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Immigration Divides Communities in the US and France

An ill-fated, and extremely tough, immigration ordinance has caused ethnic divisions in small-town Hazleton, PA. Mayor Lou Barletta, was proud of the nation's strictest immigration law that punished businesses for hiring undocumented workers as well as landlords who rented to them. The law was ultimately declared unconstitutional in federal court.

Meanwhile in France, businesses and unions are clashing with President Sarkozy over his promise to deport 25,000 illegal immigrants each year. Businesses complain that they are forced to play police, and fire workers they cannot replace. To see what happened this week,

. This Tuesday, workers went on strike to demand visas. France has responded to labor shortages by identifying which industries have recruitment problems and then issuing temporary visas. But the random issuing of visas offers little security to working immigrants, unsure of their fate.

Both examples demonstrate the divisive impact of immigration policy and rhetoric. Latinos comprise one-third of the population in Hazelton, PA. Thus, Mayor Barletta's harsh words have alienated a large section of his (legal) constituency. In France, it is a matter of business — firms say their survival depends on immigrant labor.

Do immigration politics impact your community? Should governments take a different approach when legitimate economic concerns are involved?

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vasanta vasanta 7 years
if sarkozy deports that many illegals, who will collect the trash and clean the hotel rooms?
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
Immigration is a very difficult problem, which is only compounded by those who come illegally. I agree that pressure needs to be brought onto the governments (like Mexico) that are corrupt, and our immigration laws need to be fixed, but foriegners need to respect the laws of this country as well. Coming in illegally and then complaining that the people who are in the country legally are discriminating against you is insulting not only to those who live in the country, but also those who came in legally.
KadBunny KadBunny 7 years
And obviously telling someone to go back to their own country and magically turn things around is SO much more sensible.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 7 years
I really resent the whole notion of "well why don't you just stay in YOUR country and live THERE and make THAT place better." Clearly that would only come from someone who's never experienced what it's like to live in a country run by corrupt officials and poor economics.
Thank you! I find such statements to be shortsighted and ignorant.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 7 years
<blockquote>I really resent the whole notion of "well why don't you just stay in YOUR country and live THERE and make THAT place better." Clearly that would only come from someone who's never experienced what it's like to live in a country run by corrupt officials and poor economics.</blockquote>Thank you! I find such statements to be shortsighted and ignorant.
KadBunny KadBunny 7 years
I really resent the whole notion of "well why don't you just stay in YOUR country and live THERE and make THAT place better." Clearly that would only come from someone who's never experienced what it's like to live in a country run by corrupt officials and poor economics. Trust me I'm the biggest idealist but sometimes, as much as I like to dream, you get to a point where being a good citizen just isn't good enough anymore and you have to find another place to reach self-fulfillment. Yes, some "illegal aliens mooch off American tax payer money" but conversely not all of them escape tax season. Yes, a vast majority aren't exactly fluent in English but as some of you have already mentioned how do you know they're not trying? I know a good number of them who take classes in community colleges or learn from their children. I notice the only ones I've met who cannot speak it at all are either the elderly or 1st generation mothers. Sometimes fathers. Would you really expect a 70 year old wo/man to have the mental capacity to learn another language? Would you expect a mother to have the time and energy to learn when they're (probably) too busy looking after children? Don't get me wrong, I totally understand the imbalance it brings to the country's economy and it definitely needs to be dealt with, but will some of us try not to be so harsh when it comes to this? think about it from the other side. The issue is very dear to me since my family moved here too. Sometimes it's not just all business; we're talking about actual people who just wanted to seek out better lives. This nation was built on immigrants anyway, was it not? That same dream to build a better life and seek opportunity? How are Americans that much different? I'd love to come up with a solution but I'm not a very good economist I'm afraid; just giving my ¢2.
