Politics, recent, Security, World Affairs

Anxiety About Immigration is a Global Issue

Much has been written about anti-immigrant sentiments in the West in recent years. Brexit, Trump’s election, and the moderate success of political movements hostile to immigration in countries like Italy, Germany and Sweden have provoked much admonishment of Western societies by various intellectuals and commentators, usually of leftist leanings. What has not received much attention are contemporary attitudes to immigration in countries outside the Western hemisphere. What do Nigerians, Indians, Turks and Mexicans think about migrants coming to their countries? This we don’t hear much about.

Two recent surveys on the issue provide interesting results. Pew Research queried respondents in 27 nations across six continents, asking whether they felt their countries should let in more immigrants, fewer, or about the same as they do at present. In European nations like Greece and Italy that have had huge influxes of migrants in recent years, the numbers wanting fewer or no more immigrants were high—82 and 71 percent respectively. But in several other Western countries, including some perceived as being hostile to immigration, people are more sympathetic to immigration than in other parts of the world.

The percentage of people wanting fewer or no more immigrants coming to their country was higher in South Africa (65 percent), Argentina (61 percent), Kenya (60 percent), Nigeria (50 percent), India (45 percent), and Mexico (44 percent) than it was in Australia (38 percent), the U.K. (37 percent) or the U.S. (29 percent). In all 27 countries surveyed, less than a third of respondents said their country should let in more immigrants. A 2017 Ipsos MORI survey on global “nativist” trends painted a similar picture. When asked if they thought their country would be “stronger” if it “stopped immigration” altogether, more Turks (61 percent) and Indians (45 percent) answered in the affirmative than Brits (31 percent), Australians (30 percent), Germans (37 percent) or South Africans (37 percent). On the question of whether they felt like “strangers in their own country”—another indicator of hostility towards immigration—more Turks (57 percent), South Africans (54 percent), Brazilians (46 percent) and Indians (39 percent) answered yes than Germans (38 percent), Brits (36 percent) or Australians (36 percent). Finally, when asked whether employers should “prioritize” hiring locals over immigrants, 74 percent of Turks, 64 percent of Peruvians, 62 percent of Indians and 60 percent of South Africans agreed, compared to 58 percent of Americans, 48 percent of Brits and 17 percent of Swedes.

The idea that so-called “nativism” or hostility towards immigration is confined to white Westerners is a fallacy; it is a global phenomenon that is often stronger in non-Western countries. Of course, I wouldn’t hold my breath for a spate of articles in international media on the worrying trend of “nativism” in India or condemnations of Kenyans for wanting fewer immigrants in their country. The moral outrage of many white progressives and most intellectuals of color in the West on this subject is solely reserved for white societies; if black or brown people share exactly the same sentiments that white people are being lambasted for, it will either be greeted with silence or with all sorts of justificatory rationalizations.   

Of course, these survey results do not tell us why people responded in this manner—why a majority of Kenyans and so many Nigerians want fewer or no immigrants coming to their countries. We wouldn’t conclude from these figures alone that they are xenophobes with a natural hatred for foreigners, and, for the same reason, we shouldn’t assume that all those people in the West calling for less immigration are racist.

These surveys suggest that high levels of immigration are a global concern. And this concern has sometimes spilled over into ugly behavior in countries like South Africa. In recent years, dozens of African immigrants have been killed in attacks by South African locals who want them to “pack their bags and leave” as they are “stealing” jobs and resources and engaging in “criminal activities.” Sound familiar? Are these black South Africans attacking black African migrants because they hate black people?

So why is it so difficult for us to have a reasonable discussion about immigration without descending into accusations of racism and xenophobia? One reason is because the direction of travel for most immigrants is the West. Latest UN estimates suggest the total number of international migrants—those living in a country other than their country of birth—stands at 258 million. While Asia hosts a sizeable share of that number, the majority are concentrated in the rich West: Europe, North America and Oceania—all regions where international migrants account for at least 10 percent of the populations compared to a less than 2 percent share of the populations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, the majority of immigrants tend to originate from the poorer, southern parts of the globe, with India and Mexico providing the highest numbers. This means we have more people migrating from black and brown-majority countries to white-majority countries than vice-versa. Consequently, once these white-majority populations start questioning immigration levels, many white progressives, unable to discuss any issue involving black and brown people rationally, come out with furious accusations of racism. They feel the need, or at least pretend to feel the need, to defend the “victims” of this world against evil white people standing in their way of a better life.

Most intellectuals of Asian or African heritage living in the West react in the same way to the debate about immigration, interpreting questions raised in white-majority societies as a rejection of people who look like them. Imagine how different the global discussion about immigration would be if there were as many Brits and Swedes migrating to Nigeria and Kenya as the other way round. It would be an infinitely more rational and objective discussion on the pros and cons of immigration in general as no particular race or ethnicity would be able to frame the discussion as an attack on them specifically. It would be easier—much easier—to acknowledge that anxiety about immigration is a global issue, not one confined to the West. 

As I write this, a voice in my head scoffs: It’s all very well for you to talk about rationality. You have an EU passport and can go pretty much anywhere in the world, whenever you like. It’s true that, but for the accident of birth, I could be any one of those people dying in the Mediterranean trying to get to Europe. I have no moral counter-argument to this voice in my head, just a practical one. The reality is that no rich country today can sustain an open-door immigration policy for long. In a 2017 survey of six African nations—Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Senegal and Tanzania—43–75 percent of the citizens said they would move elsewhere given the opportunity. This translates to well over 200 million people from these six countries alone who would emigrate if the opportunity arose, presumably to one of the world’s rich countries. This is the reality that Western governments cannot afford to ignore. The fact that so many Kenyans, Nigerians and South Africans would like to emigrate elsewhere but don’t want immigrants coming into their country is a testament to our universal human capacity for expecting from others what we ourselves are not ready to give.

The data from Pew Research and Ipsos MORI is incontestable: concerns about immigration are not confined to the West. It is time we started discussing global immigration in a more grown up way in the hope of coming up with a sustainable solution, rather than assuming the worst of each other and resorting to name-calling and selective moral outrage. Is it too much to hope that our common anxieties should unite us rather than divide us?

 

Remi Adekoya is a Ph.D. student researching group identity at Sheffield University. Follow him on Twitter @RemiAdekoya1. 

Featured photo by Ververidis Vasilis / Shutterstock.

155 Comments

  1. Maybe the discussion should be less a case of immigration as a problem and more a case of immigration as a symptom of a problem. People shouldn’t have to leave en masse from their homes to survive or gain hope for themselves and their children. There’s no excuse for today’s Venezuela. As long as institutions like the U.N.’s Human Rights council play politics, this will continue for at least the next two generations in poorer countries.

    • Ned Flanders says

      Define “having to leave on mass.” Life expectancy continues to climb in most of what we call the developing world. Africa’s population has doubled in the past 30 years. With a few specific exceptions, people are not migrating to the west in order to survive. They’re already doing that just fine.

      • E. Olson says

        Ned – you are correct that it is much more than about survival, but also about having enough wealth to emigrate. I’m sure that large numbers of Africans and Asians would have loved to emigrate to Europe or N. America 100 years ago, but they didn’t know what they were missing (no radio, TV, newspapers, Internet to show them), and they didn’t have enough money for boat/train tickets/border guard bribery even if they did. Now they have Smartphones that show them the wealth and fine standard of living in the West, and they have enough money to get over the oceans and borders, and helpful Soros sponsored NGOs to provide them with legal help and education on how to claim refugee status to stay. Poverty and starvation are at all time lows, so nobody is moving in order to survive, but because they want air-conditioning, big-screen TVs, flush toilets, and a luxury SUV.

          • Tedz says

            In the UK at least, the evidence for that assertion is pretty much non-existent.

        • Linda Cummings says

          You’re correct. The main folks trying to immigrate to the West are young males, and ones who can’t successfully find employment because they are either uneducated, educated and useless, or can’t get laid. Hence, they think that the West is their ideal destination because like you said, looking at YouTube videos and idolizing Instagram models on their phones, they think that the West will “hand” them opportunities. They think that they will become the next Scarface, make all that money, and then be able to shag that White girl (notice how many Muslim migrants, African migrants, and Indian migrants lust for the pinnacle White woman?). They delusional in their thinking believe that they will easily get laid in the West because White women are easy and sluts, and that they will make so much money. Truth of the matter is when they arrive here, they amount to really nothing but becoming Uber drivers, or washing dishes in a restaurant kitchen. And because they thought they could easily get laid but can’t find that eager White girl that will sleep with them, they end up joining ISIS or some ridiculous West Hating organization and then end up murdering or raping Westerners. When you bring in mass migrants, then everything in the West has to change in order to cater for the “new” folks – change in restaurant and food offerings, changes in entertainment (notice how Hollywood now only produces movies that are targeted towards a foreign audience, or that music is no longer rock n roll?). Mass migration will be the decimation of the West. Many liberal Western tourists flock to Iceland for its tourism. They also admire the Icelandic people. Now imagine if Iceland took in 20% of its population a hoard of African migrants, and the place started looking like the streets of third world Africa. Do you think these Western liberals who are open-borders will like visiting Iceland anymore? I highly doubt so.

          In summary, immigration is mostly consisting of young males (sometimes women) who can’t make it in their own country either financially, or sexually, so resort to thinking their situation will change if they move to the West. Also take notice that most of these folks want to migrate to White majority countries. They won’t migrate to say China, Hong Kong, Singapore, or Japan which are quite developed in their own regards. Indians from India, because of their absurd caste system culture, a low caste Indian can jump to a high caste if he or she makes it to the West. For Indians, it’s all about making money, or getting laid where they come here in the masses on student visas, or H-1B visas because they couldn’t make it in their own country, or they know they won’t get a prospective wife unless he makes it to America. This is the absurdity we live in.

          • Angela says

            They dont migrate to Asian countries like Japan because it’s incredibly hard to do so and they’ll stick out like a sore thumb if they’re illegal. Plus anti black racism in places like Japan is dramatically worse than in the west.

            Hell it’s not easy for a well educated white guy to become legal permanent resident in Japan even though they respect white people in general.

          • Daath says

            Some immigrants do come here without much illusions, or upon encountering the harsh reality, shrug and tell themselves that the dream was too good to be true. When immigration works, a typical pattern is the first generation working hard in low-tier jobs, maybe sending some money home, and setting their children up for success. Some of that still happens, enough for the leftists in universities to get their token minorities and assume the entire second generation is fundamentally like that. Poor dears are just blocked by racism and other unfortunate circumstances that are totally not their fault.

            The reality is that most get partially assimilated, to the worst we have to offer. They take up the lazy hedonism of our underclass, and mess around in school rather than study hard. Why should they bother, when they are taught that the society is horribly racist and victimizes them at every turn instead of giving them a chance? And of course working and studying can be boring, while drug use certainly isn’t, and thug lifestyle gets glamorized in the music they love. Parents might not approve, but what do the out of touch elderly know? Rebellion is cool.

            Meanwhile, they keep a lot of the worst from their heritage. The attitudes towards women and gays would send proud members of Western tolerantsia into stroke-inducing fury if someone like me professed them. They’re violently prickly about their “honor”. In case of Muslims, they also keep the religion as a sort of tribal identity. It’s not like they’d recognize Quran if you hit them in the face with it, regularly pray, or maintain customs (besides not eating pork and sometimes keeping Ramadan). But they know Islam is something that makes them different and better than the surrounding society of infidels, which they’re entitled to exploit.

            Eventually some of them realize how empty their lives are, but at that point they’re not equipped to compete in the society, and in any case they hate it for being oppressive. What’s left? Well, there’s Islam. Not the Islam of their parents, which is usually tied to the traditions of a distant homeland they know very little about, but the cool, edgy and “pure” militant Salafism. And then we get the talking heads in media regurgitating the boilerplate about how the terrorist wasn’t much of a Muslim, because he had a history of delinquency and drug use.

            That’s how it’s in Europe, anyway. The situation in USA doesn’t look like as bleak (mostly due to the luck of geographic location), but admittedly I don’t know as much about it.

