Undocumented Immigrants in Hiding

by Maki Yoshikawa

In our class, we have studied about undocumented immigrants through video, and reading articles on real-life  undocumented immigrants.

I think it is very difficult to make it clear that undocumented immigrants in Japan should be accepted in this society or not. There are a lot of undocumented immigrants who want to stay in Japan. My opinion is that Japan should accept undocumented immigrants. Indeed, it is true that some Japanese people might lose their job because of increasing number of workers. However I suppose that undocumented immigrants are needed in Japan. Japanese society will not be able to survive on its own without help of foreigners. Some Japanese businesses still need workers to work, for example, farming, caring for aged people, fishing, and so on. In these kind of jobs, most Japanese are not willing to take these jobs.

On the other hand, these jobs are socially needed because the aging society is growing year by year, and the workers in the rice fields are also getting older. As everyone knows, rice is necessary in Japanese food. Who knows how to raise rice according to the changing seasons?  Who will take over the technique? After all, there are many kind of jobs which will definitely need people to succeed to. In addition, from my view, foreigners or immigrants can be engaged in these jobs. This will lead the problems which Japanese society having to be known worldwide and recruit people from all over the world. This will be more effective. However, there is a wall of documents and language when recruiting people from around the world.

It is very complex issue when it comes to children like Noriko Calderon. We have laws to follow, and human rights to protect. It is difficult to put weight on both. When we try to follow the laws, human rights tend to be violated as a term of undocumented immigrants. I insist parents are responsible for undocumented children like Noriko even if they had no choice. Children have no reason to be blamed and be restricted their rights. Therefore, as following the law, parents are supposed to leave the country. There is no way to avoid separation between parents and children. On the other hand, this situation must be changed. As a student like Noriko, I would not want more undocumented children in Japan and other countries to feel like her because they are not guilty, they were just born and raised without knowing they are undocumented.

The Japanese government must do something. However, for government, as a policy it is not appropriate to accept all immigrants without limit. For the first step, the Japanese government needs to promote awareness and interest of undocumented immigrants because a friend sitting next to us who looks completely Japanese might be undocumented immigrant who lives hiding his/her problem.

Should Japanese schools teach multiculturalism?

by Masataka Yamamoto

Recently, the world internationalizes in everywhere and a lot of people’s exchange is going on in society. To understand the people who came from different places requires some knowledge of different cultures. Japan is one of the developed countries in the world so we have to know other cultures to play a role in international society as Japan.

I don’t think any Japanese schools teach multiculturalism so far. The word multiculturalism describes that the education of human race, ethnicity, gender, economic hierarchy, handicap problem, and sexual orientation. It is necessary to support students to realize who they are in many groups so they can understand what really they are. However, many old people try to protect Japanese culture itself from other cultures’ intervention. Also Japanese geographical features are island so it has fewer relations with other cultures, compared to countries which are located on the continent. Japan has fewer chances to touch with other cultures so Japan should more freely to know other cultures.

In my opinion, Japanese school should teach multiculturalism in every school. It is because I have an experience of living in countryside of the United States and there were many black people and fewer Asian people. White people and black people were friendly to each other, but not to Asians. They called us like narrow eyes, kamikaze, yellow monkey, whatever that describes Asian or Japanese people badly. I felt very uncomfortable by being called such discriminatory words, so I thought it needs to disappear. This happened in the U.S., and Japan has fewer chances to get with other cultures than the U.S. If many foreigners go to Japanese elementary school or junior high and Japanese students don’t have multicultural education, what will happen? I think students will have discrimination against different cultures. To prevent this from happening, every Japanese school should teach multiculturalism for understanding of other cultures. Also knowing other cultures have merits when people going to other countries. For example, people in U.S. are mixed together as German, Russian, African, Chinese, etc. so to know other cultures is important in international society.

In conclusion, Japanese school should teach multiculturalism to understand other cultures and learning multiculturalism will need when people go to another places. People are exchanging everywhere in this International society so learning of multiculturalism will be main tool to have a communication with people from different places.

