Is illegal immigration really a problem?

The Daily Journalist community opinion.


This past year, the issue of immigration has stirred a hurricane of controversy in Europe more so than the United States. Radical religious and right wing groups have risen to protest immigration all over Europe, especially the recent Syrian refugee crisis. They mostly worry that with new waves of immigration mixed with low native natality rates, the customs and traditions of England, France or Germany — to name a few — will soon be lost, including democracy itself. But immigration itself is a byproduct of growth, and equality given the right circumstances.

The first colonizers to settle in America, without need to present official documents and pass through customs and migration checkpoints, where immigrants themselves in search for new opportunities; Mexican Americans now migrate the US in search for new opportunities — mostly the lower class jobs Americans won’t dare to work.

Historically, Europeans have got involved in African and Middle Eastern affairs without the majority consensus of the inborn population they invaded — one could argue that in some cases they were invited to take over. Now migratory waves have left Africa and the Middle East to journey new opportunities in Europe.

1)      Do Europeans and Americans have the right to protest illegal immigration, considering they’re partly responsible for the mess experienced in the Middle East, including the colonization of other countries in history?

2)      Are Islam and Democracy compatible partners? Or should westerners be afraid of it?

3)      Why is Xenophobia prevalent in the west?

4)      Should Mexican illegals working low class jobs go back to Mexico? Despite the fact that they help America’s efficiency in different work sectors Americans don’t take?

5)      What is the main difference between the Syrian and Mexican immigration waves?



Sebastian Sarbu.

(He is a military analyst and vice-president of National Academy of Security and Defense Planning. Member of American Diplomatic Mission for International Relations)

“Illegal immigration is dangerous, because it can destabilize the economy and social security. In other ideas of matters, the government should adopt a legislation to permit the integration of immigrants in American or European society. The problem is complex and cannot be resumed as an option or interpretation.

This problem has dual issues. We identify an individual responsibility and also a collective responsibility. The instrument of measure should not suffer ideological influences or be a transnational political calculation.
Immigration must be accepted like a reality of globalization, and not transformed into a conflict of civilizations.
Democracy imposes rules, but it does not mean that the rule of law is a limitation or a substitute of democracy.

Islam is not compatible with democracy and much less with globalization. Democracy is compatible with Islam only in the states where theocracy don’t exist as legal forms of governance. But also in the liberal form it is in conflict with the socio-cultural diversity and civil rights of common people.

In general to build walls between nations is not a solution; however, illegal immigration must be taken very seriously. An option could be to send the armed forces, but only to help law enforcement and aid any social emergencies authorized by law.”


Barack Obama Mandela. 

(He is a California attorney.  He served as policy adviser to California Governor Pete Wilson and public affairs intern for US Senator Barack Boxer. He also served as public affairs intern for the Israeli Consulatea nd mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert. Recipient of the National Defense Service Medal)

1)    Do Europeans and Americans have the right to  protest illegal immigration, considering they’re partly responsible for the mess experienced in the Middle East, including the colonization of other countries in history?

Although the world is in a post colonial period, the Third World is still dealing with conflicts and inequality caused by European colonialist. However, both Europe and the United States have a fundamental right to protect their borders against illegal immigration.

It is important, however, for undocumented immigrants to be treated with dignity and respect. In the United States, for example, I have become an advocate and supporter of Latino and Hispanic immigrants. I have perceived this community to be largely faith-based and also hard working. I oppose racism and mistreatment of Latin American immigrants to the USA; including undocumented immigrants.

 2)   Are Islam and Democracy compatible partners? Or should westerners be afraid of it?

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has raised the issue of a potential conflict between Islam and Western Civilization. Controversially, Mr. Trump suggested a freeze on Muslim immigration to the United States.

Although Mr. Trump raises some legitimate issues, I oppose a freeze on Muslim immigration to the United States. I do not view Islam—in general—as an opponent to Western democracy. I believe a moderate and modern version of Islam should be promoted by Western governments. I think moderate Islamic clerics should be fortified and promoted. Finally, I think a public relations campaign called “Islam of Peace” should be created in order to urge young Muslim to embrace a modern, democracy-friendly version of Islam.”

 3)  Why is Xenophobia prevalent in the west?

Xenophobia and racism are two sides of the same coin. Western countries participated in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, colonialism, and the near eradication of native peoples. The legacy of racism and xenophobia require long-term, government sponsored psychotherapy for racists and xenophobes. The healing of these issues begins within the minds and hearts of the people. Superficial solutions are
only temporary in nature”.

4)   Should Mexican illegals working low class jobs go back to Mexico? Despite the fact that they help
 America’s efficiency in different work sectors Americans don’t take?

Mexican immigrants may be referred to as “undocumented workers”. However, it is politically incorrect to refer to them as “illegals” or “illegal immigrants”. These phrases are unnecessarily dehumanizing
and discriminatory. Undocumented workers are human beings with human emotions that must be respected in a sensitive and humane manner.

Undocumented workers should be provided with: (1) A path to US citizenship (2) Worker identification cards allowing them to work (3) Free English language immersion courses. These courses could be taught by college students as part of their work study”.

 5)  What is the main difference between the Syrian and Mexican immigration waves?  

The Mexican and Syrian waves of immigration have some similarities and differences. First of all, the Syrian immigration wave is caused by a nearly complete collapse of the government and a bloody civil war. In addition, parts of Syria have been invaded by ISIS. On the other hand, the Mexican immigration is caused by lack of jobs and poor economy in Mexico and the bloody narco-trafficking war.”

Moreover, the western portion of the United States was formerly part of Mexico. Therefore Mexican immigrants have cultural and historical ties to the USA. Major cities in California have Hispanic names: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, Sacramento, and Santa Barbara. Surely this indicates the region’s Hispanic heritage. In fact, the Aztecs referred to the western United States as “Aztlan”. Therefore, Mexican immigration to the US is partially driven by historical socio-cultural forces.”



Vassilios Damiras.

(Is a U.S. counter-terrorism, homeland security, and defense expert. He has extensively studied and worked on various U.S. National Security issues, Middle East, and Balkan politics and history)

“The Americans and the Europeans have the right to protest illegal immigration and the clear the real refugees. The United States and the European Union member nation-states have specific rules regarding legal immigration and refugee status.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration and the various European governments both conservatives and socialists follow a utopian approach to the issue. Specifically, the communist government of Greece has opened the borders in order to blackmail the EU to reduce the Greek debt. In addition, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras believes like Obama on open borders.

Regarding the mess in the Middle East, the responsibility falls mostly to the local population due to absent democratic values. In addition, it was wrong for the Obama administration to withdraw from Iraq. The American withdrawal created a vacuum that ISIS covered.

For the stable Middle East, the main ingredient is an aggressive American foreign policy. However, most Americans want isolationism to solve the domestic issues. That is wrong. The globe and the Middle East region asks and wants American leadership.”



Steven Hansen.

(Publisher and Co-founder of Econintersect, is an international business and industrial consultant specializing in turning around troubled business units; consults to governments to optimize process flows; and provides economic indicator analysis based on unadjusted data and process limitations)

“1)   Do Europeans and Americans have the right to protest illegal immigration, considering they’re partly responsible for the mess experienced in the Middle East, including the colonization of other countries in history?

You cannot judge what has happened in the past using 2016 eyes. Mores have changed. What was acceptable to my father’s generation, is not acceptable to mine. Mankind is continuing to hone the line between right and wrong.

I know of no country in the world which allows open borders. Who has a right to work and to stay are controlled. Just because everyone does it – is it right? There of pros and cons. But in the final analysis, no country can allow a wave of immigration which affects its customs and way of life. But in the case of the USA and Mexico – it is even more complicated. All I can say is that I cannot go to Mexico and establish residence without a process. It is difficult to the point of impossible to get a work permit for Mexico.

But I believe work permits should be freely obtainable by Mexicans – and with a permit, they should have the right to stay until they no longer work.

2)      Are Islam and Democracy compatible partners? Or should westerners be afraid of it?

I have lived the majority of my life in Muslim countries. The interpretation of the Koran varies country by country, region by region, family by family. Out of curiosity – what countries do you consider democratic (as the USA is democratic in definition but not in practice).

3)      Why is Xenophobia prevalent in the west?

Xenophobia exists where its citizens do not travel, and have no perspectives.

4)      Should Mexican illegals working low class jobs go back to Mexico? Despite the fact that they help America’s efficiency in different work sectors Americans don’t take?

I believe work permits should be readily available to Mexicans – and go back to Mexico only when they do not have a job.

5)      What is the main difference between the Syrian and Mexican immigration waves?  

