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Archive for the tag “immigration”

Synchroblog on immigration

Yesterday some bloggers had a synchroblog on immigration.

A synchroblog is when a group of bloggers decide to post articles on the same topic at about the same time, with links to each other’s posts, so that you can surf through the posts and get a variety of views on the topic. Thanks to Sonja Andrews for coordinating this month’s synchroblog, and for reviving it.

This synchroblog was specifically on Christians and the immigration issue. Why just Christians? Aren’t others concerned about it?

Well part of the answer is to be found in a blog post that isn’t part of the synchroblog, but perhaps ought to be:The New Litmus Test | Solomon Hezekiah:

All of my friends (and yes, I have a few) who used to go on and on about abortion now go on and on about immigration. The level of perjorative that used to be reserved for those favouring abortion rights or, at worst, abortion providers, are now reserved for those favouring leniency toward undocumented immigrants. In fact, if anything, it is worse. In reading around the conservative blogosphere and even in talking to individuals face-to-face (because people tend to be much less restrained in the pseudonyminous detachment of the internet), opposing views are treated with anger, aggression, and a remarkable lack of civility.

That was written by an American living in the UK, which shows that the problem is international. In South Africa immigration has been linked to xenophobia, and some South African newspapers, notably The Sun, have published articles calculated sto stir up hostility to “illegal aliens”. I’ve been told that in Australia “asylum seekers” is a dirty word.

But the dirtiest thing of all is that in America it appears that the “new litmus test” is being applied by people who like to call themselves Christians.

Synchroblogging Is Back

A synchroblog is when a group of bloggers wrote about the same general topic on the same day, and post links to each other’s posts, so that people can easily surf from post to post and see the same general topic from different points of view.

The theme of September’s synchroblog is Christians and the immigration issue and you can read more about it on Synchroblogging Is Back | Grace Rules Weblog:

CHRISTIANS AND THE IMMIGRATION ISSUE – 9/8/2010 (second Wednesday of the month) As Congress debates how to handle illegal immigrants already within U.S. borders and how to more effectively handle hopeful immigrants in the future, Christians will need to consider what it means to love these new neighbors in our midst.

Please email your name, name of blog, title of post and link to: Sonja Andrews at synchroblog@gmail.com by close of business CST on 9/7/2010 if you would like to be included in this synchroblog.

Please ignore the US-centric blurb, and feel free to write about it even if you don’t live in the USA and don’t want to emigrate there.

Oh yes, and there is still time to participate, as the synchroblog is to be on 8 September, and you need to send in the details of your post by Tuesday 7 September (and not 9 July!)

Illegal aliens

In September there is to be a synchroblog on Christians and the immigration issue, and here’s a foretaste, so you can start thinking about it in advance.

Teflon Christians, Refugees and an Invitation to a Christ-like Humanity | Peter’s Progress:

Let me introduce you to “Warren” (not his real name). Warren has a wife and three children. Before coming here he helped bury a friend’s wife, who had died of cholera (and was eight months pregnant). Warren slept outside for three weeks near Musina. The first day in Polokwane he approached me because he had heard that the Anglican Church helps refugees.

I said we weren’t much use, but we could give him some food. I know that people sleep down by the train station or the taxi rank and pointed him in the right direction. Warren arrived the next day having been mugged and stripped of everything except his trousers and shirt. Luckily he’d put his asylum papers (legal documents) in his pants.

“Chris” and “Fred” teamed up with Warren the next night and slept at a local garage, because it is well lit. The three of them fear the police. When they walk around town or wait on the side of the road for work, they get harassed or moved on. They’ve heard stories of our police tearing up asylum papers so they can be deported back across the border as illegals.

And its not only the police who are xenophobic, as the mob violence of a couple of years ago should remind us.

If you’d like to participate in the synchroblog, which is on 8 September 2010, there’s more information at Synchroblogging Is Back | Grace Rules Weblog.

Which country are we talking about here?

Immigration can be a contentious issue, and sometimes people get carried away and talk quite irrationally about it, as this letter in Cyprus Mail shows.

Which country are we talking about here? – Cyprus Mail:

Surely I’m not the only person to see the irony of British expats in Cyprus making comments on the UK elections last week such as: “I’ve got nothing against immigrants but there are too many and it’s getting out of hand” and “Immigration concerns me. It’s only a little island”?