        • Remi says

          I’d disagree there E.Olson. Poverty is not at an all-time low in many parts of the world, certainly not in Africa, most certainly not in Nigeria where I grew up and where poverty rates have actually increased in the past 2 decades despite some good GDP growth along the way. Sadly, the fruits of this growth are generally shared among the top 1-3% of the population, another 20-25% are financially OK or generally make do while the remaining 70% generally qualify as poor by any international metric available. Of course, it is true it is not the poorest who emigrate (they can’t afford it), but rather the middle-classes and lower middle-classes. However, they too are quite squeezed as living costs rise while resources are increasingly scarce (this often due to a population boom). Some still stay back, wanting to build their countries, but many get exhausted with the everyday battle just to survive and, as you suggest, are often a bit naïve in thinking the West is a virtual bed of roses where money is quite easy to make.

          • Ray B says

            Remi, the reason 3rd world nations are financially inept, is their cultural development is still stuck in the tribal phase. In this phase, the ruling classes snatch all available wealth & resources for themselves, & share it only with members of their own tribe. Western Europe exited that stage many hundreds of years ago, & moved their culture to a more egalitarian base. This same ethos established itself on other continents wherever European colonist’s outnumbered the local tribal populations, thus becoming the dominant culture.

            In a few hundred years, the rest of the world, will, if their populations work hard to break down the culture holding them back, make the same transition.

          • Rosenmops says

            Ray B. wrote:
            “the reason 3rd world nations are financially inept, is their cultural development is still stuck in the tribal phase. In this phase, the ruling classes snatch all available wealth & resources for themselves, & share it only with members of their own tribe. ”

            This is true. But there is o reason to believe 3rd world nations will spontaneously become less tribal and corrupt in 200 years. No one really knows why tribalism was replaced by the nation state in Europe. (At least in north west Europe). Some speculate it is because for hundreds of years the Pope forbade cousin marriages, You can’t really sustain tribes without cousin marriages. The Protestant Reformation probably had a lot to do with eliminating corruption, too, Certainly it is the historically Protestant countries of Europe that are least corrupt and most prosperous.

            The Catholic countries of Europe are more corrupt than the Protestant countries to this day. The Eastern Orthodox countries mostly fell to communism and are very corrupt. Communism seems to be a recipe for creating corruption. Russia is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

            https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2017

            Tribalism is probably the natural human state. Maybe it is just a fluke that it disappeared in (parts of) Europe. Maybe it will never happen again in any other part of the world (except the colonies that were populated by Europeans–they brought the non-tribal culture with them.

    • jimhaz says

      The underlying problem is unchecked capitalism now that technology allows efficient globalisation. To the ownership class, migrants are just like horses once were to productivity. We use their energy to do the hard slog. Just as Libya is now doing with African slaves or Arabic countries with their low paid and often poorly treated Asian workers.

      The west would have less existential angst if we collectively did more of the hard slog ourselves. It would also help to alleviate the dying masculinity in western culture, which would counter the overreach of the emotion based left.

      Emotionally all races are alike, thus attitudes to immigration will be alike in like situations – situations which include the use of business, political and bleeding heart propaganda by vested interests. Identity is part of the human condition and we rely on it to limit nihilism and other negative behaviours. Identity is formed via the minds relationship with a collection of overlapping group characteristics, with higher values allocated to those that offer the most positive net benefit or form the bulk of ones experience – thus family comes first, then friends, religious groups, sporting teams, political parties, state, nation, race, and finally like minds anywhere in the world.
      Regardless of where one is from anything that interferes with or harms or may harm those groupings, will be regarded as something that needs to be made impotent. If more people understood the negative sides of high constant immigration in a holistic sense, there would be much higher emphasis for low immigration.

      Other that that E Olson’s post below contains my viewpoint.

    • Remi says

      Agree it sucks big time that people have to leave en masse from their homes to survive or gain some hope for their children Joe. Personally, as someone who grew up in Nigeria, a country many emigrate from for these very reasons you mentioned, my outrage is reserved for those who have robbed the country blind since independence and rendered it to its current dysfunctional and insecure state. There is no reason why people (like me) should have to leave a country blessed with the kind of mineral and natural resources Nigeria is blessed with, nothing except atrocious leadership and outrageously ineffective governance. The fault, Brutus, is not in our stars……

      • DeplorableDude says

        Perhaps they should try getting rid of poor leadership.

    • @ Joe That appears to be a far sighted approach to the subject which means that it will most likely be ignored in favour of more short term, knee jerk ideas.

      As a far better man once said:
      “It is a matter of not inconsiderable astonishment to me that of the many millions of us who care for justice and an end to human misery, few if any are calling attention to the conditions that prevail in theocratic (or other) tyrannies, or demanding, in the first place, absolute rejection by western governments of this tyranny, wherever it may prevail (even in nominally “friendly” nations), and, concomitantly, resistance and rejection by citizens of theocratic (and secular) countries to the tyrannies that exist either in their name or the absence of their implacable resistance.
      No commentator that I have yet heard has ever held the citizens of these tyrannies accountable for the “governments” they live under, There has been much hand wringing at the absence of effective action now available to the Western powers to bring peace to these tyrannies, but no suggestion that citizens are complicit in the establishment of fascist regimes that always and inevitably morph into tyranny.

      I am aware that by their endless chicanery, opportunism and hypocrisy, western powers have signally contributed towards the destabilisation of many countries of the world, and they therefore have a lot to answer for, but even so, this does not in itself exculpate the residents, the sometime voters, the fellow travellers, and – sorry it must be said – the co-religionists of tyranny, who looked the other way when bad things were done in their name, or who indeed conspired in the doing of such bad things.

      It will be argued by the professional philanthropic classes of the West that the conditions prevailing in the many tyrannies of the world are altogether too hostile, cruel and implacable to admit of resistance. They conveniently forget the iron grip that monarchism and the Roman Catholic Church had on Europe, or other forms of tyranny that arose at various times, but which was successfully prised open by freedom loving people, to say nothing of the unendurable socio-economic conditions that ordinary people had to fight so hard and so long against to overcome. It is the heroism and the courage of such ordinary people that we all have to thank for the blessed conditions of freedom that prevail in Western Europe, it is not a consequence of good luck or privilege.”

  2. Mike van Lammeren says

    The raw numbers from Pew Research are absolutely fascinating. (See http://www.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/FT_18.12.10_MigrationViews_Topline2.pdf)

    Some tidbits:
    – People in Spain, the U.S.A., and Japan are the most welcoming, with 28%, 24%, and 23%, respectively, wishing for more immigration to their countries.
    – This is strongly contrasted by people in Hungary and Greece, who are the least welcoming, with only 2% wishing for more immigration.

    • dirk says

      @Mike: Spain, US , all countries with long tradition of import of cheap labour to do the fieldwork, harvesting etc. People that come and go back (though not all, of course, especially not any more now). Hungary and Greece have very bad experience with foreign powers and minorities, so, history here is much more important than international laws or ethics. An immigrant in Japan will never make it, whatever papers or rights he has.

    • Linda Rose says

      Spain, USA, and Japan are all tech hubs and require the cheap foreign labor to do the IT/Software work. Where corporations exists, expect to see the Bourgeoisie type wanting their cheap labor foreign workers to make their food, and work cheaply for their businesses. Then see what that mass influence of cheap foreign working class, and third world culture does to the surrounding area. Want an example? Go visit San Francisco. H-1B visas bringing in low tier Indians has decimated the area as well. You can’t even visit a normal national park or visitor’s area without seeing a pack of loud mouthed Indians and their families congregating and causing a littering mess and noise pollution with their third world tendencies.

      • @ Linda It can all be explained due to the never ending inflation that is inherent in the fractional reserve system.
        And this is what happens when it occurs here in the UK and elsewhere, including the West and the USA.

        The wage class, Labour’s traditional vote, has been destroyed and Labour (and their new urban middle class voters) don’t care.

        It’s destruction was down to two things:

        The first was the dismantling of the industrial economy and its replacement by exporting jobs to poorer European countries.

        The second was mass immigration from these poorer countries. Both of these measures are ways of driving down wages—not, please note, salaries, returns on investment, or welfare payments (these are the other three main classes). This was achieved by slashing the number of wage-paying jobs here in the UK, on the one hand, while boosting the number of people competing for them on the other. Both, in turn, were actively encouraged by government policies and, despite plenty of empty rhetoric on one or the other side of politics, both of them had, for all practical purposes, the support from the political establishment.

        All parties, despite occasional bursts of crocodile tears, have backed the offshoring of jobs to the hilt.

        Who benefited from the destruction of the wage class?

        The Left insist that the only people who benefit from those changes are the villainous 1%. Both these are evasions. It’s the salaried class who have really benefitted (shock horror).

        The only way for the salary class to maintain its lifestyle was to force down the cost of goods and services relative to the average buying power of the salary class. Because the salary class exercised (and still exercises) a degree of economic and political influence disproportionate to its size, this became, and still is, the order of the day. Our costs have been lowered and we love it. But woe betide anyone who tries to point this out and tries to show the destruction that this has caused. But it’s mainly outside of London obvs so who cares-LMFAO!

        The destruction of the wage class was only one consequence.

        The spectacular decline in quality of the whole range of manufactured goods for sale (how’s your horsemeat lasagne?) and the wholesale gutting of the national infrastructure, are other results.

        Every remedy that’s been offered to the wage class by the salary class has benefited the salary class at the expense of the wage class. E.g. the claims that people left unemployed by the disappearance of wage-paying jobs could get back on board the bandwagon of prosperity by going to university and getting job training.

        Getting job training isn’t particularly helpful if the jobs for which you’re being trained don’t exist. Many former wage earners finished university with no better job prospects than they had before, but with the burden of student debt. For the banks and unis that pushed the loans and taught the classes, though, these programs were a cash cow of impressive scale, and the people who work for banks and colleges are mostly salary class.

        There’s a further barrier, though, and that’s the response of the salary class across the board—left, right, middle, you name it—to any attempt by the wage class to bring up the issues that matter to it. On the rare occasions when this happens in the public sphere, the spokespeople of the wage class get shouted down (oh, Hi Owen Jones/Guardian commentators who despise the working/wage class) with a double helping of sneering mockery. You know you do it. “Racist”, “fascist”, “little Englander”, “white van man” etc. I’ve heard it. You’ve heard it. You’ve thought it. But our cleaner is cheap, we can get cheap builders, and our salaried jobs are not affected so what has been described above either hasn’t happened (well I’m ok so this can’t be right can it?) or we just don’t care. Well I care. And if you read all that and still don’t care…

  3. Ned Flanders says

    I think the problem is most sever here in Canada. Mass immigration is basically looked on as the entire basis for and purpose of our country. No justification is ever really given, other than “We need immigrants,” or “Immigrants make our society better.” People will end friendships over the mere suggestion that immigration levels need to decrease. It’s absolutely surreal. Getting virtually the entire population of the country to think this way mist be one of the greatest feats of brainwashing in history. I have no idea how or when the koolaid was passed out, but those that can think rationally on this topic are a rare find.

    • Some simply question why it was okay for you or your ancestors to move here for a better life, but others are denied that opportunity today. Free people should be able to live where they can make a living, though it’s clear that today, nobody actually fits the definition of being free people.

      • E. Olson says

        David – The difference that the pro-immigrant politicians of today never talk about is that there was no welfare state during the great mass emigration from Europe to N. America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They also fail to mention that not everyone got in back in those Ellis Island days – if you couldn’t pass mental and physical exams, and demonstrate an ability to support yourself, you got sent back. Two thirds of legal immigrants to the US are on welfare support, double the level for US citizens, and many of the recent caravan members openly admit they are on their way to the US to get some of those “freebies”. Same in Europe – Sweden certainly isn’t a popular destination because of the weather, but because they have extremely generous welfare programs for citizens, immigrants, and refugees. Open borders or extremely liberal immigration policies are not compatible with a welfare state.

        • Nicholas says

          “Open borders or extremely liberal immigration policies are not compatible with a welfare state.”