Culturally, Mexico and the USA share common values – and much of the area in the west was Spanish speaking at one time. As I have said, the relationship between the USA and Mexico is complex and defies simple answers. Syria, on the other hand – is having a civil war. I believe the west owes Syrians a temporary place to stay until the war ends – but that does not mean permanent residence in any other country.”



Adil F. Raja.

(He is an independent Political and Security analyst from Pakistan with a diverse background in Governance, International Relations, Special Ops and International Security/Political Consultancy)

“1)      Do Europeans and Americans have the right to protest illegal immigration, considering they’re partly responsible for the mess experienced in the Middle East, including the colonization of other countries in history?

A- Obviously not. The EU and US populations failed to question/stop their leaders to venture upon wars on false pretexts, such as the Iraq war (Weapons of mass destruction) creating havoc on the affected countries. Instead of now feeling sorry for themselves they should realise that this is a result of their interference. Every action has a consequence and on this occasion mass immigration to Europe from war torn countries is the consequence

2)      Are Islam and Democracy compatible partners? Or should westerners be afraid of it?

A- Democracy and Islam are not opposing concepts, however democracy in it’s western context could never flourish in Islamic countries. Modern Muslim societies are divided within themselves into numerous sects and tribes wherein tribal code reigns supreme in maintaining order in these societies.Democratic culture demands accountability for their leadership where as the majority of Muslim societies are run my autocratic governance which is the only method proving to maintain order in these societies.

Examples of the destruction of Saddam Hussein’s rule in Iraq and Qaddafi’s autocracy in Libya. By forcefully introducing Western style democracy in these Muslim countries by the West, the very basic fabric of these societies was torn where these prosperous countries were destroyed and made into a hub of terrorism and blood shed, It proves that Western style of democracy is suitable only in the West, whereas Muslim societies demand a certain degree of autocracy to maintain order amoungst the tribal/sectarian traditions. The west should refrain from creating further fiascoes like Iraq, Libya and Syria.

3)      Why is Xenophobia prevalent in the west?

A-The prevalent xenophobia in the west is not by default but through design. The mainstream media is being used by vested interests for political reasons to spread the hatred which in turn becomes handy in waging wars for corporate greed. One man’s terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.

4)      Should Mexican illegals working low class jobs go back to Mexico? Despite the fact that they help America’s efficiency in different work sectors Americans don’t take?

A- No comments.

5)      What is the main difference between the Syrian and Mexican immigration waves?  

A- The Mexican immigration wave is mainly due to economic reasons and the Syrian immigration wave is because of the present war in the country.”



Peter D. Rosenstein.

(He is a non-profit executive, journalist and Democratic and community activist. His background includes teaching; serving as Coordinator of Local Government for the City of New York; working in the Carter Administration; and Vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia)

“1) Do Europeans and Americans have the right to protest illegal immigration, considering they’re partly responsible for the mess experienced in the Middle East, including the colonization of other countries in history? 

Of course groups have a right to protest illegal immigration- the question is what policies countries should adopt to deal with it. I am more familiar with what America is doing and at this time we are fighting over it. America, if it elects more Democrats in the upcoming election, will have a push towards a comprehensive immigration policy.

It will deal with the current over eleven million illegal immigrants in the country and try to give them a path to citizenship if they are law abiding people who have come to the United States to make a better life for themselves and their families. I am also in favor of the United States opening up our borders to immigrants from Syria who are escaping because their lives are in danger. Now I don’t think we should look at this as our being responsible for the mess in the Middle East. We should look at some immigration as a humanitarian issue.

2)  Are Islam and Democracy compatible partners? Or should westerners be afraid of it?

I think that Islam and Democracy can be compatible partners but we have to learn to understand each other. Because of the rise in violence of the Jihadist movement it is natural that Westerners are afraid. But we need to educate people about the difference between Islam and the majority of Muslims and the Jihadist movement.

4)  Why is Xenophobia prevalent in the west?

A simple definition of Xenophobia is “fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners”. It is more prevalent because of the rash of attacks that have occurred in western capitals in recent years. People also have a natural tendency to fear what they don’t understand and most people in the West don’t understand Islam at all. The only way to counter xenophobia is through education.

5)  Should Mexican illegals working low class jobs go back to Mexico? Despite the fact that they help America’s efficiency in different work sectors Americans don’t take?

The United States needs a comprehensive immigration policy. It really shouldn’t have anything to do with the kind of jobs people have but rather how and why they have come to the United States. The United States was founded by immigrants and those coming here to make a better life for themselves and their families. We need to respect that tradition as we set new policies on immigration. Today we need to develop that pathway to citizenship for those law abiding people here now illegally. But any  nation is also allowed to set policy for how to enter the country legally and then to stick to those policies.

6) What is the main difference between the Syrian and Mexican immigration waves?  

The Syrian immigration wave is one brought about because of people’s fearing for their lives if they stay where they are. This  is a humanitarian issue and in many cases if they could live safely in Syria many of the refugees would choose to go home. The Mexican immigration is one of economic issues and those Mexican’s who have come to the United States do so in most cases for economic issues not for political issues.”


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Arik (Oren) Smila.

(He is the co-founder and executive director at, he is a Masters degree graduate from Tel-Aviv University at the field of Diplomacy studies)

“1) A complex question. How does one protest a right that his predecessors enjoyed in the past, what gives him the right to deny other human beings from seeking better opportunities for them and for their children?

The argument pro migration are clear and well known, it’s a tool for growth and prosperity, they are (at most cases) very respectful of the law and their communities, not to mention that the next generations are very ambitious and diligent, given their lives and experiences growing up as immigrants in a foreign country.

The counter arguments varies however, I believe that in the base of those arguments lays the core feeling of fear of the unknown, the different, a change to a lifestyle that one grown a custom to and reluctant to any change. Does migration brings problems that one country did not have to deal with prior? Absolutely, but the governments role is to find solution to those problems and not blame certain group in creating them.

2) Afraid? No. Knowledgeable? Yes. History shows that true democracy could not co-exist with Islam as the common believe. Some place the blame on the fact that the Imam, historically, was the secular ruler and the spiritual leader. As oppose to Christianity, where there was a desperation of state and religion, with the church and the King. Hence the ability to accept separation of authorities which Islam was never accustomed to. Arab leaders, throughout history made a habit of eliminating any shred of opposition and killed the seeds of what could have been a base of true liberal political system. Could that be changed given that information is more accessible in our time? I believe so, but it will take long time before the new generation will rise up again and understand that the political system is not a tool to remain in power but a way to serve the community.

As one that studied the matter of Arab political systems throughout history, I was full of hope at the time of the “Arab Spring” but somewhere inside I knew that it will only lead to the same results of Islam will not be completely separated from the state.

3) very simple answer. It is branded in each one of us to be afraid of the unknown and the different. Why is it so common in the west? I cannot speak of Europe as I have not spent much time there, but America is the richest country in history, most people’s income exceeds their needs by far. If you introduce an unknown, unpredictable (in their minds) factor to a community that has only to lose, it’s not unusual to see resistance.

Of course, Islam extremists have contributed to the fear of Islam in the most profound way. Over 90% of terror attacks in the last 15 years were conducted in the name of Islam. It is certain that the overwhelming majority of Muslims do not support these actions but even a small percentage of those who believe in that way creates a large number. Furthermore, the voices of those who preach against violent actions are weak and hardly heard.

Muslims in Europe have no desire to be integrated to the society and are very prone to be recruited to the extreme groups out of despair. Education is not integral and rejects other cultures which leads to lack of job opportunities and the depression that follows is only an excuse to look for a different way.

Extremism Islam is a problem that should be dealt with, not ignored. We can cut the head of the snake each time it rises, but more and more snakes will continue to appear. Only with inclusive education program and proper job opportunities, the extreme Islam recruiters will find their job to be harder and harder.

4) Absolutely not. And it is not a question of effectiveness or market benefit. Those immigrants are mostly families with children that are entitled to a better education, healthcare, nutrition and other social services as any human being should receive. We all should have a communal conscience as we are a part of the same society that help us achieve what we have thus far. It is ungrateful to deny people of the same right that your grandparents enjoyed.

That aside, Mexicans are, by majority hard working and contribute immensely to the growth of the American economy. Nevertheless, that should always come second to the first reason.

5) The main difference between both waves of immigration is the cause. Mexican immigrants seek better economic opportunities and better future for their children. Syrian refugees seek a safe asylum. Syrian refugees are being “feared” more given the chance that ISIS terrorists will seize the opportunity to enter Europe and the US with an ideology of executing a violent act.

However both waves influence each other and there is no doubt that any resistance to migration will be exclusive to all immigrants. Perhaps there lays the explanation to the rise in popularity of the GOP candidate Donald Trump. ”


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Michael Smith Phd. 

