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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

 

Riots in France - Europe at Crossroads

The burgeoning growth and impact of immigrants
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Riots which erupted in France about two weeks ago have caused ripples throughout Europe. The skeleton in the closet has raised its ugly head. Molly Moore's report in today's Washington Post leaves no doubt about the seriousness of the situation. What is happening in France can happen in Germany and other countries in Northern Europe that opened their doors to "guest workers" who became permanent residents--permanent residents whose number keeps growing and with it their demands for rights and privileges that are at odds with traditions and customs of the native population.

There is no easy solution. In some respects the situation has parallel to our own, especially in the west. Americans who are crowing about Europe's predicament and its inability to cope with Muslim communities have tunnel vision. We are not free from the threat of clashes with rising immigrant communities.

Growth of the Hispanic population in the United States, especially in the west, has been exponential. See BBC's report "Bid to seal off US-Mexico Border" dated November 4, 2005. The wall, if it can be built, might succeed in reducing entries by illegal immigrants but it is not going to resolve the problem with those who are already here. What we need is foresight and enlightended approach by leaders of all communities to educate the population and promote harmonic assimilation of immigrants, not reacting piecemeal to their needs and demands. Failure to do so could result in conflicts similar to what is happening in Europe.
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See data published by UC Berkeley: " By 2005, more than a third of all Californians are projected to be Latino. The portrait of California Latinos in the California Latino Demographic Databook addresses the characteristics of this growing population, detailing characteristics for Latinos by national origin, nativity, citizenship, and period of entry for the foreign-born, and providing comparative figures for non-Hispanic whites, blacks, and Asians."

State of California Demographic Research Unit's web site contains a wealth of information on this subject.
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