Tag Archives: immigration

IRISH: a Personal Perspective on the Immigration Subject by David Sparenberg

Fortunately the attorney general here in the state of Washington filed against reality TV’s Trump ban on immigrants and refugees, and on Friday, 3 Feb., a federal judge ruled against the ban and nationally it has been lifted. 

imm01_400_02Now I cannot speak to the entire history of immigration to the United States, but will write here a bit on one striking case.

In Ireland between 1845-49 the potato crop, food staple of the Irish people, failed throughout the land due to blight.  During the ensuing famine a million Irish died of starvation and related disease.  The famine claimed 10% of the entire population of the island country.  This was a humanitarian crisis on a scale similar to population withering and displacement in our time resulting from global warming (rapid losses of arable land and available water) and war.  Along with the million deaths, another million and a half Irish folk immigrated, relocating to the United States, Canada and Australia.  Seventy-five percent of these immigrants came to America.

Now consider: What if, all you Irish-Americans, Trump had been in the White House during the years of the Great Famine and had denied entry to our ancestry?  Of course they would have been “white,” a plus to a racist and diseased worldview, but then they would have been predominately Catholic and still Irish, with a reputation for anti-authoritarian intransigence and rebellion.

My father’s family name, obviously, is German and there is a city in the south of Germany and a ruined castle in Saxony bearing this same name.  I have a maternal great grandmother who was a full blooded Eastern Cherokee; a woman of color who married into the Floyds of Augusta, Georgia.  From that wild Indian family line came the American Robin Hood of the Great Depression, my grandfather’s cousin, Charles, popularly called “Pretty boy.”  Floyd was murdered by a zealous FBI agent for a crime he did not commit.  But he has been immortalized as a folk hero in song by  the troubadour of the Depression rails, Woody Guthrie.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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Trump’s Chaotic First Couple of Weeks by Dr. Habib Siddiqui

On Saturday in its front cover page the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel posted an illustration of the U.S. President Donald Trump beheading the Statue of Liberty. It depicts a cartoon figure of Trump with a bloodied knife in one hand and the statue’s head, dripping with blood, in the other. It carries the caption: “America First”. The cartoon says it all as to the direction Trump is trying to take America.

tr01_400_06The artist who designed the cover, Edel Rodriguez, a Cuban who came to the United States in 1980 as a political refugee, told The Washington Post: “It’s a beheading of democracy, a beheading of a sacred symbol.”

No wonder that just weeks into the new administration, a new survey has found that about half of voters in the U.S. wished Barack Obama was still in office. This result was announced by a group called Public Policy Polling, or PPP, which asked registered voters at the end of January, “Who would you rather was President: Barack Obama or Donald Trump?”

Of the 725 participants, 52 percent responded with Obama, 43 percent preferred Trump, and 5 percent weren’t sure. The group’s press release also revealed that 40 percent support Trump’s impeachment.

According to Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, “Usually a newly elected President is at the peak of their popularity and enjoying their honeymoon period after taking office right now. But Donald Trump’s making history once again with a sizeable share of voters already wanting to impeach him, and a majority of voters wishing they could have Barack Obama back.”

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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Eureka: What is exactly an immigrant? by Akli Hadid

migran01_400Now that leaders around the world are talking about deporting illegal immigrants and restricting immigration, what exactly is an immigrant?

Roughly, there are seven types of foreign nationals that can reside in your country. Such foreign nationals can move from one category to another during their stay in your country, such as someone who came as a student, found employment, then married a local. Others come as students and start businesses, dropping their studies, while others come as tourists or short-term students and overstay their visa, while still others did not have authorization to enter your country, and came by hiding in a car or vessel that entered the country legally.

Now to the different categories of immigrants.

Type 1: Foreign government officials and dignitaries

They used to be the most common form of immigrant, and it’s safe to say they are now among the least common type of immigrant. Governments, armies or state-owned businesses can send dignitaries or officials to work in your country. It’s difficult to find sub-categories as some of them can be quite blurry: in the United States embassy staff can not assist local business or find business opportunities and can only serve as go-betweens and there’s a clear line between business, the military and government. In East Asia for example the line between diplomacy, business and the military is a lot more blurred, that is you can have an army official who has an office at the embassy but also actively seeks clients for his country’s mobile phone company or construction company among others. The length of stay varies from dignitary to dignitary and from country to country. African and Middle Eastern states are famous for sending dignitaries to a foreign country for a lifetime, while other countries like to change their rosters frequently.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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The “Neo-Immigrants”: Immigration as a Ruse for Opportunism?

papi02_400_03A few days ago I decided to view once again the famous movie by Visconti “Il Gattopardo” (usually mistranslated as The Leopard but better rendered as “The Wild Cat.”) The movie is a faithful rendition of Giuseppe di Lambedusa’s novel published posthumously in 1956 and dealing with the 1860 events in Sicily leading to the unification of the whole Italian peninsula by Giuseppe Garibaldi. Things were supposed to get much better for the unified Italy; in reality they got worse. As Tancredi puts it in a conversation with his uncle, the prince of Salina, “we need to change everything so that nothing changes.” In fact little changed in Southern Italy except an exchange of monarchies.

