The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Immigration

The Politics of Immigration

Throughout modern history, people have emigrated from their countries of origin (émigrés) and people have immigrated to a second or even third country (immigrants). And then there have been those who have been banished from a country. Your correspondent has always been fascinated by how Great Britain’s penal system, between the years 1788 and 1868, was so severe and draconian that their own citizens were routinely and literally sent half way around the world to the continent of Australia for their crimes. Here’s a fascinating article (including a rare Rogues’ Gallery) about the first “citizens” of Australia from Archaeology Magazine. To learn even more, check out Robert Hughes’s exceptional The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s Founding.

Many Americans only think of “immigration” in narrow and often stereotypical terms. Immigrants, refugees, displaced people—over 200 million human beings on the move annually—exist everywhere. The Boston Globe this week published some extraordinary images of immigrants throughout the world from over the last fortnight or so. The Big Picture

Last week, the RP pointed out the difficulties of being raised and educated as the child of an undocumented immigrant in the United States–perhaps graduating first in your Senior class only to be told that you are not eligible to participate in higher education because of the status of your parent (see last week’s piece on the DREAM Act). Now, Alabama’s new, far-reaching and extraordinary immigration bill (which makes it a crime to simply give an undocumented person a ride in your car) would not only punish the children of immigrants by demanding “to see their papers” as it were, but would make teachers effectively immigration agents. Alabama’s Immigration Law: The New Jim Crow

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