Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

More countries from the SDC list could be added to Trump’s immigration restrictions

January 31, 2017

Seven countries are currently on the US list for immigration restrictions, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia. However there are clear indications from Trump’s chief of staff that other countries could get added to the list. Reince Preibus said on CBS News on Sunday:

“The reason we chose those seven countries was, those were the seven countries that both the Congress and the Obama administration identified as being the seven countries that were most identifiable with dangerous terrorism taking place in their country. …… Now, you can point to other countries that have similar problems, like Pakistan and others. Perhaps we need to take it further. But for now, immediate steps, pulling the Band-Aid off, is to do further vetting for people traveling in and out of those countries,”

These seven countries covered by Trump’s order are also included in a list of countries labeled as specially designated countries (SDCs) that “have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members.”  This list – held by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department (ICE) consists – it is thought – of 35 countries. The list as of 2011 is still available. However, Barack Obama apparently added Israel to this list but his list was later scrubbed from public view.

While the immigration restrictions are temporary, ostensibly to check screening processes, since these 7 countries are “failed states” and cannot provide sufficient information, government to government, further countries from the list may also be subjected to temporary restrictions. I suspect that this is why Saudi Arabia is not on the list. The government there is fully functioning and has probably promised the US information about travellers. (Much of the support for Saudi support for Sunni, terrorist groups, is from non-governmental sources). Pakistan does not always provide information about terrorists which it has – especially if this is Taliban or Kashmir related. It would not be surprising to see immigration from Pakistan also being subjected to restrictions.

These are countries that harbor and train terrorists. These are countries that we want to know who is coming and going in and out of to prevent calamities from happening in this country.

……….. He was elected president in many respects because people knew that he was going to be tough on immigration from countries that harbor terrorists. And I can’t imagine too many people out there watching this right now think it’s unreasonable to ask a few more questions from someone traveling in and out of Libya and Yemen before being let loose in the United States.


The ICE list as of July 2011

ICE List of Specially Designated Countries (SDCs) that Promote or Protect Terrorists

July 2, 2011

Screening Aliens From Specially Designated Countries

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General issued a report in May 2011 titled “Supervision of Aliens Commensurate with Risk” that details Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) detention and supervision of aliens.  The report  includes a list of Specially Designated Countries (SDCs) that are said to “promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members”.  The report states that ICE uses a Third Agency Check (TAC) to screen aliens from specially designated countries (SDCs) that have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members and that the purpose of the additional screening is to determine whether other agencies have an interest in the alien. ICE’s policy requires officers to conduct TAC screenings only for aliens from SDCs if the aliens are in ICE custody.

According to the report, ICE provided this list of specially designated countries. ICE policy requires officers to perform a TAC for detained aliens from these countries.

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritania
  • Morocco
  • Territories of Gaza West Bank
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Yemen

 

Sweden’s population will exceed 10 million today

January 20, 2017

The Swedish population will pass 10 million later today.

In 1969, 8 million people lived in Sweden. It took 35 years before the population passed 9 million in 2004. But only 13 years later, sometime in the first quarter of 2017, we will be more than 10 million inhabitants. Rapid growth will continue in the coming decades and we can be 12 million already by 2040.

The Swedish Central Bureau of Statistics has a population clock running on its website, and at 0700 on Friday 20th January 2017 reads:

sweden-population-clock

Swedish population clock at 0700, 20170120

It should reach 10 million by around noon.


UPDATE: 10am, 20th January 2017:

20170120 1000

20170120 1000


The population increase in the last 50 years has been quite “healthy” and robust in demographic terms.

Sweden Population - SCB

Sweden Population – SCB

In Europe, Sweden has perhaps the most robust development of demographics with respect to the ratio of non-working (under 19 and over 65) to working population (20 -65). And that has been thanks, in spite of falling fertility rates, mainly to immigration and the slightly higher fertility rate among newcomers (though that comes down quickly to the prevailing rate). Currently around 17% of Sweden’s population was born outside Sweden. This will increase to be over 20% by 2040.

The Swedish pensions system is less under pressure than in Southern and Eastern Europe. Even Germany and France and the UK have a somewhat lower pensions risk because of net immigration. However in all these countries an increase of the regular pension age from 65 to 70 can be expected before 2040.


 

UK likely to vote to remain but fundamental flaws in the EU concept are now exposed

June 20, 2016

I see the BREXIT vote as an opportunity to correct the glaring flaws in the EU concept of a Holy European Empire. Whether BREXIT wins or not in this vote, the EU will no longer be able to just ignore the disconnect between the concept and the bulk of the voters/tax payers in the EU. Of course if BREXIT does not win, it will slow down the inevitable reforms that the EU must introduce.

