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Over the hills and far away

In today’s Aussie news we can read about Kevin Rudd  praising the contribution of successive generations of migrants  building the Australian nation, as his PM and party leader Julia Gillard talks tough on foreign workers. Kevin Rudd underlines the fact that successive generations of migrants have contributed and are contributing to building the nation.
“Our natural birth rate has long been offset by our long-term orderly migration program. Successive generations of migrants from all corners of the world have made Australia much stronger and richer than we would otherwise have been. “It is worth pondering for a moment where Australia would be today, in terms of both our living standards at home, and our standing in the world, had we simply shut the door after World War II, and had Arthur Calwell not initiated the post-war immigration boom that transformed the face of modern Australia.”, Rudd said.

It will be interesting to see how migration will be a topic, between and within the parties in the Australian election debate. In the last election, Julia Gillard fought on an anti-immigration “sustainable Australia” platform. And the rhetorics of the Coalition’s spokesman on migration Scott Morrison is on the border of decency.

Migration is a hot topic all around the world and a concrete example of the effects of globalization. People can migrate for many reasons: Hope of a financially secured future, higher standard of living, education, adoption, asylum/political reasons, finding love across borders.

In the US, President Obama is planning for a migration reform: A difficult task of rewriting the immigration laws, including the creation of a quicksilver path to citizenship for 11 million to 12 million undocumented workers in the U.S. (excluding the small number convicted of violent crimes or multiple felonies). The shift in status acknowledges that these foreign-born newcomers, like previous generations of immigrants, overcame significant obstacles to come to the U.S. to make a better life for their families.

The status of illegal immigrants is a difficult topic some claim.  Or it must be considered as very easy: If you put it to an end though, it must differ if you have the right to stay in a country or not. Otherwise you break the society from within if there is inflation in a resident permit. But identifying illegal immigrants must be done in a way that doesn’t violate the diversity in a society of all those who actually have the right to be there. In the Swedish capital Stockholm, the police authorities have taken this to a controversial limit with the project “REVA” in the Swedish public transport system. People with “non-Swedish-appearance” are fronted by the police on train platforms etc, in order to show their ID:s. At the moment this is an issue upsetting the Swedish society, some against, some pro. As in many countries like the US and Australia, migration has been an important factor in building the modern welfare state. A global citizen shouldn´t be judged by his or her appearance. The words of Martin Luther King are relevant even today:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where
they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their
character.
I have a dream today”

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