(He is a professor of political science at Emporia State Univeristy.  Teaches local politics, campaigns and elections, political philosophy, legislative politics, and nonprofit management)

1)    Do Europeans and Americans have the right to protest illegal immigration, considering they’re partly responsible for the mess experienced in the Middle East, including the colonization of other countries in history?

Of course we have the right, as per free speech (though that’s a bit more restricted in Western Europe than in the USA– e.g. bans on denying the Holocaust–but free speech is still valued in Europe and the USA).  The question is, how productive are such protests, and how wise?  There is the hypocrisy issue, of course.  Also, the basic premise seems to be that law enforcement should regulate flows of immigrants, but all the research of which I am aware shows that economic conditions, not laws or enforcement, are what govern such things.  

2)   Are Islam and Democracy compatible partners? Or should westerners be afraid of it?

Islam is a major world religion with many sects and followers, like Christianity.  Sufis and Wahhabis are as different as The United Church of Christ and Primitive Baptists.  I do think that there is something to the idea that certain sects of Islam capture the rage of the world’s have-nots, and resolution of these differences will not prove easy.

3)   Why is Xenophobia prevalent in the west?

Causes are complex, ranging from a fear of crime committed by new, low-income migrants, to discomfort at hearing a new language spoken in one’s community, to a desire to see change regulated by law enforcement, which is not always possible as per my answer to question #1.  There is also resentment of migrants willing to work for low wages competing with citizens who have worked hard for, and expect higher pay. Finally, the racial, language, cultural, and religious changes can be threatening to those who want one language, one culture, even one predominant religion in their country.

4)   Should Mexican illegals working low class jobs go back to Mexico? Despite the fact that they help America’s efficiency in different work sectors Americans don’t take?

It would severely disrupt the U.S. economy if all undocumented immigrants were suddenly deported– as if such a thing is even feasible in the 1st place.

5)  What is the main difference between the Syrian and Mexican immigration waves?  

This gets into one of the really murky areas of immigration policy.  The U.S. tries to draw a bright, shining line between economic and political refugees.  In practice, this is not clear-cut.  A case in point are the many undocumented immigrants being deported to Central America right now. They are being labeled as economic refugees and therefore not eligible for asylum, yet their countries are not only poor but also they have a great deal of political unrest. Policy rests on a distinction which is not as clear in real life.”



Randal O’Toole.

(He is a Cato Institute Senior Fellow working on urban growth, public land, and transportation issues. O’Toole’s research on national forest management, culminating in his 1988 book, Reforming the Forest Service, has had a major influence on Forest Service policy and on-the-ground management)


1)      Do Europeans and Americans have the right to protest illegal immigration, considering they’re partly responsible for the mess experienced in the Middle East, including the colonization of other countries in history?

I believe that just being born in a country doesn’t give people a right to exclude others from living there. I believe in open borders.

2)      Are Islam and Democracy compatible partners? Or should westerners be afraid of it?

Some Islamists are violent, but overall Islam is no more violent than Christianity or Judism has been in the past.

3)      Why is Xenophobia prevalent in the west?

The best way to build a following is to find someone for followers to hate, so politicians use fear of terrorism to build constituencies and power. This has been true for as long as there have been people and is certainly not confined to the West.

4)      Should Mexican illegals working low class jobs go back to Mexico? Despite the fact that they help America’s efficiency in different work sectors Americans don’t take?

America is a big country and has room and work for everyone who wants to live here. Some form of immigration reform including amnesty would be a good thing for both the immigrants and the economy as a whole.

5)      What is the main difference between the Syrian and Mexican immigration waves?  

The main difference is that much of Europe is economically hostile to newcomers. Most large European nations have made housing very expensive. They have imposed minimum wages and other labor regulations that discourage people from hiring new workers. The result is high unemployment rates, which means that many if not most Syrian immigrants will also be unemployed and forced to live in government-provided housing, often housing that residents have rejected.

California and a few other states have imposed similar rules, but most U.S. states have minimal housing and labor regulation. Minimum wages are about two-thirds of many European countries. This means there is room for more people, both in terms of jobs and housing.

Most problems with immigration are really symptoms of deeper problems that should be corrected even if there were no immigration.”



John D. Vernon Sr.

(He has proudly served the United States of America for over 37 years as a Military Officer, retiring at the rank of Colonel,later serving as a Department of Defense civilian, and finally as a Township Supervisor.In 2012, John ran as a Conservative candidate for the U.S. Senate in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is the CEO, American Warrior Press)

“The topic of immigration is a “hot button” subject today both here in the United States and in Europe. Progressives like to use this word in order to push their liberal agenda which deliberately embraces illegal activity verses actually stating that the migration of people that is occurring is actually an illegal breach of sovereign nation’s borders. That in itself is the fraud they sadly perpetrate at the expense of their citizens.

That said, whether people like it or not, the tragic events of September 11, 2001, changed the way the world views national immigration policy and those attempting to migrate from Africa and the Middle East. Western fears of radicalism and terrorism are real and strike at the heart of their security concerns. Europe is now facing its own security crisis based upon the political pressure to look the other way and embrace tolerance. They and their citizens have been hoodwinked.

In many Progressive circles, the comparison between today’s illegal immigration is made to the early settlers who came to the “New World,” in order to foster a false premise and narrative regarding the lack of official documentation and the search of new opportunities. First, the “New World” as it was known at the time was not an established nation or country and those who have studied history know, that the settlers of the “New World” claimed certain plots of property in the name of their King or Queen. In other words, they seized property by occupational or conquering force, as that was how land was acquired.

The idea that early American settlers and illegal migrants are in the same category is laughable. In fact it’s intellectually insulting. There is no comparison as they are separate entities. Now, fast forward to today and the wave of illegals flowing across our nation’s southern border. As I stated earlier, the breaching of another nations border is a direct attack on that nation’s sovereignty and violates America’s rule of law. As a bottom line, illegals have given America the “finger” and said, “To hell with your laws, I don’t give a damn.”

It infuriates me that the discussion is not about the violation of the rule of law but rather somehow that our immigration policies need to be changed to allow illegals who have committed a crime, to become citizens. As Pope Francis recently quipped after a Bernie Sanders visit, maybe you should see a psychologist. In my view, its pure insanity, but people on the Progressive Left strongly believe they need to help every person in the world, regardless of the cost and personal involvement, even if it not their own.

For many years after September 11, 2001, I have been on the front lines fighting terrorism, so for me it’s not just political ideology, its personal; been there done that. I know first-hand what it’s like to survive a terrorist attack, so when people accuse me of Xenophobia, I look them in the eye and say, walk a mile in my shoes. As I stated earlier, the events of September 11, 2001, changed the way the world looks at people from the Middle East and or areas that support terrorism. I refuse to give into the tolerance or grievance community. After all, what kind of Godless people murder innocent people in the name of radical religion?

The grievance industry has asserted that the West is somehow responsible for the mess in the Middle East that “they” somehow created. However, this argument is typical nonsense and is asinine on its face. The grievance industry fails to account for the wrongs and terrorist actions that the dictators of these countries caused across the world. After all, the grievance industry knows that the United States has a constitution and rule of law that determines the limits of how government works. Like in Syria, they know that the “red line” will not be crossed. However, that comes with a price, and that price is anarchy.

The United States is the greatest idea that has ever been given to the world. Under our constitution and as part of the first amendment of the bill of rights, citizens have the right to peacefully assembly, and exercise their freedom of speech and right to protest. The expression of free thought and expression what separate great nations from good nations.

The United States is now facing a huge immigration policy dilemma as the 2016 election cycle is in full swing and candidates on the Left and Right are at opposite ends of the spectrum. What the American people have long known is that a guest worker program has long served a valuable purpose to both the United States and Mexico. However, it is not about the false premise that Mexicans will do jobs American don’t want, but rather they are willing to do the job for less money and that’s the bottom line.

President Obama is currently finishing out the last year of his presidential term. Some call it the “lame duck” term because nothing gets done. I see the same regarding the comparison between the Syrian and Mexican immigration waves; it’s a lame duck. As I mentioned earlier, this comparison is not an immigration action. Syrians are not trying to immigrate to the United States, but rather politicians are trying to defuse an international refugee program. For illegal Mexicans who have come to the United States, they are neither trying to immigrate nor are they refugees, but rather they are criminals who have broken the laws of the United States and must face justice under our rule of law.

The United States has a long standing immigration policy and program based upon the rule of law. Those who subvert the system are nothing more than charlatans and criminals; period. In today’s politically correct world, these same people believe the United States owes them something. Let me be clear. We owe them nothing and demand that they respect our laws and borders. Change is definitely coming in 2017.”


Halyna Mokrushyna.