I suspect that finally the fear of leaving will govern and that BREXIT will lose by a small margin. The EU politicians and bureaucrats will probably tout this as a win for the EU concept but, in fact, they will have to prepare for drawing back the various EU encroachments into the territory of national sovereignty.

NYT: 

There is no argument that the European Union is a flawed institution. Its dysfunction has been on display in its fitful handling of the Greek debt and refugee crises, its bureaucracy is pathetically slow to recognize or correct its failings and it often acts like an out-of-touch and undemocratic elite. Part of that is the inherent inefficiency of an institution of 28 member states with big differences in size, wealth and democratic traditions, and which participate to different degrees in the single currency and border-free zone.

Yet the E.U. is an extraordinary achievement, a voluntary union of nations whose histories include some of the bloodiest wars ever waged. However flawed the bloc, it has replaced blood feuds with a single market, shared values, free travel and labor mobility. Britain has always been something of an outlier in the E.U., joining what began as the European Coal and Steel Community two decades after it was formed and declining to participate in either the euro currency or the borderless Schengen zone. Yet there is no question that Britain has benefited from membership, both economically and as a strong voice in shaping E.U. policy.

The euroskepticism that has led to the British referendum, and that forms a strong component of the right-wing nationalist parties on the rise in many European countries, is not about efficiency or history. It is about ill-defined frustration with the complexities of a changing world and a changing Europe, a loss of faith in mainstream politicians and experts, a nostalgia for a past when nations decided their own fates and kept foreigners out. To those who hold these views, the European Union is the epitome of all that has gone wrong, an alien bureaucracy deaf to the traditions and values of its members. Not surprisingly, Mr. Trump and the French politician Marine Le Pen both favor Brexit.

I see parallels in the “anti-establishment” views embodied in euroscepticism and in the “anti-establishment” views of the Trump supporters in the US. In both cases the revolt is a reaction to what is perceived as the over-weening arrogance of a political, liberal, elite who insist on defining political correctness and on telling the electorate that they know best what is good for them.

In 2016, both in the EU and in the US, it is immigration and the flawed concept of multiculturalism which is dominating. It is occupying this ground which may well determine many of the elections. In fact the rise of the right-wing nationalists in Europe is the pendulum swinging back from 3 decades of self-righteous, social democratic dogma. Europe has moved further left in the 3 decades after communism fell than while communism was still an acceptable philosophy. But I note that some of the right-wing parties (Sweden, Denmark, France …. ) are losing some support as more of the centrist parties adopt more restrictive measures on immigration and take away this ground from the right. Take Trump’s immigration ground away from him and he will not stand a chance.


The future of Europe is multiethnic but not multicultural

December 15, 2015

I have for long held the position that a society needs a single overriding culture to be a society. All cultures are dynamic and change as times change and as new groups may be assimilated into it. The new culture inevitably contains elements of what new communities bring to the table and the original culture of that community – in some adjusted form – can continue as a sub-culture, but subordinate to the overriding culture. What is not tenable is the idea that a single society can remain a single society when it is splintered into a collection of many parallel cultures (and which are not subordinate to an overriding culture). It has been the misguided, do-gooding, politically correct approach of the “liberal left” in Europe which has actively encouraged new communities to maintain the cultures of where they came from and remain separate to the existing, prevailing culture. There has been little emphasis on getting new communities to assimilate and a far greater emphasis on separateness. This approach has also given rise to the fear of demanding assimilation from new communities. That has in turn led – and not very surprisingly – to the immigrant ghettos, the no-go areas and large parts of the new population who cannot even speak the local language (into the 3rd generation in some cases).

The downplaying of integration is what now gives the reality of 85 Sharia courts active in the UK or the no-go areas in Malmö or Preston or the separate, parallel societies in Molenbeek and La Goutte d’Or. It is the false god of multiculturalism which has allowed schools in Birmingham to be subverted or the predatory, medieval, sexual mores of the NW Frontier to be transplanted to Rotherham.

It is language which is the primary vehicle of a culture. But while every culture has a primary language, a language may be the vehicle for many cultures. Religion is probably the next most important “carrier” of a culture. The misguided and unsustainable “multicultural” approach has pervaded many European countries, such that even jobs requiring interaction with the public or even gaining citizenship have not required any language proficiency. However the importance of assimilation is finally gaining ground.

Angela Merkel has said this before but is now becoming much more explicit in her criticism of multiculturalism and much more vocal in emphasising the importance of integration.

The Guardian:

Merkel still sought to address lingering concerns over the long-term consequences of the refugee crisis.

