Posts Tagged ‘asylum seekers’

Immigration reform Obama style

by Jo Coghlan

America has more than 11 million (and as possibly as high as 20 million) people living inside its borders who do not have legal status. They account for 3.7% of America’s population. For American President Barrack Obama, immigration is the political elephant in the room particularly as he faces re-election next year. Recently Obama has significant speeches on immigration ‘reform’ but it is domestic politics that is driving his policies.

American immigration policy is largely family based. Residency is most commonly granted to the immediate family of existing citizens. For others, visas are granted based on skill levels, with highly skilled immigrants having a much easier time getting work permits than unskilled labourers. Skilled workers, usually people with a university education or professional training have a range of visa options. The most common visa, the H1B class, currently has a ceiling of 65,000 each year: a quota that is easily filled every year. For unskilled labourers, the U.S. grants just 5,000 work visas each year to people employed in fields other than agriculture. For many, the American dream means they live and work in America as undocumented ‘aliens’.

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The angry white men and their motives

by Matthew Goodwin

The potent combination of anti-immigrant hostility and political dissatisfaction is at the core of understanding support for the far right. Attempts to win back support must involve not only addressing border control and economic concerns, but also confronting questions about identity and feelings of cultural threat.

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Asylum and refugee politics torment Australian Labor

by David Hetherington

Asylum and refugee politics drives a wedge through the left’s core constituencies, opening the floor for a debate driven by fear and xenophobia. It’s the issue that never goes away, one which bedevils 21st century social democratic parties around the world. The treatment of asylum seekers is a minefield for progressive politics, splitting the twin bases on which social democrat electoral success has historically been constructed.

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Why was the Left trapped into Multiculturalism?



By Rene Cuperus




When and why has the left become so culturalist, stressing essentialist notions of identity and the value of frozen group cultures? How come that the left, which was always in the egalitarian-equality business, have become so obsessed with difference, diversity and cultural inequalities? How is it possible that progressive liberals, who are ethical individualists, turn up in the corner of defending collective rights and solid group identities?

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