Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More on the issue of multiculturalism

An article from the Boston Review on the politics of multiculturalism in Europe:

It is always interesting to read the comments section on these articles as well.

There is also a review of Paul Lendvai’s most recent book, Mein Verspieltes Land: Ungarn im Umbruch, or My Squandered Country: Hungary Transformed:

Norway and the Far Right in Europe-- links to the U.S.

Many analysts (myself included) have quickly focused in on the impact of the far right in Europe in the context of the attacks in Norway.  For example, Joerg Forbrig discusses the spread and success of the far right in an article on CNN's Global Public Square.

It must be kept in mind that the far right has not only found success at the regional and national level, but also in the European parliament.  Another important point is that the far right, particularly organizations like Geert Wilder's Freedom Party and the English Defence League (as well as Defence Leagues which have formed in other European countries) have made linkages with anti-Islam and far right organizations in the U.S.  This is not just a European problem it is a Transatlantic problem.  Many far right organizations in Europe get funding and other resources from U.S. sources as well as wealthy supporters in their own countries (as detailed in investigations by the Guardian ).

Mainstream politicians in Europe have fed into the support for the far right by pulling far right discourses into mainstream rhetoric. Since I began studying these issues in the 1990s the rhetoric has clearly shifted towards the far right. Proclamations that "multiculturalism has failed" (particularly ironic in countries like Germany that have not practiced it) have fed into an emphasis on Muslims and their lack of integration.  The securitization rhetoric has fed into the perception of Muslims as threat.  Certainly this has not necessarily led to what happened in Norway, Breivik has been planning for many years and was motivated by his own demons.  However, it is critical that mainstream politicians don't turn a small minority into a scapegoat for larger public ills.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Norway attack

From the Globe and Mail:
"Norwegians, reeling at the death of at least 93 adults and children in Friday’s mass shootings and bombing attack, are being forced to confront the fact that the perpetrator is not a lone madman, but a highly organized Norwegian political terrorist who claims to be part of a Europe-wide movement opposed to Muslim immigrants and multiculturalism." More

This attack highlights the challenges facing governments from anti-Islamic terrorists who are encouraged by the likes of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, Marine Le Pen in France and the English Defence League as noted in an article in the Wall Street Journal on Far Right Views.

Many of these issues were highlighted in the conference I had last January at UT Austin on Transatlantic Intolerance...this event gives even more urgency to the issues raised then.

Friday, July 15, 2011

More on Mexican Migration Dynamics

I have reported on some of these articles already, but here's a list from Phil Wolgin, an Immigration Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress,

The first is the new USA Today report on border violence, basically making the (well researched) claim that the border is safer than ever:

The second is the NYTimes report drawing from Massey's MMP, that changes in Mexico - both demographic and economic - have made emigration less attractive, and for the first time we are now looking at net negative immigration:

Third is a new Pew Hispanic Center report that shows that Mexican American births have far overtaken the number of Mexican immigrants per year:

Fourth is a RAND Study that shows that the numbers of Mexicans returning home during the recession dropped significantly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Investing in Mexico

Bill Ong Hing's commentary in the Huffington Post:, Control the Border, Invest in Mexico, echoes many of the ideas that have surfaced since the publication of Doug Massey's latest research on the decline in flows from Mexico to the U.S., as reported in the New York Times.  The EU's investment in Eastern Europe after the end of the cold war is an apt comparison, although he overlooks the fact that there was a great deal of internal migration after unification with Eastern Europe, particularly from Poland.  Jorge Perez's blog which is in my previous post, also points out the importance of Mexico and it's emigrants in all of this.  Mexico's economy is dependent on remittances to a certain extent.  This should be the begining of a larger discussion that does not forget the agency of the Mexican government and Mexican immigrants, along with government and the business sector in the U.S. that are already investing in Mexico.  These aren't new ideas, but the focus of the media has certainly been on action in the U.S. (particularly what is going on in the states) vs. what is happening in Mexico and with the broader issues that lead to migration flows.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A migrant's perspective on Mexico's migrant issues

An interesting perspective that helps to give agency to those who want to see change in Mexico, as well as those who want to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S.

Christian Science Monitor on State of Play of 5 state laws:

"Alabama immigration law faces legal challenge: Can it survive?

Several civil-rights groups sued the state of Alabama Friday to block what some observers say is the toughest anti-illegal-immigration law to date. Among other things, it mandates that primary and secondary schools check residency status of students.

Federal lawsuits have now been filed against the five states that have passed such laws during the past 15 months. The rulings that have come down, which have all been against the laws, have been appealed by the states' attorneys general in the hope that the Supreme Court will take up the issue.  More"

Monday, July 4, 2011

Celebrating citizenship on the 4th of July

The 4th of July is a day we celebrate our independence, but it is also a day we celebrate those who have chosen to join us as citizens.  Across the U.S., communities celebrate the new citizens:

From Fox news -- A Fourth of July Tradition: Immigrants Around the Country Take the Oath of Citizenship
Read more:

Orlando, Florida

Nashville, Tennessee

Southport, North Carolina

Orange County, California