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    Coldness towards immigrants

    The other day I was watching local news here in Minneapolis, Minnesota (where I moved recently) when the news about new statewide ad compaign about immigrants came up.

    Apparently, the the state goverment is going to start an ad compaign to promote friendliness towards immigrants in the state.

    The ad starts with something like 'Immigrants think Minnesota is cold... and they are not talking about the weather'.

    My limited, personal experience from that aspect is quite pleasant so far but since I have not lived here long enough, can't say much. However, what impressed me was the notion of putting out an ad itself. I have lived in East-coast states for more than 7 years and I never heard anything of such connotation there. Imagine having such campaign started in NY City. I betta you can't. It's my presumption (which could be wrong) that the level of friendliness here in MN is probably better than in NY or NJ etc. but since MN does not get as many immigrants, it is more sensitive towards perserving and increasing the number here.

    I think part of the reason behind this awareness is that most of the immigrants settle down to either East or West coast states since it's more convenient for them. Due to large and contineously growing number of immigrants in these areas, people there take immigrants' presence for granted. They don't realize the same level of importance of immigrants as many of the other mid-west or south-west states do since those areas don't get their desired 'quota' of immigrants.

    There is no doubt about the fact that immigrants help boost the economy. Specially due the boom of IT and its related industries, a large number of immigrants are IT professionals coming to US on H-1B visas. The productivity impact of these IT professionals on market while there is a high demand of labor in the industry is enormous.

    I think will take these ads on buses, street boards, and newspapers as a welcoming gesture for me.

    #2
    I think its a great idea. I'm from western Canada and the area in which I live has been aptly labelled the "Mississipi of Canada" due to the somewhat prejudiced and racist attitudes of some of the ppl who call it there home. I'd like to see if such a campain has any results, I'm sure on some level it would.

    The way immigration policy is set up these days only the cream of the crop has a chance of getting through the cracks and making it in, especially from the developing world. Its unfortunate that ppl don't realize the contributions these ppl make to society.

    In Canada its already policy that you should be able to speak English or French, the two official languages. That rules out anybody from the underprivlidged classes who can't afford to be taught in these languages. And now there is a new proposed bill which will make university education mandatory for potential immigrants. So not only are people cold to immigrants but also the entire immigration system is cold.

    Anyways, its good to see that some people are aware of the problem and are trying to do something to change things. Although I try to be sensitive to immigrants, I'll try to be extra nice.

    Achtung

    [This message has been edited by Achtung (edited October 06, 1999).]

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      #3
      It's always good to remember that really most americans?canadians are immigrants from some time or other - melting pot - and all that. We have recently had a huge influx of Somalians and last year it was Cambodians, etc. Now these pople may not necessarily be the "cream of the crop", but nonetheless, they are humans who have had a chance to establish a better life for themselves and their families, and should be welcomed. I've found such people to be quite industrious, and hard-working, tho not necessarily educated...

      proud to be ABCD (Ah'm Bold Courageous, and Daring)

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        #4
        Roman Sha’na (Sha’na means Yar, ‘Friend’ in my part of Punjab – a little lesson for you in my form of Punjabi, where-else would you get this lesson, only here!).

        Immigration is one of the issues that get my Irish Up. The immigration debate in USA is hot and kicking. All sides trying to make arguments for and against it. There are two aspects to your post, one is the Race Relations aspect, and the second is the Immigration aspect. While we see and read the state of race relations in the USA almost on daily basis, the immigration policies are rarely discussed in any detail. I will attempt to address (briefly for now, may be in greater detail later) that aspect.

        Currently the INS is practically getting away with murder. Technically speaking, INS sucks. There are a number of players in this central issue of immigration reform. The Justice Department and the Commissioner of Immigration are the main State apparatus that are trying to put some sense into it, but the entrenched bureaucracy of the INS has its mind-set. The agency is out of control, to put it mildly. Refusing citizenship to people who have lived in this country for most of their lives, simply because they smoked a joint in college empteen years ago. Jesse Helms, Phil Grahm, Pat Buchanan and similar xenophobic groups are only showing their racist side by opposing any reforms and making propositions to bring the debate on to ballots (as in CA) without actually giving the debate a chance in the Legislator (both houses of the Congress). They are playing with the unconscious sympathy of the population who are ill advised by the same groups, and view immigrants as a threat to the local employment market. INS’s current cases (one pending, INS vs Mazen Al-Najjar, an immigrant behind bars without seeing any evidence against him). This case is a calculated effort by the INS to shape the current debate in the House (congress). This case is an evidence of the violation of the basic legal structure and negates the most basic principal of the judicial system of this land. The law clearly states that no one should be imprisoned without an opportunity to confront the accusation against him. There are other similar cases pending at the District courts, and also at the appellate level. I will contribute something about the race relations later, as that is certainly an issue of paramount importance, not only in cities like New York and LA, but also in smaller places of this land. Simply because this is the land of the immigrants, and without a better state of race relations, this country may loose its place in the Global community of being fair and friendly towards its new wave of immigrants.

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