“Those who seek refuge with us also have to respect our laws and traditions, and learn to speak German,” she said. “Multiculturalism leads to parallel societies, and therefore multiculturalism remains a grand delusion.”

Her comments echoed a similar statement from 2010, when Merkel said multiculturalism had “utterly failed”.

I would have thought it obvious that learning of the local language within some reasonable time be mandatory for a residence permit for any immigrant or asylum seeker. Multiculturalism is not just a “failed concept” as David Cameron has said or a “grand delusion” as Angela Merkel now calls it, it is a false premise. A single society – fundamentally – must have an overriding culture and cannot be multicultural. The existence of multiple parallel cultures can only be accommodated by a collection of societies – or by a fractured and splintered society.

Sweden Democrat support at an all time high (and so is immigration level)

December 2, 2015

I have remarked on this before. It seems heretical and counter-intuitive.

Maybe immigration increases because of the anti-immigration parties

The surge of support for nationalist, “anti-immigration” parties in Europe coincides with very high immigration levels. At first sight it would seem obvious that the immigration level is the “cause” and the anti-immigration support is the “effect”.

But I begin to wonder.

The “nationalist, anti-immigration” parties have been around for a long time, with histories that go right back to the 1930s. The modern growth of these parties, however, really starts in the mid 1990s. Twenty five years ought to be enough for this support to begin to have some effect on their main objective. While these parties have won places in parliament and even in government, their support still runs along and in phase with immigration numbers. Increasing support for “anti-immigration” has not succeeded in reducing immigration. In fact, the anti-immigration parties have been so effective at building up support, but so ineffective at having any impact on immigration levels, that I begin to wonder which is the “cause” and which the “effect”.

In Sweden the Sweden Democrats are at an alltime high in the opinion polls (19.9%). But immigration numbers are also at an all time high. UKIP popular support has never been higher in the UK and immigration numbers have never been higher either.

Perhaps, by some paradoxical social mechanisms (which are not quite clear), high levels of immigration are a consequence of , and in phase with, the level of support for “anti-immigrant” parties. It could be argued that there is a threshold level to be reached before these parties can be effective. But parties in far weaker, “minority” positions have succeeded in pushing through their extreme views in many countries, and the Greens in Europe are an example.

My tentative conclusion is that either the threshold for the Sweden Democrats to be effective is much higher than 20% support (which is an indicator of not fitting the system), or that they are particularly ineffective (which is an indicator of political incompetence), or both.

SD support versus immigration to Sweden

SD support versus immigration to Sweden

Perhaps immigration numbers will only decrease if support for the anti-immigrant parties wanes?

Maybe immigration increases because of the anti-immigration parties

October 28, 2015

It is normally thought the rise in support for the Sweden Democrats (a right-wing, one-issue, anti-immigration party) is a consequence of high immigration rates.

I am not so sure about cause and effect here.

You can just as well argue that the increase of SD support causes a reaction such that the very thing they oppose is enhanced.

What is certainly true is that immigration has increased sharply ever since the SD came into parliament in 2010 with 20 seats. In 2014 they won 49 seats and became the 3rd largest party in parliament. They have been pushing their single-issue for the last 26 years but have only achieved the opposite of what they set out to do. Even in the UK the rise of UKIP coincides with an increase of immigration.

So, paradoxically, it may be that immigration increases because of the backlash reaction to the anti-immigrant parties themselves.

Sweden Democrat support and immigration numbers

Sweden Democrat support and immigration numbers

Trump has more support on immigration than political correctness allows

August 19, 2015

Good clowns – in amongst their antics – have the ability to hit the right nerve, to trigger something primal in our emotions.

Donald Trump is no doubt a “clown”. The politically correct media and politicians are pouring scorn on his immigration positions. But he may be tapping in to something felt strongly by many but which they have been unable to express for fear of being politically incorrect. He may be reflecting the mood in the country – and not just among Republicans – far better than anybody dares to give him credit for:

Rasmussen Reports:

As far as voters are concerned – and not just Republicans –  Donald Trump has a winning formula for fighting illegal immigration.

