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November 13, 2009
Shutting the doors to immigrants during tough times

A woman in France protesting the government’s new immigration restrictions. Photo: Flickr user looking4poetry

Tough times in Britain have fueled a growing debate about immigration — and a backlash that is forcing the government to respond.

The issue is jobs, and Gordon Brown’s aides worry that the government has been too quiet on immigration, leaving a vacuum which extremists have occupied.

Should countries that have historically welcomed immigrants close their doors during tough economic times?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

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67 comments

#67

The Camp of the Saints anyone?

#66

#57, you WACK!

#65

yeah jimmy! i agreee! go #41!

#64

amen #41

#63

Immigration should only be shut out until the current strain on the economic situation is solved. Immigration is adding to that problem as many immigrant workers send money back to their original homes, making the situation worse and making economic crisis last longer. After the recession immigration should be allowed again, but controlled as too many immigrants means not enough jobs available.

#62

#41 Your ignorance is astounding! How exactly could have Native Americans, African slaves and Mexican people have participated in building our country while they were murdered and enslaved? …and all of our early infrastructure and industry was powered by enslaved and indentured labor. We are a nation of immigrants, of people who came “running to the US or Britain with hat in hand then try to change our country’s culture and environment to mirror the one that (was) left.” No one belongs here more than anyone else. You speak from a point of mistaken righteousness. Why don’t you pack up your bags and return to your family’s homeland? Impossible? We all must understand that borders are eroding, population is accelerating and what we like to think of as being “ours” will have to be shared. I believe that immigration should continue to be allowed and enforced under the current laws.

#61

[…] The issue is jobs, and Gordon Brown’s aides worry that the government has been too quiet on immigration, leaving a vacuum […] Read more at http://worldfocus.org/blog/2009/11/13/shutting-the-doors-to-immigrants-during-tough-times/8386/ […]

#60

Why did’nt the British government and people take notice of Enoch Powell?

#59

The politicians and their moneyed class accomplices both in the US and the UK don’t get it, or don’t care. If you increase the number of workers through immigration, wages will be suppressed and unemployment will increase, for a significant portion of the population.

#58

All illegals need to be deported due to the strain on prison population, medical care, education, energy assistance, etc. Immigration must be severely curtailed when unemployment is above 4% or the US will falter at enormous costs. Our chain is no stronger than its weakest link.

#57

No, not close off immigration all together but fewer ought to be let in. And the ones let in ought to be legal immigrants. p.s. I think the anchorlady Daljig Dhalewal is pretty Hot.

#56

I was recently reading immigration laws in Canada and then- unknown to me- the new draft of a booklet immigrants must read to pass their immigration test. Anyway, it struck me that there are 4 primary categories to immigration into Canada. One of those is “skilled workers.” Under this provision- the companies hiring are under the burden of proof that already Canadian citizens can’t meet the demand and so persons must be brought from the outside. I’ve noticed in this province of mine that meet cutters/care givers and hotel/cashier workers are positions taken up by immigrants. Here in one of the richest provinces in the world people just don’t want to do those jobs and so workers are brought from the outside in…hey, if the don’t get involved in organized crime- come and become decent people to make a decent country.

#55

Initially the US IT benefitted from low-wage programmers, systems analysts from India… Now US university students are questioning whether they should invest the time and money in a technology degree when their job will probably be off-shored.
This is harming our ability to innovate and remain competitive. Our children are reaping the whirlwind of globalization which is telling them that their skills and education are not valued in their own country.

#54

Initially the US IT benefitted from low-wage programmers, systems analysts etc., Now US university students are questioning whether they should invest the time and money in a technology degree when their job will probably be off-shored.
This is harming our ability to innovate and remain competitive. Our children are reaping the world wind of globalization which is telling them that their skills and education is not valued in their own country.

#53

Mexican omen are coming to USA to have babies. They are using the system. On top that they re coming to NYC illegal, they come here to make babies and get public assistance and they send their Mexican kids to public schools. They do not even pay taxes. All the money they earn here in the U.S.is sent to Mexico. Four member of my family are unemployed because they can’t find a job. They are citizens of this country. They all laughing at our laws.

#52

There does seems to be a backlash against immigrants who come to a country and expect us to change our values and God to suit theirs and then get angry/defensive when we defend our values and God, While using all our public services. What a drain.

