1. The issue of immigration is a multi-faceted, controversial one. It encompasses issues such as cultural assimilation, human rights and dignity, law and justice, employment, as well as educational opportunities for host countries and migrant countries. For example, some people, like Jonathan Laurence, demand a secular absorption of Muslims -- an unconditional acceptance of their cultural norms by their host countries, and more tolerance for the rapidly-growing Muslim population in European countries. Laurence is an associate professor of political science at Boston College. Kofi Annan, United Nations' Secretary General on International Flows of Humanity, states that we need a more-balanced, conservative approach to immigration policies that are also more planned and thought-out. Annan's lecture was delivered at Columbia University, and the occasion was the Emma Lazarus lecture., while Laurence's piece was an op-ed feature in the New York Times.
Both authors write compelling pieces on the nature of immigration, and its policy. While Laurence cites some data related to the growth of the European population of Muslims, his piece appeals primarily to ethos and pathos. He begins his article by citing an example of Muslim violence that erupted in France, when young Muslim men protested the death of a Muslim man while in police custody. Protests erupted throughout Europe, as a result. Annan cites many more statistical facts related to immigration flows, and also utilizes a balanced approach to logos, ethos, and pathos. His primary argument is contingent on ethical premises. At its core, his argument stresses inherent human dignities that must be stressed by host and migrant nations, as well as transitory migrant nations. The intended audience for both writers/speakers is adult, well-educated, liberal-leaning, somewhat-academic, and those in need of a refresher course related to the immigration issue.
2. Harvest of Empire is a film that educates the viewer about the clandestine activities -- such as Iran-Contra in El Salvador -- of the United States in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean that has caused a large exodus of immigrants to the United States. Harvest of Empire takes a hard look at immigration to developed nations from war-torn nations such as Guatemala, advocating an open policy that may have influenced Laurence. Technologist Tan Le's Ted Talk is about three generations of female immigrants from Vietnam. Her story relates how history tried to crush the Vietnamese immigrants who left Vietnam on the China Sea. Tan Le's first memories are from her voyage on the refugee boat. Ultimately, her extended family found itself in Australia. Her story, perhaps, influences the more global perspective related by Annan, who is very concerned about the humanitarian relief that can be offered to refugees -- and cited figures about refugee populations in his lecture. Emmanuel Jal is a musician who has branded himself as a "war child", and fought as a eight-year-old child in the Sudanese civil war. He witnessed brutality and murder on a daily basis, and was eventually rescued by an aid worker. As his story relates directly to the flow, perception, and assimilation of Muslims in different cultures, it serves as an example for Laurence.
3. These selections helped me understand the enormity of the issue regarding global immigration. Also, it is interesting to note that, by 2050, one in three Americans will be Latino. By the end of the century, if trends continue, fully one-half of all Americans will be of Latino descent. I did not realize that American policies, as well as civil wars in migrant countries, led to the high populations of Latino migrant workers in this country. As a result, my understanding is clearer.
4. Those who immigrate to the United States illegally have not undergone the proper background check, and are competing with those who have gone through all of the legal steps. Therefore, illegal, undocumented immigrants cheat the fairness of the system. As many may have a criminal background, they make it harder for those who go through the necessary steps to become documented, legal citizens.
Annan, Kofi. (21, Nov 2003). "Secretary-General, in Lecture on International Flows of Humanity, Says Human Rights Must be at Heart of Migration Policies." Retrieved from http://www.un.org/press/en/2003/sgsm9027.doc.htm
Harvest of Empire (trailer). Retrieved from http://vimeo.com/48145023
Jal, Emmanuel. (2009). "The Music of a War Child." Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/emmanuel_jal_the_music_of_a_war_child?language=en
Laurence, Jonathan. (23 Jan, 2012). "How to Integrate Europe's Muslims." The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/opinion/how-to-integrate-europes- muslims.html?_r=1&
Tan Le. (2011). "Tan Le: My Immigration Story" Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/tan_le_my_immigration_story?language=en