Resolving the Issue of Undocumented Immigrants in Japan

by Tomoya Yamaguchi

As globalization progresses, the number of undocumented immigrants are increasing little by little and there are a lot of problems in the world, too. There are also many problems in Japan and I would like to describe how the Japanese society should do to solve problems, especially about Noriko Calderon.

In Japan, a lot of undocumented immigrants exist and they are often deported by the Japanese government. This is international standard and natural stream. However in Noriko’s case, many factors are connected with the problem of whether the government should deport her parents and her or not. Many people claim their opinions and thoughts. People in liberal side often claim that they have lived in Japan for more 15 years and have the basis of their life is in Japan. About Noriko, her identity is Japanese, and the Philippine is a foreign country to her. As the result of it, Japan is her mother country. Noriko has a lot of friends in Japan. It is said that even if Noriko goes back to the Philippines, she cannot assimilate into the society. As a premise, Japan ratifies “the Convention on the Rights of the Child” and “the International Bill of Human Rights”, so deporting them to the Philippines infringes on these treaties and deporting is incorrect way. In Europe, if undocumented immigrants have children, the governments overlook that the governments force them to leave there. Moreover, people in the liberal side claim that after they come to Japan, they don’t commit any crimes, so Japan should admit them to continuing to stay in Japan.

However people in the right wing also have a lot of opinions against Noriko’s case and undocumented immigrants. First one is that to forgive them results in the disorder that the number of undocumented immigrants increases quickly. To admit them means that once they come to Japan and rearrange the basis of their life, they can continue to stay in Japan forever in their lifetime. This results in the disorder of Japanese jurisdiction and becomes a beginning of proliferation of undocumented immigration. Japan is a constitutional nation and if people commit a crime, people must be banished.  This forms a trend that to make a child and free from their crime is triumph. This is not an argument based on emotion. Second is that the Japanese constitution is the highest one in Japan and treaties is the second highest, so international society should not blame Japan. Furthermore, it is unfair for the foreigner which legally came to Japan to admit them.

In conclusion, I think the undocumented immigrants commit a crime when they enter into Japan, but the Japanese government should also rearrange the laws about immigration because the government should take a responsibility that the officer of the Japanese government would kept not to arrest undocumented immigrants. According to it, the Japanese government needs to enact a new law in order not to increase misery children like Noriko. For example, the government punishes immigrants that spent 15 years after came to Japan for the illegal immigration. However the government doesn’t punish more about post entering Japan because they live in Japan for a long time. However the extent of this law is limited toward only immigrants that have already stayed in Japan for more 15 years. Japan faces the time to change the immigration laws. The Japanese government should respond to those problems flexibly. In my opinion, to admit those undocumented immigrants distorts the Japanese jurisdiction and it is an illegal conduct. However Noriko hasn’t committed a crime and has had no choice. According to it, the Japanese government should conducts flexibly in this case though the government also has to take steps in order not to increase the number of the undocumented immigrants.

Is the DREAM Act Good for American Society?

by Satoshi Tanaka

In the United States, the DREAM Act has not yet been put into law. It is the act that the government gives a green card to the youth who have undocumented parents and who satisfy some conditions. These conditions are that they came to the U.S. before they were sixteen and that they have lived there more than five years. Moreover, to qualify, they must have a higher education or serve in the armed service at least for two years. Usually, these undocumented youth have lived only in the U.S., and they can speak English only. Therefore, if they are forced to go back their own countries, they would have a big difficulty from living. While the conditions to get a green card are not so easy for everyone, they would have a possibility to be accepted to live in the U.S. formally thanks to this act.

However, basically, I disagree with this act. First, this act may cause a problem. For example, it is difficult to deal with their parents, and this has been already discussed. Even if the youth get a green card and are accepted to live in the U.S., they have to be separated from their parents if the parents are forced to leave the U.S. During youth age, to be separated from the parents may have a big influence on their life. In addition to the risk of causing a problem, I disagree with the act because immigrating without permission is prohibited in a law. I know that undocumented immigrants left their home countries and came to the U.S. to survive. Therefore, if they are forced to leave from the U.S., they have to have a harder life in their home countries than life in the U.S. However, I think that it is needed to consider the reason why the government passed the law which prohibits immigration without permission. This is because any countries do not have enough capacity to accept all immigrants who they have a desire to come. To keep the social order, the government has to prohibit illegal immigration, and manage the number of immigrants.