(Holds a doctorate in linguistics and MA degree in communication. She publishes in Counterpunch, Truthout, and  New Cold War on Ukrainian politics, history, and culture. She is also a contributing editor to the New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond and a founder of the Civic group for democracy in Ukraine)

“Questions that Jaime Ortega has asked this time are very broad and to answer each of them one would need to write a book per question. I will nevertheless try to embrace the un-braceable.

1) The first question whether Europeans and Americans have the right to protest illegal immigration. It depends which rights we are talking about. In a real democracy, citizens have a political right to protest about anything. If we are talking about moral right, I do not think they have the moral right to do so, given the terrible destruction of cultures and death of millions of people brought by European colonization and the military intervention in non-Western countries, disguised under  hypocritical claims of helping these countries to build democracy. This “help” has had disastrous results in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine. But Western democratizers are still convinced that they are the most progressive, the most advanced civilization, and it is their responsibility to educate the rest of the world and to convert the uncivilized. The White Man marches on. Mentality is the hardest thing to change.

I would draw a distinction line though between common men and political elites. The problem with Europe, for instance, is that democracy is not working in reality – national governments lost their autonomy to transnational capital. The biggest mockery of democracy was the national referendum in Greece in June of 2015 whether to accept the bailout conditions, proposed by the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. The majority of Greeks (over 61%) rejected the bailout. The “No” vote won in all of the Greece’s regions. What did the left-wing Prime-Minister Alexis Tsipras do? Ignored the results of Greeks and signed the bail-out. Did he really have a choice? I do not think so. Greece has become trapped into a deep debt hole, dug by international monetary institutions and will never get out of there.

2) I think Islam and democracy are compatible. It depends what we mean by democracy. If it is a political system, in which church and state are separated and religion is a private business of any citizen, then it would take many decades before we see a democratic Islamic state in this sense. In Western Europe the liberal democracy started appearing as religion started losing its influence on people. Enlightenment with its rationalization neutralized the religion’s grip on people’s minds. The divine right of Kings was replaced by elected politicians and rational bureaucracies.

In a country where the absolute majority of people share the same religion, the state can function according to religious laws, and it will reflect interests of the whole population. No violence will be needed to keep population under control, because there are no dissenters. However, no such country exists in the Arab world or anywhere in the world for that matter. There are religious or ethnic minorities everywhere, and it is up to societies of every Arab country to find their own ways to live together without killing each other. And Western countries should not intervene in this domestic dialogue, which is, again, highly improbable to happen. Examples of secular Arab states, such as Libya or Syria, show that the separation of religion and governance in Islamic countries is possible only through authoritarian regimes. The price of such secularization is too high, higher than letting Arabic countries develop their own ways of ensuring a secure and decent life for all members, of whichever religion or ethnicity they might be. Westerners should not be afraid of Arabs or should not try to change them. Westerners should try to understand them and respect the difference.

3) Why is xenophobia prevalent in the west? The answer is simple – because it is in the west that we find the biggest number of immigrants. People, no matter the color of skin, language, age, nationality, want to live better. The global North draws people from the global South because of the material wealth. European colonizers treated Africans or Indians from the position of superiority and security because they were stronger military. Now the official policy in European Union is equality, tolerance and multiculturalism, but many Europeans still hate immigrants from Middle East or Africa because they think they are going to steal their jobs and destroy their culture. Europe is reaping the fruits of its colonialism.

Colonized are flocking to the European beam of prosperity and security. Europe is facing the Other on its own grounds now. There are hundreds of thousands of Others now in various European countries, compared to quite homogenous Europe of the first half of the XX century. There have always been ethnic and religious minorities in Europe, but they were white and Christians, like titular nations. The only Others were Jews and Roma. But they have been living in Europe for ages. It is only after the WWII and the decolonization, which it triggered, that Europe has seen the influx of immigrants from the former colonies. These immigrants are not white, they are not Christians. That is why they instill fear, and that is why xenophobia is prevalent in the West.

4) Migration/immigration cannot be stopped, because people will always seek a better place to live. And it is their natural right to do so. The government of a country to which migrants/immigrants are going faces a difficult task of finding a balance between the economic necessity to keep the migrants, because they are filling the demand in the unskilled jobs, and the fear of native citizens to lose their jobs and culture to foreigners. No wall can stop people seeking better life, especially when the country-destination invites the migrants, as it was the case with braceros in the US during WWII. The U.S. ‘imported’ thousands of Mexican farm laborers to ensure the production of food supply. American farmers liked the cheap labor, and continued to hire undocumented Mexicans after the war. Americans grew dissatisfied. In 1954, the U.S. government responded by apprehending close to one million illegal workers in the “Operation Wetback”.

At the same time, to appease American farmers, the Immigration and Naturalization Service reviewed cases of many undocumented Mexicans, legalized them and allowed them to return to the work on farms. Bringing in workers from abroad will always provoke dissatisfaction of some parts of the local population, and foreign workers will always try to stay, unless the economic situation in the country of their origin improves. Governments of countries receiving foreign workers should ensure that workers have social security and safety at work and that their human rights are respected. As for the monetary aspect, it is up to those who are providing work to establish a decent pay that would suit both the worker and the employer.

5) Syrian refugees who are now flooding Europe are fleeing the war. Out of the almost 23 million of Syrian population, 45% of Syrians are displaced – around 4.8 million are refugees outside of Syria, and 6.6 million are displaced internally. Life expectancy has dropped from 70 in 2010 to 55.4 in 2015Fatalities caused by war, directly and indirectly, amount to 470,000, according to the Syrian Centre for Policy Research (cited in The Guardian ).

These are shocking statistics, especially considering a high increase of the Syrian population in the last six decades: from close to 5million in 1960 to almost 23 million in 2013. Population growth followed the economic development: Syrian GDP grew from 857.7 million USD in 1960 to 73.67 billion USD in 2012. The GDP per capita was also increasing, reaching 4684.72 USD in 2012 (as adjusted by Purchasing Power Parity). This war, enflamed by ill-designed Western intervention, destroyed Syrian economy. Overall economic losses are estimated at $255bn.

Syria is a very sad example for the political elite of any country, incapable of reaching an agreement without the ‘assistance’ from the West. This incapacity leads to the civil war which destroys the country and decimates the population.

Syrians are fleeing to Europe to save their lives. Mexicans are immigrating to the U.S. to improve their lives. This is a fundamental difference between them.”


Nake M. Kamrany. Co-authors: Ghaffar Mughal, Qatar University, Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Mathew  Jackson, University of Montana and member of the Global Income Convergence Group,  Jessica  Greenhalgh, Global Income Convergence Group and Sam Kosydar, Global Income Convergence Group.

(He  is an eminent Afghan-American development economist with superior experience in economic development who is held in high esteem by the international development community, Afghan leaders, scholars, the private sector and intellectuals. He has more than 20 publications on the political economy of Afghanistan)


IMMIGRATION’S RECENT SURGE is caused because more bombs are dropped, millions are dead, and millions more march to perceived safety or in many cases internment camps in Europe.  And all the while America still does nothing except to threaten massive deportation of some 11+ million who have lived in the U.S. for years.  Although President Barrack   Obama may have tried to avoid getting more involved in the Middle East war and entanglement, but he is presiding over one of the largest humanitarian disasters of this century.  

Moreover, I vehemently disagree with Obama strategy and those who advocates it. ,“The Obama administration compares ISIS to cancer, and the analogy offers insights into defeating the extremists. “That analogy is incorrect and has been proven to be wrong.    Take a hard look at Afghanistan.  Obama applied the same strategy with 48 NATO members for 15 years IN AFGHANISTAN and it is being defeated despite U.S./NATO     incessant bombing, destroying thousands of villages and killing million.  Obama’s strategy has produced more refugees in Afghanistan causing emigrating out of Afghanistan.  

U.S. strategy has radicalized many Afghans including governmental soldiers who are on U.S. payroll.  A couple days ago an Afghan soldier shot and killed TWO NATO soldiers and went ON TV with no regrets and said that over the last 15 years U.S./NATO has done nothing but kill and destroy.  That incident was not the first, hundreds of NATO soldiers over the last years have been shot by Afghan government soldiers who are supposed to fight with the U.S.  They are radicalized so are million in the M.E. 

How about PEACE – do we have the wisdom and courage to give peace a chance AND END THESE ANALOGIES AD JUSTIFICATION FOR WARs that are in violation of human rights.

To be fair, Obama’s hands have been tied. No American president of the modern era, with the exception of perhaps FDR in last term, has faced a Congress as obstructionist or as intent on undermining the legislative policies of its chief executive.  Even if Obama moved to take in more refugees or send ground forces into Syria, would Congress allow him? The answer would most likely be a resounding no.   And while criticism can be leveled at both parties, Robert Kagan’s assertion that the current Republican Party is suffering from a “racially tinged derangement syndrome” is starting to gain credence with a lot of Americans, particularly young Americans.  More importantly, American leadership has not expressed an interest in giving PEACE a chance as an alternative.