#51

Immigration should only be continued or allowed if the economic system can support a decent quality of Life for it citizens.

#50

In Britain if it were not for the foreigners, American tourists would still be eating bangers and mash or perhaps Britains only culinary triumph – fish and chips. Thanks to immigrants tasty food is available. Is there a lesson there?

#49

Send your “Nose” anchor back to U.K. and employ a legal U.S. resident. Hello??

#48

This writer agrees with # 36, close the doors. He’s right! In these failed states who’s political structure, culture and religion fails to meet their needs, don’t come running to the US or Britain with hat in hand then try to change our country’s culture and environment to mirror the one that you left. Take the US for example – it won’t be too long before Spanish is our main language. It was not the American Indian, Africans, Hispanics nor any other minority group that made this country the USA what a wonderful country it was for many many years – it was immigrants – but it was White European immigrants. Example the US keeps getting our share of Mexico’s problems and our politicians keep giving so called amnesty now Mexicans total about 30 of our population (all for votes). We are now bringing in the Bosnian at an alarming rate. Example Middle East and Indian residents coming in no taxes for seven years – so example a family from India buys a chain of convenience stores or motels and before the end of seven years they sell to a relative – so they end up never paying taxes or at least not what they should pay – and it’s all legal. With the Middle East immigrants who knows how many terrorist come in along (as relatives and guest) and these are eventually a silent invasion. Yes, change your native country not ours. JIM @ USA

#47

Im reading,and those ignorant people who call for “closing our borders” do not know, or just feed off the hysteria of a nation who has blamed poor, and hungy people, who have no voice ! Every time we have had a downturn in our economy, POOR PEOPLE get blamed for our misfortunes, like the Jews in nazi germany, here in the USA,and wealthier countries, and call for building a wall to keep them out, when these poor people are exploited, and hired by wealthy businesses, for cheap labor,and instead of fining,and punishing the real cause, no they blame these poor people, who have no voice !! As far as the British, look at how many contries they have occupied, and extracted wealth from them, they should welcome them into their country, because of past deeds they have done to these poor countries, which have made them rich !!!

#46

I agree with #’s 1,4 and 5 and others. In Britain, the US, nearly all of western Europe, and perhaps throughout the world, immigration policies ebbed and flowed as demand for new workers increased, then decreased. I’ve lived long enough (70+ yrs.) to have seen/witnessed the immigrant bashing that takes place when economic times get tough. The USA was built and has prospered on immigrants coming to our shores in search of a better life. What this country needs is better ENFORCEMENT of the laws already on the books, not averting our eyes as some big, politically-connected, and relatively unpoliced corporations hire undocumented workers to help a bottom line,in defiance of the law. Self-enforcement doesn’t work, witness Wall Street, fat-cat bankers and others who have routinely flaunted laws and good moral character to accumulate obscene wealth. Keep the doors OPEN, OPEN, OPEN…but keep observant guards on hand to check/make sure all are being treated fairly!

#45

Simple arithmetic : President Obama promised to
create 5 million jobs in his first 4 years in
office. Since then, unemployment has increased
at an unexpected rate. Legal and illegal
immigration would probably bring in 6 million
workers in four years. At America’s current
rate of immigration, we are destined to have
increasing unemployment. This will eventually
create a backlash. Immigration rates should be
reduced for the longterm sake of immigration. To
start, illegal immigration should be eliminated.
That should be sufficient to take the pressure off
legal immigration. America has many problems that
are caused or made worse by increasing population.
We are not in the same position as when JFK
expanded immigration rates. For example, it
will be almost impossible to reduce America’s
greenhouse gas production with a growing
population. I’m sad that such obvious common
sense is often labeled as racist or xenophobic.

#44

I am an immigrant myself and I am saying enough is enough; there are not enough jobs for the people whom are already here. Germany broke down their wall, it was then and it was in Germany. We need to continue to build the wall between United States and Mexico until Mexicans stop invading US. I am shouting at Those Hollywood liberals, illegal immigrants don’t stand in front your mansions every morning waiting for a truck to come, your mansion gains value every day while my house looses; American workers behind the 8 ball in this country not you congresswomen and congressmen and senators.