Coming over here… can’t speak a word of the language and the colour – pink as lobsters, some of them.

10 Reasons for Leaving the American Dream Behind

All over the internet you see these advertisements for “Green Cards” to emigrate to the USA. I’m not sure why they are advertising them, because you can apply for them free at any US consulate.

And here are ten reasons why people want to emigrate from the USA.

10 Reasons for Leaving the American Dream Behind ::

Bye-bye Miss American Pie. I am leaving soon. I still love you America … but, I think a long distance relationship suits us better. Why? Well, I’ve sat down and looked through my entire life in pursuit of the American Dream and this is what I’ve discovered

You’ll have to visit the blog to see the reasons, and at least one of them might be a good reason for emigrating from South Africa — a few years ago my wife was transferred by the firm she worked for to their Johannesburg head office and after a year she resigned, because she reckoned that over the next seven years she would spend a year of her life sitting in traffic jams. But you don’t have to leave the country for that. I hear people are sometimes retiring to villages in the Karroo.

‘Xenophobic’ attacks under the spotlight

Terrified immigrants fled to a church orphanage near Atteridgeville when gangs attached foreigners earlier this week, killing two men. After sheltering in the orphanage, they moved to a school, but had no food, and in some cases their shacks had been burnt.

The priest at the orphanage remonstrated with the attackers. He said they were not local people from Atteridgeville, but had come from Limpopo.

The Times – ‘Xenophobic’ attacks under the spotlight:

The SA Human Rights Commission will embark on a fact-finding mission in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, where two foreign nationals were killed in an apparent xenophobic attack, it said yesterday.

Spokesman Vincent Moaga said the commission would visit the Brazzaville informal settlement to day at 10am.

Two Zimbabwean nationals were killed when a mob burnt their shacks in separate incidents at midnight on Monday…

The department said it was in consultation with stakeholders to find a solution to the ongoing attacks.

Now that last sentence is weird… which “department” is that, and who are these “stakeholders”?

The Illegal Alien Is My Neighbour!

izzonline: South African economy built on cheap black labour. Izzonline makes an important point. There’s a lot of xenophobia about. It’s not only in South Africa. A few years ago I was touring Greece with my wife and daughter, and we stayed at a hotel that was not really open, because the tourist season had not yet started. It was in a little fishing village. The owner brought his motorbike in to the vestibule for the night, “otherwise the Albanians will steal it”.

And I somehow felt right at home, because back home in South Africa we would blame the Zimbabweans. It is estimated that there are something like a million illegal immigrants from Albania in Greece, and perhaps three times that number of Zimbabweans in South Africa.

But I’ve not really met and talked to the Zimbabweans (or Mozambicans or whoever) who have stolen my stuff. But I have met and talked to honest Zimbabweans in South Africa, and what strikes me about them is that they are a lot better-educated than most South Africans. I teach in our church theological school, and it is the foreigners who are better students — Zimbabweans, Congolese. In the case of the Congolese, English is not a second but a third language, yet they pick it up and use it better than South Africans. In church services we read the Psalms a lot, and I found a Zimbabwean who could read the psalms fluently in English (which was his second language), while a South African whose home language was Northern Sotho stumbled over them in that language.

OK, Zimbabwe and Congo never had Bantu Education. But they have had economic meltdowns and civil wars, so they haven’t exactly had a good learning environment either. And the fact is that while some illegal immigrants may be criminals, others are hard-working honest people among them who are better-educated than many South Africans and are assets to the South African economy.

And the criminals are probably better-educated than our police, which is why the police are running around in circles, and hardly ever catch them.

Quite a long time ago now I visited Singapore, and I was interested in their philosophy. They were a small country, and their only asset was their people. So they reasoned that they must develop that asset and spend a lot of money on education. And we in South Africa must do the same. So what if the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund demand that we apply “structural adjustment” programmes designed to keep our people in ignorance? To hell with them; let their structural adjustment programmes go back to hell where they came from.

And perhaps we need to be using those illegal immigrant teachers from Congo and Zimbabwe and such places to teach South Africans a love of learning and the meaning of hard work.

And then there is Sepherim: The Illegal Alien Is My Neighbor!, who shows how unChristian the attitude of some so-called Christians is towards illegal immigrants.

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