This frustration has funneled itself into what has to be one of the most anti-establishment let’s burn the house down presidential campaigns of the last sixty years. Trumped with anger, popular discontent has once again found its willing historical victim:   Immigrants. Particularly, the 11 million undocumented immigrants who call America home have been singled out. The bluster and braggadocio of the primary season alone, in which we have heard assertions of building walls and mass deportations have rendered the once storied words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free” all but hollow.


Immigration issue in the United States transcends those of Europeans although the root causes are substantially different.   U.S. immigration issue consists of some 11+ million non-documented due to economic disparity.  Europeans receive flood of people who are seeking both economic equity, personal safety and political asylum as refugees.

Immigration consists of peoples’ movement for resettlement   from sending countries to receiving countries due to (1) political and social repressions in the home country or political immigration caused by   dictatorial home governments such as the Syrian exodus.  And, (2)   economic immigration due to wage/income differentials between the sending and receiving countries who are motivated by economic incentives. Historically the world has experienced several waves of non-documented immigration, mostly motivated by economic incentives and opportunities, and they have largely proven favorable for both the receiving and sending countries just the same as the mutual benefits of un-impinged free international trade.  

All parties have gained by international trade and immigration.   Sending countries have gained from the annual remittances of the immigrants who have send billions of dollars annually to their home countries.  Concurrently, the receiving countries have benefited by the availability of cheaper labor than the prevailing labor cost.  However, in the current wave of immigration into Europe, the receiving countries confront the European Migration Crisis and   are overwhelmed with political refugees which have overwhelmed the infrastructure and socio/political /economic capacity of the receiving countries. The United States is confronted with millions of undocumented immigrants who must conform to U.S. Immigration laws.

However, the current immigration issue in the United States election is the existence of an alleged 11+ non-documented immigrants that candidate Donald Trump has singled out for deportation and to build a tall wall between Mexico and the U.S. borders.  Although these measures may have some impact to stemming the flow of non-documents into the U.S.,  however, these measures do not augur well with the public.  Donald Trump has highlighted the issue of immigration in the forefront of the U.S. 2016 presidential election.   However, a majority of the American public would opt a humanitarian approach for  those non-documents who have lived in the U.S., have held jobs, have paid taxes, have raised families, are law abiding individuals and are productive individuals the same as productive citizens.  Equity demands a fair and humanitarian treatment.

In a recent survey conducted by USC Dornsife /Los Angeles Times statewide poll found that 62% of the voters said that they believed illegal immigrants in California is at least a major problem while 36% believed the issue was a small problem.  Or not a problem at all.  However, the state voters rejected the measures proposed by presidential front runner Donald Trump’s mass deportation proposal. More than three- fourth of the voters expressed the view that immigrants who are already in the U.S. be granted permission and allowed to stay and apply for U.S. citizenship.  By 2 to 1 voters opposed building a wall along the southern U.S. border to prevent immigrants entering the U.S. without proper legal documentation.  The young voters in the state of California, which is housing the largest non-documented immigrants in the U.S. have taken a nuanced approach in contrast to older voters who are more likely to favor mass deportation of illegals.   

President Obama has submitted a bill to Congress designed to grant millions of non-documents to avoid deportation from the United States.  The issue is being challenged by some states on grounds of jurisdiction issue over immigration subject of the federal government vs. the state governments.  During the Supreme Court initial deliberation on April 20, 2016 the prospect vote ostensibly will be on ideological line rather than on the merit of the subject which means the lower federal ruling will prevail in view of 4-4 split in the Supreme Court.    


Walls and deportations have been tried before and they are not effective in addressing the issue of immigration as long as political repression and economic disparity prevail on global scale. The solution to immigration issue is to single out the above two problems and devise and apply an effective global approach.

With respect to political repression, most notably tribal, religious, and sectarian divide must be countered through democracy, education, communication, and technology.  Measures of domestic, political, social and economic indicators as they apply to repression must be established for troubled countries and followed over time under the auspices of the World Bank/IMF.

Positive and negative incentives must be   applied to encourage progression over time.

With respect to economic immigration the response to stem it must be to stimulate economic development and employment opportunities in the home countries.  The target should be 4% annual growth of the GDP and an unemployment rate of less than 6%.    The affected countries and the international community of the rich countries must work together to increase the per-capita income and wage level and employment opportunity of the sending countries.  When these indicators reach some proximity to development standard, then the flow of emigration due to economic incentives will subside.  There exist an innate desire for a majority of the people to remain in their homes and villages.

Whenever emigration from sending countries reach equilibrium the issue will subside or get resolved. This approach will require transfer of substantial amount of investment funds from the rich to low income countries.  However, resources are scarce everywhere.  However, the sources of these funds could be tapped by re-allocating the military budget in the rich countries and apply it for reducing economic and political immigration in the low income countries.  This process may continue until the income and wage level in the sending countries reach a level of income that would stem emigration.  In the past the rich countries had agreed to allocate 1% of their GDP for economic development in LDCs, but it never materialized due to former cold-war – East-West completion.

Global immigration issue must be dealt with ethical and humanitarian precepts including genericity and altruism.   Needless to say, there is a dire need to pay attention to this income gap issue.  For instance the current poverty wage in the low income countries is set by the World Bank at $1.25/day in 2005 while the minimum wage in the United States is targeted at $15/hr. Or $120/day.  That means that he figure in low income countries should move towards (96 * 1.25) over time.  Alternatively the measure of per-capita income could be used to estimate the annual flow of resources from the rich to low income countries.”



Jon Kofas.

(Retired Indiana University university professor. Academic Writing. International Political Economy – Fiction.)

Why is Xenophobia prevalent in the West?

Xenophobia has been on the rise in the last two decades in the Western World and it has influenced the political arena not just of conservative parties moving toward a more right wing course, but even centrist ones under pressure to “protect” the nation from perceived external threats. Is rising xenophobia a reflection of rising nationalism and conservatism in the age of globalization, or is it a reaction to a tangible threat posed by non-whites from the Third World, some who are Muslims, trying to settle in the West and diluting the “purity” of white Judeo-Christian society?  Would the Western media, politicians and xenophobes of our era react the same way if instead of Muslim refugees and undocumented Mexican workers the migrants were from the Scandinavian countries?

Because they come from the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, Western xenophobia assumes racist characteristics, while humanitarianism is tossed aside no matter what the Vatican and the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees have to say on the matter.  In other words, it is not the immigrant and refugee to which many in the Western World object, but that “outsiders” are perceived as a threat to the “purity of the native culture” diluted with influx of people with different skin color, culture and in many cases religion.

Many European analysts have been warning that the influx of immigrants, especially Muslim refugees fleeing war-torn Syria and Iraq, could tear apart the European Union as one after another member is becoming more nationalistic and tries to protect its national borders and its economic and cultural integrity. Just as many Europeans are concerned about the immigrants undercutting the continental bloc that has taken decades to build, many US analysts agree with politicians from both the Republican and Democrat party contending that illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America undermines security and takes away jobs from American citizens.  Anti immigration arguments on either side of the Atlantic have become part of the political arena. Right wing populist politicians embrace positions not much different than one would expect from neo-Nazis, thus moving the xenophobia debate issue into the core of what would be otherwise mainstream politics.

What exactly is the scope and magnitude of the so-called European Muslim refugee problem that has its causes in Western military intervention in Muslim countries and in Mexican illegal aliens? Of the 4.5 million Muslim refugees mostly from Syria and Iraq, an estimated 850,000 have crossed from Turkey for various European destinations. Of those, the US has accepted 2,290 in the last five years to join the approximately 3.3 million Muslim Americans that make up about 1% of the US population.

As a percentage of the total population, Muslims in France are 7.5%, Netherlands and Belgium, 6% each, Germany 5.8%. Greece 5.3%, UK and Sweden at 4.6% each, Italy and Slovenia 3.6% each, Bulgaria 13.7% and Russia 10% with the largest total number of 14 million. The total Muslim population in the European Union is 19 million or 3.8% of the total. US Muslim population is roughly 1% of the total, or 3.3 million. This compares with 11.4 million illegal aliens, of which about half are from Mexico owing to the common border.

In the age of the US-led war on terror, which has replaced the old East-West conflict, xenophobia reflects not just a deliberate political orientation and cultural prejudice owing to ignorance on the part of xenophobes. At the same time, right wing politicians and businesses have been using the issue to deflect attention away from structural problems society faces owing to downward socioeconomic mobility. However, this is also a manifestation of a far-reaching anxiety on the part of the mainstream society, the media, and the political and social elites. It clearly signals that they lack the means to forge a broad popular consensus around the weakened political economy. Therefore, xenophobia as a means of scapegoating becomes a convenient tool toward that goal.

