Apr 7, 2007

And the beat goes on

I recently went to a lecture given by Dr. Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco, co-director of Immigration Studies at New York University. His presentation was titled "Rethinking Immigration" and here are some highlights:

Humans started immigrating 60,000 years ago when there was an exodus from Africa to other parts of the world. There ain't nothing new about people moving to get somewhere better, safer, or closer to other family.

There are 85-300 million immigrants and refugees worldwide. Australia and Switzerland lead the pack with each country having at least 20% of its population foreign born.

The U.S. is in fifth place in terms of immigration with only about 12% being foreign born. (Makes you wonder how real is this concern, by some people, that there are too many immigrants in this country).

U.S. foreign policy has led to the need for people to immigrate to other countries, including the U.S. (Vietnam and Iraq Wars, and U.S. goverment interceding in the politics of Central and South America)

In the U.S. about $50 billion worth of "human capital" is injected into the U.S. economy annually, because of the contributions of immigrants. (That's right folks, immigrants don't just take, they also contribute, labor, skills and talents. An immigrant invented the iPod.)

Second and Third generation children of immigrants will transform the U.S. in terms of culture and economic growth.

Even if immigration stop today, the dynamics and pending influence connected to the immigration of the last ten years are already in motion.

Therefore, in order for countries to benefit from immigrants, policies created around adjusting toan immigration populations should be "values-based" and consider a world-view.

Something to think about while you color your easter eggs. Oh, by the way, the tradition of easter egg coloring was brought over by immigrants.

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