Sweden in 2008 experienced its highest level of immigration with most newcomers arriving from Africa and Asia. A recent report observed that immigrants from these areas are behind those born in the European Union in areas such as “eduction, the job market and living arrangements.” Satistics Sweden(SCB)s was surprised at the extent of segregation these individuals were experiencing once arrived in their new homeland. A particular problem noted Lotta Persson of SCB is “they are not eligible in the same was as other groups for upper secondary education, as they are not achieving the right grades, even though we take into account how long they have been in Sweden.” Ironically, immigrants from Africa have rather good education backgrounds but they are more often found in low skilled work.
Sweden has its own version of “white flight” as native born Swedes move from neighborhoods containing a high proportion of immigrants from Asia and Africa. Persson states bluntly: “they are definitely discriminated against in society. This discrimination may be one of the reasons for segregation as it might be m ore difficult for them to get loans to buy a house.”
Ironically, the same reasons for discrimination exist in Sweden as in America and the same consequences are also found-difficulty in securing loans to purchase a house.
At a time when most nations of the world are imposing restrictions on immigrants, Norway is reaching out to encourage refugees to seek a home on its shores. The immigration service of Norway is even publishing what some critics term a “recipe” for winning asylum in the country. Asylum seekers can obtain a higher score if they are homosexuals or if they come from Iraq and face dangers of death at the hands of militants. Immigrants are being encouraged to be part of a woman’s network either in their own land or as part of some international group.
Not only is Norway offering immigrants an opportunity to find safety in its country but government officials are reaching out to Norwegian towns and urging them to provide housing and other benefits in order to assist newcomers secure an affordable life in Norway. The Norwegian approach stands in sharp contrast to that of many other nations
Japan historically has regarded itself as a hermit nation which intends to block out foreigners from becoming an important factor in their closed society. But, a rapidly declining population, a growing percent of people who are retired, has raised new issues regarding the future of a Japan which blocks out the world. In a surprising move, 80 legislators of the Liberal Democratic Party issues a proposal to dramatically alter Japanese immigration laws by encouraging foreigners to reside in their nation. “There is no effective cure to save Japan from a population crisis,” says their proposal. “In order for Japan to survive, it must open its doors as an international state to the world and shift toward establishing an ‘immigrant nation’ by accepting immigrants and revitalizing Japan.”
Japan currently has about 2.8 million foreigners residing in the country but only 837,000 are considered permanent residents. The lawmakers want to increase the ratio of immigrants so by 2050 they would constitute 10% of the population. They are proposing that any foreigner who resides in Japan for 10 years should be granted citizenship.
The increased life expectancy in Japan which is now over 80 years, and the decline in birth rate means there are fewer people working to maintain the lives of elderly people in a proper manner. The only hope is immigration which also would stimulate Japanese thinking and innovation.
The last Italian election witnessed a dramatic victory for those who want to get rid of immigrants who they claim are the cause of crime in the nation. The coalition government of Silvio Berlusconi promised to crackdown on immigrants and supposedly replace them with good Italian workers. Unfortunately, after the rhetoric, the nation awoke to the reality that immigrants constitute an important component of the workforce. It appears the hundreds of thousands of those “unwanted immigrants” clean Italian middle class houses, they pick up the garbage and care for children while mom and pop are out making money to afford a nice lifestyle. It is estimated in Rome alone, about 100,000 foreigners care for the old and disabled and are most probably in Italy without proper credentials.
It is estimated there are about 3.5 million immigrants in a nation of 58 million people. The largest contingent of immigrants are Romanians and they tend to be the target of most anger because it is alleged Romas are responsible for crime even though there are no accurate records as to the percent of crime caused by this group of immigrants.
The new coalition is now toning down its record as they realize it is easy to shout during an election to rid the nation of immigrants but difficult to carry out the threat when there are not enough native born Italians to pick up the work slack. Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, who probably shouted the loudest in denouncing immigrants, is now saying they will only jail newcomers and leave alone those already in Italy.