#43

The world population is not sustainable. Migration is not the solution to failed states and overpopulation. Governments have no credibility when they fail to defend the borders of their country.Yes, it doesn’t make good common sense to allow a county to falter because immigration is too high. There is nothing wrong with citizens wanting to maintain a standard of living. After all if a country gets too week then the citizens are themselves forced to immigrate. Simply fix what’s wrong with your own county, which is exactly what Britain needs to do and from what I see most of its people already want to do.Immigrants come here and expect to change our standards to meet their’s even in the workplace. Close the doors good and tight – stay where they are.

#42

Adding to that, If a portion of the money being made is being sent somewhere’s else, it is not adding to the money spent in our country and adds to economic troubles for our country and I think this holds true in any country.

#41

As a construction worker in the south, I see first hand everyday, workers who are out of jobs, because of an immigrant who will do the work for a lower price. Then when they get paid, they a send a majority of their money back to their families in their home land.

#40

The primary duty of any government is the well being of it’s citizens first. Not immigrants of another country. That is the responsibility of their country. In these tough economic times you have to look after your own home before you invite others. The mass invasion of Illegals from Mexico and other Latin countries poses the biggest threat to the the longterm wellbeing of the U.S. But, when Americans speak out against Immigration they are labeled racist. The Pro Illegals side in the U.S. uses this blanket claim of racism to their advantage. Americans, and others dealing with mass Immigration issues, need to concern themselves with what’s best for their LEGAL citizens and disregard the racist chants.

#39

Immigration has built this country (USA) and contributed to the strength of the UK, If I wanted to expand my world I would hope that the country I wanted to immigrate to would not close it’s doors. Set immigration standards and ENFORCE those standards. We need to work together and learn from everyone! Thanks

#38

I am seeing a lot of hypocracy in the postings below. I think it is important to reflect on the immigration policies of other countries around the world as many European countries debate the immigration issue. For example, most Asian countries do not have immigration policies because they openly and unabashedly state that they do not want “foreigners” in their countries. Some countries, like China, have, for their entire history, shown a pathological fear and hatred of all things considered “foreign,” which as led to innumerable instances of hate mongering, intimidation, and violence against would be immigrants. In countries like India and Pakistan, so-called “foreigners” are systematically excluded or segregated from national life. Unfortunately, those living in India of mixed heritage (Caucasian/Indian) are often harassed and left in their own “caste,” often excluded from national life. Can you imagine a caucasian being elected president of India? Also, in these postings, I have seen a lot of hatred directed toward Europeans debating the immigration issue as “racist” and having “plundered” many parts of the world. While it is true that some Europeans have caused pain and suffering to peoples of the world, to be fair, the world should also recognize the benefits Europeans have provided like modern medicine, technology and legal codes which have made life worldwide easier and happier, allowing many people to become prosperous and fruitful and allowing immigration to Europe. Europeans also abolished practices like suttee in India which has improved life in that country immeasurably. So, as the immigration debate advances in Europe, the discourse should remain civil and people should be able to enter said debate without being labelled and attacked and that the greatest benefit of British culture is that the issue is being debated at all while in most countries, especially in Asia, the issue is never debated but relegated to the realm of fear and mistrust.

#37

Economically, open immigration is usually good, but it does not mix with a welfare state. Reasons to slow it down should mostly be found in space or pollution issues. If the immigrant group thrives and assimilates, they will be a benefit both in the short and long run regardless of what the dooms day, zero-sum jobs theorists say.

#36

Economically, open immigration is usually good, but it does not mix with the welfare state. Reasons to slow it down should mostly be found in space or pollution issues. If the immigrant group thrives and assimilates, they will be a benefit both in the short and long run regardless of what the dooms day, zero-sum jobs theorists say.

#35

The real problem in world today is that there are too many people for the available jobs. Population control is the problem all countries should be addressing and I see very few countries that are will to effectively address this the biggest problem in the world to day.

#34

Yes, Britain should closed the doors. Here in the USA Mexicans are invading us…they are coming hre illegal and have kids and they are irresponsable and have five or six kids. They in turn are getting public assistance and subsidies for housing. Women are coming into this country and they start to make babies like crazy. Their ki
ds use the public schools and egw parents don’t even pay taxes. Down with ilegal immigration!