          Not even going to cite Milton on that one? And anyway the obvious answer is to curtail the welfare state, not immigration.

          In fact, Friedman himself says one solution to the immigration/welfare incompatibility is *illegal* immigration, whereby we get the labor supply benefits, while the undocumented workers are not eligible for the full suite of welfare benefits:

          https://reason.com/archives/2018/10/01/dear-immigration-restrictionis

          • I used to think that way, too. Until I found out illegals do receive tons of benefits. They use ITN numbers for some benefits. Our urban school system is breaking down under the burden of illegals who rarely take education seriously. Constantly staking children in and out of school with no way to track. Not to mention looking the other way on immunizations because it’s not PC to pursue that. It’s also become a public health issue no one will dare talk about.

            I had no idea what a system gaming operation it is until I took on a consulting project with state education. It’s their normal and they tend to support it. The education system is the best way to find out what is really going on if one can observe closely. Same for hospitals where they drive up the cost and our working poor have to pay because they don’t live off the grid with differing documents.

            I know of one illegal with five anchor babies, no father, who just moved here (in the South) from California because, “welfare benefits go further here”.

            One way that might be useful to see how serious illegals are is to tax remittances up to 40%.

          • Lert345 says

            Unless your country has birthright citizenship where born children are entitled to all sorts of government assistance (plus free education) that their illegal parents do not get.

          • Mike42Night says

            So accept a large population of illegals that will almost certainly not vote libertarian when they and their anchors can vote which is proven that despite Republican outreach majority of Blacks and Hispanics still vote for Democrats. Cultural compatibility, IQ, and Education should all be considered in a sensible immigration policy and open borders which means anyone at anytime can enter your nation is not a workable solution.

        • Alex Lapukhin says

          this is precisely the point that so many commentators failed to admit. mass immigration that transformed the North America predates the welfare state. in olde times immigrants could only rely on either themselves or their own community for support and ultimately survival. nowadays immigrants are coming in with an expectation of partaking in a common pool of prosperity. sharing in this cumulative prosperity generated by previous generations of citizenry is only feasible up to a point after which the overall standard of living begins to decline. the ever expanding urban ghettos of Toronto where many immigrants reside in conditions far below the standard one would expect in Canada is a living proof.

        • Chip says

          There was in fact, a massive government welfare state during the 19th Century in America.
          It was called the Homestead Act, and gave anyone a parcel of land for free.

          This was the impetus for millions of immigrants to come here.

          • “Everyone” overstates the facts. The Homestead Acts allowed lawful immigrants to file a clam as well a citizens.

            In the 1860s and until 1892, immigration was left to the states and an immigrant had to file a notice of intent to become a citizen before the immigrant could be a Homesteader.

            Filling the vacant quarter between the Pacific Coastal Range and the Mississippi River with settlers was welfare for the railroads and the government, not the settlers who had to pay a fee and actually had to move to their quarter section and make improvements on it within five years or be evicted.

          • Steve says

            The Homestead Act didn’t cost the government anything. They had land that they didn’t pay for, or paid so little that it was inconsequential. They gave it away so they could collect property taxes on it.

          • dirk says

            Where considering the Homestead Act, Chip, one can not leave out to mention also the “Indian Removal Act”, also of that time (1860s?), I wonder how much softer we have come to be, in so short a time.

          • Tome708 says

            To claim that the homestead act was welfare proves the statement “a little knowledge is dangerous”

      • Stephanie says

        @David of Kirkland, those that question why previous generations of migrants were allowed to come, but current migration must stop, should be informed that migrants used to be thrown out into the desolate hinterlands to settle the country, with little help from government and no social welfare services. In Canada, current migrants come for the health care and welfare, live in overcrowded cities (with skyrocketing terrorism) like Toronto, and have no intention whatsoever of settling the North.

        • If doK is in any doubt about the point Stephanie is making doK should read Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle (1904)”

      • Ray Andrews says

        @david of Kirkland

        Funny thing tho it is now compulsory to view past mass immigration — AKA ‘colonialism’ — as horrible, but at the same time we are told that current mass immigration is wonderful.

      • Lina Janes says

        While Europeans immigrants may speak different languages, they all share the commonality regarding Western thinking. You can’t bring a Chinese or Indian guy into a Western dominated land and expect him/her to conform to Western standards. Nope. That’s why, especially in Canada, you see Chinese and Indians forming their own segregated districts, not assimilating to Western culture, and basically developing another China or India hub within a Western colony. So much for assimilation. My immigrant friends from Hungary are more assimilated to American ways (including their American born children), than the Indian guy, whose kids, even though American born, still have their Indian culture mentality. It just doesn’t mesh with Western standards. See Aziz Ansari as an example.

      • Remi says

        ‘Some simply question why it was okay for you or your ancestors to move here for a better life, but others are denied that opportunity today.’

        Mmmm…that’s a powerful moral argument….can probably be comfortably countered with many practical arguments, but on a moral level, it’s a pretty strong one, I’d say.

      • Robert Paulson says

        @david of Kirkland

        > “Free people should be able to live where they can make a living”

        Free people should be able to form communities of voluntary association, and that community should be free to determine its membership. Without freedom of association, there is no freedom at all, for it requires some external entity, (i.e. government) to step in and force open the community and subject it to its domination in order to stop the community from “discriminating” (determining its own membership).

      • I don’t care what justifications you come up with (and I can assure that guilt has little to no effect at this point); I don’t want anymore third world immigrants in my country.

    • The explanation is economic. Funding for our public services is essentially a ponzi scheme. Most citizens don’t come close to paying enough taxes in their lifetime to make up for the cost of the services they receive, especially health care. And once they retire, they typically become net takers rather net providers when it comes to public services.

      The way we’ve traditionally dealt with this gap is passing on the costs of late-life public services to the next generation of younger taxpayers. The problem is people aren’t having 2 or 3 kids anymore and Canada’s population is ageing relentlessly.* So now the only way to keep the base of that demographic taxpayer pyramid nice and fat at the bottom is immigration.

      Basically, if we shut down immigration we would need some combination of substantially increased taxes and substantially reduced public services (especially health care) to make up for the relentlessly ageing population.

      I suppose we could blame the politicians and bureaucrats for not being up front about our dependence on an ever-replenishing population of new taxpayers. But voters tend to be dislike being told the truth about tough choices.

      * For example in the early 60s there were 9 working teachers in Canada for each retired teacher. By the 80s that ratio was 5:1. Today it’s 1.5 to 1, and given the unusually long lifespan of teachers (approaching 90), we’ll soon have as many retired teachers in Canada collecting a pension as we have working teachers paying into the pension fund. Anyone with a basic grasp of math should understand the profound economic implications of this sort of demographic sea change.

      • Stephanie says

        @Rob, raising taxes isn’t going to make people more eager to have kids. If we cut taxes and the welfare benefits that attract low-skill country-shoppers, we can get back to having high wages and single-earner households. Then people will be able to afford to have more than a kid or two.

        • Welfare benefits make up only a small fraction of public expenditures. Way, way less than most people think. This notion that immigrants cost taxpayers a lot of money is populist myth. They tend to be young, they work, and they pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits (just as most Canadians under 45 do). Meanwhile, health care and pensions for older Canadians cost way more than we want to admit. People would be shocked at the health care bill people rack up in the later years of their lives, often hundreds of thousands of dollars on the last months of life alone.

          And we aren’t going back to a society where most people start a family at 25 and have two or three kids, no matter how we jigger taxes. If we don’t want mass immigration, we have to get used to a much tougher tax regime instead of freeloading off future generations like we’ve been doing for decades.

          • Dai Anto says

            Please Rob, stop with the millennial economic angst. I bloody earned my healthcare and pension. I also paid towards the education and medical needs of the younger generation. Where were you when I got up at five in the morning to earn decent wage and pay taxes? I put my way through two degrees by hard work. The hard fact of the matter, should you actually care to examine it, is that the Canadian Pension scheme is quite healthy thank you.

            I’m not without some sympathy for the millennials despite their constant whining. Myself and friends put our way through college by working in the mines, construction, heavy manufacturing and the like. Many of these jobs are gone, not simply for student summer labour but full time wage earners.

            This is what is missed in this discussion, when, as a student, I worked along side recent immigrants they were happy for the work. Those jobs are gone now. GM Oshawa has closed, Stelco has reduced its work force by thousands. Where Canada once took low skilled immigrants is it any wonder that there are now those who quite legitimately fear for their livelihood?
            \

      • E. Olson says

        Rob – you are correct about the demographic problem with government pension and health care Ponzi schemes, but the problem with the immigrant “solution” is that the vast majority of immigrants do not have the combination of skills, education, IQ, and work ethic to be net contributors to the welfare state, and instead end up as wards of the welfare state and hastening its demise. 150 years ago, the US, Canada, and Australia desperately needed lots of unskilled labor to work the farms and factories, but those days are long gone.

        • @ E. Olson

          I’d like to see some credible data to back up that assertion. Canada accepts mostly skilled and educated immigrants. They have low rates of unemployment. And second-generation immigrants have just as high rates of post-secondary education as their old-stock peers.

          I work at a tech company – a global leader in its sector. My colleagues are all engineers and software developers with highly-sought after skills. They earn a high salary and pay high taxes. Almost half are first or second-generation immigrants.

          • Stephanie says

            @Rob, yes, the elderly certainly consume the most resources. The reason I suggest cutting legal immigration is because we would be in a better position to pay those benefits, and have kids, if wages weren’t being undercut by immigrants from countries with a lower standard of living. It’s obviously not their fault, but by necessity they take jobs that would otherwise go to a native.

            Canada has a merit-based immigration system, so we have less of a problem than Europe or the US, which share borders with countries with less educated populates. (Although that is changing now, as migrants in the US learn to country-shop.) However, Canada’s native population is the most educated in the world. New graduates are finding it extremely difficult to enter the workforce, because companies like yours can simply hire immigrants with more experience. That’s forced a lot of us to get more degrees, that will also probably be useless as well, while getting into a mountain of student debt. This is undesirable and unsustainable. Until Canadians have equal opportunity to migrate for work, even high-skiled migration will warp the economy.

            People would start having kids earlier if they could, but when you’re not financially stable until you’re 30, waiting is an attractive option. Also, word has gotten out that university is the best time to have babies, so expect that to become more normal if men can have the kinds of high-paid, entry-level job and wage opportunities they are best suited for but that are increasingly scarce. Our last great industry for this, oil, is being starved purposefully by our government.

          • Start with the US Censu Bureau. Something like 63% of illegal immigrants are on some type of welfare.

      • Mike42Night says

        Simple end pensions for all government workers and unions as well. Privatize where you can and form private / public partnership when necessary.
        Western nations should be encouraged to have more children not import the third world.

    • Alex Russell says

      Without Immigration the population of Canada would be decreasing, and the proportion of elderly would be increasing very quickly. We need immigration to increase the number of young, working age, people in the population.

      Canada uses a strict point system to choose immigrants, and family unification is somewhat limited. Illegal immigration is kept in check by fining anyone hiring “illegals” into oblivion. Most immigrants are young, educated, speak good English or French, and generally succeed in the their new country.

      Canada is protected from huge influxes of refugees by geography, but we welcome about 30,000 a year who are sponsored and helped by various community and charitable groups to adjust to life in Canada.

      Refugees who just walk over the border do have more difficulties, as they don’t get the same support, but due to the relatively small numbers being assimilated it has not been a problem.

      It’s not like we have a million people walking over the border to avoid war or starvation.

  4. Loïc Hoguin says

    The media and progressives like to conflate legal immigration and illegal immigration. Trump and his supporters are not against immigration (as Trump has to repeat on an almost daily basis), they are against illegal immigration. This confusion helps the narrative that they’re a bunch of racists who hate all immigrants. The debate would be far more rational if the media was doing its job and tried to report the truth instead of flawed opinion.

    • Perhaps, but many are not for increased legal immigration to accept those who are coming to the USA and getting suck at the southern border, refused legal immigration and refused refugee or asylum status. Nor is there any push for legal part-time immigration for those who help out with farming work.