Migration of people from poor countries, especially Islamic ones in the last decade or so, is symptomatic of imperial policies that the West has been pursuing toward non-Western countries and most certainly not the result of any clash of civilizations as many would opportunistically argue. After all, Muslims co-existed harmoniously with all religions for many centuries from the Emirate of Cordoba in the mid-8th century until the early 16th century when the Spanish Christians expelled the Moriscos (Moors) of Granada to the Kingdom of Castile, Extremadura and Andalusia between 1568 and 1571.

If one deconstructs the “clash of civilizations” theory it is evident that behind it rest Western views of hegemony and transformation policy intended to perpetuate the Islamic countries and indeed even the non-Islamic developing nations under permanent political, economic and strategic dependency on the West. After all, the entire Islamic world was under European colonial control that transformed into a neo-colonial relationship after WWII when the US became the world’s preeminent superpower. Moreover, the long-standing Israel-Palestinian conflict in which the US has always sided with Israel against the Palestinians and their Muslim allies has helped to mold xenophobia in the form of Islamophobia. The Iranian Revolution in 1979 that attempted a neutral course between East and West was another step in molding Western anti-Islamic views. This was followed by the US decision to use counterterrorism as the pretext to perpetuate the military industrial complex and Cold War policies after the end of Communism.

Although in the first part of the 21st century, Western xenophobia is associated largely with Muslims, xenophobia is hardly a new phenomenon in politics and culture. Naturally, the influx of Muslim refugees primarily from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya into Europe has intensified not just strong sentiment among racists, but exacerbated the xenophobic rhetoric in the political arena and media. Serving as a convenient distraction from practical solutions to society’s systemic problems because it scapegoats migrants, xenophobia engenders fear about a specific tangible enemy. Instead of pointing to the structural flaws in the political economy, politicians and media point to someone to hate for undermining society – the Syrian refugee family that is a potential terrorist, the Mexican family that takes away American jobs and feeds off the welfare system.

Europeans and Americans hardly have a monopoly on xenophobia and this is not a recent phenomenon considering there is evidence of it throughout history in many parts of the world. There are more than 700 books and several thousand articles on this subject that has been prominent from the Golden Age of Pericles in 5th century Athens to the so-called post-racial Obama era that has in reality experienced a sharp rise in xenophobia.  Just as the Athenian city-state had formalized the status of foreigners known as Metics and treated them as lesser citizens, the modern state is not much different in so far as it has the power to marginalize legal and illegal immigrants from the mainstream as well as project a negative image of them to society regardless of their contributions to the economy and culture.

Besides fear, ignorance and the irrational in human beings prompted by media indoctrination that molds the dominant culture, mainstream institutions from businesses to churches do their part to keep xenophobia in the public debate. However, the relative decline of the Western middle class and rise of the Asian economy, especially China amid a new Gilded Age when capital is so thoroughly concentrated accounts for the rise of xenophobia. In other words, when the middle class fears its future and that of its children it does not blame the capitalist economy under globalization and neoliberal policies but refugees and immigrants who take low-end jobs to survive in their adopted land.

‘Scapegoating psychology’ becomes an integral part of the mainstream because it is simply politically and socially unacceptable to challenge the root causes of mass migration from poor and politically unstable countries to richer and more stables one. “In scapegoating, by definition, the enemy must be weaker than those on the attack — which is why even at the height of the financial crisis, popular anger at bankers never became as strong as current Islamophobia. It’s the same as the way a guy who’s treated as a drudge at work then finds his “strength” by abusing his wife. The more that Muslims can be made to feel like outsiders, the more those who have defined them as other can feel empowered.” (Paul Woodward, “Scapegoating-psychology and rising xenophobia in America” September 14, 2010)

Besides the mass psychology of scapegoating that the media and politicians create and perpetuate, the world-economy’s weakened core in northwest Europe and US plays a catalytic role in convincing a segment of the masses that their “real enemy” is not caused by domestic and foreign policies intended to continue capital concentration at the expense of the vast majority. The shifting capitalist core from the West to East Asia affects the Western social structure in so far as middle class living standards historically high in industrialized countries have been sliding downward in the past four decades and they are unlikely to improve. In fact, downward socioeconomic mobility will continue across the entire Western World. This trend will only exacerbate xenophobia and afford the opportunity not just the right wing, but even mainstream bourgeois political leaders to blame influx of immigrants for all calamities befalling society. It serves the interests of the political and economic elites to blame the illegal immigrants and Muslim refugees rather than fault the political economy that results in downward socioeconomic mobility.

The “war on terror” has added to the culture of fear surrounding xenophobia that only makes it more legitimate rather than an issue neo-Nazis and other extremists espouse. This allows xenophobes to argue it is all about national security and their ideological position has nothing to do with underlying racism. When the state is itself xenophobic and racist in its policies despite employing democratic rhetoric to present an image of an open society, why would the masses, at least a segment of them, be much different?  This is as true in the US that leads the world in “war on terror” with policies intended to justify the continuation of the waning Pax Americana, as it is for the European countries.

As an integral part of a “Nativist” ideology, xenophobia has become part of the mainstream because it has the stamp of legitimacy from the state that rhetorically opposes it but whose policies and practices promote it not just domestically but globally. Although it could be argued this is just a case of nationalism, there are degrees of nationalism ranging from moderate to neo-Nazi aspects that have become part of the political mainstream both in Europe and US.

Do Europeans and Americans have the right to protest illegal immigration?

In an open society citizens ought to have the right to protest for just about anything. However, only as long as such protests do not translate into: a) random vigilante acts; b) populist rhetoric of stereotyping and demonizing entire groups of people that leads to social and institutional marginalization; c) becomes a pretext for racist policies targeting minority groups; and d) impedes social justice in the rest of society and/or runs counter to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) of which all Western nations are signatories.

If social justice is a fundamental right for the protester of illegal immigration and refugees, it is equally the case for the immigrant who has basic human rights according to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Does this mean that the US and EU must open their doors widely for all to enter? Of course no country can possibly have a complete open door policy. However, the advanced capitalist countries are in the position to pursue policies that do not force people from their native lands where they desire to live with their loved ones. Such policies range from economic exploitation to warfare, from supporting authoritarian regimes to regime change operations; all which are the root causes of mass migration whether from Islamic countries to EU or from Mexico and Central America to the US.

It is essential to ask why there was a low level of inter-European immigration from the promulgation of the Schengen Agreement in 1985 until 2010, and why such a sharp rise after the EU led by Germany changed the inter-dependent integration model that essentially relegates the southern and Eastern European countries to virtually neocolonial areas of the northwest core region. Just as significant, why do we have so few Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, and Libyans trying to cross over to Europe before the US and its NATO partners intervened directly or covertly in these countries to topple their regimes and destroy their countries in the process?

While the Europeans are concerned about Muslim refugees, the US whose military solution policies caused the crisis is constantly warning about terrorism threats. At the same time, the US is also focused on the Mexican and Central American illegal immigration. One cause for the Mexican and Central America immigration is the chronic uneven terms of trade between the US and its southern neighbors. This means that the value of labor south of the Rio Grande is much lower to the benefit of more affluent US consumers and domestic and foreign corporations realizing higher profit margins because of low wages. After all, the goal of neoliberal policies is to reduce “wage costs” and raise profit margins globally. These economic refugees are created by Western policies as much as the political ones in the Muslim counties.

Globalization under neoliberal policies since the Reagan-Thatcher decades of the 1980s has actually contributed to the rise of xenophobia ideologically and pushed the issue into the mainstream. This is because of the steady decline of the middle class that feels threatened by low-wage immigrant workers taking jobs considered undesirable by the native population. Despite the fact that immigrants usually take low-paying jobs, there is no shortage of protests against them, even against their babies born in the US. This is because of fear and prejudice but also because the media and right wing politicians directly or subtly promote cultural biases of religion, race, and ethnicity.

The situation is not very different in Europe where people of color, invariably Muslim from Africa and Asia, work for much less and live in ghetto areas. In major European cities such as Paris, London, and Brussels there are ghettos because there is systemic, institutional and cultural racism and xenophobia against people already on the margins of society. Europeans of course have had the long-standing experience of racism with the Romani (Gypsy). For centuries gypsies have survived on the margins of the institutional mainstream. They have engaged in legal and illegal activities, as one would expect of a nomadic people not integrated into the mainstream. It is not a stretch of the imagination for xenophobes to place gypsies and Muslims in the same category and attribute to them stereotypes rooted in Social Darwinism.