#33

All governments should close their doors for awhile. It would help countries and their citizens stabilize their economic livelihoods which is needed worldwide. It wouldn’t it help to slow down some of the terrorists moving around the world. Population control would help, if not, there WILL BE famine everywhere. And please, stop the blaming, get over it and move on! Stand back and look at the big picture. Stop buying drugs! Drug money and drug enforcement costs could pay for so many other things like schools and college education grants, medicine, new “green” technology and renewable energy sources. Discoveries are waiting to happen. We need intelligent thinkers and educated populations.

#32

I think we should close the doors to bankers, CEO’s, wall street insiders and send the ones who are in the country away so the working people can enjoy life and prosper.

#31

Many immigrants have ended up living their lives in countries they never chose to live in … the colonialist countries now have populations from their exploations of the past these people need to be accepted and England has done a good job in the past. They can be the strength og the new generation. Rebuild the failing infra strutcure with all of the best. Maureen

#30

I agree with #4, and with #1, that “they too have something to offer”, but I can empathize with the people of small countries like the UK, where there just is not enough geographical space to accommodate all the people who want to make it their home. The British, as small islanders sequestered from the rest of Europe, have been known, in times past, for their desire to keep Britain for the British; it seems to be a part of their DNA, as in ancient times it was continuously invaded by foreign warriors. In modern times they have been generous enough to throw the doors open to millions of citizens from the EU and their former colonies, and I think the backlash has to do with their realization that their ‘green and pleasant land’ has now been overwhelmed by them, not least in regard to the competition for jobs on such a small island, which is threatening the well-being of the non-immigrants. I believe there should be some kind of regulation of immigration for all those colonials (with seeming carte blanche) from entering the UK and then bringing in every living relative – there just isn’t room, and the non-immigrant populace is becoming anxious because of it.

#29

The immigration problem has come home to roost for all those countries who practiced colonialism. That includes the U.S. Todays and tomorrows generation have to pay for the political and military stupidity of the past and the decisions we are about to make today.

#28

All things in moderation. On a farm you don’t always leave the barn door open or the wolf gets in. In the future, how far i don’t know, but i believe we will need population control on a planetary level. Space may indeed be infinite but on this planet there are limits.

#27

The world population is not sustainable. Migration is not the solution to failed states and overpopulation. Governments have no credibility when they fail to defend the borders of their country.

#26

Not just close it but, Slam the dam thing shut!
Send all illegals packing along with their illegally
spawned children,hell will all be speaking Spanish here in the United States in 20 years.

#25

Not just close it but, Slam the dam thing shut!
Send all illegals packing along with their illegally
spawned children,hell while all be speaking Spanish here in the United States in 20 years.

#24

I am an immigrant myself. Came from Germany to the USA. I had to wait for one year to be admitted and my employer had to prove that they could not find a US person to do my job. I firmly believe, no matter what country it is, it first has to look after its citizens. If I would have been denied, I would have understood. If a country can’t take of its own people when it comes to jobs, health and elder care, how in the world is it going to take care of foreigners?

#23

Join the new British National Party and repatriate legal and illegal immigrants. The indigenous British people are suffering.

#22

I don’t think the issue needs to be seen as an attack on immigration. It needs to be looked at in terms of sustainable growth and cultural assimilation. Large influxes of immigrants puts a great strain on both. As in all aspects of life moderation is key, so goes the same for immigration. We should not foolishly believe that all immigrants come to seek our political, and sociological ideologies. Some come to seek financial benefits and stability, others come to spread fear, hate and crime. True there is nothing ultimately wrong with immigration but as wealthy nations, we can and should have the pick of the litter. Massive migration is no longer a solution for a world no longer exploring new frontiers.

#21

ABSOLUTELY NOT! SHUT THE DOORS like the US did in 1924. There is no logical reason why England should be welcoming immigrants in 2009. England is for the ENGLISH, first and foremost, let’s not loose sight of that. Having lived in both the US and the UK, I am appalled at how easy it is to obtain political asylum in the UK. As a highly educated and experienced US executive, I could not stay and work in England, yet any Pakistani is welcome with open arms. DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!

#20

I believe that there should be quotas sufficient enough to ease immigrants into their new culture without disrupting the economic balance of a country. Too much stress on the economy creates the situation you see in Britain and the US so that bigotry and anger surface and it becomes politically correct for people to express their resentments. Isn’t it more logical to have a gradual entrance so that the country can digest the increase in social and economic services can integrate the people into the culture. What’s so difficult about that?