My take aways from the report:

  1. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 70% of Likely Republican Voters agree with the GOP presidential hopeful that the United States should build a wall along the Mexican border to help stop illegal immigration.
  2. Ninety-two percent (92%) of Republicans agree that the United States should deport all illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a felony in this country.
  3. Among all likely voters, 51% favor building a wall on the border.
  4. Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters disagree with the current federal policy that says a child born to an illegal immigrant here is automatically a U.S. citizen.
  5. Just 34% favor President Obama’s plan to protect up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation.
  6. … most voters want the border with Mexico secured to prevent further illegal immigration before there is any talk of amnesty. In May, 63% said gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States, the highest level of support for border control since December 2011. 
  7. Sizable majorities in nearly all demographic categories favor deporting illegal immigrants convicted here of felony crimes. But Democrats are less enthusiastic about such a policy than Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party are. Only 30% of Democrats favor building a wall, compared to 57% of unaffiliated voters.
  8. Trump took a lot of criticism last month from Democrats and other Republican presidential hopefuls over his candid remarks about the criminality of many illegal immigrants, but most voters agree with Trump that illegal immigration increases serious crime in this country.

Trump’s Republican rivals are gradually realising that the agenda is being set by Trump.

I wonder how long it will be before the main stream media jump on the band-wagon. If they do start covering him more seriously and then perhaps even backing him, then my reading is that Trump could “go viral”  and walk away with the nomination.

IKEA murder suspect a rejected asylum seeker from Eritrea

August 13, 2015

Sometimes, it seems, misguided, institutional obsessions with “human rights” leads to common sense being abandoned. Surely it cannot be that the freedom to behave irrationally and kill people is considered a “human right”?

  • Why would an “asylum seeker” whose application had been rejected and who had been served with a deportation order be expected to behave in a rational manner?
  • Why would a person with a high risk of behaving in an irrational manner be quite free to wander into an IKEA store, pick up some knives and kill two quite unrelated, innocent people?

The Local:

Monday’s attack saw a mother and her adult son stabbed to death at a store in the central town of Västerås, with police arresting two Eritrean asylum seekers. One of the suspects, a 35-year-old man, was found at the scene with serious knife injuries while the second, aged 23, was waiting at a bus stop outside Ikea.

According to Aftonbladet’s website, the images appear to show that the perpetrator was the injured Eritrean who was evacuated to hospital in critical condition. The footage shows a man grabbing two knives from the kitchenware section “several seconds before the murder”, then attacking the two shoppers, a 55-year-old woman and her 28-year-old son, the paper said. “The attack ends when the alleged murderer stabs himself in the stomach,” it said.

…….. Swedish media reports said on Wednesday that the injured man had been handed a deportation order which would have returned him to Italy. The day before the attack he had met with immigration officials in Västerås to discuss his case, the reports said.

It is not clear what role the second man arrested played.

What were they thinking? Presumably the prime suspect had a right to appeal the deportation decision. Would it really have been an infringement of his human rights to curtail his freedom to behave irrationally?

 

Germany needs 500,000+ immigrants every year till 2050

March 27, 2015

A new study has just been published by the Bertelsmann Stiftung:

Zuwanderungsbedarf aus Drittstaaten in Deutschland bis 2050

Press Release: Without immigrants, the potential labor force would sink from approximately 45 million today to less than 29 million by 2050 – a decline of 36 percent. This gap cannot be closed without immigration. Even if women were to be employed at the same rate as men, and the retirement age was increased to 70 in 2035, the number of potential workers in the country would rise by only about 4.4 million.

In 2013, a total of 429,000 more people came to Germany than left the country. Last year, the net total was 470,000, the Federal Statistical Office reports. According to the study, net immigration at this level would be sufficient for at least the next 10 years to keep the country’s potential labor force at a constant level. From that time onward, however, the need for immigrants will grow, because the baby-boomer generation will be entering retirement. One out of two of today’s skilled workers with professional training will have left the working world by 2030. …

….. the current high levels of immigration from EU countries (2013: around 300,000) will soon decline significantly, as demographic change is shrinking populations across the European Union, and because incentives to emigrate in crisis-stricken countries will decline with economic recovery. The experts forecast an annual average of just 70,000 immigrants or fewer from EU counties by 2050. For this reason, efforts to attract skilled workers from non-EU countries should be intensified. …

German working population  development

German working population development – Bertelsmann Stiftung

This is not a picture that is unique to Germany in Europe. Moreover just keeping the working population constant does not allow for the additional numbers who are ageing and whose “pensions” whether from the Sate of from private sources must be supported by a corresponding growth in the resource funds.

All politicians are well aware of the demographic inevitabilities in Europe. But they have not yet managed to convince all their constituencies that “old Europe” has to renew and reinvent itself. A “new Europe” cannot hark back to the days of the Crusades. Few, if any, politicians in today’s Europe and on the right of the divide, have had the courage to point out that immigration from outside the EU is necessary and that these immigrants must be speedily integrated. Few of the politicians on the left of the divide have either had the courage to point out that a multiethnic society still requires a single over-riding culture (set of values) which may then have as many subordinate cultures as desired. Few have had the courage to point out that “multiculturalism” does not allow a single society to be sustained. If these politicians truly want to take care of their children’s children they will have to come to terms with the reality of the cold hand of demographics. The only alternative to immigration – but hardly viable – is a Europe-wide “baby production” policy which would have to discourage abortions and maximise incentives for having children. Fertility clinics and multiple births could always be heavily subsidised.

