New trend alert: blame it on the immigrants

October 9, 2007

The two masked assailants cornered da Costa and began raking him with the whirring chain-saw blades. They slashed one arm to the bone, nearly sliced off his left thumb and hacked his face, neck and chest (link)

Too bad the author of the passage above doesn’t know he plagiarized from one of the most gangster-classic film in the United States. Remember the rawest scene in Scarface? “ChiChi! Get the yayo!” Oh you know how it goes.

Well that was no work of fiction. That was the WaPo this morning.

Across Switzerland, anti-foreigner and anti-Islamic attitudes have become so pervasive on the streets, in politics and within governmental institutions that the United Nations, European Union, Amnesty International and Switzerland’s own Federal Commission Against Racism have expressed alarm in recent months.

The theme is dominating the campaign for national parliamentary elections Oct. 21 and is crystallized in a controversial campaign poster showing three white sheep kicking a black sheep off a Swiss flag above the slogan, “For more security.”

Hmm. Hoping to kick the immigrants out by making it a primary focus of a major election. I think I’ve heard of that trend elsewhere. Oh yeah. Now I remember.

It frustrates me. First the derogatory/technical term for all immigrants, alien. Second the term, ‘illegal’ alien/immigrant. Objects (drugs, guns) are illegal. Actions (crimes) are illegal. Since when was being a human being considered illegal. Why can’t we use a term more specific like, “immigrant with illegal/expired/questionable citizenship status?” What? Too specific? All the same thing? Or are we too lazy to make the effort?

I wish the community would only dig a millimeter deeper into the issue, and realize this population really does not have it all that easy. They are really the victims. First in their adopted land.

Dubai’s gleaming high rises, idyllic beaches and seemingly limitless opportunities glittered on the pages of brochures and in the stories told by laborers returning home to his native Kerala, India. But after five years here, surviving in squalid conditions and barely making ends meet on less than $200 a month, Mr. Kumaran, 28, says his dream has long since faded.

“I thought this was the land of opportunity, but I was fooled,” he said Thursday, as he stood with several other construction workers outside their work camp in the desert on the outskirts of the city. (link)

And then in their motherland.

Shirley Justus, 45, who struggled to raise three daughters by herself while her husband drove trucks in Muscat and Dubai. Her oldest, Suji, graduated from high school last year and made two study plans, one aimed at England and the other at Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. Ms. Justus, afraid to be responsible for letting her go, vetoed both ideas. Her daughter obeyed with little complaint and then hanged herself.

“If my husband was here, she wouldn’t have done this,” said Ms. Justus, who has made her living room a shrine to her daughter and her life a search for answers. “He would have solved the problem.” (link)

But who cares about being PC, right? I’m tired of it, too. I mean either those brown folks are stealing our jobs or taking it to their countries. Well it turns out these xenophobic views and actions are only beginning to show the repercussions coming back to haunt us. Karma is a bitch.

The SVP campaign has begun to have a ripple effect, shaking the image of Switzerland as a place of prosperity, tranquillity and stability — particularly for doing business. On Thursday, a coalition of business, union and church leaders in Basel criticized the SVP for what they called its extremism, saying, “Those who discriminate against foreigners hurt the economy and threaten jobs in Switzerland.” (link)

It doesn’t take an economist to realize that the deliberate move to Canada to end-around the U.S. visa hurdle signals a trend that could have serious implications for the U.S. economy.

The visa reform movement says immigrant innovation was highlighted by a report last month which found that foreign nationals are responsible for up to one in four of international patent applications filed in the U.S. The report, a third in a series by researchers at Harvard, Duke and New York universities, found that the U.S. could face chronic innovation problems unless the visa situation is resolved.

The chief coordinator of the study, Vivek Wadhwa, a Harvard Law School fellow, says that the U.S. is denying itself an economic bargain — access to the brainpower of tens of thousands of creative young people whose education was paid for elsewhere.

“Look at the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on educating U.S. workers, from their first days in school right through grad school,’’ Wadhwa says. “The US can hire young people just after they are educated by another country and ready to pay taxes. The US is getting a massive savings and it is throwing it away.’’ (link)

RIVERSIDE, N.J.— A little more than a year ago, the Township Committee in this faded factory town became the first municipality in New Jersey to enact legislation penalizing anyone who employed or rented to an illegal immigrant.

With the departure of so many people, the local economy suffered. Hair salons, restaurants and corner shops that catered to the immigrants saw business plummet; several closed. Once-boarded-up storefronts downtown were boarded up again.

Suddenly, many people — including some who originally favored the law — started having second thoughts.

So last week, the town rescinded the ordinance, joining a small but growing list of municipalities nationwide that have begun rethinking such laws as their legal and economic consequences have become clearer.

“I don’t think people knew there would be such an economic burden,” said Mayor George Conard, who voted for the original ordinance. “A lot of people did not look three years out.” ( link)

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