    • Nicholas says

      1) this is factually untrue. Reductions in asylum and ‘legal’ immigration that is discretionary show that trump and his ilk are objectively anti-immigrant regardless of legal status.

      2) if it were true, you could reduce illegal immigration to 0 tommorow by opening the boarders, so again, it’s not the legal standing they object to, but the people.

      • Stephanie says

        @David and Nicholas,

        Just legalising everyone who shows up is not a viable solution. Trump and his supporters want a merit-based system for how immigrants come in. People who drag their kid through the desert, and show up at the border demanding access and hoping for some welfare benefits is not going to be a productive member of society. Immigrants who go through the legal process patiently and gratefully, and have something to offer beyond undercutting wages at the bottom, are fine.

        People are not interchangeable. Not even brown people 😉

        • @Nicholas, wait, so that’s your argument? That we should just legalize millions of people if they come walking across our borders? You realize therefore what you’re arguing is open borders. So if we don’t want open borders, that means we’re racist? So um how does that work anyway? Like if I want to move to Japan, I should just go there and demand to be legalized and get free schooling and medical care, and welfare if I don’t work, for me and my children? If not, why not? And how do we screen people, how do we make sure they are who they say they are? How many people are we supposed to just legalize and why would we do it in this really corrupt fashion (come hike across the desert and we’ll make you legal)?

          As far as reductions in asylum–You are simply showing correlation, not causation, and over a very short time. That means nothing. Or are you going to argue that, say, Obama was anti-illegal-immigrant as well?

          I don’t get how progressives are embracing this cause. Not very long ago, it was Right Wing pro-corporate Republicans who wanted all this low skilled labor.

      • Ray B says

        Sorry, Nicholas, but your argument does not ring true.

        Conservatives, of all persuasions, are concerned about the sheer weight of numbers entering their countries. Mass immigration is causing problems with overcrowding, because the new immigrants overwhelmingly congregate in the major cities, resulting in infrastructure deficits which can never be overcome while high immigration levels are maintained.

    • Alex Russell says

      If the USA simply fined the companies and people hiring illegals so much that they went out of business then the illegal immigration would virtually cease. Refugee claimants are not illegal immigrants.

  5. ga gamba says

    The hyper xenophobic North Sentinelese somehow have the progressives’ sympathies though. Not only was their murder of an illegal alien lauded by progressives (Christian missionary got what he deserved by entering other people’s land uninvited), they insisted his murderers go unpunished and even his remains be left unrecovered.

    • dirk says

      I just yesterday read a long report about these Sentinelese, GG, and it made me think. My sympathy also immediately went to the locals, but I realise very well, even in my youth, where it still was quite normal that missionaries would go to the ends of the world, in the most inhabitable areas (the more inhabitable, the better) that there was much sympathy for these missionaries from right and left, and an outcry if something happened to them there (which also then occurred). So what changed in the meantime?
      It’s quite clear, the UDHR rights got adhered to and taught in the schools everywhere, everybody and every culture equal and same rights. But the good thing of these locals there at least is: not the slightest affinity to come to us and demand part of our wealth, a material wealth, in fact, that they do not esteem or value (the Sentinelese immediately killed the swine they were offered by the missionaries for a feastmeal, and burried it, because it was not their type of swine, as hunted in their bushes). Why not listen to them, concoct some lectures about different values and standards, and the nonsense (negative features) of emigration and immigration, produce pamphlets and send the well instructed teachers to India, African nations and the Middle East to get these strange ideas of that UDHR out of their heads??

      • dirk says

        corrective: un-inhabitable was meant, of course, oh that english!

    • Ray Andrews says

      @ga gamba

      It would be interesting to see how it would be spun in the liberal media if a raft load of Africans departing Libya were transported to the North Sentinals and … not welcomed.

    • @ga gamba, it’s very simple. White European christians = Bad Oppressors. Everyone else = sainted Oppressed. If you are Oppressed, nothing you do is your fault, including literally murder. If you are an Oppressor, nothing you do is blameless or right, including kindness.

      It’s an extremely childish way of looking at the world, but I think it makes them feel powerful.

  6. Brett O’Bannon says

    I like Adekoya’s work. He’s super smart, deeply reflective and certainly isn’t afraid to speak his mind. But I find this piece odd. His statement “The idea that so-called “nativism” or hostility towards immigration is confined to white Westerners is a fallacy” is itself fallacious. He speaks as if we just discovered African Xenophobia with the Pew surveys. But my god, there’s a massive academic literature on the subject. And what the hell does he think was at the core of so many of Africa’s civil wars of the 90s and later? The issue remains at the top of the African Union’s agenda, and has been since at least 2006 when it adopted the AU Migration Policy Framework. That has recently been revisited with the newly released Revised Migration Policy Framework for Africa and Plan of Action. What the AU, the regional economic communities in Africa, civil society and even journalists in Africa do, however, that Adekoya does not, is interrogate the unique conditions (push and pull) the explain the migration crisis in Africa, and how these factors likely condition the attitudinal response of those in African receiving countries. As the AU puts it, “In many parts of the continent, communities are spread across two or three nation-States, and movement is often not limited by political boundaries. Cross-border migration in Africa is an important livelihood and coping strategy during times of ecological and economic downturn, and is key to understanding, as well as forecasting, the onset and evolution of humanitarian disasters. Over the last decades, deteriorating political, socio-economic and environmental conditions, as well as armed conflict, insecurity, environmental degradation and poverty, have been significant root causes of mass migration and forced displacement in Africa.” The economic, political, security, environmental and cultural conditions that explain intra-African migration are nothing remotely like those that obtain in the West. And as for comparing the “they’re taking our jobs” mantra found in both the west and in Africa, he really misses the boat there. We know full well that most Latin American immigrants (to be distinguished from refugees) to the US are seeking work that Americans are unwilling to engage in – migrant farming, etc. But, for example, many of the Zimbabweans crossing over into South Africa are looking for exactly the kind of jobs poor South Africans desire and find too few of. As I say Adekoya’s a really smart guy. But he really needed to do some more research than simply read the Pew Surveys and then conclude there’s an unspeakable xenophobia problem in the global South. This is a well known problem, and has been for some time now.

    • E. Olson says

      I think Adekoya’s point isn’t so much that xenophobia in developing countries has only recently been revealed, but that Western mostly Leftist politicians and academics who certainly should know better, claim that anti-immigration sentiments are a uniquely white/Western problem. Certainly using the “racist” card is much more effective “debating” technique when different pigments are involved, versus black on black “tribalism” in Africa.

      • Vincent says

        @ E. Olson

        If that is indeed the author’s point, it would have behooved him to cite some specific “Leftists” who make the claim that anti-immigration is a uniquely white/western problem. I could see some high strung humanities professor who insists on viewing everything through the “post-colonialist lens” espousing such a view, but such individuals, despite their vociferousness, are a very tiny minority. I think equating that mindset with all left-leaning academics and politicians is just as disingenuous and intellectually lazy as when people equate all opponents of immigration with the KKK.

        • Tome708 says

          Vincent, are you being sarcastic? You are not aware of this?

        • Dan Love says

          Vincent

          Are you kidding? Do you live in the U.S.?

    • Stephanie says

      @Brett, immigrants don’t do the work Americans won’t do. They do work Americans won’t do at those wages. That is how immigration undercuts wages.

      In a functional economy, if you can’t find anyone to do a job, you raise the wage until you can. In a slavery economy, you import people who are willing to do backbreaking work in the hot sun for 10 hours a day, for less than a normal person could live on, because they (at least feel) they have no choice.

      After Democrats were told they couldn’t have slaves anymore, they made a work-around. Under the guise of compassion, they created a new class of almost-slaves.

      With how educated the third world is becoming, it’s happening to higher-end jobs, too. Why hire a professional right out of university, when you can hire a Pakistani with the same education but much more experience for the same wage? He won’t care because he’ll have escaped Pakistan, and won’t know any better until later, at which time he himself can be replaced.

      • Chip says

        You know what the obvious solution is for this, don’t you?

        If the “natural” wage for a job (that is, without any immigrant labor to supply it) is X, we could simply force employers to pay X, and native job seekers would crowd out the immigrants, solving the problem.

        • Stephanie says

          @Chip, that would be great, except that government cannot predict what the “natural” wage should be. This is why planned economies fail. We need free markets to figure it out, which means we actually need to create the circumstances by which wages rise, not rely on government.

          • Chip says

            So the free market needs the government to restrict the supply of labor, driving the price up?

          • Stephanie says

            Chip, the free market obviously prefers the cheapest labour possible, but is not a benefit to the general population. The higher wages people would earn without a labour market saturated in cheap labour outweighs the additional costs of goods, because on a per item basis labour costs are dwarfed by transport costs, ect.

            Government is responsible for protecting borders and deciding whether someone can come in. They should not abdicate that responsibility to the sole benefit of employers who wish to suppress wages.

        • Vincent says

          @Chip

          The problem with tinkering with economies in such ways are the unintended consequences. You can’t shoot from the hip when implementing regulations that tinker with the economy. Even when they’re well thought out, they can easily backfire. The most common problem with your solution can be seen with the minimum wage: if the minimum wage is set too high, then there is an incentive for a black market of labor, or “under the table” work. This is the niche that illegal immigrants currently occupy, so your proposed regulation would likely stimulate illegal immigration by increasing the demand for black market labor.

          I assume you would counter that you proposed setting the wage at its “natural” wage, but how do you determine that? And, if you’re talking about something like picking berries, if you paid Americans to do that then it would just be cheaper to import them (or people would just stop buying them because they’re too costly). It’s better for the local economy to have immigrants pick berries here and spend their wages here. The “natural” wage of a job can be less than any non-immigrant will accept to do the job if the good produced is elastic.

      • Two quick points:

        Before 1860, the North was importing wage slaves while the South had made hereditary bond slaves of those whose ancestors had been kidnapped Africans. The wage slaves cost their employers nothing but bond slaves cost the planters $500-1500 a head and could not be easily replaced.

        After 1866, the Northern ruling class continued to import wage slaves who were uniformly used to replace native workers at a lower wages but these immigrants were subjected to the most sever selection pressures imaginable and their mortality rate was very high.

      • Dai Anto says

        Stephanie, if you do the research you will find there is almost an exact correlation between American wage losses and the decline of trade unions over the last 30 years. It has little to do with immigration.

        • Stephanie says

          @Dai, I will trust you there is a correlation in the US, but if we think about what might be causing that correlation, the flooding of the labour market with non-union workers is as acceptable an explanation as any for both phenomenon.

          I doubt the correlation between unions and wages is causative, because in Canada there is a strong negative correlation between wages and percentage of the workforce that’s unionised in a give province. Quebec has the highest rate of union workers and the lowest wages, Alberta the inverse.

          • Dai Anto says

            Is the labour market being flooded with cheap labour?

            “It could be argued that we are now in the midst of a coup d’état in slow motion. Democracy is weakening; few people would disagree. Corporatism is strengthening; you only have to look around you. Yet none of us has chosen this route for our society, in spite of which our elites quite happily continue down it. Certainly corporatism is creating a conformist society. It is a modern form of feudalism.”

            John Ralston Saul

            “Donald Trump is not an anomaly. He is the grotesque visage of a collapsed democracy. The creeping corporate coup d’état that began forty five years ago is complete. It has destroyed the lives of tens of millions of Americans no longer able to find work that provides a living wage, cursed to live in chronic poverty.”

            Chris Hedges

            Jeff Bezos is far more responsible for low wage standards than immigration.

    • Remi says

      @Bret O’Bannon. Thanks for your comments Bret! They are well worth a longer response. Indeed, ethnic tensions even within African states have been the subject of much academic research since the 1970s. I myself have spent the past 4 years researching and writing on the sometimes antagonistic and highly prejudicial political constructions of sub-national identities in Nigeria during the 1950s and 60s. And as you may know, as you clearly know quite a bit about Africa, the culmination of these antagonisms in Nigeria was the continent’s bloodiest civil war in the 1960s. As you rightly point out, there were many later wars and conflicts too. Academics within and without Africa (and not only) know all this. True.

