We Need Workers and You Need Jobs, What Can Go Wrong?

Sharaf Rehman, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Joanna Dzionek-Kozlowska, University of Lodz

Original published version available at http://www.e-migration.ro/jims/Vol13_No1_2019/JIMS_Vol13_No1_2019_pp_21_34_REHMAN.pdf

Abstract

The search for a better life seems to be one of the earliest and most elementary desires of human beings. Those who have been looking to improve their living conditions frequently move from one place to another, which in many cases requires crossing state borders. However, if the foreign workers can meet the labor demand in the host country, market equilibrium is reached and in purely economic terms the problem is solved. In practice, the situation can be much more complicated, especially if the cultural distance between the host culture and the worldviews of the immigrants are significant. Our paper is a case study of one specific group of migrants that came to the United Kingdom: the Pakistanis that migrated to the UK in the late 1950s and early 1960s. We discuss some of the problems in their acculturation and assimilation. We also make some recommendations for avoiding such scenarios in the future and replace the older practices with “smart” immigration policy. Our paper is also a call to the policymakers to revisit the past and existing immigration and labor policies.