But I can’t help feeling that EU immigration policy cannot be just based on “asylum seekers”. Any such policy must be built on demographic realities and must be based on needed skills (and on the provision of training in the needed skills) and not just on “asylum seekers” and the random set of skills that that represents.

EU 2009 Ageing Report:

…. low birth rates, rising life expectancy and continuing inflow of migrants can be expected to result in an almost unchanged, but much older, total EU population by 2060, meaning that the EU would move from having four working-age people (aged 15-64) for every person aged over 65 to a ratio of only two to one. The largest decrease is expected to occur during the period 2015-35 when the baby-boom cohorts will be entering retirement. …….

The fiscal impact of ageing is therefore projected to be substantial in almost all Member States, becoming apparent already over the course of the next decade. Overall, on the basis of current policies, age-related public expenditure is projected to increase on average by about 4¾ percentage points of GDP by 2060 in the EU and by more than 5 percentage points in the euro area – especially through pension, healthcare and long-term care spending.

Wilders is now getting up their noses

March 24, 2014

When populism goes over the top.

Wilders hasn’t said exactly how he is intending to reduce the Moroccans in the Netherlands but it is unlikely to be very pleasant for them.

Photograph: Marcel Antonisse/AFP/Getty Images

Geert Wilders Photograph: Marcel Antonisse/AFP/Getty Images

(Reuters)Dutch right-wing populist Geert Wilders has lost his top position in opinion polls after making anti-Moroccan comments that unleashed a public backlash and prompted several high-profile resignations from his party. ….. 

Wilders has been hit by a series of resignations after leading a chant against Moroccan immigrants in The Hague on Wednesday. Among those who quit was the head of the PVV in the European Parliament, Laurence Stassen.

The next big test for the party will come at European Parliament elections in May. The PVV slipped five seats from a week ago to 22 and would come in third place behind the Socialist Party and the right-of-center Democrats 66, the poll showed. The PVV won 15 seats in the Dutch parliament in the 2012 election.

Wilders led the chant at a rally after municipal elections. He asked supporters in The Hague: “Do you want more or fewer Moroccans in this city and in the Netherlands?”

“Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!”, the crowd chanted. Wilders responded: “We’ll take care of that.”

The comments drew widespread condemnation in the Netherlands and abroad. Thousands of people filed complaints of discrimination with Dutch prosecutors, while several PVV members have quit from the national assembly and city councils.

On Saturday, Wilders said he wasn’t sorry, had not violated anti-discrimination laws and would not apologize to anyone.

While Wilders also lost some support among his electorate, 85 percent of people who voted for him said they still backed him as leader of the Party for Freedom.

The fertility rate in the rapidly aging Netherlands is at crisis levels. From around 4.45 per woman in 1900. and 3.2 in 1960, it is now at about 1.68 per woman in 2013. The post-war baby boomers are now entering the ranks of the retired and will be adding to the proportion of the elderly for the next 25 years. Without bolstering the working population by immigration, the care of the elderly at current levels would not be sustainable.

So if Wilders plans to reduce immigration, he better plan to reduce the number of the aged as well.

Netherlands fertility rate (World Bank data)

Netherlands fertility rate (World Bank data)

Demographics of the Nertherlands: The Dutch population is ageing. Furthermore, life expectancy has increased because of developments in medicine, and in addition to this, the Netherlands has seen increasing immigration. Despite these developments combined with the population boom after the Second World War, the low birth rate has caused extremely low population growth: 2005 saw the lowest absolute population growth since 1900. …

According to Eurostat, in 2010 there were 1.8 million foreign-born residents in the Netherlands, corresponding to 11.1% of the total population. Of these, 1.4 million (8.5%) were born outside the EU and 0.428 million (2.6%) were born in another EU Member State.

As the result of immigration, the Netherlands has a sizeable minority of non-indigenous peoples. There is also considerable emigration. In 2005 some 121,000 people left the country, while 94,000 entered it. Out of a total of 101,150 people immigrating to Netherlands in 2006, 66,658 were from Europe, Oceania, the Americas or Japan, and 34,492 were from other (mostly developing) countries. Out of a total of 132,470 emigrants, 94,834 were going to Europe, Oceania, the Americas or Japan and 37,636 to other countries.


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