Emotionally, I want the government to support these immigrants and their children and it is the best thing that they avoid having a hard life. However, the government cannot wrestle with the problem because of an emotional reason, and they have a responsibility to keep the social order. Therefore, I think that the government should not allow the special case, and they should deal with all immigrants equally.

Immigrant problems in the US, Japan, and Germany

by Noriyuki Tanaka

There are many immigrant problems in America, for example the Flores family, whom we saw in the documentary The New Americans, had hardships from being immigrants. At first, Pedro worked hard for his family to live in Mexico. He earned money in America to support his family, but their family wanted to live with their father. This is a love of family. This is only documentary video, but there are many immigrants who cannot live with their families.

For each country, receiving immigrant has big merits and demerits. The merit is that a public estimation from various countries become good, so many immigrants want to go to the countries and the level of the country, as one state rises because the country tries to deal with the problems of increasing foreign people, for example language education, labors, and taxes. On the other hand, a big demerit is that a country leans to ignore original people in the country. Like an unknown man coming in your house, increasing immigrants in own country makes original people anxiety. They may lose jobs, the security may become bad, own culture may be reigned by immigrant cultures.

I am going to think about specific countries according to immigrants. Japan isn’t positive to receive immigrants or refugees because Japanese people consider Japanese carefully. Of course, it is also important that people treat own countries importantly, but important to live with world people. I think that Germany has good measures to protect immigrants and original people. Germany had many Turkish immigrants after World War Ⅱ. The German government received immigrants positively, so now the percentage of immigrants in German is 19%. However, there are many problems because immigrants are not German, for example difficulty of employment of people who cannot speak German, incidents by immigrants, and women problems. The German government reflected these problems with education. It improves language education, and Germany doesn’t have enough laborers that have special knowledge. By raising the level of education, it tries to solve the difficulty of employment. Plus, to avoiding conflicts of national citizens, the German government made sport activity active to improve sportsmanship, which is the spirit of helping each other. I think these solutions to immigrant problems by German are good. Japan should receive immigrants and think original solutions.

My opinion about the situation of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

by Ryota Takatsuka

In class, we discussed about people who have no legal passport in the U.S. Before this class, I was not familiar with this problem. The reason why the guy who appeared the video we saw (Jose Antonio Vargas) does not have a legal passport is that his parents brought him when he was a baby and made fake passport. According to the video, generally those who have fake passport realize that truth when they go to driving school at 16 years old. They were revealed by reception that this is fake passport and you should not come here anymore. No identification prevents those people to try many things. In his case, he could not travel overseas, and he hid his secret and he lived in fear of being arrested. My opinion against this problem is that country should support them to fit the country. There are two supporting reasons why I think that way.

The first reason is that through supporting immigrants America can be a model country in terms of diversity. In this world there still severe ethnic or cultural conflicts. They argue that what ethnic group is suitable as ruler or what culture should be promoted. However, under the globalization, it is nonsense to think that way. Accepting cause diversity into America automatically, and if America set some good policy to immigrants and achieve leading this movement toward growth of the country, whole world may accept diversity and globalization will move to more high level than scientist expect now.

The second reason is that rejecting the undocumented ruins their opportunity or talents. In fact, the guy is now famous journalist in America, however, before his ability admired, he had to give up chances to step up such as going to coverage to another country which has potential to make his career better because of illegal passport. There are many people who have same disadvantage for their future. In other words there must have been talented person who ruined their gift and forced to fade out from society. Preparing enough environments for immigrant will give chance for them to contribute to American society.

To sum up, according to the documentary, many immigrants face obstacle to fit into American society such as language barrier and parting from their family. As generally regarded, there is severe competition in American society and people can achieve the American dream. However, under the policy of the U.S, the starting point of the competition is not even. In order to make circulation of contribution system that was mentioned above, the U.S has to consider immigrants as precious investment for the future.

