of Future Immigration:
The Values at Stake
As the dawn of the twenty-first century approaches, the problems of international immigration have assumed greater salience for most high- income nations of the world, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and most West European states. The population of these nations forms only a small proportion of the world's total, about 15 percent, whereas around 85 percent of the world's population lives in one of the economically less developed nations. The contrast in per capita income between the high- income and less-developed nations is staggering. In China and India, the nations with the largest populations, per capita income is less than 10 percent of that in the United States, Germany, or Japan. 1 The large income differences between the high-income and the economically less developed nations, coupled with the much larger populations in the latter, create strong pressure for migration into the former nations from the latter. Augmenting this pressure are revolutions in transportation and communication. The revolution in transportation has greatly reduced the cost of international travel, whereas the revolution in communications, particularly the advent of television, has brought the great wealth of the rich nations into the consciousness of the poor ones. Adding fuel to this fire is the civil unrest in so many of the less- developed nations, which frequently erupts into bloody conflict between differing ethnic groups or simply between haves and have-nots. This civic conflict in turn creates a flood of people seeking status as refugees or asylees, who may flee to a neighboring nation but then often seek entry into whichever high-income nation may be willing to accept them. Others use the airlines to reach one of these nations and there make claim for political asylum. In summary, the pressure for immigration from the poor nations to the rich has reached an unprecedented level--and this pressure is exerted upon all rich nations of the world, not just the United States.
Nevertheless, among even the economically developed nations, the United States is particularly favored. It has the world's highest gross