Naturally, “political correctness,” yet another treacherous brick on Liberal society’s wall of hypocrisy, does not permit them to be as bluntly xenophobic as neo-Nazis. In many respects, the liberal political mainstream is even more dangerous than the conservative that is more open in its criticism of illegal aliens. This is because the liberals maintain a façade of the open society concept but legislate to discriminate. If there is social upheaval, and sociopolitical polarization, as far as the liberal and conservative mainstream is concerned it is not because the richest people are engaged in tax evasion; it is not because banks are laundering money and corporations are engaged in bribery while receiving government subsidies, including the European Central Bank propping them up buying corporate bonds. The fault rests with the lumpen-proletariat, gypsies, and Muslim refugees who lack the social, political and cultural respectability of the elites causing structural problems in society.

If popular protests were to focus on the root causes of the Muslim refugee crisis in Europe and the illegal alien issue in the US instead of demonizing the migrants, it means that people would then turn their attention to government policies rather than blaming the victims of those policies. However, the politicians and the media manipulate public opinion so that people focus on the Syrian man carrying his daughter in his arms while trying to cross the border from Greece into Macedonia so he can reach Western Europe.

Should Westerners be afraid of Islam, and are Democracy and Islam compatible?

Fear of Islam is a manifestation of a long-standing successful political propaganda in the Western mass media and political arena. If we simply stick to the empirical evidence we find that Islamic countries are not invading Western ones; Islamic countries are not exploiting the Western World through multinational corporations in every sector from energy to minerals; Islamic countries are not trying to overthrow Western governments because they want to install puppet regimes in Washington or London; Islamic countries are not forcing a transformation policy intended to exploit not just the economy but all of society in the West as the latter has been doing for decades in Muslim countries. The West has manufactured fear of Islam just as it manufactured fear of Communism because there is a struggle for Western hegemony on a world scale.

There is no doubt that Islam like Judaism and Christianity has doctrinal biases that favor men over women and promote sociopolitical conformity. There is no doubt that those practicing Islam are just as hypocritical when it comes to the gap between what they preach and what they practice no different than Jews or Christians. The idea that Islam as old organized religion is somehow much different from Judaism and Christianity implies ignorance of its doctrines on the part of those making such an argument.

The idea that Islam is incompatible with democracy implies a cultural and political bias that relegates Islam to an inferior religion than Christianity and Judaism. If Islam is indeed incompatible with democracy, then all religions are as well because Islam is hardly much different than the other two monotheistic religions. Besides, how often do Western politicians ask if Israel under a majority Jewish population is a theocratic or secular society considering it behaves as a theocratic state with the full backing of the US and EU while systematically persecuting Palestinians. If Israel behaves like a Zionist state in its policies, why has the argument about the inherent contradiction between Judaism and democracy not been raised in the West, except by a handful of intellectuals?

If democracy implies unfettered materialism, consumerism, and hedonism, then many in the Islamic world reject the identification of democracy with such values. But so does Pope Francis who is as critical as many Muslims about the Western decadent value system rooted in materialism. If democracy means violating the national sovereignty of other nations, toppling their regimes, interfering in their internal affairs, then Western nations would fit the profile in this respect much better than Islamic nations. Oddly enough, the imperial powers have no qualms about violating the national sovereignty of developing Muslim and non-Muslim nations on which they impose economic, political, strategic and cultural hegemony, but they vigorously protest the symptoms of imperialism that include economic exploitation and refugee conditions owing to societal instability that results in emigration on the part of people seeking safer and improved conditions in the country that caused problems in their homeland.

The glaring contradiction and hypocrisy of xenophobia inexorably intertwined with underlying racism is that the hegemonic power invokes its own right to self-determination and democracy but then denies it to the nation and people of countries whose population is fleeing hardships caused primarily but not exclusively by the hegemonic power. Even worse, Western xenophobes raise the question of compatibility of Islam and democracy, thus blaming the victim of imperialism for the absence of democracy.

Should the US force out Mexican illegal immigrants?

The political rhetoric about Mexican illegal immigration is as hollow and hypocritical as those advocating it for the simple reason that illegal immigrants are the cheapest labor force that capitalists exploit in every sector from farming to construction to domestic work. It is hardly ironic that politicians who take such a position usually have or had illegal aliens work for them.  While most Republicans have a harsh anti-immigrant policy, Democrats support low-cost labor force coming from south of the border rather than sending them back or building walls as Israel has done in the West Bank to isolate Palestinians.

According to US official studies, the cost to the US GDP if undocumented workers are expelled would be $850 billion in a period of 10 years, adding $40 billion annually to the federal budget deficit. One could argue that $40 billion increase in a deficit of $19 trillion is not significant, just as the $850 billion additional boost in GDP over ten years. However, in an international competitive environment and downward pressure on working class and middle class incomes, those figures are important.

There is no doubt that the monetary cost of physically deporting, let alone building a wall would be very high versus the benefits US businesses derives from cheap undocumented laborers. It is hardly surprising that labor unions are against such workers who take any job for below minimum wage scale, thus putting downward pressure on wages of American citizens. Some of the union workers direct their anger toward the undocumented workers rather than the employers who hire them at below minimum wages, just as they direct their anger at technology that replaces them rather than the employer who keeps wages low and politicians who refuse to raise the minimum wage.

What is the main difference between the Syrian and Mexican immigration waves?  

Europe’s refugee problem is monumental in comparison to that of the US-Mexico immigration issue. However, the common denominator in both cases is the obtrusive presence of Pax Americana as manifested in military action in Syria and economic policies in Mexico. Besides differences in scope, the obvious differences between Syrian and Mexican immigration are that the former are fleeing a war-torn country where the US, its European allies, Turkey and Saudi Arabia tried to overthrow the Assad regime in order to determine the regional balance of power. In the case of Mexico, a nation “so far from God and so close to the US”, the issue is strictly economic conditions of a very corrupt country with detrimental social conditions that some people try to escape. Because politicians and the media in the US lump together the so-called “immigration problem”, and because Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump’s characterization of Mexicans as criminals and Muslims as terrorists, many people hardly bother with nuances of immigrant groups or the causes for their endeavors to reach the US.

In September 2015, Eskinder Negash, former chief of the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement stated that he had no serious concerns about allowing Syrian refugees into the US. By contrast, a number of Republicans at the federal and state level have argued in favor of a ban of such refugees, while they are also in favor of very tough measures against undocumented Mexican workers. In many cases, they link the two arguing that terrorists can and do come through the US-Mexico border thus posing a security threat. This fear mongering find fertile ground to fester like a disease that grows across America when middle class incomes keep dropping and the cost of living rises.


From the early overseas voyages of the Portuguese in the 15th century until the US-NATO direct and insurgent operations in a number of Islamic countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen), the predominantly Christian West has engaged in colonial and neo-colonial domination to secure markets, geopolitical and strategic hegemony over non-Western, non-Christian countries. In an interview with a TV network in February 2015, State Department official Marie Harf stated that the US government understands a military solution to Islamic terrorism is a futile exercise and only by addressing the root causes such as poverty and injustice, absence of social justice and human rights could there be progress. She argued that:  “We cannot win the War on Terror, nor can we win the war on ISIS by killing them. We need to find them jobs. We need to get to the root cause of terrorism and that is poverty and lack of opportunity in the terrorist community.” This candid admission illustrates that US government is well aware of the real causes and plausible solutions, but chooses the military option for various reasons that in turn create other problems such as refugee crises in the Middle East and xenophobia in the West.

Of course, Latin America is predominantly Christian, but the US considers it its “sphere of influence” since the US-Mexican war in the 1840s that gave us the “Manifest Destiny”, a long-standing doctrine running at the core of US foreign policy ideology. Like the Islamic countries that Europe initially subjected to colonial and neo-colonial conditions, and the US followed the European pattern of imperialism after 1945, similarly Latin America has been subjected to colonial and neo-colonial conditions under the patron-client integration model that permeates NAFTA and various other trade agreements inter-American economic relations.

The changing demographics in the Western World clearly determine the level of xenophobia probably as much if not more than the steady downward socioeconomic mobility of the last four decades. Many xenophobes believe that the dilution of their “white race” will be contaminated and they will become a minority in the future so their culture will be bastardized and slowly effaced. Fear of losing their national/ethnic/religious/cultural identity because they could eventually become a minority is inexorably linked to the declining middle class and lack of prospects for upward mobility for the next generation.

When xenophobes talk about “taking back our country”, or “restoring its values and honor”, or “preserve our heritage”, they are referring to underlying fear that cultural diffusion is the enemy when it comes in the form of people of a different race, ethnicity, and culture. Throughout civilization the process of cultural diffusion that takes place primarily through migration has been the catalyst for societal progress while isolation has been the catalyst for backwardness, decline and fall. Xenophobes and other varieties of racists clinging to the phantom of “purity” in race, ethnicity, and culture fail to recognize this reality tested throughout history across the world, thus inviting the demise the civilization they are trying to preserve.”