Is the dream act a good solution for undocumented immigrants in the US?

by Ryohei Sugiyama

The DREAM Act is a law that was suggested in the US in 2000. The purpose of this law is to give young illegal immigrants the opportunity to get a higher education. In the US for a long time the treatment toward young illegal immigrants has been one of the largest sections of immigrant problems. Many of the young illegal immigrants do not have consciousness that they are illegal immigrants. They were taken with their parents and grew up most of their lives in the US. Therefore, there are few differences between these people and American citizens. Nevertheless, these do not get appropriate supports. At this point, the DREAM Act is the progress of the immigrant problem in the US.

If the DREAM Act is approved, young illegal immigrants can have the opportunity to live in the US legally. This is very good point of this law. Today there are a lot of illegal immigrants in the US. They are paying large amount of taxes each year, and actually they have a large influence on the economy of the US. Nevertheless, they get unfair treatment like not entering higher-level schools or not getting jobs because of their illegalness. Especially there is no reason for young immigrants to get unfair treatment. So long as there is no reason, the young illegal immigrants should get the same opportunity as the legal people in the US.

On the other hand, there are a few negative points in the DREAM Act. The article about the military is one of the examples of the negative points. In older for young illegal immigrants to get the legal status there are mainly two choices: one is the entering higher-level school for two years after graduating from high school in the US, and the other is the joining the military. Many of the young immigrants hope to advance a grade, however they sometimes cannot do it because they do not have enough money. In this case in older to get legal status they have to join the military. They may be sent to Iraq and be forced to engage in hard actions. In my opinion, it is an inhumane act. They have to get wounds so as to get rights.

In this way the DREAM Act has some good points and bad points. Therefore, I partly agree with this law and partly disagree. Bad points, of course, should be changed. For instance, in my idea, instead of joining the military, they should engage in public enterprises such as cleaning streets or works at public places. However, it is true that the government of the US intends to tackle with the problems of illegal immigrants. Dream act is the expression of the attitude of the government, and the governments should continue to tackle with the problems of illegal immigrants sincerely and positively.


Dream Act Portal. Retrieved June 26, 2013 from http://dreamact.info/

Is the dream act good for the US? Retrieved June 26th 2013 from http://shimamyuko.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/ドリーム法案は米経済にプラスかマイナスか?/#more-3416

Immigration, Development, and Human Rights

by Mei Satoi

In the documentary film of our class (The New Americans), we could see an immigrant family from Mexico. This family’s father worked in the United States separated from his family in Mexico. This situation made the Mexican family feel sad and uncomfortable life. Therefore they decided to move on the legal way to the U.S. On the other hand, the number of immigrants from Mexico is decreasing. As Mexico has been developing its economy and the U.S.’s development has slowed. So, Mexicans choose to get job and life in their homeland. It shows that economic development helps decrease immigrants. When you and your country want to decrease immigrant number, you should support the economic development.

In the Japan, there are some troubles between Korean schools and the government, or Korean schools and citizens. One example is that the Japanese government decided public high school in Japan will be free. However some people have insisted that Korean school do not have to be free and do not need support from the Japanese government. The reason why is that Korean school has settled under the North Korea system. So Japanese government said to make an exception so that Korean high schools will not be free. It means that only Korean school cannot get support from the Japanese government. However, the purpose of the free of high school law includes Korean schools. In the human rights view, Korean schools also should be free. However a lot of citizens have rejected this. This idea comes from discrimination, misunderstanding, and prejudge. The purpose of the free of high school law is protecting and respecting the children’s right to study. The Japanese government and citizen do not have the right to take the opportunity of education from children because of prejudice. In addition, the Japanese government is trying to produce more multicultural and global talented people in the Japanese educational system. Korean people help to feel and think what is multicultural to children.

There are some immigrant and Zainichi people in Japan. If Japanese wants to eliminate them, they should support their homeland’s economic situation. Then the number of immigrants would decrease. In the now, Japanese government has stopped economic support to the North Korea. Before Japanese complain about free Korean schools, they should help the North Korea situation. In addition, Japanese should protect and respect immigrant. To establish brush up education system with Japanese, immigrants, and Zainichi each other, talented people and high quality people are given from Japan.