      However, I found the Pew Survey and Ipsos Mori data interesting because they focussed on the issue of immigration specifically, which has been discussed much in the Western context, but almost not at all in any other context (at least in popular media). My point was not to dump all these anti-immigrant or immigrant-sceptic sentiments into one box (I specifically said the Pew results don’t tell us why people responded that way), but to try and universalize the discussion around immigration somewhat. Yes, the problems in Africa are different. As someone who grew up in Nigeria, I actually often smile at what people consider ‘problems’ in the West. But that is because I’ve seen much worse; I know to the people here, their problems feel every bit as real to them as they do to folk in much less fortunate places. But I think I am digressing quite a bit here.

      Re the South African case, paradoxically, I have actually met quite a few Zambians and Zimbabweans who live there who actually talk about South Africans the exact same way immigrants in the West often talk about Westerners (i.e. ‘they don’t like doing the kind of hard jobs we do, they want to have money with little effort. They look down on some of the jobs we are ready to do. Then they start turning around and blaming us for all their problems’). Don’t really know what to make of this as I’ve never lived there myself.

      Anyway, my broader point was certainly not to conclude there’s an unspeakable xenophobia problem in the south (I specifically stated we shouldn’t draw such conclusions based on the results), but to try and highlight the universality of anxieties over immigration, globalization etc, an element I usually find missing in, again, popular media. Obviously, this was meant to be a rather short commentary piece, not an exhaustive academic essay. Thanks for your points though Bret, I truly appreciate them and will keep them in mind for next time:)

      • Brett O’Bannon says

        , Greetings to you too! And thank you for your thoughtful and gracious rejoinder. First, let me say you’re absolutely right to remind me that yours was intended to be a short commentary and thus are necessarily limited by length the scope and breadth of what you can cover. I was attacked once for not properly citing sources in a Facebook post! So
        I get you. And your comments about Zambian and Zimbabwean immigrants is illuminating. My experience in SA is more limited than my experience in various parts of West Africa. But the narrative I have always encountered there (some public media, some UNICEF staff, the gray literature, and discussions with academic colleagues) has indicated a significant convergent job seeking focus among immigrants and unemployed SA youth. Clearly a good research question! Finallly, I may be relying too heavily on my U.N. conflict analysis work in Côte d’Ivoire, where of course immigration and xenophobia were at the heart of that civil war and its atrocities. In that case the issues of immigration from both within CI — northern, Muslim Senufo moving southward for agricultural work — and regional immigration from Mali and Burkina Faso, were all anyone talked about and the xenophobia was worn by many autochtones as a badge of honor. So my point is simply that my experience has been that these issues were widely known to be central to the conflict, that migration was an intermediate causal factor in the war (root causes being economic crisis in that once regional economic powerhouse and environmental degradation in the north driving immigrants southward) that populist elites capitalized on in ultimately disastrous ways. It was in no small measure because of the well publicized migration/xenophobia dimension to the Ivoirian civil
        War that the AU and regional economic communities began to prioritize them in their respective agendas.

        At any rate, you can see you’ve sparked a lively discussion. Your work for the Guardian is first rate. And I wish you the best as you move toward completion of your doctorate. Clearly big things await you!
        All the best,
        b

  7. E. Olson says

    Is there any poor country in the world that is poor because it lacks sufficient population to prosper, as indicated by a graying population or trouble finding people to fill job positions? I can’t think of any off the top of my head, so if any exist they are rare – thus why would anyone want to emigrate from their native land to a poor country that doesn’t need more people? The only two answers are people who see opportunity because they are generally smarter and/or harder working than the natives (e.g. Jews in much of the world, Japanese in S. America, Chinese in Malaysia, Europeans in Africa, etc.), or people desperate to leave their troubled native land and willing to cheaply do undesirable jobs in their new location. In either case there is likely to be resentment among the natives as the elite immigrants start displacing natives among elite positions in business, academia, and government, or the non-elite start driving down wages for the non-elite natives, and consequently it isn’t surprising the polls show lots of negativity towards immigrants in poorer countries.

    These same concerns are present in wealthier countries, but unlike poor countries there are typically larger and politically connected groups who are pro-immigration in wealthy places. Leftist party officials frequently like poor immigrants because they see them as saviors of Ponzi scheme welfare programs and because poor immigrants tend to vote Left to continue the welfare policies that attracted them to the country in the first place. Business leaders of both Left and Right frequently like immigrants of all types as cheap sources of both skilled and unskilled labor, which helps to pad their profits by keeping labor costs down (and provides them with cheap nannies, maids, and gardeners). Medical communities have also grown increasingly reliant on importing doctors and nurses from developing countries to deal with labor shortages in medicine, particularly where government run medical systems that don’t pay their professional staffs very attractive wages. These powerful groups use campaign contributions and other pressures to keep politicians on both Left and Right immigration friendly, despite large majorities of citizens who want strong border controls to control illegal immigration, and very selective/restrictive legal immigration.

    Of course when powerful minorities wants something that the dominant majorities don’t, the conflicting interests make it very difficult to have civilized debate. There certainly are legitimate concerns about importing people from loser/incompatible cultures leading to the loss of the dominate culture that has made the place prosperous and free in the first place, or the fact that so many immigrants from poor countries become dependent on the welfare state rather than contributors to it, or the fact that relatively elite immigrants cause brain-drain from poor countries that already have a shortage of brains (i.e. there are more Ethiopian doctors in Illinois than in Ethiopia). Rather than respond to such inconvenient and difficult to refute facts, it just becomes easier for pro-immigrant groups to simply call immigrant restrictors/enforcers “racist” or “xenophobic” or “deplorable”, which is why Donald Trump got elected, and why he can’t get money for his wall.

    • Ray Andrews says

      E. Olson@

      Yup, and the beauty of the thing is that they get to feel righteous at the same time.

      • E. Olson says

        Ray – so glad you are still able to contribute in your newly finned state.

        • Ray Andrews says

          @E. Olson

          I haven’t had the surgery yet, which of course says absolutely nothing about my Identity any more than a lady with a penis is less of a lady for that. Nope, I still look like a human it’s just that I’m not. Or … maybe I’ll be two-spirited and be both a human and/or a dolphin as the spirit takes me. Yes, digits are useful for typing so I do think I’ll stay being an ape on Quillette. But I’m a dolphin in the water, that’s for sure.

  8. dirk says

    I don’t find it so strange that inhabitants of a poor country, with low salaries,little work for professionals and no welfare rights for the unemployed, prefer to emigrate to countries where the opposite is the case. Immigration into their country: I know how that was in Zambia in the 1990s. Only welcome if you came with some professional title, and for farmers, with so and so much money, a tractor and other machinery. Yes, logical, these demands, how different are things one way or the other way, can you even still speak of the same phenomenon: immigration??

    • dirk says

      But, Benita, strange to see so many Chinese and Koreans in the African nations, even buying up large tracts of land for agriculture (strange that this is allowed by African governments, your own territory, your potentials to feed your own people), and strange also that the Japanese don’t join this trend, though, as a small overpopulated mountainous nation, one would think they had more drive to do this. The Chinese are not liked very much in Africa by the ordinary people, and the Chinese don’t esteem them, but, governments have other priorities there, racism and xenofobia halts where the money speaks.

      • Rosenmops says

        Dirk,
        The Chinese are buying up land in Canada too.

  9. “It’s true that, but for the accident of birth, I could be any one of those people dying in the Mediterranean trying to get to Europe. I have no moral counter-argument to this voice in my head, just a practical one.”

    I have a moral counter-argument.

    Either there are borders or there are not. Borders keep sovereignty and protect citizens.

    Having porous borders whereby – wink wink – if you are low-skilled enough, and sneak in successfully, you win the jackpot–this is not a moral stance. You are rewarding those who sneak into the front of the line, and punishing those legal immigrants following rules (obviously I’m not referring to actual asylum seekers who are persecuted. I’m referring to economic migrants or people who live in countries ruled by subpar governments).

    And if there are no borders, then this is not moral because your government is not protecting its citizens, and long-term with the unbarred influx of 100s of millions on non-skilled mostly male workers who on average cost the gov’t money, is that the country will go bankrupt and increase violence (at least) and it will be no better than the country these folks were fleeing from.

    Some countries are worse than others. That doesn’t mean the moral solution is to artificially import potentially billions of people into the functional countries. That is both suicidal and extraordinarily condescending to the peoples within their home countries. It essentially says: You guys cannot run your own countries and must flee to Papa Western nation. This is a morally indefensible way of treating one’s fellow human beings. It’s similar to parents who have 35 year olds living in their house playing video games all day because they are being ‘compassionate’ and their ‘child” had a few hard knocks; they send their child the message they are incapable of independence. It destroys them. A better response is to encourage help and self-suffienciency within the country and its peoples.

    This has nothing to do with race. Well, I correct myself. I think it does—I think the progressives like to feel that white Europeans are more capable and superior, they like to feel that they are the most important force in the world (negative or positive, that makes no difference)–so important and superior that the entire globe’s problems are our fault and we are the only solution, and “brown and black” people cannot find the solutions on their own. It’s a really narcissistic, Western-centric way of viewing the world; their blaming others of the very racism and Western-centrism they themselves adhere to – is classic projection.

  10. c young says

    Borders are implicit in the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Something must delineate the boundary between the more ordered interior of an entity, and the less ordered space outside it.

    On the moral question against the voice in the writers head. Imagine this. Your ship has sunk. You are inside a lifeboat that is dangerously overloaded. There are many people in the water. If they all get on-board the boat will sink. There is no moral case for condemning any *particular* person to an icy death. There is a strong moral case for not allowing all of them onboard, which implies that some must die.

    Morality is nuanced.

    • Chip says

      Conversation on global movement of capital and goods: “Global trade has lifted billions of people out of poverty! The poorest person today lives a life that Medieval kings would envy!”

      Conversation on global movement of labor: ” Its a lifeboat! We will all perish unless some of us are thrown overboard to die!”

    • Ray Andrews says

      @c young

      Furthermore it is the people in the lifeboat who build the lifeboats, so if the boat sinks, not only will the people within it die, there will be no more lifeboats to save anyone. When the West collapses who will be sending aid to the 3d world? To all the world’s refugee camps?

    • dirk says

      And the reality, C.Y., is not a matter of life or death, but just one of less or more material wellbeing and welfare. The expectations of Africans (young, male),in some far away village is also rather unstructured. Imagine, no land, no job, no chances, and then all these rumours of lands of plenty oversea and international agreements (UN, what a nice invention) on fugitives and persecuted. Am I persecuted? I would say so, et least, I feel that way.

    • I’ve used this same analogy before. Any decent person would probably never get over condemning even strangers to their deaths, but any sane person would choose that over condemning even one of their own family or tribe to death to save strangers

  11. Chip says

    The arguments against immigrants are as universal as they are nonsensical.

    “They are lazy and won’t work, and are also undercutting our wages by working so hard!”

    • Stephanie says

      @Chip, it’s almost like they’re not a homogeneous group 😂

    • E. Olson says

      Chip – A story to explain the seeming “nonsense”. Juan comes from Latin America to Texas and starts working construction, and sends money back home to his pregnant wife Juanita to join him. She arrives just in time to have Juan Jr. at US taxpayer expense and create a new American citizen who has full rights to all forms of welfare and education. Juan Jr. turns out to be a bit of a handful, and Juanita uses chain migration to send for her parents and sisters to come and help babysit him, which promptly makes them eligible for many welfare benefits including Obamacare subsidies for health insurance, public school, and in-State tuition rates even if they wouldn’t have legal immigrant status. This story could further juice up the welfare eligibility if Juan or any of his family members claim refugee status or utilize identity theft to claim Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, food stamps, or other welfare benefits. Evidence suggests that most of the low skilled immigrants (both legal and illegal) are well aware of how to legally and illegally apply for welfare benefits. So yes the immigrant could be a hard worker, but also lay both valid and invalid claims to many forms of government assistance that make them a net loss to the US government.

