Morning Ed: Immigration {2017.10.09.M}

[Im1] The history of the southern invasion of Washington DC.

[Im2] Tom Petty once explained his complicated history with the Confederate Flag.

[Im3] With regard to refugees and immigration, America has always been different and will do just fine, according to Musings on the Right.

[Im4] Eren Orbey on names and assimilation, with a personal story to tell.

[Im5] Suddenly, Canada is having to concern itself with more inflow interest from the United States than outflow.

[Im6] France is chartering planes to deport people.

[Im7] Americans considered Zia Haider Rahman, British, while Brits considered him Bangladeshi.

[Im8] Emina Melonic writes of life as a Cold War refugee in America.

[Im9] The demands of black students of Cornell include, among other things, that they stop being lumped together with immigrant blacks. (PDF)


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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42 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Immigration {2017.10.09.M}

  1. Finally, my specialty comes up.

    Im1, Im2: Not sure what these have to do with immigration.

    Im4: Keeping track of immigrant naming traditions is something of a hobby of mine. East and Southeast Asian immigrants tend to give their kids American names and might at most use an ethnic name as a middle name. The exception seems to be the Japanese, who seem to be 50/50 in whether the kid gets a Japanese name or a Western name. I only once had clients that gave their US born kids Chinese personal names and didn’t put a Western name on the birth certificate. Muslims and people from South Asia tend to stick with Muslim or ethnic South Asian names rather than give their kids American names.

    Im6: Ordering a person deported from a country is relatively easy. The logistics of logically removing them are difficult. Sometimes an alien’s home country won’t even cooperate. A sister of one of my clients was ordered removed from the United States but the Chinese government has refused to give her a new passport or any travel document when the American government requests it from them. This means she has been allowed to remain in the United States despite her removal order. There are lots of people who entered the United States when the Soviet Union still existed but can’t be removed because none of the successor states will accept them as citizens, especially if they have criminal histories, and they are citizens of a country that no longer exists.

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  2. [Im2] reminds me of why I liked Petty’s writing so much. He’s able to be so eloquent with very simple language. His use of a little repetition is highly effective. He uses unusual idioms – “go around the fence” rather than “put the shoe on the other foot” – that both make the prose more interesting and make him seem more authentic.

    Fly away, Tom!

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  3. [Im3] seems odd to me. As I read, I had lots of issues with it. But in the end, he says, “probably not a big deal”. Which I agree with. So do I voice my objections?

    For instance, he says religious terrorism is new, and new in seeking weapons of mass destruction. Has he never heard of the Gunpowder Plot?

    He implies that the Muslims in Europe live in poverty because of “culture”, whereas I think they live in poverty because they ain’t got no money. They are refugees, who have left everything to get away from those other places. It takes more money and more effort to get the US, which is why the Muslims here have more money.

    Is this what it looks like when you are addressing a conservative audience?

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    • It takes money to get to Europe too. The relative poverty of Muslim refugees in Europe is partly because of that cost, combined with not speaking the language, having no recognized university degrees and living on social security (which usually only kicks in after you eat your own savings).

      Muslims in America are usually not refugees and insofar they are; well, America has a a big bloody ocean which I means it takes a intercontinental flight with border security on both ends to get there. You can be very picky about whom you let enter.

      The poverty of Muslims in Europe who came as regular immigrants or their descendants is because (especially in the case of the Turkish and Moroccan people) they usually came as low skilled laborers for factory labor, not as high skilled, highly educated professionals. More comparable to Mexican immigrants in the US than to your Muslim immigrants.

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    • I’m not sure why I would make that distinction, as it cedes way too much of the debate before the conversation even begins. I would prefer to talk about an overall right to free movement and then talk about what justified restrictions can be placed on that right. Certainly, the right to private property comes with the right to exclude others from using that property, so that would allow for a justified restriction of free movement. But to extend that metaphor to immigration would imply that the United States of America is somehow the private property of some specific legal entity, which it is not.

      That is the bar, or attempt to bar, American citizens from hiring/selling and renting property/, entering into certain business contracts/buying and selling goods and services

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      • I’m always fascinated by arguments about gentrification and so-called “white flight” and the various dynamics involved therein… and comparing those dynamics to those involved in open borders, so-called “brain drain”, etc.

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      • ” But to extend that metaphor to immigration would imply that the United States of America is somehow the private property of some specific legal entity, which it is not.”

        I am not sure that is correct

        The US is a legal entity (nation-state), no? And that legal entity is controlled by its tripartite legal structure, which is in turn directed by the voting citizens.

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  4. Im1 – Good grief, that’s a terrible article on a real phenomenon.

