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Immigration/Integration - politics, problems, potential solutions

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by dmc, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Because of the skewing off in the "France is Burning" thread, I've created this thread to discuss general issues on immigration, integration, problems, etc. (like the topic title says). You can certainly relate your comments to the France situation if you see a need.
     
  2. Bion Gems: 21/31
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    Way to take charge, Moderator! ;)

    Something to add to the general discussion of immigration: much of the reaction of a country to an immigrant population is class-based, pure and simple.

    For example, in the US, when someone refers to an "immigrant problem," this refers pretty much exclusively to Hispanics (tho in the past this has included Italians, the Irish, etc etc etc; it's a recurrent phenomenon). Why? Each of the demonized immigrant groups tend to be peasants: uneducated workers brought in for unskilled labor. In justifying why these immigrants should be stopped, people always reach for other cultural or religious justifications (just as even a century ago lots of people in the US argued that Catholics could never make good Americans). Thus, one can find books in the US arguing that Hispanic immigrants will never integrate, due to this or that reason (mostly, a lack of English skills, low graduation rates, etc). On a side note, I think the heavy participation of the children of Hispanic immigrants in the US armed forces deployed in Iraq has without a doubt contributed to weakening this argument.

    So, I can't fully buy the argument in Europe that immigration problems stem purely from religious/cultural grounds, as in: Europe is (historically) Christian and these problem immigrants are Muslim. The problem immigrants in the US are largely Catholic, and we've gotten way past blaming Catholicism for not fitting into the WASP-paradise that is the USA. For example, there are lots of Indian immigrants in the US, especially around where I live, and no one has ever argued afaik that a "Hindu problem" exists here. Why? Generally, the only Indians allowed to immigrate here tend to be highly educated, and they quickly make there way into the professional class of society. In fact, I've heard a number of Indians contrast their treatment in, say, the UK, which has a large population of South Asians drawn from the peasant class, from that in the US: in the US, people think South Asians must be very smart, and tend to treat them with respect, while in the UK, well, there tends to be a bit more friction. Not at all to single out the UK for racism, as Hispanics and blacks in the US often have alot of prejudice to deal with.

    So, in short, "problem immigrants" in any given country aren't defined by a particular religious or cultural or racial background, but rather for reasons of class. And as each of these countries has drawn upon these immigrants to do the kinds of work their own population doesn't want to touch, it seems to me they should expect to deal with the sort of issues that are inherent with trying to integrate an uneducated peasant population into a first world country. And it often takes more than one generation to do so...
     
  3. Fabius Maximus Gems: 19/31
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    I agree, but I would not use the word 'class'. It sounds... marxistic, somehow. ;)

    Social heritage hits the mark better, IMO.

    In Europe it's worse. Most of the people with an immigrant background were brought here to work. Officially.
    We (and them) thought they would all go home someday. Many of them couldn't, out of economic reasons. But nobody cared.
     
  4. Pac man Gems: 25/31
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    Plenty of people cared, but saying out loud that it's time for the guestworkers to return home, will get you labeled as a racist, and most people don't want to be associated with racism, even when they are in fact racists.
     
  5. Svyatoslav Gems: 12/31
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    Sorry, but I dont buy that. This is an ideological excuse so used, it has become common sense. The thruth of the matter is, though, there are many poor Eastern Europeans willing to do these lesser jobs in the West, but then your politicians would rather bring in african and muslims to do this. Why? Because it is an ideological matter, not pragmatical.
    As for skilled immigrants, well, of course it is a different matter, but it is not justifiable as well. First of all, what are they, 1% of the whole bunch? Secondly, even if they are very skillful, their coming will not add much to the host society. Why? Because these European Nations already have enough skilled people to do these same things. One or two skilled immigrants can bring benefits to a poor, uneducated and underdeveloped society, because they will make a difference, but in an educated society, they are just one more, amongst many others skilled workers. So, in the end, it is these individuals who are having benefits, not the host Nations.
    Anyway, the brain drain policy benefits none. Well, it is better that you bring in these skilled individuals from the third world than brain draining Eastern Europe, which just damage us, so I wont complain here.
    Back to the workforce part though, it is a vicious cicle really. It is the same pro-multiculturalism politicians - backed up by "intellectuals" - who enforce laws and social welfare state which ensues the aging - and numerical decline - of the Europeans, and then they come with that BS of needing foreigners to be the "workforce". It is the same with all those attempts to restrict the personal freedom of people, in the name of "preventing terrorism", when in fact, it was these same clowns prettending to be politicians, who created this terrorism problem. This is a different matter though, but I wanted to show the similarity of these vicious cicles.
    It all comes down to ideology, and the necessary excuses people make to support their ideological stand points.
    -----------------------------------------------------

