July 23, 2002
10:29 PM   Subscribe

The FT is running a series on immigration. So far they've spotlighted Marseilles, Mexican migrant workers, E. Europeans in the West and the expatriate S. Africans, as well as done some broader analysis on the benefits and perils of immigration. (more inside :)
posted by kliuless (2 comments total)
The immigrant experience has been central to the American experience, helping create a dynamic and inclusive society, while keeping cultural stagnation at bay. Now it seems many formerly closed societies are opening up and following suit, in recognition that their future rests not only in attracting the best and brightest, but perhaps more fundamentally, that the true test of a nation lies in its ability to incorporate disparate peoples, cultures and ideas into the fabric of its functioning existence (while krawshing your enemies - Conan, what is best in life!)

I also kinda think successful globalization and development may ultimately even depend on higher migration rates around the world. Afterall, I'd say voting with one's feet is probably one of the more effective ways democracy has been established in the world through history. In some ways it's sorta like the flipside to past imperialism and colonization even.
posted by kliuless at 10:32 PM on July 23, 2002

There is a need in discussing this big issue to separate out some things. Some nations import cheap labor because they find their own skilled citizens unable or unwilling to do grunt labor. Other nations allow in those with special skills needed but exclude those without the skills.

Not many years ago E.O. Wilson (biologist, Harvard) noted that immigration, legal or otherwise, would become a huge thing because people living in lands where they were unable to care for themselves or family would find a way or try to get to places where they could survive, no matter what barrier were erected to keep them out.

Malthus may or may not have been correct in his outlook but there is too the notion of just too many people crowded together that makes life unpleasant though sustainable. But at this point you get into moral and ethical and political questions. And at this point I stop.
posted by Postroad at 5:18 AM on July 24, 2002

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