KadBunny KadBunny 7 years
I really resent the whole notion of "well why don't you just stay in YOUR country and live THERE and make THAT place better." Clearly that would only come from someone who's never experienced what it's like to live in a country run by corrupt officials and poor economics. Trust me I'm the biggest idealist but sometimes, as much as I like to dream, you get to a point where being a good citizen just isn't good enough anymore and you have to find another place to reach self-fulfillment.Yes, some "illegal aliens mooch off American tax payer money" but conversely not all of them escape tax season. Yes, a vast majority aren't exactly fluent in English but as some of you have already mentioned how do you know they're not trying? I know a good number of them who take classes in community colleges or learn from their children. I notice the only ones I've met who cannot speak it at all are either the elderly or 1st generation mothers. Sometimes fathers. Would you really expect a 70 year old wo/man to have the mental capacity to learn another language? Would you expect a mother to have the time and energy to learn when they're (probably) too busy looking after children?Don't get me wrong, I totally understand the imbalance it brings to the country's economy and it definitely needs to be dealt with, but will some of us try not to be so harsh when it comes to this? think about it from the other side. The issue is very dear to me since my family moved here too. Sometimes it's not just all business; we're talking about actual people who just wanted to seek out better lives. This nation was built on immigrants anyway, was it not? That same dream to build a better life and seek opportunity? How are Americans that much different?I'd love to come up with a solution but I'm not a very good economist I'm afraid; just giving my ¢2.
Meike Meike 7 years
Immigration politics directly impact my husband and I. To say the least, I am annoyed with illegal immigration. It makes the visa process slower and more difficult. However, I do understand why illegal immigration occurs. Most of them just want better opportunities. I think instead of trying to make the borders more inpenatrable, we should have stricter regulation on companies hiring cheap labor. If there are no jobs for them here, well, there would be no reason to come unless they're escaping to find refuge from another country. I'm am immigrant myself. However, my family went through all the legal processes to attain citizenship in the U.S. We worked hard from somewhat poorer conditions to be here legitimately.
Meike Meike 7 years
Immigration politics directly impact my husband and I. To say the least, I am annoyed with illegal immigration. It makes the visa process slower and more difficult. However, I do understand why illegal immigration occurs. Most of them just want better opportunities.I think instead of trying to make the borders more inpenatrable, we should have stricter regulation on companies hiring cheap labor. If there are no jobs for them here, well, there would be no reason to come unless they're escaping to find refuge from another country.I'm am immigrant myself. However, my family went through all the legal processes to attain citizenship in the U.S. We worked hard from somewhat poorer conditions to be here legitimately.
hartsfull hartsfull 7 years
I'm going to say a few things. They do refuse to learn English when they have a family member who has been doing all their speaking for them since they moved to this country. After 10 years, they need to be able to talk to the doctor or the nurse without all the medical personel waiting 8 hours for said family member to show up and translate everything. When I have worked in the hospital, I have been able to translate a little because I speak spanish, (rusty now) but my medical spanish is a little poor. In Denver there is a HIGH population of Russian, and there aren't a lot of personel who speak Russian. Yes again they have been living here for years. Most people don't even care if it's correct or if there's an accent. They just want to see people TRY. So far that's as much as can comment on. If I came accross as insulting, I appologize. It wasn't intended.
hartsfull hartsfull 7 years
I'm going to say a few things.They do refuse to learn English when they have a family member who has been doing all their speaking for them since they moved to this country. After 10 years, they need to be able to talk to the doctor or the nurse without all the medical personel waiting 8 hours for said family member to show up and translate everything. When I have worked in the hospital, I have been able to translate a little because I speak spanish, (rusty now) but my medical spanish is a little poor. In Denver there is a HIGH population of Russian, and there aren't a lot of personel who speak Russian. Yes again they have been living here for years. Most people don't even care if it's correct or if there's an accent. They just want to see people TRY. So far that's as much as can comment on. If I came accross as insulting, I appologize. It wasn't intended.
