On the death of a young immigrant in Italy

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“ Milet is a victim of the unjust regime of her country, from which she escaped. A country that everyone knows, but nobody cares about. Milet is a victim of our frontiers, as legitimate as unjust, when they are bumped into the face of the people and close inexorably before their cry of help. Milet is the victim of a so-called civilized society, that names principles, those of fraternity, freedom, equality, principles in whose name people have been persecuted and killed. Principles that are not applied equally to everyone. There are those who are more brothers, more free and more equal than others. This is an injustice our civilization must be ashamed of. Milet is a victim of so many files that lie for too long on the tables of those who have responsibilities, of unjust procedures that become a dilation in giving justice to the poor asking for help ”

Translated from Italian.

Michele Luppi & Andrea Quadroni, ‘The deaths of the border in Ventimiglia’, Open Migration

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On AfD’s ‘defense’ of the common man and shift to the center

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“ Today, even the Union recognizes Germany as a country of immigration. Its right wing has been weakened and outright reactionary positions like an ethnic definition of German identity marginalized. Women are no longer seen as the natural servants of their husbands, and the rights of gays and lesbians to life partnerships and parenthood are legally enshrined. The modernization of the Union’s immigration, gender, and family policies is primarily strategic: particularly since Angela Merkel become party leader in 2000, the party has increasingly sought to attract new voters from the political center, rather than the right (…) The AfD rarely targets the wealthy in its defense of the common man, but instead focuses its ire on immigrants and refugees, accusing them of taking government handouts without contributing to the welfare state. According to the AfD, it is migrants and refugees who are robbing German workers of the fruits of their labor, not their German bosses ”

Sebastian Friedrich & Gabriel Kuhn, ‘Between Capital and Volk’, Jacobin Magazine

On the real migrant crisis

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“ The number of refugees globally has not been higher since the end of the second world war and a million of them have crossed from South Sudan into Uganda, mostly into the West Nile district. In all, an estimated two million people have been displaced by the civil war and ethnic cleansing that has been raging in the world’s newest country for the past four years. Approximately three quarters of South Sudan’s children are out of school – the highest number in the world. Unlike many western countries, Uganda has not demonised the new arrivals. The government has given the refugees land and seeds in the belief that they will be better off making a new life for themselves than doing nothing in a camp ”

Larry Elliott, ‘South Sudan’s million-strong refugee crisis is a test for the World Bank’, The Guardian

On far-right Breivikism

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“ While the far right has always been obsessed with Jewish people, today’s far right is fixated too with Muslims and Islam. After three Islamist terrorist attacks in just a few weeks, some believe that Muslims as a whole are a fifth column, an internal menace to western civilisation. And that’s what leads on to what you could call ‘Breivikism’. In 2011, the Norwegian fascist terrorist Anders Breivik launched an Islamophobic attack that did not target Muslims. Instead, he targeted young socialists, whom he believed were traitors responsible for mass immigration, multiculturalism and the Islamisation of Europe. According to this worldview, the left is the enabler of Islam, and therefore just as culpable for the destruction of the west ”

Owen Jones, ‘Far-right extremists are cornered and dangerous. They must be challenged’, The Guardian

On Britain’s business community opinion on EU migrants

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“ It includes a poll of more than 1,000 companies, weighted to represent Britain’s business community, which finds that 23% believe allowing in an unlimited amount of EU migrants with a job offer would have a negative impact on their organisation. More than a third (35%) of businesses in low-wage industries said they recruited EU nationals because they cannot fill the positions with UK-born applicants, signalling that labour shortages could result from a clampdown. There was even more disquiet about stricter schemes among the 91% of companies that expected to hire EU migrants. Some 28% warned that giving skilled EU workers five-year visas would hurt them. More (30%) said that one-year visas for unskilled workers would do damage ”

 Michael Savage, ‘Big business leaders press Theresa May to rethink hard Brexit’, The Guardian

On the need to focus on actions, not words, in US politics

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“ What remains striking about Trump, however, is how much of the push back against him is provoked by his words, and how Americans are prone to ascribe weight to those words. This is not a Trump phenomenon. It is a very American one, stretching back many years, and starkly evident during Obama’s tenure just as much as it is during Trump’s early months in the White House. In short, we pay too much attention to words and not enough to action. We have a cultural tendency to assume that words, political words, are reflections of reality, when very often they are not (…)  Between 2009 and 2013, there were more deportations than at any other point in American history, close to 3 million people. Many have noted that, under Obama, authorities made a point of de-emphasizing non-violent undocumented immigrants and allowing them a degree of protection from deportation. But according to Ice records, about half of all deportations in those years were for non-violent immigrants. It is true that immigration policy changed during Obama’s second term, with much greater emphasis on criminal immigrants. But it is equally true that the actions of his first term should have created widespread panic that deportation was a clear and present threat. Yet while many Hispanics, who tended to be more directly affected by these harsh immigration policies, were critical of Obama’s immigration approach in his first term, they remained supportive of him and positive about his administration overall. Unlike Trump, Obama’s soaring and inclusive words created a culture of hope that served to offset the way his actions were perceived ”

Zachary Karabell, ‘Pay attention to Donald Trump’s actions, not his words’, The Guardian

On the strict correlation between European colonialism and imperialism and immigration

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“ In the French case, it is impossible to maintain a settler colonial regime on your own doorstep for over 100 years, with all the brutality inherent to such a project, without telling yourself certain stories by way of justification. If you can convince yourself that you are the agent of modernity and progress, while your colonial subjects are backward, superstitious and irrationally violent, then massacres, torture and repression become regrettable necessities or understandable aberrations. Then, when your subjects in north Africa and elsewhere overthrow your rule, end your empire, and then in some cases come to your country as economic migrants or refugees, you are ready to see these developments as a humiliation, an insult and a threat (…) The reality is that in Britain and France much of our patriotism has been toxified by imperial self-satisfaction, an inherited sense of superiority over others, and a refusal to climb down from this through an honest reappraisal of our history. It is here that we find the roots of the post-imperial status anxiety that characterises the rightwing Brexiteers. It is also here that we find the instinct to see Muslims as uncivilised, immigrants as an economic burden, and refugees as cockroaches or just chancers on the scrounge ”

David Wearing, ‘Immigration will remain a toxic issue until Britain faces up to his colonial past’, The Guardian