Immigration is a part of us

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

The caravan so many people have spoken about the last month or so, has arrived at the US border. A mass of several thousand immigrants, is understandably a little concerning. That’s a lot of people Americans have no idea of. Who are they? What do they want? Are they here to take our jobs and bring drugs into the country?

Then again, it’s not so concerning. Hundreds of people cross the border daily and dozens seek asylum. It’s normal and the president, government and some people are exaggerating the whole thing. First of all, deploying military personnel to the border just because there are some extra people entering the country? Ridiculous waste of recourses. Secondly, in the end, it’s not that many people. Let’s think about Europe. A few thousand immigrants isn’t anything compared to how many people crossed the Mediterranean in 2015 and 2016. Nearly a million. Sure, it brought problems but now many of those people are a part of the society.

Different cultures bring variety to everyday lives, educate us and give us an opportunity to experience the world from home. People from different backgrounds give us new ideas. They work jobs maybe not everyone wants. They start businesses. They boost the economy and support the society.

The immigrants from Latin America are talked about as “illegal”, yet they’ve done nothing wrong. It’s legal and a human right to seek asylum at a point of entry. According to the US law, refugees may present themselves at the border, no matter where, and seek asylum. The officials have to handle that accordingly. Okay, yes, Donald Trump signed the order that an individual must enter the country at a point of entry, but that goes against the law.

The United States is based on immigration. Aside from Native Americans, the citizens nowadays are offsprings of immigrants. The people who are desiring to live in the States now, are just like the immigrants a few centuries ago. They want a better life. By telling those people they aren’t allowed here, you’re not only being ignorant of them, you’re also being ignorant of your history and heritage.

Submitted: November 23, 2018

© Copyright 2021 helmu. All rights reserved.

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Well, the US-Mexican immigrations issue is one full of ironies.

In the 19th century it were Americans who settled in Texas in the hundreds, to the point where Mexico sent their troops against Fort Alamo in order to stop American immigrants from taking full control over the region. Something they did, in the end, with the full support of the US army.

So, Nihil Novi Sub Sole, as the ancient Romans would say. And they were experts at creating multicultural societies.

However, the comparison with the Roman Empire calls for a further reflection about the fact that our modern societies are different from ancient empires. Modern Western countries were built around ethnocentric ideological cores. And this is why some find odd or even "outrageous" a black man can call himself "French" or "German" or "Finnish" Even the United States were born out of the idea "truer" Americans were "Wasps" (White, American, Protestant). It takes time to change that, especially since human nature is far slower than technology.

However, history teaches us human conflicts often hide a fight for resources, and in our neoliberal world the scarcest of resources is now work and income. We are told we need to "compete, competete, compete and be competitive", yet if you fall it's "your fault and there's not alternative." This is what happened to many Americans who voted for Trump: they are the losers of the Neoliberal galore, and since the Left is no longer an alternative to fight for their rights (because with the fall of the USSR the Left, ironically, allied themselves with Neoliberal policies once promoted by Thatcherism and Reaganism) and to bring the fight to those who caused their social fall, now they turn to the far right.

And once automation truly kicks in this competition will get harsher and harsher, and xenophobes will also get another arrow in the quiver since they will claim "We no longer need migrants, we have robots." Japan, a country that invented the "Sakoku" policy, is already doing that.

Sat, November 24th, 2018 11:15am


I don't find it outrageous if a black person calls him/herself Finnish. I mean, lots of black people have European citizenship. I have a lot of friends who do. But you have a point though, this issue on the border, is a waste of money and just a boost for Trump.

Sat, November 24th, 2018 9:06am


And indeed it isn't an outrage, but I can assure you there are people who think it is.

The thing is, the Left has often adopted a bit too idealistic a view about immigration, or in the worse case scenario a - carpetbagger - one, meaning they let people in to get more votes. It happened, for example in my country. It isn't enough to put people of different cultural sensibilities in the same box and expect to have love at first sight between them. Not to mention the fact that multiculturalism can be an enrichment, yet it can also spark conflict. Here in Europe we had a pretty clear example of this: Jugoslavia. And today "white" people fear becoming a minority in their own countries, jist like the Serbs in the 1990s, or Hindu and Muslims after the partition of India. And fear brings to hate, as Yoda wisely said.

The Right too tolerated diversity as long as it was a promise of cheap labour, and then they expected migrants would magically go back to "their country", ignoring the fact many people have been born and raised in the same country.

It is imperative we find some kind of greater common human narrative to unite humans in our globalized age. We need a Khala effect, not a domino effect.

And that cannot be found in the old ideologies nor cultures nor religions.

Sat, November 24th, 2018 5:56pm


Where are you from? And the Jugoslavia thing is true, good point.

Sat, November 24th, 2018 10:38am

Bert Broomberg

The way things are developing on a global scale, a new wave of mass migration is just beginning. Unfortunately, there is not a single country that has an adequate approach to it. It will be trial and error, and it will cause a lot of misery, both among migrants and indigenous people. Anyone who claims he/she has the perfect solution for it is talking rubbish. We can only hope to learn from the mistakes we are going to make.

Wed, June 5th, 2019 9:00pm

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