    White supremacists ruled Washington through the mechanism of Congressional exclusive jurisdiction. This mechanism actually provided some refuge (*very* relative) in DC for African Americans in the South prior to the Civil War – but after Reconstruction, and then especially at the beginning of the 20th century, the seniority system gave long standing Southern Congressman disproportionate influence over how the government was run, which they used (among other things) to rule DC like a de facto plantation.

    This went on until the civil rights movement of the 1960s, home rule of the 1970s, and those people literally finally dying off.

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    • If you want to critique that one point in a very long list of grievances (and given that did the same in the OP), I would suggest that there’s a lot more ground for complaining that they’re not willing to be lumped together with Caribbean immigrants than African ones. Given that in both the American and Caribbean cases, immigration was not at all voluntary (is it really immigration if it’s forced slavery? I don’t think so), so much so that make a distinction between the effect of slavery on people’s descendants and the effect of voluntary immigration on descendants does, actually, make sense. I think it’s a *wrong-headed* idea and not one that my students of color would agree with, but at least it makes some sense.

      Arguing that people whose people immigrated from the Caribbean are somehow not worthy of reparation-style affirmative action to the same degree as those whose people did not is … I can’t even imagine what lack of historical information came up with that theory.

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      • As a person that has more than a passing familiarity with Caribbean nations, I think there’s a significant difference between post-emancipation Caribbean and American blacks. The former did not suffer from the Jim Crow/legal segregation process in the same way as the latter.

        Even though there was a hierarchy in the Caribbean islands, with whites on the top (and SE Asians in the middle), the demographic reality was that blacks were the ataggering majority everywhere. Segregation meant that whites had the use of black-free enclaves (pretty enclaves, yes, but small nevertheless), but blacks had the unfettered run of the rest of the place. Whites never had the numbers to engage in violent subjection of the black majority. White supremacy was maintained in the Caribbean at the cost of a very discrete exercise of it.

        I believe this difference has a great impact in the attitude and psychic (probably the wrong word) makeup of Caribbean and American blacks.

        [The situation in South Africa is different because of the effect of absolute, and not only relative, numbers. As Gibbon pointed out when discussing how the Romans/Italians could control their empire, one armed man cannot control ten unarmed ones; but ten can exercise some limited degree of control over one hundred, and one thousand armed men can easily subdue ten thousand unarmed ones. South Africa had enough whites that they could actually achieve a degree of control that no other British African or Caribbean colony could]

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        • @j_a That’s fair, and an important distinction to make.

          But as far as I can tell from the demand as stated, it doesn’t make sense when I think about the students of color I know who would be affected by it. Most of the students I know who are one or two generations removed from Caribbean ancestry (which is relevant to the stated policy demand and why I specified “people whose people come from” and not the first generation immigrants themselves… though if you immigrate at 3, I’d put you in the first category not the 2nd) identify very solidly as North American black, not just Caribbean – those are the experiences they grew up with, the treatment they received, etc. Also, they wouldn’t agree with you about the hierarchy, or the run of the place being “unfettered,” based on their parents’ and grandparents’ experiences. This may to some degree be a matter of which islands they come from (PR, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Croix, are some of them – you’ll note that PR and St. Croix are both US territories), but also perhaps that many of them are of mixed ancestry and/or their families travelled back and forth between their Caribbean island, the continental US, and possibly other countries, as well as diaspora-izing between them such that they have family all over.

          So the idea of Caribbean-ancestry black people somehow “replacing” continental US black people (even a couple of generations down!) makes little sense in the context of their experiences.

          I have sympathy for the students’ demands insofar that I have seen a “diverse” school where all the students of color are 3rd-culture kids*, and one where many students of color are American-born (we still have plenty of 3rd-culture kids! thank goodness), and the former is a lot less diverse than the latter… and a lot less reflective of the American tapestry.

          But this unto-the-3rd-generation stuff makes no sense when applied to Caribbean-ancestry kids, IME.

          _______________

          * all love to the 3rd-culture kids out there, some of my best friends are 3rd-culture kids, they have their own, very cool culture that is heavily inflected by localities (and which I think you partake of, yourself), i’m very glad they form more and more of the global elite, and etc. but it’s not actually *the same* as what my college calls “domestic” people of color. I think that label is rather tin-eared, myself, but that’s a different discussion.

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    • I agree. I live in a segregated community in the North, and my kids attend schools under bussing orders. There has been an influx of first generation African immigrants to the area, who are now taking some of the set-asides that were intended to remedy historic racism. And about five years ago, a group of African-Americans (i.e., from Africa) announced they had finally opened the first supper club for African-Americans (as opposed to Afro-Americans) on the “white” side of the city.

