Sarkozy: Taking a page from the US; human rights groups disgusted

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Tue Sep 25 13:55:31 UTC 2007

Sarkozy: Taking a page from the US; human rights groups disgusted
Posted by nicolawells on September 24th, 2007

Quotas for the number of immigrants allowed into the country by job or region.

Making stricter rules by which relatives migrate to join their family
members in a destination country.

Judging an immigrant's right to citizenship based on their
comprehension of the national language.

These ideas are normal to us- everyday run of the mill immigration
policy. But in Europe these radical NEW proposals, aired by Sarkozy in
a recent televised interview, are deemed unacceptable by critics and
human rights groups, alike.

The French president's call for immigration quotas has angered human
rights groups. The proposal, made in a live interview on national
television, has been judged scandalous and unacceptable by critics.

Nicolas Sarkozy said he wanted a parliamentary debate every year,
resulting in the fixing of a quota of foreign immigrants France was
prepared to welcome onto its territory. "Within this upper limit, I
want us to examine the idea of a quota by profession, by category and,
naturally, by regions of the world," he went on.

The head of state also defended an immigration bill just adopted by
the lower house of parliament. It does not involve quotas but tightens
rules for would-be immigrants wanting to join relatives already in
France. Still needing Senate approval, it controversially introduces
voluntary DNA testing to prove family ties. The new rules also involve
evaluating potential immigrants' knowledge of the French language.

As we sit on our big old swath of land, we often lose perspective on
the policies that we come to find "normal". For us, a test of language
ability and quotas on entering migrants are corner stones of our
immigration policy. But how do other countries view these practices?
Are they seen as violations of privacy? Are they seen as unnecessary
burdens on immigrants that are expected to maintain their home
language? Is it improper to count people like cattle?

Reading this article, and taking a moment to reflect on the
ideological foundation of our immigration system I am awe-struck. I am
struck by the differences in immigration policy across the world that
represent drastically different cultural views of movement and value
on human life that our immigration debate earlier this year rarely
paused to consider.

Life before work - Family before industry -  Spirit before language?

Our immigration debates earlier this year rarely touched on the
foundation of our beliefs about migration, movement and family.
Instead, congress debated point systems and employer verification, and
we were stuck arguing over procedure not foundation.

If we really want to win the immigration debate in the US, it is time
that we stop simply pushing legislation. It is time that we push our
values to the front of the debate. The only way to reach this debate
is to push ourselves to reflect deeply on what we really believe
families, movement, unity, economic prosperity, and language , among
other ideas, mean to us as a society and a broader american community.

Looking at other immigration systems is one step in that process. Do
you have more info on France, or other countries' ideological beliefs?
Share them hereā€¦.
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