Across the Atlantic

Leave it to France and Germany to make America look good (or not so bad) on immigration.  In the latest move to keep the scary illegals out, France is instituting DNA testing of immigrants who apply for family visas.  Though forging on these documents is not uncommon, the new policy sets a dehumanizing precedent for Europe and creates yet another obstacle for families to pursue their “American”, or in this case “European” dream.  The cost of the test, a whopping £350, is passed on to the immigrant families.

In the meantime, in Germany, a recent survey shows that Turks, one of Germany’s most sizable immigrant groups, is still, after 50 years of cohabitation, poor, poorly educated and behind in wages and employment.  The study by the Berlin Institute for Population and Development attributes Turks’ second class status to firstly, their own reluctance to integrate and secondly, Germany’s discrimination and flimsy efforts to help Turks advance in German society, especially in the realm of education.

Though I can’t comment on Turks’ attitudes towards Germany, the lack of educational opportunities hits close to come.  In the US, we stereotype Mexican immigrants as being uneducated and lazy.  Then when they or their undocumented children aspire to higher education to become contributing members of society we close the door in their faces.  The DREAM Act, which would provide undocumented high school graduates with a path to a college education and legal status, has been stalled in Congress since 2001.  If you would like to learn more about the Act or how to support it, please visit the DreamACTivist site.


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One response to “Across the Atlantic

  1. Utpal

    You make very important points–I think people often forget about the fact that we are not the only Western country to be unkind towards immigrants.

    Have you read any Didier Fassin? He’s a French physician-anthropologist who writes a lot about “the biopolitics of otherness” and the ways in which immigrants to France are constituted as different. I’m sure he’ll have a lot to say about this new policy…

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