Immigration


BORDER, US-MEXICO

The Peculiar Tale of How Immigration Became Illegal by Sara Campos. A Book Review of Savava Chomsky's new book, Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal. Alternet, June 12, 2014. A new book examines current immigration policy through a historical lens and with an eye toward improving immigrant rights. "argues that illegal status is an invented and convenient concept, a strategy designed to provide cheap labor. She argues that with the abolition of slavery, the United States needed a source of cheap labor. After the Jim Crow era, overt discrimination on the basis of race was challenged and became less acceptable. Over time, immigration status took its place. In the same period, work became redefined as a privilege that people without legal immigration status were barred from performing. Since undocumented people nevertheless work, the legal impairment surrounding their labor renders them vulnerable and exploitable."

6 Habits of Highly Empathic People


"We suspect you won't be hearing much about historical and economic forces that drive migration. Or the truly Byzantine aspects of our truly Byzantine law... the law "allocates the same number of green cards per year for Mexico as it does for every other country, from the smallest to the largest, from Liechtenstein to China: 25,620"

"In other words, if a US citizen petitions for a green card for her sister in Mexico, she has a 40-year wait" ("Ah-ha!" Texas Observer, June 30, 2006: 3).


This Will Change How You See Immigration by Jim Wallace... a 45-minute video made to convince Christians to reconsider the immigration issue. 5/30/2014


"Consider two points often made in debates about refugees and immigrants. Writers and politicians, in this country and in Western Europe, have long complained that immigrants and refugees do not conform to the rules and norms of liberal democracy. Arabs and Africans, we are often informed, do not accept the rights of women; Muslims are more loyal to their religion than to the state (something said of Europe's Jews not so long ago); immigrants carry, along with their luggage and food, the conflicts and violence of their countries of origin to their new homes. Since 9/11 writers and politicians have grown increasingly apprehensive about the security threat posed by Muslims and Arabs. Worried about insufficient assimilation and potential terrorism, many commentators now believe that Western countries need to reconsider their open immigration policies...

"What is it about immigrants and refugees that frees us from the stricture against guilt by association and the duty to treat individuals as individuals?" (Corey Robin. "Strangers in the Land." The Nation, April 10, 2006: 28-33).


"Ayaan Hirsi Ali... In 2002, while still working as a researcher for the then conventionally multiculturalist Dutch Labour party, she publicly described the Prophet as a pervert (for taking a child as one of his wives) and as a tyrant. She took over where the eccentric populist Pim Fortuyn had left off, arguing that Islam was a backward religion, that it subordinated women and stifled art...

"It was towards the end of last year, however, that she became the source of a national crisis in the Netherlands. An 11-minute film, written by Hirsi Ali and directed by Van Gogh, was broadcast on television. It featured the stories of four woemn pleading with God for release from domestic, social and marital bondage. What many Muslims found intolerable were the images of naked female bodiees, on which had been painted verses from the Qur'an authorising the subordination of women...

"On November 2, while cycling in Amsterdam, Theo van Gogh was shot eight times by a young, bearded man wearing a long jellaba...

"In the aftermath of the murder, the already fraught issues of Dutch multiculturalism, and of community relations with the country's 900,000-strong Muslim population, became incendiary. Mohammed Bouyeri, the man arrested for his killing, had been in many respects, a model of integration: he was of Moroccan descent, but Dutch-born and Dutch-educated, and this cast him in the role of the enemy within...

"It is possible that, as Mak puts it, the Netherlands is "a small, provincial country", unable to bear the realities of globalization, which has used a nasty murder as an excuse to conflate issues of Islam, immigration and security. But the country's problems are far from imaginary. Van Gogh and Hirsi Ali are not the only public figures to have been targeted with death threats. Amsterdam's Jewish mayor, Job Cohen -- despite meticulous bridge-building with Muslim communities -- also requires bodyguards, as does his Moroccan-born deputy, Ahmed Aboutaleb.

"In many ways the Netherlands is a crucible case within Europe, because the issues surrounding immigration are so stark. For example, the economic argument deployed by both leftwing multiculturalists and free-market conservatives -- that immigration revives aging populations, provides labour resources and generates entrepreneurial activity -- simply does not apply in the Netherlands. There has been no overall economic benefit to population change since unskilled guest workers were invited to the Netherlands in the early 1970s. According to Paul Scheffer, a leading critic of multiculturalism and professor of urban sociology at Amsterdam university, up to 60% of first generation Turkish and Moroccan populations are unemployed. "It's a huge failure," he says, "everyone can see that."