Jaime Ortega-Simo.

(The Daily Journalist president and founder)

I think that when people look at land as a measure of self-ownership, they’re looking at history with the wrong lenses. We tend to look at history with blame and pointed fingers, but hardly never with accountability. It is easy to fall in the trap of accusing westerners for taking the land of Native Americans, without digging deeper into the subject. Before the Europeans arrived, the Native American Warfare in North America was brutal, especially in the southwest. Navajo’s and Pueblo Indians contested land with tribes like the Apache for material gain and resources, and where notoriously brutal in their campaigns against smaller tribes – truces occurred on the basis of necessity, but hardly lasted long. America was not unified under native control, it was plundered under the umbrella of local warfare and land distribution; every tribe earned land by means of strength in numbers and alliance. Our history of North America has been skewed by people who simply have never attended a class in Native American history or have an ideological agenda exclusively directed at blaming Caucasians to squeeze resentment and sorrow as an apologetic act of kindness to newer minorities.

The only difference is that Europe’s early settlers in contrast with the fragmented native tribes separated by customs, dialect, tradition, and religion, where somehow united based on common religious grounds and new opportunities. However, even that took time to smelt, since the British, Spanish, French and Dutch had many disputes and battles before George Washington and the declaration of independence took fruition in North America. So again, the difference between the North American original settlers and the European invasion was based on unification and numbers — we can also observe this scenario in Central America and other parts of North America like Mexico, where the Aztec population massacred and sacrificed for centuries millions of smaller tribes including the Maya. Pre-colonial America was not a place where Indians smoked the peace pipe and danced happily in the rain – that is of course, media propaganda — it was conflictive, dangerous, and hierarchical and tribal based.

With that said, Islam and the Roman Catholic Church were notoriously brutal in their conquest of Arab and Non-Arab lands. So to suggest that Islam or the Roman Catholic Church were not responsible for millions of atrocities, but European pilgrims to America were, is beyond unhistorical and presumptuous. The unknown atrocities and non-recorded beheadings of other smaller religious creeds conducted by Islam and the Roman Catholics will never surface fully known. The Arab-Slave trade conducted by Berbers and Arabs in West Africa, kidnapping women for sexual intercourse all the way to Yemen, killed an estimate of 100.000.000 Africans over millennia and it is hardly ever discussed in history classes unlike the western and Persian slave trade. The point is that instead of recognizing individual issues, we like to point the finger as if the other culture is innocent and the other is not – a fine slippery slope. Land has no permanent ownership, it is just based on temporal control and we need to either accept it or show a blind eye.

They are two types of migratory prospects. The adaptable and the inadaptable. The inadaptable will always pose negative influences on the adaptable, making cultural bonds with native residents a cultural non-negotiable issue — and take full advantage of the system. If an immigrant tells his fellow that “Americans or westerners are ideologically crocked and pervasive people compared to us the superior ethnic and religious group” the negative influx eventually takes a toll in the mindset of those trying to adapt. Islam has an issue with this problem in Europe, mainly because as history teaches, Islam tends to dominate and is not submissive to western constitutions; democracy opposes rule by faith and the teachings of religious law as a form of governance —Islam like the Roman Catholic Church are politically driven, not just religious. If Muslim Americans enroll in the military to fight other Muslims on Arab lands in the name of the US flag or NATO– it’s almost an incomprehensible act of defiance against their religion – a faith barrier. Many Latinos who’ve lived in the US for 10 years, have no intention to learn English because they feel entitled to their native language and don’t feel the need to adapt to the system or pass through the legal procedure to become US citizens fearing apprehension from US justice. Of course illegal narcotics are big issue, but I wouldn’t accuse the illegal immigrants for drug supply, but the people who buy it – and we hardly persecute the buyers because in many instances they end up being close family members.

The adaptable have a different mindset. Their goal is to become part of the nationalistic cause and not just the political side. Their goal is to adapt and become part of the socio-cultural process regulated by national, state and local laws to help the nation’s sovereignty without interposing a hidden agenda. Many Arab and Mexican Americans feel this way. They mix and interbreed with the native population, without subjection, overlooking faith and past-cultural affiliations on their quest to fully westernize. They believe that the constitutional law provides depth in their everyday life and promotes cultural openness without interposing religious filters and barriers. The adaptable would join the military ranks and fight for their country, if it came down to war. They feel free to choose their own lifestyle without cultural repercussions.

The problem with the adaptable is the self-struggle to submit based on freedom of choice, as opposed to cultural and religious ties. Here is where the inadaptable play a cancerous roll inside their communities, for their goal is to vanquish national laws and customs by convincing the adaptable of their ultimate mission regardless of the consequences.  So the adaptable and the inadaptable are the intrinsic Ying Yang of western immigration policy. The good Mexican vs the bad Mexican. The good Syrian vs the Syrian planting the seeds of radical Islam. Many native Europeans and Americans are close minded to the all immigrants because the lackluster of the inadaptable; then again, Europeans and Americans in general have forgotten that land is no privilege, and its earned with hard work and nationalism– and American youth lack completely in that department and are getting gutted by immigrants who simply work harder. The new wave of Europeans have forgotten the nationalist cause only deepening the debate of what patriotism represents and at what cause — haven’t never been part of a war, spoiled with grandmas cookies.

The west overall has shown open arms to all nations from every ethnicity, culture and tribe to settle in their lands since the dawn of political democracy. The fact that Muslims can practice their religion freely and safely in the US, England, France and other European countries is sufficient to underline the greatness of democracy as a whole; I can’t say the same of Saudi Arabia, UAE, or other well established Muslims nations —  particularly Saudi Arabia, where openly religious practices outside of Islam gets folks beheaded. In the campuses around the US, an atheist can freely debate without hiding—now go to King Saud University and start debating Muslims on evolution in the middle of campus and the Muslim police will either lash you, or send you to prison for blasphemy— not my ideal world. Islam is not at the level of tolerance of the west –at least yet. The day homosexuals from other countries are welcomed to the Middle East without public executions in return; the day Muslims have the permission to speak about freedom of expression and democracy. In my opinion, the ordinary westerner has a xenophobic wired-driven view of Muslims, based on the historical contingency between Europe and the Middle East. That resentment will never go away despite political reforms and the pushers. The non-adaptable Muslims on the other hand will view westerners as decrepit infidel who set to destroy the values of Islam – and it won’t go away either.

On the other hand, Mexicans and Central American immigrants don’t have a religious agenda to subvert Americans when they settle illegally or legally in the US, which makes their transition relatively easier among natives. They don’t try to enforce Roman Catholicism to US citizens, or try to persuade their own that western culture should be ultimately decimated to obtain a greater spiritual insight in heaven. Americans in general are much more tolerant with Mexicans, than Arabs because it’s a cultural bond non-affiliated with after life mysticism. They are exceptions to every rule, and they are xenophobic Americans and Europeans who don’t base their fear on cultural differences, but on skin color – but their influence is weak. Within the frames of Americanism, racism itself has no colors and racism can come from whites living in the hills of Ohio or blacks in the streets of Brooklyn — only littering flames into the migration issue.

There is no question that Mexico has become the new Colombia, and Cartels not only influence the PAN, PRI and PRD, but President Pena Nieto himself; however, the US is to blame for socio-cultural problems with Mexican immigration. To be fair, I understand why some American’s correlate crime rates with immigration. Spain’s sudden South American wave of immigrants brought crime in the 90’s to an all-time high, since immigrants desperate for jobs, started to rob the native population and become part of gangs that related to organized crime in South America. But unlike the US, Spain’s wave of immigration came suddenly without warning at a time when the economy stalled and ‘Aznar’s PP’ believed in unlimited amnesty without background check.

The problem with migration, particularly in America is based on opportunism rather than just socio-economic issues. New immigrants per-average (not all) take full advantage of the system; whereas, third generation US citizens tend to overlook opportunities and feel entitled to become spoiled with government issued programs. In America, Arabs and Mexicans generally are likely to become successful business owners, and escape poverty based on work ethic. Most science jobs are taken by immigrants from South East Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe; whereas Mexicans exploit the lower end jobs, totally out-working most Americans with great efficiency – construction, agriculture, and industrial work to name a few sectors. Meanwhile, US lax has become a self-destructive paradox where entitlement, not earned skills has become the rule of thumb for many Americans—Donald Trump feeds the feud igniting fire, ignoring the poor work ethic that corrodes American youth. The average unskilled American wants the whole world at his feet, at the expense of borrowing credit and without sacrifices; in contrast the new immigrant, illegal or not, comes to look for opportunities and take full advantage of the system to escape poverty and ascend to financial success.

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