    This is a different matter, but it can be discussed if you want. Regardless, do you know how many minority groups Russia has? Russia is 20% non Russian - pessimist says more - and yet there are no Race riots and the like in Russia. Of course these rioters would not last 5 minutes in Russia anyway...
    ----------------------------------------------------

    Mostly IN! It is bad that people are moving out of Russia - well, hardly Russians move out from Russia actually, as you can notice smaller Nations such as Ukraine and Poland have much bigger diasporas abroad than Russia has - but then maybe rats who abandon the ship will not be missed much, but a wave IN to Russia is just unacceptable.
    I do agree though Russia should relax it's legislation as in to allow Russians - Ukes and Belarusians as well - who wish to return to their homeland from abroad to attain this, because the way it is, there is too much burocracy and unecessary barriers; even more considering population decline... The way things are, a tatar born in Ukraine, for instance, gets citizenship the moment he is born, but a pure blooded Uke born somewhere else does not. It is pretty sick and nonsensical.
     
  6. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Would you please point out where in my posts I indicated in any way that these immigrants should come from Africa or Asia? I spoke of immigration in general so stop putting words in my mouth. To me it's all the same where the workforce come from. Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia are all good places to get immigrants from if you ask me.

    Also I don't think the government actually favors immigrants from Africa or Asia over immigrants from Eastern Europe, refugees on the other hand are another issue and it is probably a purely ideological issue since you probably don't give a damn if a war kills millions of people in Africa since it's not your problem. I however believe that if we have the reasonable capability to take these refugees then we should do so and yes that's purely an ideological issue, except perhaps that it also works as immigration at the same time making it a bit more convenient.

    I would assume that you are well aware that the Russian population is declining a lot faster than the European population.

    Centuries of imperialism, russification, genocide, relocation of populations etc. can do wonders. :rolleyes:
     
  7. NonSequitur Gems: 19/31
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    Australia is only just majority-Caucasian, and that seems set to change in the next few years. Yet for all that, and for all our history as bigots, there have not been riots or problems on this scale in recent history. That is not to say that deeply-ingrained racially-charged issues do not exist; the treatment and living conditions of indigenous Australians is a national disgrace, IMO. However, many of the race-related problems here are more about social and economic disadvantage than anything else, partly because of a societal structure which does favour particular groups over others.

    Re: immigration - contemporary Australian society is based on immigration - we have a negative birth rate, for crying out loud! We got rid of the "White Australia" policy over 50 years ago, and arguments can be made either way, but certainly, levels of general awareness and cultural sensitivity have risen, and integration has been largely successful. There are still possible problems surrounding enclaves of immigrants who do not wish to assimilate/integrate fully into Australian society, but so long as they abide by the law and are not discriminated against, violence and rioting are not an issue.

    There will always be bigots and racists - not so long ago, the One Nation party was founded principally on the platform that Asian migrants were overrunning the country (and drawing considerable support from far-north Queensland). Thankfully, most Australians rejected them for the racists they frequently were, and that party has been substantially reformed (although it's still a white conservative nationalist party). In some places, though, it's exceptionally hard to argue that multiculturalism has been a failure - and ludicrous to suggest that racial intermingling will always result in disaster.

    Too true, although you'd have to be incredibly naive or ignorant to assume that one side or perspective was free of such ideologically blinkered vision. There are strong arguments either way.

    Umm... I think you'll find it's a much more complex issue than that, Svy. Unless these same people are involved in a massive leftist conspiracy to reduce the European population, that is. Every country that was involved in WW2 is dealing with the aftermath of the baby boom now, with an aging population - it's hardly just a European issue.

    As for the last point: I don't know if anyone else can agree with me, but the absolute majority of unskilled or menial labourers I've come into contact with have been of non-Anglo descent (Anglos being the dominant group in Australia). "The Lowest of The Low" by Günther Wallraff suggests to me that it's not a uniquely Australian or Anglo experience, either. I don't have a particular message to hammer home with that point; I'm merely pointing out a gap in your reasoning, Svy.
     
  8. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    :lol:

    I'm sorry, but that is too funny.

    It's not a bad thing to have contact with "those others". Really.
     
