The Burden of Illegal Immigration
March 1st, 2013, YouGov

The Burden of Illegal Immigration

Illegal immigration is a global issue which has social, economic and security implications. Recently the UAE granted its fourth amnesty where illegal residents could leave the country voluntarily without prosecution. Unsurprisingly thousands of illegal residents took advantage of the two month grace period. We asked lab participants what their views are regarding the impact of illegal immigration in their country of residence.

The majority of our Lab participants reported that illegal immigrants are present in their country of residence. When asking Lab participants how they think illegal immigrants impact their country of residence this is what we found:

"I think they are exploited because it is cheap labor. Legally they have no rights so they are left with horrible living conditions and deprived from our God given right of freedom. The illegal female population often resorts to prostitution to be able to pay for basic necessities, which in turn can spread diseases. The illegal male population I find harasses women in the street and make it unsafe. I think the illegal immigrants bring down the reputation of my country of residence” Anon

"They add to country's unemployment and increase the poverty scale” M. Mansoor uz Zaman, Pakistan

"They form a large part of the population and are a strain on the resources namely food, shelter, economy etc. unless they are actively contributing their bit to the country” Anon

Similarly the majority believe illegal immigrants have resulted in an increase in crime rates and do not have a positive impact on their country of residence. When asked to elaborate further, this is what lab participants had to say:

"They are burden on our economy and threat to our security” Shamsi, Pakistan

"The rate of unemployment between locals is increasing” Anon

"Our country is suffering from lots of other problem like increases in population growth and limited resources. I don’t think illegal immigration creates any positive effect on our economy - in fact it creates lot of other issues” Anon

Interestingly, just over a third of lab participants reported that they are unlikely to report an illegal immigrant if they know them personally.