#19

If you can’t take care of your own, why let more people in to further burden the economy and social services. Why is it even a question. Common horse sense tells you what to do.

#18

If the British, the French and the Dutch are willing to pay back (trillions of euros) to all the Asian and African populations they looted for over two centuries then go ahead and close all the immigration.

#17

Yes. Close the doors.

#16

Michael Says:
India dumped it’s unemployed programmers and students on American IT job market, so I could not find a job, though I am a US Citizen.

REAAALLLY!
Americans dumped Taliban in cohorts with Pakistan at India’s door steps near Kashmir. India did not dump anybody. Indians came legally unlike American soldiers in Afghanistan who came without passport but with an M16. Sorry Douchy, you need to distinguish between a terrorist and a hard working engineer.

#15

Why is anger not directed at the employERS? We should be asking what do immigrants have that we do not have? Better qualifications? Less demand for a certain level of wages? More willingness to do jobs that do not attract us? In Britain I think there is also an underlying sense of anglo-saxon ethnic purity. Sad but true. In good times, it is hidden. In difficult times it rears its ugly head. Let us not forget about Britain’s colonial days when exploitation in far off lands was rampant in order to ensure a better life for those “at home”. We also need to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants. How about emigration to other lands – should that be stopped too?

#14

Yes, it doesn’t make good common sense to allow a county to falter because immigration is too high. There is nothing wrong with citizens wanting to maintain a standard of living. After all if a country gets too week then the citizens are themselves forced to immigrate. Simply fix what’s wrong with your own county, which is exactly what Britain needs to do and from what I see most of its people already want to do.

#13

lets me remind people who think they are not from immigrant ancestor, you are!

#12

I went to the UK in 2002 for university, i spend 4 years doing a BBA & MBA in International Business.i could have married and started a family in Birmingham, but i did not like the racism that i saw there and how the white people blame blacks and other minority people for everything that goes bad in the country (crime, and job lose) so i decided to come to the US instead. I am very happy in Bronx, New York, usa having my green card already in just three 3 years.I may visit back Birmingham next year to see my friends.

#11

Yes, we must stop immigration, I am unemployed computer programmer. India dumped it’s unemployed programmers and students on American IT job market, so I could not find a job, though I am a US Citizen.
Verizon Wireless in Warren, NJ has more Indian computer consultants then Americans, the address of the company is
Verizon Wireless, 30 Independence blvd, Warren, NJ 07059, the department of Labor should investigate this company practice and enforce the law.

#10

Why does the question come up in “hard times”? We have our own to look after and ensure they can sustain a quality of living we have aspired to our entire lives. Immigrants come here and expect to change our standards to meet their’s even in the workplace. Close the doors good and tight – stay where they are.

#9

Shutthe doors permenently – keep our country for our country folk.

#8

Human been is ironic, of course, in difficult times all over the globe. English people trying to resolve it, closing its borders? So it was ok when they colonized so many countries, disrupting societies around the globe. It is not only ironic, it is a complete joke.

#7

Yes.

#6

A country’s infrastructure can be overwhelmed by immigrants. Are they contributing to the host country’seconomy or straining it’s economic resources? All immigration should be legal.

#5

Whenever jobs get short, everyone blames the immigrants. But typically new immigrants take the lowest paying jobs that citizens do not want. Immigrants bring new blood and new ideas into a country. Immigration should always be as open as possible.

#4

Immigration brings new talents and new perspectives into the country. The rhetoric against immigrants reminds me of Hitler’s rantings against the Jews. In times of economic stress, we are always looking for someone to “blame” – and it’s frequently those who are considered “the other.” Very dangerous!

#3

I belive that while a nation is going through tough economic times that country should let fewer people into the country. More people mean more mouthes to feed and take care of, and it just puts a lot more burdain on that country that is going through economic problems. And the people entering the country should be legal immigrants.

#2

I believe the immigration laws are fair if they are respected. However, many immigrants come in illegally and use resources reserved for those who do it correctly making hard times even harder.

#1

If they meet the requirements for entry, let them come. We should encourage them to be a part of our nation and culture. They too have something to offer.

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