      • Chip says

        E. Olsen-
        Your story assumes that only one out of a half dozen immigrants works for a living.
        Is that true?

      • It’s not just a plausible story. The US Census Bureau’s stats have 63% of illegal immigrants on some sort of state-sponsored welfare.

    • Peter says

      Chip, only 20% of the 20000 or so Eritreans in Switzerland (mostly young men evading draft) work or learn a trade. A (rare) older Eritrean was also extremely unhappy, since the Swiss state paid the welfare for his adult son directly to the young man and not to him!

      Even a progressive journalist admitted that refugees from the Yugoslav conflict raised the crime figures in Switzerland – since the young men were »traumatized by the war«. (In fact, criminals were the first to take to the guns, but later often decided it was better to flee.) Many of these problematic people returned to Yugoslavia once the war ended. The Yugoslavs who stayed in Western Europe almost invariably work, some of them are the best and hardest workers, e.g. in the construction industry. But the Yugoslavs come from a culture, that is not so different after all, and many have good education and some language skills.

      It is a great fallacy to compare merit based controlled immigration to a wild stampede of people, who deliberately throw their documents away to assume a false identity as Syrian refugees. I listened to a Greek hotel owner in Lesbos (a few kilometers from Turkey), who said that the beach was littered with passports and identity cards in 2015. She was sympathetic to the migrants, but admitted there were many shady characters among them.

      I also listened to a Syrian engineer who managed to get to Sweden, but then decided to return to Turkey. He figured out he would need seven years to work as an engineer in Sweden: learning the language, regulations, passing exams…

    • @Chip, “They are lazy and won’t work, and are also undercutting our wages by working so hard!”

      See, I’ve read that numerous times from progressives on FB. I don’t know who started it but y’all are copying each other. Let’s examine all the assumptions this slogan has before you copy and paste it again.

      Its objective is to make those who don’t want illegal immigrants sound stupid (“nonsensical”).
      To do this, it uses several strategies:

      It conflates legal and illegal immigrants. Very few people are arguing against legal immigrants.

      Illegal immigrants are here illegally. I am not talking about asylum seekers. Illegal immigrants sneak across our borders, cutting ahead of the long line legal immigrants must wait in, and steal other peoples’ identities in order to work, or else work under the table with no id. Thus if you are in an accident with them – as happened to a friend of mine – tough luck. They don’t exist. Or if you are in a roommate situation with them, as happened to another friend who unknowingly roomed with an illegal immigrant, also tough luck on you if they suddenly don’t pay their share. No recourses. They don’t exist. So either they steal an identity or they don’t have one. Either way it’s illegal and not victim free.

      Because they are largely unskilled and also very vulnerable, they either cannot find work (and go on welfare) or are willing to work, but for crappy wages/conditions, thus undercutting going wages in low skilled work. This is where you pretend to be confused. You seem to not grasp that both situations occur.

      I’ve noticed that the people who are most in favor of letting illegal immigrants in are people who either directly benefit from them – rich people who hire them as cheap maids, cleaning people, nannies, gardeners – or who hire them in their factories for really cheap disposable labor; or else they have literally zero at stake. They live in all upper class/intellectually upper class communities and send their kids to schools unburdened by illegal immigrants, go to hospitals unburdened, and have no fear of crime. They don’t take the subways or buses; they Uber or drive their own cars. In other words, their talk is very very cheap for them at best; at worst, they actually victimize the illegal immigrants they want. I see some posters here are already saying that Americans are ‘lazy’ and illegal immigrants do the work Americans won’t do. That’s just disgusting and, yes, racist (they are largely referring to African Americans). Guess what–you have trouble finding people who won’t pick your fruit for $8/hour? RAISE THE WAGES. It’s economics. But no–they want the cheap disposable frightened labor. So rather than raising wages, they artificially flood the area with workers. To pretend this is moral is preposterous.

      I myself work in a school district that is heavily impacted by illegal immigrants. Millions are being spent to educate the children. African Americans are losing jobs–To argue otherwise is absurd. You have an influx cheap low skill labor into an urban city–Of course the wages will fall. In the time I’ve been there, I’ve seen security, janitorial, and maintanance jobs all drop precipitously in payment.

      It makes me livid when I see people who say they’re ‘progressive’ and who believe they’re virtuous, actually argue in favor of this. If you don’ t believe this influx of 100,000s cheap workers has no impact on low skilled jobs, you are being willfully ignorant. The data arguing against this always mixes legal immigrants with illegal to ‘cook the books,’ so to speak.

      The other issue people are concerned about are the influx of H1B visas for non Americans usually in tech. I have a friend in his 50s who, after 20 years at IBM, was unceremoniously fired from his job, after training Indian workers to replace him. This is repeated all over. To pretend the companies ‘can’t” find tech workers is ludicrous. They can. They just don’t want to pay them (if they’re 40 or above) or train them if needed. Nothing against the people coming. But to pretend this is anything other than a multi million dollar corporation wanting to use people at the detriment to its own citizens is likewise preposterous, and against progressive values, or what used to be progressive values.

      This is what is most astonishing to me–watching progressives be the useful stooges for large multinational companies wanting cheap disposable labor. It’s no accident that these progressives are largely either upper class/ intellectual or young and naive. Everyone else sees the disastrous results of this policy and where this is clearly going. That we are threatened, mocked, and bullied to shut up and take it by those who benefit economically from the illegal immigration, is just beyond the pale.

      • Chip says

        Wouldn’t artificially restricting the supply of low wage labor will only cause manufacturers to relocate to where the workers come from?

        • @chip, what the bejesus–“artificially restricting the supply of low wage labor??” So where is this magical ‘supply’ coming from and why is it ‘low wage’? You think it’s a good thing to import helpless low wage workers and have them work for garbage conditions to undercut the American worker? Regardless, that is the opposite of natural–it is highly artificial requiring a lot of greased hands and massive propaganda and, recently, bullying and threats to shut up or be accused of racism.

          Anyway, what you are really asking is: “Wouldn’t the stop of illegal immigration with all those desperate dirt-cheap workers, who pick fruit under horrible conditions so my strawberries are only $2.50 as opposed to $2.60– wouldn’t that mean the farmers will pick up and go elsewhere?”

          Yeah maybe they will. So if they can’t compete in our country and must go overseas and exploit workers there, they will go. They already are going. Just make sure they’re paying taxes. But some will stay and just, well, you know, pay what the going rate is.

          In case you’re young, know that what you’re arguing was for many years the Far Right argument. Now the mainstream Republicans and Dems have joined forces for their own reasons and both want the cheap workers.

          • Chip says

            No what I argue for is government policies that support higher wages like trade unions, minimum wage laws, workplace safety laws, health care, transportation subsidy…all the things in the New Deal that lifted the wages of the American worker to the highest in the world.

          • @Chip. Yes, you say you support these things. But I can tell you are nowhere near unionized and working class workers, that this is purely theoretical for you. If you were, you’d know that tons of unionized jobs have been destroyed by illegal immigrants. From my own experience alone, I’ve watched previously decent salaried careers – construction, custodial work, lawn work – as well as well paid jobs – hotel maids, maids, nannies, cooks – all take nosedives with the huge influx of very cheap disposable labor that comes with illegal immigration. You can have a labor union all you want, but if I’m School District A and I’m trying to balance my budget, and it’s a choice between a salaried janitor at $40K/year versus an illegal immigrant hired by a private company they outsource at $8/hour, guess which one I’m going to choose?

            If the gov’t manadates $15/hour for all jobs, guess what happens? People are fired and the company is motivated to go high tech ot maintain their profit. Also, $15/hour sounds great to an upper class clueless person or a student who never works; but everyone else knows that many college degree jobs pay $17/hour if that. So you have this bizarre thing where college educated people are paid the same as hamburger flippers. Hmm, I wonder then why they’d bother? They wouldn’t. So then the $17/hour educated jobs won’t be able to fill their slots, which means…more illegal immigrants or H1B to work bad wages. Chasing it down.

            You haven’t thought this all out because you are not operating from facts first; you are instead operating by what makes you feel good and what sounds good first; then you justify your feelings. The hard fact is that a huge influx of cheap disposable low skilled labor is both immoral and ineluctably lowers the wages and worsens the conditions of workers, particularly low skilled one or older ones (in their 50s and above). THis is simple economics. It is a grotesque policy plutocrats and wealthy gated people adore. Again, this was, not too long ago, a policy hard Right politicians favored. That the Dems are now embracing it says everything about their abandonment of the working classes and their teaming up with large corporations like Silicon Valley and Wall Street. Anyway, gov’t rules are nothing when people are hiring illegal immigrants under the table.

  12. Stephanie says

    Unpopular solution: people in the third world think their governments are terrible and huge numbers want to immigrate to the West. Why don’t we give colonization another try?

    Expecting people with no democratic history or civil society to form functional nation-states overnight was unrealistic. Those countries that were colonized (by the Brits, in particular) and who kept the colonial legacy are much more functional than those who eschewed it. Given more time, perhaps the West can get those countries that are hemorrhaging migrants up to standard? Perhaps it’s time for the West to offer a mutually-beneficial relationship to them?

    • Ray Andrews says

      @Stephanie

      “Why don’t we give colonization another try? ”

      You can go to jail for that, My Lady. I hope you don’t live in Canada or Oz or the UK, if the thoughtpolice catch you, you are in trouble.

      • dirk says

        You can go to to jail in Canada or the UK, but on a blog like this, yes, you can say it, unpunished. Recently, there was even a book about it, The Case for Colonisation (again?). I have said it again and again, (also on this blog) last 10 yrs: it was one thing to start colonisation, easy, logical if you have the power, the guns and the philosophy of superiority of christianity and civilisation, but another thing is, as soon as it looks different, and the USA (one time a colony too, and after worldwar II the naive superpower) takes over the world, all of a sudden, without much thought of both parties, the colonisers simply retreat and leave everything to the Africans themselves, just read Reybrouck about how it went in Congo, there was not one agronomist, engineer, doctor or political with any experience at independence, in the 1960s, unbelievable, but true. The Europeans just jumped out and left, and look now, at how things are there now??? Don’t say anything about it, just imagine, you raise this affair in a UN session! It would be the end of any politicar career!

        • Ray Andrews says

          @dirk

          I’m Canadian so I’m taking a risk here, but yes, the way we bugged out was mostly pretty near criminal. Irrespective of what they thought they wanted, they were our children and it was our duty to look after them. Perfectly PC to admit the culpability end of it of course.

          • Ray B says

            Ray A, I didn’t know Canada had any colonies to “bug out” from.

            Belgium, Portugal, The Netherlands, & Spain are another matter entirely. The haste with which some of those countries abandoned their colonies when the political wind shifted after WW2 was disgusting. France also did a poor job of de-colonising.

          • Ray Andrews says

            @ Ray B

            “We” in the broader sense of Westerners. Canada shares in the collective guilt does it not? We are, after all, mostly white. Even Icelanders feel the shame of their racial guilt.

          • dirk says

            @Ray A&B; funny that it pops up here: recently, in Denmark, all of a sudden journalists came with the surprising fact that also the Danes were, once, colonialists and slave traders. General outcry, what? what? what??? because, the Danes always thought themselves superior to the bigger European neighbours in this respect, for not having a colonial history. What’s so nice here, Denmark, indeed, had no large colonies (only some minor islands, where they behaved exactly the same as other European nations on their plantations and in their laws and behaviour), but why was that? Because they were more human or of higher ethics? Of course not, the reason was simple, they had less war ships and trade connections. Why are people always blind for that??

    • “Perhaps it’s time for the West to offer a mutually-beneficial relationship to them?”

      It’s already happening. Several African countries are already trying to leverage their escapees. “Give us loads of money so we can make our ‘shithiole country’ slightly less of a shithole and our citizens won’t be tempted to travel to yours”.
      .As if all that blackmail money wouldn’t just end up in Swiss banks. Immigration has been weaponised already.

