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.

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 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.

References

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?

References

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.

References

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

Undocumented Families in Japan

by Ryoma Kagawa

In 2009, a 13-year-old Filipino girl who was living in Japan was separated from her parents because they had come to Japan in an illegal manner of fake passports. After arriving in Japan, they had lived for about a decade and the girl knew the Japanese culture better than the Philippine culture; for example, she spoke Japanese as well as the Japanese do. However, the arrest of her mother uncovered their secret, and the girl was made to decide whether she would go to the Philippines with her family or she would keep staying in Japan while her family would go back, which she took the former and the family was separated.

If a family in Japan has been found that they have come illegally and their children were very small and had no choice but to follow their parents on their arrival, what should  be done? There are many arguments among the Japanese whether the government should force such undocumented families to return their own countries, allow those children to keep staying, or some other opinions. In my opinion, the government should allow the parents to keep staying with their children until they are 18 years old and then force the parents to return.

The first reason is that the separation of parents has a big influence on their children when they are adolescent. Adolescent children are usually unstable in minds and the role of parents is of great importance here. In the case of the Filipino girl above, on the day of departure, she missed her parents very much and wanted them to stay with her; they also understood her feelings and knew well that she still needed them because she was young. I think that children who grow up through adolescence without parents might behave badly and it will result in bad effects on society. The second reason is that it is a matter of human rights. For instance, children may suffer from mental illness due to the lack of parents nearby, and it may become difficult for them to be educated. I think that the example describes the violation of their human rights by the government.

While the Japanese government should restrict the entry of people in illegal ways from the point of views such as national security, I believe that it should give more consideration to undocumented families who have already come and lived in Japan from the point of views such as influences on society and human rights.

References

Schoolgirl told to choose: Country or parents. (2009, April 13). CNN. Retrieved June 24, 2013, from http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/04/13/japan.philippines.calderon/index.html#cnnSTCText

 

The Rights of Undocumented Children

by Tatsuya Haishi

Through the immigration class and the articles of newspaper, I learned the fact that there are many children who were detached from their parents due to deportation of the parents. It is very cruel for children to choose their parents or their country. I think children should be treated specially. The government gives the right of staying to the children whose parents are undocumented immigrants. Of course, I have never experienced the situation like these children have, but I am sure that nobody wants to be born as an “undocumented child.”

I think being legal or illegal will not become a problem in near future and people will no longer care about that. The world is in a period of transition at present. The laws against illegal immigrants of the developed countries including the US and Japan would be rescinded.

I believe that when we think about such difficult issues, we have to seek a better solution rather than the best one. According to one of the articles of our immigration class, there is a boy who lives in Mexico. His name is Jeffrey and his father was one of the immigrants deported in the first half of 2011 who said they had American children.

Jeffrey moved from the US because of his father’s deportation, but it is difficult for him to acclimate himself to a new environment. Many undocumented immigrants leave from their country to look for a job. While they can obtain a job, their children would also become undocumented children. When a child who does not know they are undocumented realizes that, they must be terribly shocked.

To think a better solution for such children, we should imagine what the worst situation for them is. If the parents stay their home country and do not take a job, the family would be hard to gain food and they could not live anymore. We have to put children first. We have to consider a better way for children. Laws are important and should be observed. However, at the same time, the rights of undocumented children are respectable as well. Some people might say that adults also have rights! I know that, but we can think, demand, and act. I believe that all adults have a childhood. If it is true, it ought to be obvious that we must think about children as top priority.

Undocumented immigrants

by Fujisaka Shunsuke

Nowadays there are a lot of immigrants in a lot of countries. Most immigrants are accepted officially but some immigrants do not have permission. These immigrants are called undocumented immigrants. These undocumented immigrants go to other countries to find a job or any other reasons. In this essay, I will write whether countries should accept undocumented immigrants or not. In my opinion countries should accept undocumented immigrants.

First undocumented immigrants should be accepted and not leave from the country by human rights. Human rights have to be protected. It is true that they came to country illegally. It is against a law. However human rights are more important. The law should be changed and undocumented immigrants should be treated like others. Therefore family must not be separated. There are a lot of children whose parents came to the country illegally. However children are not illegal and they do not even know they are illegal or not. These children have to be protected by human rights because if their parents leave from the country they have to live without their parents. It is against human rights.

Second to live a better life is important for all people. There is a problem of anchor baby in America or China. This anchor baby means mother stay in another country by taking care of the baby. This is a problem of the America or Hong Kong so they try to solve this problem. However to live a better life is important. That is why mother tries to stay in America or Hong Kong. I think this is a problem but these parent and baby should not leave. Government should make a regulation of this problem that makes their life better Due to live a better life is important.

In conclusion undocumented immigrants have to be treated like others by human rights and to live a better life. Country should accept undocumented immigrants. In addition I think one more important way for them is to migrate to another place of same country like article of Mexico. If they migrate to another place of same country, they do not have to worry about language. Another article of the wife of the immigrants said that language is very difficult problem. That is why if it is possible, they should migrate another place of same country. Undocumented immigrants are difficult problem but I hope this problem to be solved in a good way.

Against the Japanese policy on refugees

by Ryota Takatsuka

We learned about the situation of Japanese acceptance of refugees. According to the readings and materials which the professor gave to us, Japan accepts less than 1% of applicants. Although Japan has the third biggest economy in the world, Japan accepts by far fewer refugees than other developed countries. We have debate about question “Whether Japan should accept more refugees or not”. My answer is “Yes”. There are two reasons why I answered at the debate.

The first reason is that refugee can cover the shortage of labor especially in field that seek labor. Now, Japan is about to face aging society and decline of birth rate, so in some field, lack of young labor will cause vanish of job. Agriculture is famous example of this. Although Japanese self-sufficiency rate is lower than any other developed country, the number of young people who choose agriculture to work is decreasing year and year. This is why the age average of farmer is getting higher and agriculture is in danger to be disappeared in the near future. However, refugees can solve this kind of problem, because they come to Japan seeking job to live. I mean increasing number of worker promote people including Japanese young people to work in various kind of work such as agriculture. The more people come in Japan, the competition of job hunting will more hard and tough. Due to this people will be supposed to expand their eye to the industries which have not been gotten attention. This situation can help various kind of industry develop and solve Japanese current problem that lack of labor because of aging society and declining of young people.

The second reason is fundamentally, Japan is responsible for guaranteeing human rights of people all over the world by the Japanese constitution. Accepting refugee and supporting them in language and job hunting are duty of Japanese government. If Japanese government keep rejecting accept much more refugees like other country do, Japanese constitution has no power to guarantee the human rights against even Japanese people.

I feel strange that fact that Japan accepts fewer refugees than other countries. The trend of the world is globalization. Japan has to catch up with this trend by accepting refugee and admit the multiculturalism in society. The tie between other nations will be more tight and Japan start being flexible against diversity. Following this, Japan can find benefit in accepting foreign community such as immigrants and refugee in terms.