Suggestion: More Immigration Policies

Modern politics is dominated by discussions about immigration. Are we letting in too many? Too few? Should we deport those who entered illegally, or pardon them? Do we treat them too well, or not well enough? All of these things, I think, could be very easily added as policies in Democracy 4.

Specific Policy Ideas: Immigration Enforcement Agency, Healthcare for Migrants, Immigration Quotas/Caps, Pardons for Border Crossings, Access to Social Services, Banning Foreign Channels, Refugee Camps.

Just these would be enough to let people on either side of the political spectrum to play around with creating their ideal hell for their citizens to live in. Although there could also be room for more controversial policies like segregation, or ghettos, or forced migrant housing, for those of us who want to be put on some kind of government register.


You make a good point. There was debate in the UK about whether or not migrants could work whilst an asylum’s application was processed. Some argued they should work, so they were not a drain on our economy. Others argued that they should not work, because they take away jobs and lower wages. It might be an interesting political decision.

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I too, feel that immigration needs more depth. One of the major things that is lacking is more of a breakdown of who the immigrants are. As it stands, all immigrants in the game drain health care resources, suppress wages and push up unemployment. I’m sure that if the only immigrants you were receiving were impoverished masses on unsafe migrant boats, this is exactly the impact they would have.

Now, hop over to a different side of the world, and things are very different. Speaking from the Pacific coast of Canada, migrant boats are very rare here, and many of our immigrants are affluent east Asians, not impoverished Africans or Middle Easterners. Particularly when they come from China, they are getting themselves, and their wealth out of China and away from the Communist Party. You do not want to be “newly rich” in China, you will be accused of some national security related crime, evidence will be created to make you guilty, and your wealth will be seized. Many of our Immigrants on the Pacific coast of Canada are fleeing that.

Compared to existing citizens, these immigrants are far more likely to start a small business (decent chance of it being a restaurant) and employ local citizens than to displace them out of a jobs. They are also no more likely to need health care than any other citizen, and many of them already have employable skills such as medicine. The combination of likelihoods of either starting a business or performing high skill labour means that they create a notable GDP boost, and nicely dilute the deficit. Our current feds are quite eager to push for more immigration.

Where the problems tend to come in are in the housing market and laws such as labour laws, or tenancy laws. The arrival of large numbers of wealthy immigrants has an effect of pricing the existing population out of their own housing market. The laws of “the new country” are also unfamiliar to them but further to that, the culture behind the laws and even the way the law gets applied are also foreign to them. Things like: when your female employee at the end of a pregnancy needs to go to the hospital because “it’s time”, you don’t haggle about how much more of her shift she has to work first, or if your kid drove the brand new Lambo you bought him for his birthday at 140 km/h in a school zone, $1000 won’t “make this right”…no $2000 won’t work either. <–not making either of those incidents up.

To wrap up, what impact “immigration” should have on my country, if nothing else, should probably vary by country. I get quite frustrated when I can’t get my country’s wages or unemployment in better shape “because immigration”. The “temporary foreign workers” program on the other hand…that’s a whole other rabbit hole.


The problem is that we do not want to hard-code different effects for each country, as that implies that the situation of that country cannot change in response to player actions. Maybe the players awesome economic policies bring in wealthy immigrants, or maybe their policies lead to ost of unskilled labour coming in that undercuts local workers… Ideally our model should be able to model both…
The problem is that its hard to model all possible effects without creating a simulation thats too complex to be understandable by new players.

In theory, if the economy does well, then immigration should reduce a skills shortage, but not affect wages (because they are being driven up by the lack of unemployment), and thus not be unpopular, except in a cultural sense. In the opposite setup, if unemployment is high, and poverty is rife, then immigration should be less popular. This is already modelled to an extent, but it likely needs better balancing…

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Thing is, migration also massively depends on global circumstances which you barely model at all right now. And I can entirely see how that would be a super daunting task.
Though some things, at least, could be said. For instance, climate issues are gonna cause increasing global instability which will also lead to waves of migrants, either because, due to catastrophic weather, their lands literally no longer yield any food/drink or becomes otherwise unlivable, or because conflicts and wars break out over the remaining resources and such.

And at least rough areas could perhaps give specific flavors of that. Europe is gonna face very different kinds of migration from North America or South America or the Middle East or various regions in Africa (where it would probably mostly be emigration?) or various parts of Asia.
Nations like the US are even going to be (or have been) the cause of many of these issues that affect the earth today. And that should also somehow flow into the equation I think.

This would also be one great way to really set apart even the current selection of otherwise relatively similar countires.

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Hmmmm. You make a very good point, in that climate change should definitely be pushing up immigration… At the very least I need to make a note to include this…

I think immigration tends to max out too easily. It should have a bigger effect but should also be much harder to max out. And it doesn’t really make sense for it to increase healthcare demand without also increasing tax revenue.


This issue applies to many aspects of this game. I very commonly have education maxed out before I’ve implemented every policy I intended to, leaving me in a position where increasing educations spending wouldn’t improve education in my country, I guess everybody knows everything already? I also am usually hitting my head on the GDP ceiling quite early.


I agree with the idea of climate change increasing immigration, or at least criting migrant wave events. Perhaps there could be a “Mass Migration” crisis event, which is influenced by Global Temperature(+), Foreign Aid(-), Drone Strikes Act(+), and Border Controls(-). It could be more complex than that, with more influencing factors, but yeh. A lot could be done to improve how the immigration statistic is calculated.

So those things are definitely valuable to have, but I’d say it should also be coupled with more simplistic things like what I proposed in the original post, with enactable policies specifically in regards to migration (the deportation agency, medical access of migrants, social housing for migrants, immigration quotas, etc). I think those will just give more freedom to explore different policy ideals and be quicker to code than any fundamental changes to immigration.

But I may be alone in seeking the addition of those specific policy areas, there seems to be a lot more support for the fundamental changes to the immigration code rather than my mod ideas.

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nah more policies sounds great too

Although I think one issue with the increase in policies is that it becomes ever harder, particularly late game, to spot specific policies on the main screen. Search helps with that but I suspect it will eventually become necessary to restructure or offer alternate ways of how policies are being displayed.

That’s of course a completely separate issue though, and applies to literally every suggestion for new policies. Which there are plenty of ideas for across the forum

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