hartsfull hartsfull 7 years
Peachy, this wasn't quick at all. :) It's really long. It's too much for me too comment on. I would like too. There are some things I disagree with being one who has grown up with Mexicans and had to learn their laguage. I'm a weda. Also, one who has worked in a lot of hospitals and there's a lot that I need to say with that about the things you brought up. Now, it's too late and too much for me to say anything. I can tell you are really upset. I don't want to disrespect you at all. You should if you can, copy and paste all you said and put it in a blog of your own. That's what I would do if I had this much to say. You have good points too. I meant to say that.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
Beyond the Multiplex Tommy Lee Jones on his striking, darkly funny directorial debut. By Andrew O'H After first couple of pages interview progresses: ..... A: Most of us who live in the middle-class United States don't see a dead body very often, and when we do it's a major traumatic event. I suppose this too is a stereotype, but Mexicans may just be on more intimate terms with death. Tommy Lee Jones: That could be. I think they have open-casket funerals there. They have a different attitude toward death, certainly. As a child of West Texas, I identify with Hispanic culture every bit as much as I do North American culture. I live in San Antonio, Texas, with a 60 percent Hispanic population. My wife is 50 percent Hispanic. S: It's clear in the film that you speak Spanish pretty well. Did you learn it growing up? TLJ: I started to. I began my academic study of Spanish in the seventh grade and kept it up for the next eight and a half years. I think it was my junior year of college when I stopped. I've traveled a great deal in Mexico, Spain, Argentina. I work with a lot of people who don't speak English, in the cattle business and horse business. We have property in Argentina. So Spanish is my second language. But that's not my [Spanish] accent, in the movie. That's a northern Mexican accent, that Pete uses. My accent is normally a bit more sophisticated. S: That makes sense, I guess. Your West Texas accent in English is not the same as Pete's either, is it? TLJ: Well, you can tell that if you look at the movie and listen to me talk. That's Pete up there, that's not me. S: Talk about the structure of the film, which is deliberately fragmented in both space and time. I really liked it, but you are making the viewer work, and there's certainly the potential for audiences to feel confused. Did that come from you or from Arriaga? TLJ: It came from both of us. We wanted the movie to feel like real life, which is to say confusing. The guy dies, and you don't really know how or why. That's the way life really is. Some of the cast and crew thought there was something wrong with me when I told them: "This is like real life. The past, the present and the future all occur simultaneously. You understand?" They said, "No." But that's the deal. S: Well, I can't help thinking about Faulkner, on that question and the themes of this movie generally. Are you a fan? TLJ: Well, yeah. We read "As I Lay Dying," of course. But we were not making that story. We had our own story to tell. Lastly, "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" is now playing in New York and opens Dec. 22 in Los Angeles, for one week only in both cities. It will open nationally on Feb. 3, 2006.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
Beyond the MultiplexTommy Lee Jones on his striking, darkly funny directorial debut. By Andrew O'HAfter first couple of pages interview progresses:.....A: Most of us who live in the middle-class United States don't see a dead body very often, and when we do it's a major traumatic event. I suppose this too is a stereotype, but Mexicans may just be on more intimate terms with death. Tommy Lee Jones: That could be. I think they have open-casket funerals there. They have a different attitude toward death, certainly. As a child of West Texas, I identify with Hispanic culture every bit as much as I do North American culture. I live in San Antonio, Texas, with a 60 percent Hispanic population. My wife is 50 percent Hispanic. S: It's clear in the film that you speak Spanish pretty well. Did you learn it growing up? TLJ: I started to. I began my academic study of Spanish in the seventh grade and kept it up for the next eight and a half years. I think it was my junior year of college when I stopped. I've traveled a great deal in Mexico, Spain, Argentina. I work with a lot of people who don't speak English, in the cattle business and horse business. We have property in Argentina. So Spanish is my second language. But that's not my [Spanish] accent, in the movie. That's a northern Mexican accent, that Pete uses. My accent is normally a bit more sophisticated. S: That makes sense, I guess. Your West Texas accent in English is not the same as Pete's either, is it? TLJ: Well, you can tell that if you look at the movie and listen to me talk. That's Pete up there, that's not me. S: Talk about the structure of the film, which is deliberately fragmented in both space and time. I really liked it, but you are making the viewer work, and there's certainly the potential for audiences to feel confused. Did that come from you or from Arriaga? TLJ: It came from both of us. We wanted the movie to feel like real life, which is to say confusing. The guy dies, and you don't really know how or why. That's the way life really is. Some of the cast and crew thought there was something wrong with me when I told them: "This is like real life. The past, the present and the future all occur simultaneously. You understand?" They said, "No." But that's the deal. S: Well, I can't help thinking about Faulkner, on that question and the themes of this movie generally. Are you a fan? TLJ: Well, yeah. We read "As I Lay Dying," of course. But we were not making that story. We had our own story to tell. Lastly,"The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" is now playing in New York and opens Dec. 22 in Los Angeles, for one week only in both cities. It will open nationally on Feb. 3, 2006.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/060313/13immigration.htm
