows and encourages immigration of individuals who can fill critical professional positions in the case of shortages would benefit the country. In this instance, it would aid in alleviating the strain on the U.S. medical system and enable immigrants to find beneficial work within their chosen professional fields, strengthening the U.S. economy.
By Alexander Fernandez, LNT Staff