  9. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Immigration is far different in today's world than it was. When my ancestors arrived at Ellis Island from Austria and Russia they didn't show up expecting anyone to take care of them. America wasn't a welfare state, people worked. My grandfather would go to school all day while his parents worked menial jobs. At night he would teach them what he learned and thus they learned english. They were all peasants when they arrived, now their descendents are professionals. America was considered the land of opportunity.

    Now contrast that to immigration today. There are many immigrants here now for the "gravy train". They show up without any knowledge of English. The government/charities provide them with social workers who can communicate with them in their native tongue and they quickly show them how to get onto public assistance. America isn't asking them to forget who they are, we are just asking them to merge with us and make both cultures better. My culture is a blend of Jewish, Italian, Chinese, and very recently I have been introduced to Indian and Thai.

    We are teaching our immigrants to not care about their host country and to be dependent on the government. My experience is that people are having children later in life as they want to be more financially secure before they make that big step. People on welfare know that their checks increase by the number of children they have so they do the opposite. Is this what we want as a society?

    When I was in elementary school we were taught about the colony of Jamestown. We were all taught the story about the leader saying "You don't work, you don't eat". They didn't teach that to my son, I guess it isn't a part of the curriculum anymore.

    In regards to the situation in France and in other European countries. When the immigrants showed up, they weren't put on a bus and sent to a slum. They went to where "their people" were. Why is this? Why would someone make the decision to live in a slum? If the conditions were so bad, why don't they go home? It isn't like France's unemployment problems are new. If France couldn't find work for its current population, they had no business bringing more people into the country

    The social programs the western nations have instituted have basically allowed our nations to be invaded and we haven't even noticed it. The rioting is just going to get worse as nations that are in financial trouble cut back on the aid, and by then it may be too late as your country and culture may already be gone.

    Now before people start hitting me with the racism bat, let me explain a little bit further. I will freely admit to hating freeloaders who do not take care of themselves. I also believe that their are certain cultures that are far more willing to go down that route. I have also seen and worked with many cultures that abhor it and I take great pride in them joining me in the American melting pot.
     
  10. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    /me goes and looks for my bat ;)

    Noticing the correlation isn't racist (no matter what others say, the numbers don't lie), but the next step in assuming that there is a direct cause & effect relationship would be. IMO, it's more indirect:

    Immigrants move from one country to another, and most don't have much to take with them. Having next to nothing in their new environment makes them poor, and being poor leads to low-class, which leads to...(yada some yada probably yada)...leading to a defeatist attitude about finding good work so they just stop trying. People who start off better (children of established middle or upper class families) have much less reason to give up and subsequently do better.

    The one cure for this is time; those who do not get discouraged can gradually work their way up to "established", whether it be in months, years, generations, centuries, or whatever. The only problem with this is that most take generations, so the children who are doing better are not immigrants but natural-born citizens, throwing off the "immigrant" data. It's simply a cycle. :rolling:

    Of course, certain cultures are more likely to be immigrants in certain places, but past that I can't agree on a cultural bias toward laziness without proof from one side and a grudging half-admission from within.
     
  11. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Felinoid - I'm not sure I buy that hypothesis. If it applies, it only applies now and not even one or two generations in the past. My descent is basically Russian and Polish. My ancestors came to the USA in the early 20th Century. Like TGS's story, they WORKED and worked hard. Nothing came to them on any kind of platter, let alone a silver one. Within the same generation (my grandparents), they went from poor peasants (ignorant) to solid middle class.

    This is because they worked and expected nothing. I think there is a serious problem in people's mind set these days, and it's not just immigrants. It's everyone. People don't want to work and they expect life's luxuries to be handed to them. It's absurd.
     
  12. Fabius Maximus Gems: 19/31
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    @Svyatoslav: We speak about history here. In the nineteensixties and -seventies there were very few eastern european immigrants for obvious reasons.


    Yes, but that is also history. Today, you cannot simply come to Europe or the USA and start to work, because there are fewer and fewer jobs for people without or with low education.
    IIRC the problem is much worse here than in the US, but still...
     
  13. Wordplay Gems: 29/31
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    Well, continuing from the other thread...

    Check out www.aseistakieltaytyjaliitto.fi for previous experiences about this matter, especially that relatively well known "Case Hermaja." I'll much rather try my luck abroad than submit to people that do not want to hear any opposing opinions in this matter. Goddamn patriots think they can do just about anything just because it's "your responsibility." Yeah, right...

