What Accounts for Peruvian Immigration to the USA?

Any discussion of immigration to the United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand has to first begin with an understanding of the concept of push and pull.

A lot of people are thinking that the only reason why people migrate to places like the US is because of economic opportunities. In their minds, the economic hotspots here are far and away so superior to their home countries that they can’t help but be pulled from the roots, so to speak, so they can become part of this greater experience. Well, if that was the case, then most of South Korea would have migrated to the United States along with Israel, Singapore and Taiwan.

This obviously is not the case. While pull factors are important, the push has to be there. In many economically developed countries like South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, the pull of American economic opportunities in terms of high wage rates, better investment climate, varies from group to group.

Also, the push factor may not be there. It may well turn out that the American economy is white hot and ripe with all sorts of economic benefits and promises, but the home economy of would-be immigrants might have a lot to offer as well. And, with everything else being equal and with a lot of weight placed on the hassles of assimilation as well as the pull of family ties, most people choose to stay put.

Of course, this does not apply across the board. In the case of some other countries where the local economy is not very conducive to middle class lifestyles or cannot enable people to afford a middle class living, the pull factor of the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia might well prove to be near irresistible. In that context, people probably don’t even think twice. They just pack up and leave.

It’s important to look at immigration from this perspective because it’s easy to just look at the pull side of the ledger and become completely blind to the fact that there’s also a push element. If the push is not there, people will not migrate because it can be quite a traumatic experience.

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that it’s no joke to leave your family behind. It takes quite a bit of internal fortitude to leave everything, sell everything you own, so you can have the dollars you need to start all over again on the other side of the planet or thousands of miles away.

Both factors have to be there. There has to be a strong pull and a big enough push as far as local economics, political environment and other crucial factors for people to migrate.

Migration is a major life decision. It’s usually not easily reversed because once people get from Point A to Point B, they start forming families and setting down roots. Pulling up roots is hard enough the first time around, can you imagine doing it on a regular basis? Keep these factors in mind when thinking about Peruvian immigration to the USA.

In Peru, there is an economic push because there is only so much space in the economy for the middle class. And as a result, people who have the education or who want a better life for themselves and have the means to buy a plane ticket choose to migrate because the push is there along with the pull. In other countries, this might not necessarily be the case.