Archive for the ‘UK’ category

Immigration – Take A Breath

May 8, 2015

The Tories won the election UK yesterday. Most pundits had written the conservatives off and at best predicted a minority government. Instead, for yet unexplained reasons, the Conservatives won an outright majority. So what does it mean?

Upfront it means Prime Minister Cameron will get to remain Prime Minister for as many as another 5 years. It also means he will have to fulfill his campaign pledge of letting Britain vote on whether to remain part of the European Union. Hmmm.

It has always made me scratch my head to hear English citizens speak of the UK and Europe, as if they were as distant as the US and China. While it is true Europeans drive on the left side of the road and their native languages are not english, there is a scant 20 or so miles separating England from the Continent. But many English see it differently.

The UK has avoided joining the Euro (the common currency) without any recognized damage to the pound. But being part of the EU has from time to time created great ire amongst the English. (It must be said that the European Parliament must be one of the largest bureaucracies in the world, maybe next to the UN.) The main argument with the EU is, immigration, or more specifically the apparent lack of EU effort in stopping unauthorized immigration into the US from Continental shores.

The EU has a rule which says no boarders can interfere with an EU resident seeking employment in any EU country. So workers from less well off EU countries can simple travel to London and look for work, all while taking advantage of the UK social safety net. That was hard to accept but there is an even bigger issue.

Economic refugees from all over (mainly the Middle East and Africa) are streaming into Southern Europe and then working their way towards the UK. The English Channel stands in their way so large camps have risen on the shores opposite England. Smuggling by any means available, these refugees attempt daily to enter the UK. Once in Britain, the refugees can stay as long as they wish, work if they wish, or just collect welfare.

The Brits don’t like this and by extension don’t like the lax EU.

These refugees in many cases really do not intend to return to the native countries, many of which are torn by war and fighting. For them, the UK represents a salvation of sorts.

The US has an immigration problem too. We have some 12 million undocumented aliens living in the US. The largest group with these 12 million has been Hispanic (mainly Mexican) but there is now an increasing number of Indians and Chinese. The Mexicans are good workers, have strong family values, and are religion centered people much like most Americans. Indian and Chinese immigrants while culturally different also are family centered and achievement oriented. These groups can be very additive to the current American fabric.

Listening to our politicians and some of our labor leaders you would never believe what I have just written. The world is going to end would be their predictions unless we send all these immigrants home.

But think about the problem the UK has and the so called one we have. Hmmm.

Immigration cannot be unlimited and the rate must be controlled in order to assure social order. But someone must have been absent when they were handing out brains to not see the immigration issue facing the US as quite different from that facing the UK.

Both need attention from fair minded and just leaders. For the US comprehensive immigration reform will be a 2016 election issue just as it was for Prime Minister Cameron.