    • E. Olson says

      Stephanie – Even if we can ignore the PC implications of your suggestion, I’m afraid the colonization ship has sailed for a number of practical reasons. First, the recent history and current events involving the treatment of white farmers in Zimbabwe and S. Africa would discourage most would-be colonizers. Second, the Kleptocrats that run most of Africa are not very likely to peacefully relinquish the gravy-trains that keep their Swiss bank accounts topped up just so that a bunch of do-gooder foreigners can run the countries with relative efficiency and transparency. Third, Western colonization would likely fail for the same reasons it failed the first time – there is no evidence that free-market democracy can survive or prosper in a low IQ environment, and best estimates of average IQ in potential colonial outposts range from about 70 to low 90s. Colonialists can build structures for the natives, and they can show the natives how to build and maintain them, but there is no evidence that the such physical and mental infrastructure and knowledge will survive after colonialists voluntarily or forcibly leave low IQ states, and unfortunately the one thing that we have no apparent ability to do is raise low IQs.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @E. Olson

        A friend of mine is a missionary in West Africa. At one point his congregation decided to build a church. As Boyd tells it, it was impossible to teach them to understand how a carpenter’s level worked. Huts are round and the ground is the ground. Leveling off a pre-plotted rectangular area seemed to them to be an incomprehensible notion. I’m sure things are better in the big cities, but where he was in the country a level floor in a rectangular building was not graspable.

      • Stephanie says

        Jail, really?! Well, I’m probably making myself unemployable anyway, maybe I’ll need jail to eat.

        I agree that as is, it’s probably not feasible, but if we can stem the flow of migrants to remove the kleptocrats’ leverage, take advantage of any coups that might arise, or offer to intervene when the Chinese try to take control, we might find an opening.

        I don’t know much about the IQ issue, but IQ does go up with education, and is affected by early childhood nutrition, isn’t it? IQ has been rising in the West for decades, perhaps given enough time we can replicate that success?

        • E. Olson says

          Stephanie – Unfortunately IQ doesn’t rise with any education initiatives that have been tried over the past 100 years. About all we know is that IQ potential can be reached with proper nutrition, avoidance of contact with lead, and lack of emotional and physical abuse during childhood. What this means is that if your genetic IQ potential is 90, but you don’t get good nutrition and you are badly emotionally abused during childhood, you actual peak IQ might only get to 75 or 80. Thus better childhoods will raise people closer to their potential, but unfortunately no one has been able to discover a way to raise potential IQ from say 90 to 105. Historically this can be seen in the case of the Irish, who were widely thought to be an inferior ethnic group due to their low intelligence, but most of their low intelligence turned out to be due to poor childhood nutrition (many Irish emigrated during the great potato famine) which meant they didn’t hit their potential. Today the Irish are right around the European average of 100.

        • dirk says

          Don’t mention the IQ in the presence of E.O., Stephanie, he is our expert on IQ matters, and does not stand any competition in this field, not even hints or considerations!

          • Pirus says

            It is such a taboo subject that even if E.O. wasn’t entirely correct and/or massively overgeneralising ( which I suspect he might be) , we mere mortals could not tell.

            It doesn’t help with silly comments like some on this forum (dade I say likel Daarth’s), which gives ammunition to the lefties to shut down reasonable conversations on immigaration.

            And obviously you white guys can’t talk about immigaration without being lavelled racist. And some are , no doubt. The rest of you need guys like me to come to the rescue and say yes some immigration is good and essential but so is control over migration.

            Ironically the left could help defeat the racist and the far right by allowing reasonable discussion around these subjects. Peoples intentions will become clear very quickly.

      • Dan Flehmen says

        Rudyard Kipling on colonialism:

        Take up the White Man’s burden–
        The savage wars of peace–
        Fill full the mouth of Famine
        And bid the sickness cease;
        And when your goal is nearest
        The end for others sought,
        Watch sloth and heathen Folly
        Bring all your hopes to nought.

    • Dan Flehmen says

      I have spent most of my adult life in Africa, starting soon after independence. I quickly realized that giving Africa self-rule was the moral equivalent of giving a baby a razor blade. I was young, and thought I must be the worst kind of cynic and racist, but decades later a major book on recent African history opened with a quote from a British statesman of the 1960’s, stating that giving Africa independence was like giving a child a loaded gun.

      • Ava Dalley says

        You guys realize that if it wasn’t for colonisation, you most likely wouldn’t have to deal with us darkies and there wouldn’t be this conversation about immigration. Or are your civilizing instinct too strong?

        • dirk says

          It’s not so much on instincts and civilisation, Ava, but more on international relations and structures and stability. In Armenia, I saw the same. The Sovjets all of a sudden gone, what now? Democracy and free market? Forget it, all fabrics closed down, infrastructure such as irrigation and railways broken down and the remnants of it still everywhere in the landscape, dairy and dairy industry gone, people live of checks from the USA,etc etc. In this case, maybe, there was not even a potential alternative. But in those African nations? A gradual retreat in steps? No sir, it has to be done at once and by force.

      • dirk says

        @Dan: funny, today again, in our Volkskrant daily, two letters about an article about Dutch colonialism: one of somebody who had the best remembrances of that time, the work done by her father there, more than half century ago, to improve agriculture, irrigation, medical care and education, and another one (with other history): what horrible beasts those colonialists were, treating the population (the natives) as their inferiors, by law even. I would have loved to talk to Rudyard Kipling about these things, but, immediately, realise, the very idea already (fiction) is absurd. Sometimes, fiction is allowed, sometimes not.

  13. John Spray says

    John B. Calhoun’s ballyhoo’d experiments with rodents sort of says it all. Overpopulation? Here’s a fun trick kids… put an empty jar of ants in the hot sun and put a circle of honey outside the jar. And watch. Get it?

  14. johno says

    There is a practical aspect to consider as well. It’s the unprecedented volume.

    When it was just a few, that wasn’t a problem. However, due to the miracle of cheap transportation, and an accessible information system telling people in poor nations what the residents of the western nations get in benefits and opportunities, we now have millions of people wanting this, and having the means to travel to borders to try and get it.

    One or two immigrants… no problem. One or two million… big problem. In most cases, they aren’t running from certain death. They’re running towards a better opportunity. Can’t fault them for that, but the scale on which it is happening is unlike anything previously encountered.

    It’s not like the 1890’s, when the US could welcome in millions… no social services net at that time, so no cost to the current citizens. It’s 2019, where most advanced western nations have fairly expensive social services. The typical immigrant is going to be relatively uneducated in western terms… they’ll cost us more in social services than they produce.

    Again, consider the scale… millions. This wouldn’t be worth mentioning, except for the scale.

    Those of us in the western nations aren’t heartless, but the sheer scale poses a huge impact on our lives, both financially and culturally… with no real gain for us. Given that most of the western nations are running budget deficits right now, one has to wonder how much more expense they can take on, with no real gain for their current voting citizens.

    And please don’t start with the cherry picked figures… the average immigrant is a drain on an advanced western nation. They may benefit a company that needs low price/low skill labor, but the rest of us pay the difference in higher taxes. One reason large cities have a much higher taxation rate than small towns is – larger number of poor people drawing on social services.

    It is perfectly natural for us to ask – why should we allow this on a huge scale? Do we have the means to take care of millions of tax consuming citizens, without imposing a huge burden on our current hardworking citizens?

    Or should we work on addressing the reasons those countries with high emigration are doing so poorly economically? Their citizens could have that better life, where they are today.

  15. ga gamba says

    “Immigration enriches our nation” and “Cultural diversity is our strength” are often claimed by immigration advocates. And who amongst us can dispute the receiving states’ love of Irish cuisine and yodeling festivals? You just can’t get away from either. Yet, when Houston’s Saengerbund’s contest had only one person of colour in 2017 (2017?!?!), Duke Kim, who courageously faced down both the systems and the institutions to take sixth, clearly much more must be done to embrace the nation’s newest Americans. How else will the youth of colour have role models of representation to encourage their dreams of singing stardom? We can no longer accept the yodeling community’s marginalisation of the other.

    I think we can agree that cultural diversity is uneven both quantifiably and qualitatively. Some cultures pack more of a punch than others. I suspect Irish-Australians, German-Americans, and Finn-Canadians eat many more Italian meals annually than those of their forebears’ homelands. They probably eat more Chinese (to include faux Chinese), Thai, and/or Indian too. Still, for all its many wonderful cultural artifacts and practices, barely anyone outside of Andorra is doing anything Andorran. BTW, you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten a hearty bowl of escudella and danced the marratxa.

    Is New Zealand weaker because it has very few Estonians or Uruguayans, 141 and 144 respectively in 2013. Would 250 of each improve the nation’s strength? How about 200,000 each? Is diversity simply a numbers game? Is it always the more the better?

    Are we all missing out because zero North Sentinelese live amongst us? If so, how are we going to make it without their cherished contributions?

    But culture is more than food, singing, dancing, and head hunting, isn’t it? Honduras, Mexico, the Solomon Islands, Haiti, and many other sending states are self-governing, members of UN and many other international bodies, and have diplomatic relations with the majority of the world. They are deemed by most if not all other states to be legitimate. Yet, they are dysfunctional to a large degree despite some of their charming cultural attributes. What is the reason for this? Could aspects of the culture also be pathological? And are these brought along too with the mariachi bands and molcajetes?

    These failing or near-failed states raise some troubling questions. What’s gone wrong? And are the immigrants carrying it? Is it transmissible?

    Despite being horrifically suppressed by numerous powers for centuries, and also having the Catholic church wage the Northern Crusade against it, how is Estonia squared away whilst many others are not? I don’t even need to contrast it to the developing world; it’s less corrupt than France, Spain, and Portugal. Japan, too. Don’t even get me started on the accomplishments of the Finns and the Singaporeans despite the hardships of conquest and colonisation.

    What fascinates me is progressives loathe the changing of character and composition of ethnic enclaves in urban America when done by American citizens of the wrong colour yet strongly support changing the character and composition of the entire nation when done by non-citizens, be they legal or not.

    What’s going on here?

    Could it be that those who attack the legitimacy of the rule of law, property rights, personal and economic freedom, as well as many other attributes of the English common-law system seek to use those who have been acculturated in third-world strong-man systems of corrupt patronage and paramilitary force as a means to further erode and perhaps topple the hated systems and institutions?

    Decades ago the institutions expected the newcomers to assimilate. By and large most of the Europeans as well as many of the first Asian and Latin American immigrants of the 19th century dispensed with the vestiges of the homeland. Paddy O’Shea’s House of Boiled Cabbage and Turnips was never a thing nationally. The second wave of Korean immigrants who arrived in the US in the 1960s were shocked to find those Koreans who arrived decades earlier had so assimilated that they deemed them no different from Americans and completely unlike Koreans. That expectation of immigrant assimilation is no longer, and amongst progressives the idea of nationality and the nation state are considered flawed and to be dispensed with by the receiving state. They are to bend over backward to make sure the immigrants’ homeland identity is not only retained but celebrated.

    A nation ought to take care admitting many immigrants from states with which it has had a period of historical enmity, especially if that includes territorial disputes or even the perception of that by the immigrants. Further, events overseas not involving the recipient state find a way of involving sending states’ immigrant communities. To its dismay, Canada found Sikh immigrants were organising terrorist actions to include successfully bombing an Air India flight mid-air killing hundreds. Tamil immigrant activities on behalf on the Tamil Tigers also caused headaches for Canadian foreign policy, its security services, and immigration authorities. Authorities of the US and Britain often clashed behind closed doors over IRA fund raising in the States. If Irish Americans weren’t a large demographic, do you think the US government would have tolerated IRA activities?

    Long ago it would take days for the news to hit the press. Today, an incident between between two rivals, for example South Korea and Japan, is known about within minutes of occurring, and though the initial report is frequently incomplete and at times error riddled, emotions run high and demands are made for the host nation to get involved on behalf of one side or another. Today’s speed-of-light global-communication networks and sending-state media services keep the immigrants emotionally bound to the homeland. It’s not unknown for visiting heads of state to meet with co-ethnics to discuss how the immigrants may lobby or agitate on behalf of the homeland. Canadians still recall with dismay and anger “Vive le Québec libre,” a notorious phrase in a speech delivered by President Charles de Gaulle of France during a state visit to Montreal, Canada.