    But do not let that overshadow the other reasons I explained in that thread, Morgoroth. Finland really is an unfriendly and cold place to live when you have better options.
     
  14. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Yeah well let's just say that that I disagree with you. I would not want to change this topic to this the eternal discussion about armed and civil service, etc since it's quite far off topic and I've had that discussion enough for a lifetime or two.

    I assume the Case Hermaja was the case about a man seeking asylum in Belgium, since that's the only case that springs to my mind right now?

    Anyway, I wish you good luck on your attempts. ;)

    EDIT: Checked the Case Hermaja and it was exactly what I recalled it to be.
     
  15. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    Svy: do you actually know any immigrants? I can assure you, they're just as easily nice people as any other. Indeed: I have numerous immigrant friends, and I'm yet to see any of them rioting :p

    (and now I have this incredibly funny image of Collette running through the streets throwing molotov cocktails - thank you :) )
     
  16. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    You are absolutely correct. The problem is that today's immigrants have no desire to see that happen. If you go up to a descendent of an immigrant from the late 1800s early 1900s and ask them what they are; you will probably get an answer like "American", Italian-American", "African-American", etc. Note the key difference is that they all think of themselves as American. Would anyone want to make a wager on if you ask the same question in France as to how many of the rioters would say they are French? I'm betting it is a small percentage, most answers would be African, Morrocon, Muslim, etc. We have the same issues now in America also, we are raising generations of immigrants that do not consider themselves American.
     
  17. Dendri Gems: 20/31
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    It's true. A good part of the immigrants here do not think of themselves as Germans, but proudly state that they are Turks or Moroccans or...
    Even prominent persons hold the notion they are both German and x at best.
    Heard it many times.

    Though some have a certain in-your-face attitude, I wouldnt even say that this is always meant to annoy, but what they genuinely think and feel. That they were born here changes little.

    What makes it more unpleasant is that few here think they belong to us (how could we given the situation), the people these immigrants descended from think of them as Germans... and they sort of sit between the chairs. Foreigners in Germany, foreign to the people they feel they belong to as well.
    Not a pleasant position to be in, living with no real identity, claimed by no one - and that is responsible for a good part of all the frictions and growing gaps, I'd wager.
     
  18. Incarnate Gems: 5/31
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    The problem that most immigrants expect to much is true and I agree that the state owns nothing to them but when the children of former immigrants who happen to be citizens with full wrights are discriminated when searching for a job then there is a problem not to mention that (at lest in France) the constitution and the law protect citizens against discrimination .
     
  19. Cúchulainn Gems: 28/31
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    Its like the saying African-American, Asian-American. However race does not come into it in Ireland, as we are simply 'Irish' no matter what race we are. The Turks and Morrocans that plan to live in Germany for the rest of their lives should be proud to say that they are 'German', especially if they were born there.
     
  20. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    @dmc:
    I suppose I should have bolded the (yada some yada probably yada); I was only pointing out a possible path that some might take. At the moment it's the path of least resistance, and people immigrating typically imagine that where they're going to will be "the land of opportunity" where it will be easier for them to make a living. Facing reality, some might get discouraged (etc.) but some won't.

    However, I also made a point of talking about the other side of that: those who either don't get discouraged or didn't have such high expectations in the first place. (See the third paragraph of my previous post.) Both of my grandfathers' fathers immigrated from Germany and worked their a$$es off to make a better life for their kids, and my family is now middle class.

    My paternal grandfather bought a small farm, and my maternal grandfather worked at a cheese factory. (Mmmm, :yum: cheese.) My father has a high-paying job as senior mechanical engineer, and my mother was a senior analyst until just recently (even without college). So it took two generations for us to hit middle class, but we're no longer immigrants since my entire immediate family was born here.

    I wouldn't go that far, Snook, but I do find it disturbing how some do not even try to learn English. I can understand if you've got a difficult accent that distorts your words, but some Mexicans don't even learn the words and instead demand that we learn their language. Since when did we become a part of Mexico? If you move here, you either learn our language or try to get a job using pantomimes. ;)

    I'm also not saying that the culture should be abandoned (I'm actually kind of proud of the Muslim women I see at school wearing those scarves on their heads), but a minor attempt to integrate and learn our culture while preserving their own is somewhat in order. Immigration is fine, but attempting cultural invasion crosses the line.

    [ November 08, 2005, 18:14: Message edited by: Felinoid ]
     
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