Tag Archives: immigration

Must President Calderon Produce Papers?

There is growing concern whether Mexican President Calderon will be compelled to show his birth certificate in order to have his plane land in Arizona. After all, we just can not make exceptions for those illegal immigrants who take jobs away from God-fearing Americans. To make matters worse, this illegal Mexican has the nerve to insult our wonderful Arizona police who simply want to stop and search anyone who looks sort of dark skinned. According to the wetback from Mexico, “criminalizing immigration, which is an economic and social phenomenon, this way, opens the door to hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement.” There are reports the Mexican government is issuing warning to its citizens to avoid Arizona due to its “adverse political atmosphere.”

I get tanned in the summer, and this most probably means if I am in Arizona I should carry around my birth certificate. As a loyal Tea Party idiot, I expect the Arizona legislature to pass laws requiring the president of the United States to produce a birth certificate before he can enter our hallowed state. Let one escapee from Africa into Arizona, and there is no telling how many of “those people” will follow behind.

Immigrants And Multiculturalism In Finland

Among the remarkable examples of modern life is the increasing number of immigrants into Finland who come from all parts of the world. The northern nation is no longer a land of tall, blue eyed and golden hair folk, but a modern Finn comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Stubb, welcomes changes but fears it has also aroused an opposition that “reeks of racism, nationalism, populism and xenophobia.” He defends allowing refugees to obtain asylum which he believes is ethically right. Stubb denounces those who argue immigrants are living off welfare payments since data does not support that contention. Ironically, a problem is the openness that Finland offers to those seeking asylum.

Many Finns are upset because so many immigrants come from European Union nations such as Bulgaria or Rumania which hardly qualify for anyone claiming they fear returning to violence. However, those nations still retain many who discriminate against minorities in their nation such as the Romas.

Japan Struggles With Immigration

The current economic crisis is creating new problems with Japan since their aging population has required allowing thousands of immigrants to enter and take jobs not sought by native Japanese. However, massive layoffs are mainly impacting these foreign workers and already thousands are heading back home. Their children have limited opportunity to secure a university education and they are not covered by medical insurance. Susumu Ishihara, president of the Japan Immigration Agency, points out that once the economic crisis ends, Japan once again will be required to rely on the work of immigrants in many sectors of society. In 2007, Japan was home to 2.15 million foreigners which represents nearly twice as many as were in the country in 1990.

At some point, the Japanese population has to recognize they need immigrants to deal with so many work needs that native born people do not wish to do. There is need to assure immigrants their children will have access to education including intensive language training, that their families will be covered by medical insurance and they will not be compelled to leave the country everytime there is an economic downturn. As the Japanese population ages, a younger immigrant population will have to emerge.

German Language Test Scares Immigrants

The number of immigrants who are becoming citizens of Germany has dropped by fifteen percent since the introduction of a controversial language test. It is believed many feel they will not pass the test and therefore don’t even apply for citizenship. An inquiry by Parliament reveals the pattern is similar in all sections of Germany– fewer immigrants taking the test and fear that by taking it and failing it will prevent them from ever becoming a citizen. However, Maria Bohmer, the nation’s integration representative, believes the test is not the problem. She thinks Germans must develop a more welcome culture so that immigrants will feel comfortable and not so fearful of government.

There is also another view that many immigrants don’t take the test because they already have jobs and see no reason to assume any risk to their current occupation by failing a government examination. Other experts believe many Turks still dream of returning to their original home and do wish to risk abandoning Turkish citizenship for German. Germany does not allow dual citizenship except in some unusual circumstances.

Sweden Works At Integration Of Immigrants

Among the remarkable aspects of world wide immigration since the end of World War II has been the influx of thousands of people from African and Middle Eastern nations into Nordic societies. in the Swedish city of Malmo about 86% of those living in a suburb are first or second generation immigrants. As Americans quite understand the arrival of strangers from far off nations whose skin is darker than typical Swedes has resulted in a white flight. Anis, an immigrant from Bosnia, comments: “when I first got here fifteen years ago, I had Swedish neighbors. Today, there isn’t a single one left. Several who were interviewed in The Local argued the departure of native born Swedes has opened the door for a small but active group of fundamentalist Muslims to exert power in the area.

Maxine Camara, who heads Rosengard’s refugee welcome committe, laments that Islamic militants are able to obtain support since so many people are under-employed and have tales of prejudice. “A lot of young people here are out of work. Their parents don’t work, and they get their only social interaction in the Islamic millieu, which complicates integration.” Integration requires opportunity to work, to interact with people of diverse backgrounds and to become an active member of the community.

Both sides claim the other is at fault which is the norm when dealing with issues of integration of immigrants. Step one, as always, is securing meaningful work for those seeking employment and for schools that are successful with all students.

Immigration– Up Or Down- What To Do In Recession?