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
In terms of daily use, Spanish can be expected to die out within two generations among Mexicans and other Latin Americans, the study concluded. The study found that Spanish dies out among children and grandchildren of immigrants even in areas with huge Latino enclaves. "Like taxes and biological death, linguistic death seems to be a sure thing in the United States, even for Mexicans living in Los Angeles, a city with one of the largest Spanish-speaking urban populations in the world," the authors wrote. That might explain why a Spanish language version of the Got Milk? ad campaign bombed in L.A., Rumbaut said. "The mothers might be watching La Madrasta (a popular Mexican telenovela), but the kids don't want leche," he said. "They want milk." While the findings might appease those who fear for the future of English, Rumbaut doesn't view them as completely positive. The United States has absorbed "more monolingual people than any other country in the world," but the irony is that it has ended up as a country of English-only speakers, he said. There is "a lot to be mourned" with the death of native languages, Rumbaut said, as well as the reality that monolingual Americans aren't as competitive in a global economy. Rumbaut has tried to combat the trend with his son, whom he was determined to raise bilingually. But he said school officials in two states tried to put his son in remedial classes after he listed his son as bilingual on enrollment forms. "If that is happening to me, someone with an advanced degree, I can only imagine what is happening to the overwhelming majority of immigrants," he said.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
In terms of daily use, Spanish can be expected to die out within two generations among Mexicans and other Latin Americans, the study concluded. The study found that Spanish dies out among children and grandchildren of immigrants even in areas with huge Latino enclaves. "Like taxes and biological death, linguistic death seems to be a sure thing in the United States, even for Mexicans living in Los Angeles, a city with one of the largest Spanish-speaking urban populations in the world," the authors wrote. That might explain why a Spanish language version of the Got Milk? ad campaign bombed in L.A., Rumbaut said. "The mothers might be watching La Madrasta (a popular Mexican telenovela), but the kids don't want leche," he said. "They want milk." While the findings might appease those who fear for the future of English, Rumbaut doesn't view them as completely positive. The United States has absorbed "more monolingual people than any other country in the world," but the irony is that it has ended up as a country of English-only speakers, he said. There is "a lot to be mourned" with the death of native languages, Rumbaut said, as well as the reality that monolingual Americans aren't as competitive in a global economy. Rumbaut has tried to combat the trend with his son, whom he was determined to raise bilingually. But he said school officials in two states tried to put his son in remedial classes after he listed his son as bilingual on enrollment forms. "If that is happening to me, someone with an advanced degree, I can only imagine what is happening to the overwhelming majority of immigrants," he said.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
Of particular concern were all those Mexican immigrants who were intent on continuing to speak Spanish long after their arrival in the United States. Unlike the good old European immigrants of old, Huntington suggested, the Mexicans would not assimilate. One problem: According to Rumbaut et al., Huntington's thesis on the survival powers of the Spanish language is flat-out wrong. The authors found, after extensive surveys of immigrants and their descendants in Southern California, that by the third generation (defined as having both parents born in the United States) Spanish is rarely spoken, even in the home. The U.S., say the authors, maintains its glorious reputation as "the graveyard of languages." The obvious rejoinder would be: Well, maybe that's been true in the past, but how can that possibly hold for the future, given the huge numbers of Spanish-speaking immigrants that, legally and illegally, continue to pour over the border? The authors address this forthrightly: "This analysis carries the same caveat as any other study based on a period life table estimated from cross-sectional data: it assumes that the linguistic behavior of today's second, third, and fourth generation immigrants accurately forecasts the behavior of future generations. It is possible that Spanish will be retained more readily in the future because its use is no longer stigmatized in schools; because continuous immigration will create more opportunities to speak Spanish with one's compatriots in the future; or because Spanish-language media will become increasingly prevalent. At this point, however, after at least 50 years of continuous Mexican immigration into Southern California, Spanish appears to draw its last breath in the third generation." But my favorite part of the paper, which surprisingly got zero coverage in the news accounts that I've seen, was the authors' last-minute twist on the English-only debate. Rather than comfort their readers with the knowledge that American cultural identity will resist the ravages of the southern invaders, they note that "language death" isn't necessarily a good thing. "To the extent that language fluency is an asset and that knowledge of a foreign tongue represents a valuable resource in a global economy, immigrants' efforts to maintain this part of their cultural heritage and pass it on to their children should not be discouraged." In other words, we need more language diversity in the U.S., not less.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