Undocumented Immigrants and Their Rights to Family Life

by Kentaro Sakamoto

Is it OK to treat someone unfairly for something that is not his/her fault? Most people will probably answer “No” to this simple question, but in reality, many children of undocumented immigrant families are treated differently for something that they are not responsible for. Let’s see the case in the United States, where it has roughly 1 million unauthorized children (Passel and Cohn, 2011). Most of them were brought to America by their adult family members (Poe, 2012). They go to American schools and they are part of American society, but since they do not have American citizenship, they cannot do things that regular Americans can do, such as getting a driver’s license, getting a passport, getting scholarship for their education, and getting a job legally. Some of them had not even know that they were undocumented until they decided to get a job or a driver’s license. However, undocumented immigrants raised in the United States are now starting to stand up for their rights. Many organizations demanding equal rights for them have been formed, calling America to change its laws (Immigrant Youth Justice League, 2013). Thanks to their effort, President Obama announced that he will stop deporting certain young undocumented immigrants. He also supports giving them a chance to officially become legal residents if they go to college or serve for the military for 2 years, which can give them the qualification to apply for U.S. citizenship (Poe, 2012). The situation of undocumented children are starting to change, and more people are starting to recognize their rights.

However, they still cannot fully enjoy the rights that other ordinary Americans do. Their rights to family life are not guaranteed. Moreover, this right is not only a problem for undocumented children, but also for children with American citizenship who have undocumented parents. Families have been divided due to the difference of legal status within the family; the parents are deported while their children are allowed to stay in the country (Cave, 2012). These children have to make a very difficult decision, either to stay in America without their parents or to follow them to a country they do not know much about. This is not merely a problem in the United States, but it also became a sensation in Japan when the situation of Calderon family was reported in the news. They were forced to be separated because of the father and mother’s undocumented status. Noriko Calderon, the daughter of the family who was allowed to stay in Japan due to special measures, had two choices: staying in Japan by herself, or going to the Philippines with her deported parents. She eventually decided to stay in Japan, where she was born and raised and where she had all her friends, and in compensation, she had to make her farewell to her parents. Her right to family life was violated.

The right to family life is determined in Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) ratified by 193 countries and regions (Tanaka et al., 2013). The article says all children have the right to live with their parents unless it creates an environment that is bad for them, such as child abuse (Ibid). America hasn’t ratified this treaty yet (Ibid). Japan ratified, but it declared to interpret Article 9 from its own viewpoint to justify family separation caused by deportation (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, n.d.). This attitude is criticized by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, asking Japan to change its distinctive interpretation of the article (Ibid). Unfortunately the two major countries that call themselves the ‘champion of human rights’ are violating this right while many other countries are protecting it.

Since the right to family life is an internationally recognized right, countries such as the U.S. and Japan should protect this by ensuring children to stay with their family in the place where they are raised, regardless of their legal status. Children themselves are not responsible for what kind of legal status they or their parents have. Laws in general are made to protect human rights and ensure fairness, and this general principle of law should be applied to all community members contributing to the society, especially if they are raised in the community. Therefore, I think laws violating the community members’ rights (in this case, the rights of children who are raised in the community by their undocumented parents) should be changed immediately. Japan anyway needs more immigrants to support its economy, and the government is actually trying to accept more of them from outside of the country (Gi, 2000), but I think it will be much smoother if we accept those who are already living in Japan, those who know how to live in this country, and those who have their friends, husband, wife and even children here. Why can’t we protect the rights of our community members?