"Within a generation the Netherlands has swung from blithe, open-door immigration to anxious protectionism... By 2001, 46% of the population of Amsterdam consisted of first- or second-generation immigrants. It is in the Netherlands that European multiculturalism most dramatically flourished and died...

"Add to this the fact that nearly 1 million of the Netherlands' 1.7 million immigrants are Muslim, and it is not hard to see how issues of Islam and migration have become entangled.

"Which is why Hirsi Ali's full-frontal attacks on Islam generate such acute discomfort. She argues that there is less a problem with migration in general than with its Muslim component in particular, and that she should know, because she is herself a Muslim migrant. Hopes for a moderate Islam are only meaningful, she argues, it if is possible to chip away the theological brickwork--constructed, she believes, on a foundation of femaile oppression--which permeates the structure of the religion. But Islam, she says, is unable to endure criticism or change, and is essentially at odds with European values...

Influenced by events of September 11, however, she began to publish articles arguing that Islam was not capable of integrating into a society that was itself not very good at integration. Furthermore, she concluded, if you looked into the condition of women in Muslim communities you found an intractable problem, one which liberals and multiculturalists refused to address...

""I am not against migration. It is simply pragmatic to restrict migration, while at the same time encouraging integration and fighting discrimination. I support the idea of the free movement of goods, people, money and jobs in Europe. But that will only work if universal human rights are also adopted by the newcomers. And if they are not, then you run the risk of losing what you have here, and what other people want when they come here, which is freedom"...

""We Muslims are brought up with the idea that there is just one relationship possible with God--submission. That's Islam: submission to the will of Allah. I want to bring about a different relationship, in which you say, 'Dear God, I would like to have a conversation with you.' Instead of submission, you get a relationship of dialogue. Let's just assume it's possible"" (Alexander Linklater. "Danger woman." Guardian Weekly, May 27-June 2, 2005: 17-18).


"The world's poor are forced to migrate to wherever capital takes up residence. It's a matter of finding work. In Europe, companies are anxious to recruit cheaper immigrant workers in order to cut their labor costs and remain competitive in world markets. Immigrant groups will often take menial jobs that the native population refuses to do... Europeans worry that immigrant groups will grab the few available... jobs...

"There is also the concern that immigrant cultures will strain an already overburdened welfare system...

"Lastly, native cultural communities claim that poor immigrants pose a real threat to public safety. It is true that a disproportionate number of immigrants commit crimes and end up in prison... The main reason for the high crime rate is the high unemployment rate among foreigners living in the EU countries...

"Europeans, by and large, feel inundated and overwhelmed by the immigrant crush...

"The immigration backlash portends serious consequences for the long-term well-being of Europe itself. The sad truth is that without a massive increase in non-EU immigration in the next several decades, Europe iw likely to wither and die...

"Europe's overall population is expected to fall by a startling 13 percent between 2000 and 2050... At the heart of the problem is... Europe has the lowest fertility rate of any region of the world...

"An aging population is likely to result in Europe losing its competitive edge in the world economy... By 2006, more people will be retiring from the French workforce than will be entering it...

"Fewer younger workers paying for the retirement of an increasing number of older workers...

"The only way out, short of a miraculous rise in fertility... is to open the floodgates to millions of new immigrants...

"I would suggest that the success or failure of the emergent European Dream hinges, to a great extent, on how the current generation of Europeans address the issues of fertility and immigration" (Jeremy Rifkin. The European Dream. pp. 247-257)...

"The Muslim influence is particularly challenging because Islam has traditionally viewed itself as a universal brotherhood of the faith. One's allegiance to Islam is supposed to supercede allegiances to any particular culture, place, or political institution" (261). [Muslim refuse to blend in. This is of particular concern because of their backward views on human rights.]...


"Immigrants may have to pass a French language test if they want long-term residence rights in the country, a minister said last week...

""At present there is no language requirement, and I believe one is necessary. What interests us is successful immigration--and behind language lies employment, accommodation, everything."

"Few EU states require immigrants to master their language. But in Germany applicants for permanent residence must pass a language and general culture test, and Austria and Denmark have introduced similar measures" ("Immigrants face language tests." Guardian Weekly, Aug.4, 2005: 9).


Colby Glass, MLIS