In effect, the aspirations of Garibaldi to found republic were thwarted and a new King, the northern Italian king of Savoy Emmanuel II was promptly installed. Rome became capital of Italy some ten years late in 1871. Barely thirty years later, worsening social conditions forced one million southern Italians to emigrate. One of those was my own grandfather Emmanuele, born in 1877, barely seventeen years after Italian unification. My great-grandfather Francesco must have been a teen-ager at that time. All his three sons Emmanuele, Domenico, and Pasquale emigrated to America at the turn of the 20th century.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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Thailand and the expatriate experience by Murray Hunter

ovicover_14_03_16Over the last few decades Thailand has attracted expatriates to the country to work, stay long periods of time to explore the country, or retire.

Thailand attracts many young professionals, particularly to Bangkok. Others work as teachers all around the country, some doing online business or some form of short or long term visa. Some operate small businesses with their Thai spouse.

In addition, Thailand has always been a place of interest for the traveller within the SE Asian region, where many like to stay medium to long term, sight-seeing, travelling, and ‘just hanging out’.

Retirement in Thailand is part of a global trend of people relocating from high income countries to lower income countries. There are large numbers of expatriates living all around the country, concentrated within the tourist precincts. In addition, clusters of wealthy retirees live in apartments and villas they have purchased or leased, across the tourist precincts of Phuket, Pattaya, Rayong, and Chiang Mai, etc.

There is also a high incidence of expatriates married to local women, residing in areas like Issan in the north-east of Thailand. Many single men choose places like Pattaya to reside for the excitement of living an entertainment enclave.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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They are humans

aware_00014According to the International Organization for Migration, up to 3,072 migrants died or disappeared in 2014 in the Mediterranean while trying to migrate to Europe. Overall estimates are that over 22,000 migrants died between 2000 and 2014.

In 2014, 283,532 migrants irregularly entered the European Union, mainly following the Central Mediterranean, Eastern Mediterranean and Western Balkan routes. 220,194 migrants crossed EU sea borders in the Central, Eastern and Western Mediterranean (a 266% increase compared to 2013). Half of them had come from Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan.

In 2014, 170,100 migrants arrived in Italy by sea, a 296% increase compared to 2013. 141,484 of the travellers ferried from Libya. The migrants had come from Syria (42,323), Eritrea (34,329), Mali (9,908), Nigeria (9,000), Gambia (8,691), Somalia (5,756), and other areas (4,095). 64,625 applied for asylum.

Between 1 January and 3 March 2015, 7,882 migrants arrived in Italy by sea, a +40.5% increase compared to the same period in 2014. 7,257 of the travellers ferried from Libya. Most of them had come from the Horn of Africa (1,088 from Somalia, 817 from Eritrea), West Africa (969 from Gambia, 919 from Senegal, 725 from Mali, 463 from Nigeria, 282 from Ivory Coast, 173 from Guinea) and Syria (920).

As of 17 April, the total number of migrants reaching the Italian coasts is 21,191 since 1 January 2015, with a decrease during the month of March due to bad weather conditions, and a surge since 10 April, bringing the total number of arrivals in line with the number recorded in the same period in 2014. However, the death toll in the first four months of 2014 was 96, compared with 500 in the same period in 2015; this number excludes victims of the devastating shipwrecks on 13 and 19 April.

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Arizona immigration bill

US immigrant rights groups have sharply criticised a bill approved by Arizona’s Congress that makes it an offence for a person to lack the proper paperwork. One group, the National Council of La Raza, said the bill would turn Latinos, regardless of their legal status, into suspects in their own communities. Supporters of the bill say it will help bring illegal immigration under control in Arizona.

It makes you think what would have happened if the natives the real natives of Arizona had done the same a few centuries ago instead of welcoming the new immigrants, giving them food and place to live! Apparently the new immigrants enslaved the natives and the ones they couldn’t enslave they killed! I suppose that’s what Arizona’s congress is afraid of!

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