Cave, D. (2012, June 18). American children, now struggling to adjust to life in Mexico. The New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2013, from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/world/americas/american-born-children-struggle-to-adjust-in-mexico.html?pagewanted=all

Gi, H. (2000, June 9). Nippon de kurashitai: Huhou taizai kazoku tachi no kizuna [We want to live in Japan: The bonds of illegal immigrant families]. Fuji Terebi [Fuji Television]. Retrieved June 27, 2013, from http://www.fujitv.co.jp/b_hp/fnsaward/backnumber/back/00-167.html

Immigrant Youth Justice League. (2013). About us. Immigration Youth Justice League. Retrieved June 27, 2013, from http://www.iyjl.org/about-2/

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. (n.d.). Dai ikkai houkokusho shinsa: Jidou no kenri ni kansuru iinkai kara no shitsumon ni taisuru kaitou [Examination of the first report: The answer to the question asked by the Committee on the Rights of the Child]. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved June 27, 2013, from http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/gaiko/jido/9605kaito/

Passel, J. S., & Cohn, D. (2011). New patterns in US immigration, 2011: Uncertainty for reform. University of California, Davis. Retrieved June 27, 2013, from http://migrationfiles.ucdavis.edu/uploads/cf/files/2011-may/passel-new-patterns-in-us-immigration.pdf

Poe, C. (June 16, 2012). DREAM Act: Obama stops deportation of children of illegal immigrants. The Washington Times. Retrieved June 27, 2013, from http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/ad-lib/2012/jun/16/dream-act-obama-stops-deportation-children-illegal/

Tanaka, N., Yakushiji, K., Sakamoto, M., Asada, M., Kiriyama, T., Obata, I., & Shibata, A. (2013). Beshikku Jyouyakushu [Basic documents of international law]. Tokyo: Toushindo.

The Issue of Migrants in the EU

by Ryota Ochiai

Do you know “Roma”? Not Rome, but Roma. It might be confusing, so I write it as “Romani”. Romani are an ethnic group living mostly in Europe. They are also called and known as “Gypsies”, maybe you have been heard that word. In 2007, the EU expanded in Central Europe, and as you know Bulgaria and Romania also have joined the EU. At the same time, we are recognizing that the Romani of 9 million constitute a “Fourth World” in the area. Moreover, Romani living in the EU are forced to survive the life in lower than standard necessary to still maintain human dignity.

Rumanian and Bulgarian of the Romani native place come over to the French city and suburbs, and they set up camping as the temporary house at there. In addition, most of them have not received school education and become the victim of  human trafficking networks. Such networks let elderly person and children beg by the roadside and forces daughters to prostitution and expands by doing an illegal act. Much camping was removed by a policy of the French Government, and the Romani of several hundred returned to Romania independently. However, this let the EU highlight a problem of “freedom of movement” written in the Treaties of the European Union. However, France is a country making much of “freedom of movement” from other countries because of experience shut in the other side of the Iron Curtain. Therefore France supported Bulgaria and EU participation of Romania at the very beginning.

However, since the freedom of the movement is valuable simply, France wants to take measures to prevent the crime network taking advantage of the poverty of Romani. This is what written down in EU treaty Article 3, and it means that the freedom of movement is not unlimited and this is carried out on one of the cooperation with “destruction measures criminal with prevention of crime”. In other words, the freedom of movement can never become the large-scale emigrant incurrent excuse.

Afterwards, France visited to Romania and agreed that both found a solution jointly. From there, the French thought, it is the most important that Romania and Bulgaria take responsibility for the own nation, since EU member states have a duty to protect the nation from own country. It is written down in Treaties of the European Union Article 2.

This problem is world and our problem not just a problem of the whole Romania, France and EU now. Most of people are irresponsibility about the issue of emigrant, however it is same to what add a new chapter to the sad history of the emigrant who has been oppressed. So I will be glad if even slightly many people are interested about the issue of emigrant by reading my blog post. Thank you.


France Roma Camps Demolished, Gypsies Forced Into Hiding http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/15/roma-france-camps-demolished-gypsies_n_1778357.html

The Romani People and the Free Movement Directive http://www.legalfrontiers.ca/2010/10/the-romani-people-and-the-free-movement-directive/

The Roma in France: “Is Hollande going to expel us all?” http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/world-affairs/2012/10/roma-france-hollande-going-expel-us-all

EU Treaties http://europa.eu/about-eu/basic-information/decision-making/treaties/index_en.htm