As the recession ripples through Canadian society, the government is examining whether or not to stabilize, reduce or increase immigration. The 1990s was the only prior experience in Canada when the immigration issue arose during a period of economic instability. In 993, unemployment rose to 11.4% even as immigration hit 256,00 people arriving. As experts review the 1990s experience they are concluding immigration, overall, had a positive impact on dealing with the recession. It appears 1990s immigrants were fairly well educated and they plunged into work by establishing new business enterprises and purchasing homes. A large number of the immigrants were from India or China or Hong Kong and they arrived with strong desires for home ownership which assisted the recovering of the housing market.

Undoubtedly, a major issue is whether immigrants will stimulate production as has been the case in the Silicon Valley in California where they have created thousands of new jobs. On the other hand, many immigrants work in occupations that native born people, despite being unemployed, do not wish to enter such as fruit picking or construction.

Go West Young Chinese!

Over 100,000 Chinese migrated to the European Union last year becoming the second largest group of foreigners entering Rumania, and the third for Britain, France and Hungary. The largest group of migrants came from the 140,000 Moroccans who entered the European Union in search of jobs. The largest supplier of migrants within the EU came from Poland where 290,000 of its citizens headed west to other nations in search of work and prosperity. Spain now ranks as the source of the largest number of immigrants entering an EU nation since 803,000 entered its borders.

Immigration into the European Union fills a major problem that is caused by low birth rates in the European Union compelling immigrants to enter their nations and do work that its citizens refuse to accept. The low birth rate eventually will witness the population decline of most EU nations resulting in an ever increasing percent of the population consisting of people from other parts of the world. The EU is becoming the United States of Europe.

Japan Needs Immigrants Urge Business Leaders

Japan historically has closed itself off from allowing immigrants to enter their nation, but as society ages and the number of young people declines there is little option other than making changes in immigration policy. The Japanese Business Federation urged their nation’s leaders to make dramatic changes in policy in order to draw upon immigrant labor in fields ranging from welfare to manufacturing, construction and agriculture. The Federation argued there was need both for unskilled workers as well as recruiting more foreigners in high skill occupations. It is now clear Japan requires an influx of both talented foreigners with skills that are vital in an information society and these people must be integrated within society by learning Japanese and making their homes in their new country.

The Japanese population which currently numbers about 128 million is expected to drop by about 30 percent to roughly 90 million in the coming fifty years. By that time there will be 1.3 persons in the 15-64 age bracket for leach person aged 65 or older compared to today’s 3.3. There is great fear in the business community about success in an aged society. There are some Japanese political leaders who urge bringing into their country about ten million over the coming decades. There is no doubt, Japan in 2050 will be a multicultural society.

Will Immigration Hopes Die In Japan?

Japan historically has been among the most negative minded nations in the world regarding allowing foreigners to enter and become citizens. Over the past few years, the government of Prime Minister Fukuda encouraged lawmakers to explore possibilities of developing a long range program of encouraging immigration. Hirohiko Nakamura, who helped draft a bill that would dramatically alter the ethnic composition of his nation by allowing foreign immigrants to enter over a fifty year time period until they constituted about 10 percent of the population said “we got this far because it was Fukuda” who was the first Japanese leader to support such ideas.

Nakamura’s report, “Proposal for a Japanese-Style Immigration Policy” argues, “the only effective treatment to save Japan from a population crisis is to accept people from abroad. For Japan to survive it needs to open its doors as an international state” and “shift toward establish an ‘immigrant nation’ by accepting immigrants and revitalizing Japan.” Most population forecasts indicate without an immigration influx, the Japanese population will undergo a dramatic drop which would leave its society with a much smaller economic base to generate new ideas.

Immigrants Welcome But Not Foreign Food!

The Norwegian economy now depends on the immigration of foreign labor from east European nations in order to harvest its crops, but Norwegian farmers are very hostile to allowing in food grown in other nations. Latest figures indicate about 70% of Norwegian farmers now rely on east European workers to handle their harvest. According to Pal Haugsbo, leader of the Norwegian Farmerss Union, commented: “That sounds like a high figure to me, but it’s no secret that we need workers from the expanded EU area.” He apparently sees no contradiction in reaching out to European sources for needed labor, but violently opposing the importation of crops from other EU nations.

At the heart of the need for foreign workers is a desire on the part of Norwegian farmers to reduce food costs so they can be competitive on the world market. “it’s access to cheap labor which allows Norwegian farms to scape by in the face of high costs, in order to compete with cheap imports, it;s obviously an advantage to employ labor that doesn’t demand high wages,” noted Mr. Haugsbo.

Norway, like most post industrial societies depends on importation of cheap labor because the existing educated work force does not wish to engage in hard physical work. We are in a new era in which societies need foreign immigrants while political leaders rant on about immigrants.