      Immigration from the African Continent, which is expected to increase, is breaking down a lot of the assumptions of people like Coates, which I think are contributing to his break down.

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  5. Holy H***! Jamelle Hill was suspended by ESPN for tweeting that folks who oppose NFL owners decisions re: protests should not buy products from their advertisers.

    We’ve reached Peak Peakness!

    And it will only get worse from here.

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      • We think ESPN is a sports delivery vehicle.
        But
        ESPN thinks it is an Advertising delivery vehicle.

        Calling Trump a White Supremacist is a twitter mistake; telling people to boycott your advertisers is career limiting.

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        • The irony of all this is that they gave Jamelle a prime time slot precisely because they wanted intelligent discussion of the intersection between politics and sports. That was a dicey move, one which Linda Cohn criticized – legitimately, in my view – and for which she was *also* subsequently suspended.

          ESPN is an advertising vessel lost at sea right now.

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          • Adding to that: It’s one thing for a sports network to report on Derrick Rose wearing an “I can’t breathe” T-shirt; it’s another for sports people to discuss how that’s a specifically sports-related issue. Cuz it really isn’t. ESPN’s first mistake was thinking that they’d gain viewers by intentionally collapsing the sports/politics distinction. IMO anyway. I mean, isn’t the first rule of family get togethers to Not Talk Politics???

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            • Well, sure… on principle I’m firmly in the camp of Sports as neutral ground and haven’t watched an ESPN product (other than an actual event) in ages… but then maybe that’s why they are trying to inject politics into sports… the quest for relevance and controversy to attract eyeballs. I have no idea whether this is working or not. I’m inclined to think that while it is not working to attract new viewers, it also isn’t driving people away… Like everything in the information age, I have no need for inch-deep Sportscenter coverage of all teams when I can go to Bleed Cubbie Blue where I can get in-depth coverage of *my* team with commentary, editorials, and interaction. Seriously… who cares what ESPN thinks about *sports* much less, politics?

              I am pretty sure, though, that ESPN wants the controversy without being a personal platform for any particular person or group. The simplest explanation is that Ms. Hill may not be a good fit for what ESPN wants and the limits that come with that.

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              • Seriously… who cares what ESPN thinks about *sports* much less, politics?

                You don’t have to care. But if you’re looking for signals of how crazy things are and where they’re headed the Jamelle/ESPN/Jerry Jones/Colin Kaepernick/NFL/national anthem/Donald Trump nexus might be a good indicator.

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              • I think that there’s a Pauline Kael* problem going on in a lot of these office buildings.

                If you look at the top-rated shows for the last couple of decades, it’s pretty much all inoffensive middle-of-the-road crap. Two and a half Men, Big Bang Theory, Survivor, The Bachelor/ette, American Idol…

                It’s the people who produce this sort of thing who watch Indy Darling stuff that really makes a stand and they find themselves saying “I wouldn’t watch this… let’s make a show that *I* would watch!”

                *I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”

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                • Well, I generally assume that the people who run these large businesses are making decisions based on information I don’t have… so usually hesitate to say that they are pusuing money the wrong way.

                  But, one wonders whether an ESPN that advertised that it was the one channel the entire family could enjoy together on Thanksgiving vs. being a channel that will pile on to all the topical controversies that prevent Uncle Ed from being in the same room as Cousin Syd might look like a stroke of genius.

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              • Bleed Cubbie Blue is awful. Cub fans deserve better, even though they don’t deserve much.

                I was in Indianapolis for a soccer tournament this weekend, drinking in the hotel with the parents watching sports with a lot of people from different backgrounds. Sports as the background to conversation. Safe focal point of attention when casual acquaintances. A lot of people seemed to know sports, but I think if I polled them football would be most people’s number 2, with either baseball or soccer as number 1. One dad mentioned in answering a question that he doesn’t watch his favorite NFL team anymore because of the politics; I know he just got promoted to detective and is very proud of his job in a way that a lot of people don’t relate to their job. The obvious dawned on me that the controversy has no chance of expanding viewership, just losing what it had. He was probably someone who had NFL as his number 1 at one time. There was a beat and the conversation moved off in some other direction; nobody was going to talk politics. It possibly could have ended a fun evening.

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        • ESPN knows it’s both. ~60% of their revenues still come from subscriber fees paid by the cable and satellite TV companies, although that’s declining. It will be interesting to watch when their big content contracts are up for renewal. I suspect they can lower their offers and there still won’t be anyone who can outbid them.

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