Refugees and assimilation

Map showing destination countries of refugees ...

Map showing destination countries of refugees /asylum seekers (= people fleeing abroad) in 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Naresh Kumar

Different countries receive thousands of refugees every year. All of them come from different religions, cultures, and share different moral values that makes them identical in the host countries. Many are vulnerable to the crimes and human rights violations in the host country. They try to assimilate themselves in the society but instead of being accepted, many end up being the victims of different crimes (Ferenchik, 2012). Assimilation is always seen in an optimistic way with eventual integration of newcomers and it is expected that the process will end over time when foreigners and natives are merged (Portes & Rumbaut, 2001).

However, the facts about victimization are ignored. The situation is even worse in the developing and underdeveloped countries, where refugees find it very hard to integrate into the host society. Refugees who migrated to different countries are asking for help to keep up their culture, language, religion, and other things, to keep up their identity. If we look at the numbers then it is global south that holds so many refugees. The number is increasing everyday. It is the responsibilities of the international community to provide support for the refugees and help them integrate in host countries.

Poverty, crimes, discrimination, human rights violations are some of the issues in societies that holds refugees. Coping with uprootedness, adversity, and assimilation into new social landscapes has always been a challenge. There is always a clash between different cultures, religious values, political ideologies, etc. After the end of the Cold War, nation states have carried out more restrictive policies, which makes it difficult for refugees and asylum seekers to enter the host country.

The rise of nationalism is another issue. In different countries in Europe, immigrants are becoming victims to so called “national movements”, which is simply to push back foreigners and immigrants out of the host country. The European Union only grants EU citizenship to citizens of member states, which is described as “fortress Europe” by many advocates of refugee rights.

The Global South lacks the ability to provide basic needs and lacks to assure certain rights, whereas those who can looks away from the issues. Europe is the only continent which receives thousands of refugees every year, but integration into the society depends on one’s abilities of language and education levels. Refugees who enter into different societies of different countries are not well protected. Their voice is less heard and are constant victims of crimes and human rights abuses.

 

References

Ferenchik, M. (2012, June 19). Nepali refugees struggle with life in city. Retrieved from http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/06/19/nepali-refugees-struggle-with-life-in-city.html

Portes, A., & Rumbaut, R. G. (2001). Legacies: The story of the immigrant second generation. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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Reconsidering Japan’s Denial of Dual Citizenship

by Ji Soo Kim

An anonymous writer on the internet started her sentence with, “I am a Japanese mom and sold my son to France today.” The writer’s family has been living in France for 20 years, and she made her son acquire French citizenship so that he could  take state examination and receive state scholarship.

The writer said “people back home think we are no longer good patriots. But they cannot imagine how much we miss our home. The patriotism grows bigger when we live abroad.” Making a big choice, the mother wished Japan’s allowance of dual citizenship. She was scared that losing Japanese citizenship would have a negative effect on her son’s Japanese identity.

Having dual citizenship means that two countries recognize you as their citizen. Currently, Japan does not allow dual citizenship. Citizens of dual citizenship must choose one or the other before turning age 22. Japan is not an ethnically diverse country and Japanese government fears chaos the interferences of foreign human resources will bring. Allowance of dual citizenship will make many citizens to lose their patriotic heart toward Japan. Additionally, there are people who misuse and abuse dual citizenship to avoid certain laws or to request special admissions.

The reasons to not allow dual citizenship are reasonable. However, on the other side, global human resources and patriots will be lost due to inevitability of making a choice such as the case mentioned above. Japan in a need for further globalization could be helped by the globally raised children. As the Japanese child in France chose French citizenship, he will not come back to Japan and work for Japan; rather he will work for France. In these cases, Japan is not only losing a globalized future workforce, but also a citizen who could show nationalism. The possibility for this family to come back to Japan and live decreased, and there are many other families in the same situation.

Current Japan believes that there are more cons to pros in allowing dual citizenship. But is this true? Isn’t Japan losing other important things? Looking case by case, it is beneficial not only for the individual but for the nation to give some individuals dual citizenship. As the world is becoming smaller and a country can no longer stay as a pure nationalistic country, Shouldn’t Japan consider a way to benefit both the individual and the nation within the control of dual citizenship?

Reference

www.blog.daum.net/tourparis/8493699

The headaches and the blessings of dual-citizenship

by Jonas Horvei

It is said that humans are born. In some way this is true, nevertheless there is also heavy restrictions imposed on each individuals. Such restrictions could for instance be the place where you are born, your parents, the economic power your parents have, the passport you hold, and whether you have dual-citizenship or not. In a world that continues to become more and more globalized traveling abroad and working abroad are steadily becoming increasingly important for many individuals who want to experience life in a different country than where they grew up.

While of course the economic power of the individual and his family is often the biggest determiner, this time I want to talk about dual-citizenship and the challenges it imposes on the individuals. With increasingly more intermarriages, we also see a surge in people who are eligible for dual citizenships. While I think in many cases this can be an incredible blessing. For instance think of an American citizen that also holds the passport of Sweden. Normally for an American working in most places in the EU is an incredibly big challenge due to the Schengen agreement. With an additional passport to Sweden, such barriers are removed and almost all of Europe becomes a possibility both for working and traveling.

Unfortunately for many of the dual-citizenship holders, this can also be a source of frustration. This frustration is based on the fact that many countries do not recognize dual-citizenship and forces the holder to pick either one of them while renouncing their other passport. Like a person from Japan and America will have to pick either Japan or America as their passport due to Japan not recognizing dual citizenship. So for a person who feels closely tied to both of these countries making the right decision is not such a simple matter. As each passport holds a different value one. It often makes me sad to hear my friends in China often having to pay deposits amount to almost 10,000 dollars just to go on a vacation abroad, it is simply unfair and makes traveling and migration for people without rich backgrounds very difficult.

While we all might think sometimes, being a dual citizenship sounds as this amazing treasure and key to freedom in terms of traveling, and in terms of opportunities to working abroad. Regardless of that think the fact that many countries still do not recognize dual citizenships easily becomes a source of frustration and the making of difficult choices especially of those who do feel attached to more than just one of the countries which they hold a passport to. Whether all countries should recognize dual citizenship or not I am not really certain if it is the right solution. With the increasing amount of globalization, I think the ideal solution would be to soften the barriers and make them less restrictive so that people can travel where they want, work where they want as long as they have the skill and migrate where they want regardless of which country one holds a citizenship of. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to change anytime soon, maybe never as long as discrimination and racism is a part of our daily life.

So meanwhile, for those of you that hold citizenships from different countries, different countries which both recognize dual citizenships as a right should treasure how lucky you are and the freedom you have to move, work and live your life in so many places compared to many others. In many ways, I am jealous of dual-citizenships holders. Still after reflecting on the whole thing, it seems that it is not always as nice it sounds like and I might have been reserving my judgments too soon. When you are forced to pick one passport over the other you might never in truly know if if you made the right decision or not.