    Lastly, I found that rarely anyone mentions a state has a right to end immigration if it chooses. For some reason it’s simply taken as a given that once a recipient state always a recipient state. It needn’t be. Yes, the words are pleasant, maybe even inspiring to some, but “give me your tired, your poor” words of a sonnet and not US law. It’s astonishing how many people, Americans and not, cite that when justifying immigration. Does Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden” justify colonialism? It’s a poem too. Are people living in the world ruled by poems and not law? Why not crown whoever is the Maya Angelou of present day empress and let her rule by poetic decree?

    • dirk says

      About that ” Vive le Quebec libre”, this was followed by ” Vive la France”, I still remember, and I wonder how the people at the time reacted on these outcries. And I don’t see Macron repeat it in Mali or Cote d,Ivoire.

    • E. Olson says

      GG – excellent comment. Modern immigration is largely driven by rich Lefties who “need” cheap maids and desire new restaurants with exotic foreign cuisine.

  16. A small criticism. The Remain faction in the UK likes to portray the Leave vote as having been powered by a xenophobic anxiety about immigration. If that had been the case, Leave voters for whom this was the point would be behind May’s current “deal” which ends freedom of movement, which would (were that view of the Leave vote correct) produce grassroots support for her “deal”. Public opinion polls in the UK show this is not the case. So far as I can tell as a frequent visitor to and keen observe of the UK, the point of Brexit is for the UK to be governed by its elected Parliament, not the European Commission, to have the Anglo-Saxon conception of human rights and law prevail over the Continental (read Napoleonic) conception, and to be able to strike free trade agreements with the world beyond Europe, hence the resolute opposition to the May “deal” which provides none of these benefits, even though it would satisfy a xenophobe who wanted to suppress immigration from continental Europe or beyond mandated by the EU’s freedom of movement rules.

  17. Sydney says

    A number of people here have pointed to Canada, and for good reason. Canada is a failing experiment-in-progress. It’s failing as it unrolls. And it’s precisely because, as Remi Adekoya points out, the facts don’t match the fantasies.

    PM Justin Trudeau lied to Canadians before being elected. It’s clear he planned to unroll a radical immigration/migration agenda to completely change the face of our nation, but did not make that a part of his election platform. Now he’s forcing it through without a word of national discussion or debate. In a narcissistic and totalitarian flourish, Trudeau decided he would create the world’s first global thingy. It’s not a good thing[y] at all.

    With a word to the media, Trudeau proclaimed that we were the world’s first “postnational” thingy (postnational nation?); and with a single tweet he erased/opened our borders. Migrants began streaming in with their suitcases, and haven’t stopped. In a dark national joke, our national police force has become a valet service, shown on camera carrying the bags of these random migrants. They all live on taxpayer expense in hotels. They’re being given cheques and voting cards. Trudeau is pushing through legislation to allow non-citizens to vote (presumably for his Liberal Party of Canada).

    No public debate was allowed as he signed on to the universally loathed UN Migration Pact (evidently written by a Canadian UN judge). The dangerous stupidity continued as he shut down resource development; heaped scorn on our history, culture, and ordinary citizens; instituted the first step toward Islamic Sharia law; personally interfered with the judiciary; and purchased the national mainstream media so as to silence it (it is effective; the MSM reports on nothing). That’s the BIG PICTURE.

    [Alberta-based Rebel media is the only independent news source for Canadians, and its reporters have valiantly tried to clock the numbers of migrants coming here, and what it’s costing taxpayers. It’s a “postnational” disaster that Trudeau and his friends (Aga Khan, George Soros, members of Muslim Brotherhood among them) aren’t concerned with. Ordinary Canadians who weren’t infatuated by Trudeau’s eyelashes and snowboard skills are stunned, as a commenter noted higher up.]

    Here’s a snapshot of the SMALL PICTURE: In 2017, PM Trudeau arrived in Vancouver and made a grand media show of personally greeting and welcoming a group of “Syrian” (who knows?) “refugees” (who knows?). The United Church of Canada, which today is less a religious institution than a left-wing activist group, was part of the welcome.

    Just over a year later, the media reluctantly reported that a 30-year-old male member of that Syrian group of “refugees”, Ibrahim Ali, had been charged with the year-old murder (and possibly rape; it’s unclear because of the vague reporting) of a 13-year-old girl.

    Evidently, three months after being welcomed to Vancouver, Ibrahim Ali murdered 13-year-old Marrisa Shen in a forest-like city park where she was spending time during the summer months.

    It took a year for Vancouver’s homicide police to charge the Syrian “refugee” with the murder. The local press takes pains to silence the story; presumably because it’s being directed to from the government. There is no longer any separation between the government, the judiciary, and the press.

    A child lost of her life (and a grieving family lost their young daughter) in a preventable, gruesome, horrific way to a migrant/refugee who was in Canada because it served the political purposes of a virtue-signalling politician who is busy living out his narcissistic dreams of remaking a nation into a the world’s first global thingy. In a horrible twist of irony, Marrisa’s family are legitimate immigrants from China.

    Apologies for a too-long comment, but Quillette’s readers should know that a real-life immigration/migration experiment is being forced on Canada by its elite. Nothing about it is good, or admirable, or will work, or will make Canada a better or more functional place. Evidently it’s hard to build something and easy to wreck it.

    Canada was indeed a nation of immigrants, but they agreed that cultural assimilation and civic responsibility to an actual nation was part of the deal. No longer. Fantasy has trumped the facts that the author points to. No facts about anything were taken into account in the remaking of Canada, just the fantasies of a far-left trust-funder PM and his globalist friends and associates.

    There is good reason for anxiety about immigration. It’s a risk at the best of times, and needs to be handled carefully. Canada is case-in-point.

  18. Frances Abbott says

    DNY Regarding the difference between the Napoleonic code and common law. We were shocked when we moved to Quebec 40 years ago when we realised the implications of the Civil Code. Basically, it is based on the notion that ANYTHING that has not been legislated as ‘legal’ is by definition illegal – this extends to the names you may use for your children. The basis of common law is that anything not explicitly illegal is legal. Moreover, the French system is also based on a Cartesian philosophy which states that if the theory is right, then all things that follow from that theory are correct. Thus, educational and health programs are based on theory, on spelling out all the details, and followup assessment is just a quaint Anglo Saxon idea.

    The Leavers in the UK feel, as we did in Quebec, that there is something peculiar without realising that it is the basic philosophical difference they have with the EU’s Napoleonic/Cartesian structure they are reacting to.

    The idea that migrants from failed states ruled by dictators can comprehend the basis of democracy is nonsensical. It took us as academics years to comprehend what was different about Quebec, and despite its different conception of civil law, it is still more or less a democracy.

  19. Todd Scott says

    Massive amount of comments on this topic.
    The Middle East is devoid of natural resources. Afrika has major natural resources but no way to get them because of all the violence surrounding anything black. Take millions of muslimes from the Middle East and put them in Europe and replace the native population. It’s funny how whenever white people “replaced” a native population it’s seen as being bad but now that this very same thing is happening to white people it’s not seen as being bad. Things will only get worse but we’re not allowed to even talk about this topic especially if you speak truth, stats, facts and reality.
    S. Korea and Japan and China and the rest of Asia doesn’t accept any immigration and no one says a word. The west, typically seen as “white countries” take in millions of people a year and there reward is being called racist all the time. So the countries that take in people are racist but the countries that don’t take in any people are not racist!?!
    Soon white people will have no countries where white peoples are the majority. That’s the plan. White men are seen as the problem to the worlds issues. Most people are completely unaware of the things occurring in the European countries taking in millions of muslimes. After 5 years none of them work and they get thousands a month in benefits so there is no need to work.

    If diversity is our greatest strength then why do they have to constantly tell us that? They never give examples of why this is such an awesome thing and how it’s beneficial to us. One of the greatest rouses in history that will lead to major social and political problems and ultimately major conflicts and war.

    • You are wrong on so many points. Japan allows immigration, under a points system. If you are employed as a high tech employee in Japan, you can probably get permanent residency in about 3 years. Taiwan has a similar, but easier employment based system for permanent residency. Singapore offers residency to anyone who is employed there for 2 or 3 years.

      • ga gamba says

        Golly Jesse, you’re right. Japan’s population is 2% resident foreigners. Of course, not all migrants are immigrants, who are those who have come in order to live there permanently. About 60% of Japan’s foreign residents are also permanent residents, so a bit more than 1% of Japan’s population is foreigners with permanent residency. Zainichi Koreans make up 85 percent of this population, and this community are those were were allowed to remain in Japan as a condition of its surrender and peace treaty with the Allies.

        S. Korea is also about 2% foreign, and more than half of these are ethnic Koreans from China.

        In Taiwan the foreign residents are 3% of national population.

        These three nations are the hotbeds of immigration.

        Singapore offers residency to anyone who is employed there for 2 or 3 years.

        Anyone, eh? How about maids and other household domestics? They form the largest group of foreign workers in Singapore, roughly 60% of the non-permanent residents.

        To be eligible for permanent residency in Singapore, one needs to have been issued an S Pass, Employment Pass, Personalised Employment Pass, or Entrepreneur Pass visa. These come with their requirements for education credentials, minimum income, etc. Those who hold the Work Permit for Foreign Worker, which is issued to semi-skilled labourers such as those employed in construction, and Work Permit for Foreign Domestic Worker, such as maids, are ineligible to apply for permanent residency.

  20. Nice piece, which I’ll assign to my students next semester. Although publics in the global South are understandably more in favor of globalist progressive initiatives like global taxes, this is very consistent with other data I’ve seen…Now, having said that, I will offer two more progressive academic takes on things, which would be a) just as the global North doesn’t look to the South for economic advice, it might not want to do so on migration policy either or (my preference) b) maybe global publics should get what they say they want, i.e., more progressive policies on UN reform and the global distribution of wealth, but more restrictive policies on migration…

  21. There is a HUGE difference between somebody in India or South Africa rejecting immigration, and somebody in the West rejecting immigration. The former countries have unsustainably high birth rates and very high unemployment rate. So it is entirely rational for them to oppose immigration. In a country like the USA, with below replacement birth rates, and unemployment rates near historic lows- you have to a moron to oppose immigration. Or a racist. Or a racist moron. Take your pick.

    • ga gamba says

      So, if the US introduced subsidies to families to increase the birth rate to replacement level and ended immigration would it be neither racist nor moronic?

    • LifeinaLiberalTown says

      Or an environmentalist or someone who believes that crowding and encroachment on open space is an issue, or someone who believes that lowering wages and creating a huge underclass is a problem.

    • Sydney says

      “…[R]acist or moron…” I’m not sure what’s worse: the degree to which that comment is simplistic, naïve, and uninformed; or that it’s so lacking in the civil discourse that is a great feature of Quillette. People who write these sorts of “progressive left” comments probably feel happier hurling epithets back on Slate, Vox, or NYT.

      In any event, I reiterate to readers to watch this brief video about immigration by Canadian professor, Salim Mansur, PhD:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=448&v=oUdk6hrNrp4

  22. LifeinaLiberalTown says

    Of course, its always been an issue since the dawn of time because people are essentially territorial.
    The debate about immigration into Western countries objected to by Western Liberals because they see the debate not about immigration per se, its about identity politics and worldwide income distribution

  23. Preetesh Shivam says

    I think what these surveys fail to ask is how many of those surveyed were averse to documented or legal migrants coming to their countries vs undocumented migrants. Speaking from an Indian perspective, we seem to be struggling with large swathes of undocumented migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar(mainly Muslims) and that is affecting the demography of some of the North-Eastern states and there actually have been cases where they got voting rights due to malpractices of the minority appeasing parties. If these were legal migrants with work permits, I think majority of the Indians would not be against this movement. I assume same is the case with Americans and Europeans. Obviously, there definitely would be people who just hate migrants but i’m sure they make up a very tiny fraction of the population.

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