Illegal immigration crisis

It’s been a few weeks now, and we really need to talk about this one again. It is currently an unsolvable crisis. In a recent game, I had border controls turned up to maximum, and implenented the border wall policy, and still had this crisis. Now, the real world effectiveness of a border wall deserves its own rant in its own post, which I have already given it, and for sake of argument I’ll just pretend it would work because it is what is in the game.

A crisis which cannot be solved without causing some other problem would be good game design. A crisis which simply cannot be solves is bad game design. It leaves players frustrated, thinking they must be doing something wrong, makes some voter groups impossible to please, and breaks immersion.

Oddly enough, one thing I’ve found reduces this problem is loosening the borders trough immigration and refugee policies. Once immigration is stuck to the ceiling, nothing changes by sticking it harder to the ceiling, and opening the borders this way reduces the number of people arriving.

I urge the development team to review this crisis, as well as review both illegal immigration and legal immigration and the inputs and outputs of each of these simulations. I know you recently overhauled these, but there is no way you could possibly think that the current state is an acceptable finished product. This is a draft at best.


I completely agree with you, the Immigration problem is not solved yet. I would also add that immigration really lacks any positive effects. And so, if you’re not doing a liberal/ethnic minorities type of playthrough, you have every reason to get it down to zero. Maybe that will change when “population” will increase the income of your taxes and when the ridiculous membership of ethnic minorities will be fixed.

That being said, it almost became a meta-game for me to try to get both types down to zero. And so I can say that while it’s extremely difficult, it’s not impossible to get Illegal Immigration crisis below the stop trigger. But for that, you need every single anti-immigration policy in the game, plus that mod, plus willingly triggering some negative situations just so you have less Immigration (Extreme Nationalism and Ghettos specifically).

I’m actually quite proud of it, so here’s my two Immigration screen.


Good to see the feedback on what is needed to control this. It’s interesting that even with such extreme measures you still couldn’t get immigration to zero. This is worth pointing out because national governments do have the authority to limit the number of immigrants they will allow in a year. This comes up every now and then in Canada, as far more people apply for immigration to Canada than the Canadian government will allow in. Different governing parties in different terms have used different methods to filter who gets in. I remember our Conservative party trying to filter for employable skills to use immigration to counter chronic shortages in our labour market, while our Liberal party have favored family reunification and even implemented a lottery system. These systems have had different results, but the point is that more people want to immigrate than the government will permit. Therefore, Democracy 4’s condition where I am being flooded with immigration and am incapable of stopping it does not reflect reality. Governments can and do set limits on how many immigrants they will take in in a year. If this were not the case then there probably would be no such thing as illegal immigration.


Apart from my proposition to add positive effects to Immigration, I think that a solution to get both of them under control would be for Immigration Rules to not have a -100% effect, but to set the Immigration value at 0 (I don’t know if it’s feasible in the game code right now, but I think this could be useful in a number of cases of Total Ban).
And I’d do the same thing for Border Wall at max funding for Illegal Immigration. You could imagine a wall so thick it’s impossible to penetrate it, so high it’s impossible to climb/get over it and so deep that it’s impossible to get under it, with armed guards 24/7. The designated checkpoints being the only holes in the wall (in that case, just checking passport would be enough to see if you’re legal or not).

Ugh, I knew this was going to turn into a conversation about the efficacy of walls. History is full of failed great wall projects. When Marco Polo went to China he found it ruled by a Mongol, Hadrian’s wall fell when a real invasion showed up, and the Majinot line didn’t keep the Germans out. Now, in all these cases you could point to a specific weakness in the design, or event which compromised the wall and say that my criticism is unjustified, but that’s my point. There will always be a weakness, or a flaw, or an opening, or some way to bypass the wall. A wall is all the eggs in one basket.

In the most recent case of a proposed wall, being the southern border of the US, any wall built will have the same weakness as the existing barriers, fences, check points etc. on the border. The weakness is that most illegal migrants to the US do not cross the border illegally. The vast majority enter the country legally on temporary work permits, then go into hiding once their permits end. These people would be permitted through even the mightiest of walls because their actual entry was legal.

Long story short is walls straight up do not work, and this game divorces itself from reality by depicting a world where walls work.

We then need to talk about programs which supplement the work force with temporary foreign workers, but I think that deserves its own thread.

1 Like

I love the idea of legal immigration increasing tax revenue.

1 Like

All immigration should increase taxes. First, everyone ends up paying some form like sales taxes, and even still many without documentation also pay income taxes.


I really don’t know what you guys have a problem with. I never have the crisis in a late game. although i have high human development and max gdp. Maybe you should know that it is only a crisis if illegal immigration is too high. If I implement MAX Border Controls, MAX Border Wall. Implement MAX Ban Foreign Church Service and put Immigration scheme to Major Restrictions (not even open borders) it is all fine. I don’t need to close Airports, Extreme Nationalisim oder Ghettos.

Those three are more for my personal challenge to reduce Immigration as low as possible. But it’s true that you don’t need all three to lower Illegal Immigration to 0.