Of particular concern were all those Mexican immigrants who were intent on continuing to speak Spanish long after their arrival in the United States. Unlike the good old European immigrants of old, Huntington suggested, the Mexicans would not assimilate. One problem: According to Rumbaut et al., Huntington's thesis on the survival powers of the Spanish language is flat-out wrong. The authors found, after extensive surveys of immigrants and their descendants in Southern California, that by the third generation (defined as having both parents born in the United States) Spanish is rarely spoken, even in the home. The U.S., say the authors, maintains its glorious reputation as "the graveyard of languages." The obvious rejoinder would be: Well, maybe that's been true in the past, but how can that possibly hold for the future, given the huge numbers of Spanish-speaking immigrants that, legally and illegally, continue to pour over the border? The authors address this forthrightly: "This analysis carries the same caveat as any other study based on a period life table estimated from cross-sectional data: it assumes that the linguistic behavior of today's second, third, and fourth generation immigrants accurately forecasts the behavior of future generations. It is possible that Spanish will be retained more readily in the future because its use is no longer stigmatized in schools; because continuous immigration will create more opportunities to speak Spanish with one's compatriots in the future; or because Spanish-language media will become increasingly prevalent. At this point, however, after at least 50 years of continuous Mexican immigration into Southern California, Spanish appears to draw its last breath in the third generation." But my favorite part of the paper, which surprisingly got zero coverage in the news accounts that I've seen, was the authors' last-minute twist on the English-only debate. Rather than comfort their readers with the knowledge that American cultural identity will resist the ravages of the southern invaders, they note that "language death" isn't necessarily a good thing. "To the extent that language fluency is an asset and that knowledge of a foreign tongue represents a valuable resource in a global economy, immigrants' efforts to maintain this part of their cultural heritage and pass it on to their children should not be discouraged." In other words, we need more language diversity in the U.S., not less.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
Illegal aliens are welcome to go back home and fill out the necessary paperwork and come in legally." As was established it's not that easy, and people can't wait 10 years if they need to help or take care of their families. There is no such thing as illegal immigration, but there is such a thing as being "undocumented"...most illegal immigrants wanted to get here legally AND equally so many who are here illegally also want to transition to a legal status but the system makes THAT hard too.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
Illegal aliens are welcome to go back home and fill out the necessary paperwork and come in legally."As was established it's not that easy, and people can't wait 10 years if they need to help or take care of their families. There is no such thing as illegal immigration, but there is such a thing as being "undocumented"...most illegal immigrants wanted to get here legally AND equally so many who are here illegally also want to transition to a legal status but the system makes THAT hard too.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
"I'd like to shake Mayor Lou Barletta's hand." - Well, I don't think that's nice at ALL. Mayor Barletta is just a xenophobe.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
"I'd like to shake Mayor Lou Barletta's hand."- Well, I don't think that's nice at ALL. Mayor Barletta is just a xenophobe.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
"I know that there are many sweet, nice, peaceful illegal aliens in this Country. The problem is that they are ILLEGALLY here. They do not belong here. The USofA is NOT their homeland. And that's why I am against ILLEGAL Aliens. Legal, lawful, documented immigrants are more than welcome. Illegal aliens are welcome to go back home and fill out the necessary paperwork and come in legally."It is my sincere hope that Congress will comprehend the illegality of breaking into the USofA and agree to deport anyone currently in the USofA who has no valid documentation. I'd like to shake Mayor Lou Barletta's hand."Ok, well that's nice, I guess...but wait, this really just cements your AVERSE prejudice. I don't want to say so because you may be making an effort (and you are, I believe to an extent) trying to acknowledge another part of it...but it's doesn't negate the rest of the message. Oh, I dunno....
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 7 years
"I know that there are many sweet, nice, peaceful illegal aliens in this Country. The problem is that they are ILLEGALLY here. They do not belong here. The USofA is NOT their homeland. And that's why I am against ILLEGAL Aliens. Legal, lawful, documented immigrants are more than welcome. Illegal aliens are welcome to go back home and fill out the necessary paperwork and come in legally." It is my sincere hope that Congress will comprehend the illegality of breaking into the USofA and agree to deport anyone currently in the USofA who has no valid documentation. I'd like to shake Mayor Lou Barletta's hand." Ok, well that's nice, I guess...but wait, this really just cements your AVERSE prejudice. I don't want to say so because you may be making an effort (and you are, I believe to an extent) trying to acknowledge another part of it...but it's doesn't negate the rest of the message. Oh, I dunno....
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