Saturday, 7 March 2009

The End of the Immigration Boom?

The relatively free movement of labor across borders for the last few decades has generally had a positive impact on many countries because of the large remittances sent home by expatriates. In India, Kerala has been the biggest beneficiary, its relative prosperity sustained by its sons and daughters toiling away in West Asia or in hospitals around the world. But it looks like the global recession is beginning to seriously hurt international migration, and many migrants are forced to go home again.

Immigration is a sensitive issue, and passions run high, often bringing out the worst in people: and racism surely is a part of it. An Indian immigrant named Navtej Singh Sidhu was set on fire while sleeping on a park bench in Italy recently. Racist violence against Roma (or Gypsies) is increasing -- although they have lived in Europe for centuries, they are discriminated against as outsiders and non-whites. Russian skinheads were convicted of killing 20 migrants – mostly non-whites.
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